This is the third week of Advent, the Christian season of preparation for Christmas. We’re looking at some of the traditional themes of the season. This week: Hope and Joy.

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 9:1-7 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Vivian Wyatt):

There are certain scriptures that just read better, to me, in the King James Version of the Bible. I don’t know why. It could be because it’s what I grew up with, or perhaps it touches the poet in me. The way the words almost sing, the rhythm and flowery phrases touch my heart. I must read the Psalms, Proverbs, the story of the birth of Jesus, and today’s passage in that translation.

In other versions of the Bible, Isaiah 9:6b reads “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” However, the King James interprets this verse as “…and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” I love that! His name shall be called Wonderful!

When I think of my life over a decade ago and then look at my life now, I exclaim Wonderful! When I visit my family or they visit me, in my heart I am shouting Wonderful! Every day that I go to work at a church (and particularly this church) and not at a business, I smile and think Wonderful! And each time, I should be thanking that tired scribe who (inadvertently?) put a comma where no comma should have been, because when I think Wonderful! it can be translated Jesus.

Thought for the day: What good things has God done for you? Make a list of them all and put an emphatic Wonderful! beside them.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.