Sunday December 22, 2019 | Greg Boyd
For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going. With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.
Jesus is our everlasting Father. This is not a reference to Jesus actually being the first person of the Trinity. Instead it means the Jesus is our eternal source, which means that Jesus gives us an alternative narrative that empowers us to escape the narrative of death.
In the book of Isaiah we read that one of the names of the expected Messiah is “everlasting Father.” Greg introduces this name by exploring the story of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist who miraculously conceived at a very old age. When Mary visited her and told her about who Jesus would by Elizabeth blessed Mary. Elizabeth lived in a narrative that allowed her to see the larger story or narrative of what God was doing, giving her the perspective to see that it was not about her and her miraculous conception.
To say that Jesus would the everlasting Father is to say that Jesus would be the eternal source of God’s peace. His character would be the one who would one upon whom we could relay. As we live in the source of God’s peace, we are participate in the spreading of it. We do this by manifesting that which Christ, the everlasting source, has provided, that is the way of the cross. In this way we participate in what God is doing in this world.
The narrative that we live in will shape our perspective. When embrace the narrative of Jesus as the eternal Father, the eternal source, then we will respond in ways that stand out.
Most people today live in a narrative of death, one that is finite, resulting in a scarcity mindset. We know that death is present, but we try hard to keep it at bay, resulting in stress and even depression. This story results in meaninglessness, as it fosters a scarcity mindset. We never have enough, as we always want more no matter how much we receive.
By contrast, Christ offers to be our source, an eternal narrative. You know when you are actually living in this new narrative when you lose your fear of death. We are able to opt out of the pursuit of things to try to fulfill the experience of scarcity. We then are able to love people out of abundance, as opposed trying to build oneself up at cost to others.