At Christmas we read again the wonderful prophecy in Isaiah:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (9:6).
Consider what sixteenth century Protestant Reformer Martin Luther has to say about this:
Luther on To Us a Child Is Born
Askest thou what the Christian Church is, or where the Christian Church is to be found? I will tell thee. The Christian Church thou must seek, not that it lie at Rome or at St. James or at Nuremberg or at Wittenberg or among countryfolk, townsfolk or nobility, but it saith, "the government shall be upon His shoulders" . . .
That a right Christian and true member of the Churches is he who believeth that he sitteth upon Christ's shoulders, that is, that all his sins are hung on Christ's neck, so that his heart saith, I know no other comfort save that all my sins and misdeeds are laid upon His shoulders.
Therefore those who lie on Christ's shoulders and let themselves be carried by Him, are called and are the Church and proper Christians.
Quoted in Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, edited by G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance, I/2 (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1956), pp. 216-217, emphasis added.
So let us learn again this Christmas to rest upon Christ's shoulders!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. James C. Goodloe IV,Executive Director