Advent Week 3: Everlasting Father


“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” — ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭6‬



Parents hold a significant role in the life of a family. They are meant to care for, protect, provide, and oversee their children. The love they carry for their own is unmatchable, their responsibility to be a leading example is vital. But our earthly parents, even the best of them, fall short of being perfect. As we grow and mature, we come to realize that our mothers and fathers—the source of so much of our wisdom and guidance—are just as fallible as we are. Into this space comes a heavenly father.

Among the four divine names given for the prophesied Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 is the title “Everlasting Father”. Fathers help to mold and shape us. As we grow from children into adults, our parents serve as our teachers, our supporters, our protectors. To be a good and effective father, one must balance love and encouragement with discipline and guidance. As we observe Jesus’ ministry we see that he always came from a place of deep love when he was disciplining those who followed him. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” There exists a perfect balance between correcting and caring in Jesus’ personhood; not a domineering father exerting force in a demand for respect, nor passive observer allowing us to stumble about in the dark. Rather, Jesus is the role model we can consistently look up to, and a leader who establishes healthy boundaries out of love and concern for our wellbeing.

The word “everlasting” alludes to Christ’s eternal presence, forever existing without beginning or end. “‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58) Unlike our fathers who exit from our lives, whether through circumstance or death, in Jesus we have a parental figure who is constant and relentless. Like a shepherd who will search for and protect each and every individual sheep in the flock, Jesus cares for each of us as his children, reaching out in continual guidance and protection. “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ our everlasting father—not distance or time, not sickness or disagreement. As the famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “There is no unfathering Christ, and there is no unchilding us.”

There is no such thing as a Jesus who is not also Father and a world where we are not his children. Before Jesus was even born, he embodied the title of an eternal parent. We don’t have to worry about him letting us down, growing old, or leaving us behind. His fathering will continue forever. This advent season, as we meditate on this benevolent name, may we remember the power of Christ’s constant fatherly presence in our lives and cherish what it truly means to be his child. Amen.


Words: Alexis Ragan
Images: Diliara Garifullina, Nataliya Melnychuk

A counter dusted with flour and scattered with gingerbread cookies. In the background, two lit taper candles and several evergreen boughs.
Iced and decorated gingerbread cookies on a countered dusted with flour.
Four gingerbread cookies in a box.
A bowl overflowing with Christmas cookies with twinkle lights in the background.
A counter dusted with flour and scattered with gingerbread cookies. In the background, two lit taper candles and several evergreen boughs.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” — ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭9‬:‭6‬



Parents hold a significant role in the life of a family. They are meant to care for, protect, provide, and oversee their children. The love they carry for their own is unmatchable, their responsibility to be a leading example is vital. But our earthly parents, even the best of them, fall short of being perfect. As we grow and mature, we come to realize that our mothers and fathers—the source of so much of our wisdom and guidance—are just as fallible as we are. Into this space comes a heavenly father.

Among the four divine names given for the prophesied Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 is the title “Everlasting Father”. Fathers help to mold and shape us. As we grow from children into adults, our parents serve as our teachers, our supporters, our protectors. To be a good and effective father, one must balance love and encouragement with discipline and guidance. As we observe Jesus’ ministry we see that he always came from a place of deep love when he was disciplining those who followed him. Hebrews 12:6 says, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” There exists a perfect balance between correcting and caring in Jesus’ personhood; not a domineering father exerting force in a demand for respect, nor passive observer allowing us to stumble about in the dark. Rather, Jesus is the role model we can consistently look up to, and a leader who establishes healthy boundaries out of love and concern for our wellbeing.

The word “everlasting” alludes to Christ’s eternal presence, forever existing without beginning or end. “‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘Before Abraham was born, I am!’” (John 8:58) Unlike our fathers who exit from our lives, whether through circumstance or death, in Jesus we have a parental figure who is constant and relentless. Like a shepherd who will search for and protect each and every individual sheep in the flock, Jesus cares for each of us as his children, reaching out in continual guidance and protection. “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ our everlasting father—not distance or time, not sickness or disagreement. As the famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “There is no unfathering Christ, and there is no unchilding us.”

There is no such thing as a Jesus who is not also Father and a world where we are not his children. Before Jesus was even born, he embodied the title of an eternal parent. We don’t have to worry about him letting us down, growing old, or leaving us behind. His fathering will continue forever. This advent season, as we meditate on this benevolent name, may we remember the power of Christ’s constant fatherly presence in our lives and cherish what it truly means to be his child. Amen.


Words: Alexis Ragan
Images: Diliara Garifullina, Nataliya Melnychuk

Iced and decorated gingerbread cookies on a counter dusted with flour.

Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Listening with Intention

Adapting our daily rhythms to hear where the Spirit is leading.


Additional readings

Finding God in Mystery and Wonder

How mystery and wonder invites us to seek God in newer and deeper ways.

On Relinquishing Control, A Prayer for Anxiety

Reflective thoughts and study of Philippians 4:6-7 on how God is in control in the midst of anxiety.

Creativity as Devotional Practice

A reflection on how we can approach the creative process as a devotional practice.

Listening with Intention

Adapting our daily rhythms to hear where the Spirit is leading.