Light one candle…begin your prayer time by lighting the first purple candle on your wreath. The “Hope” Candle.
READ: Isaiah 7: 10-16
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
A smart business women who I admire once said to me, “I never ask a question I don’t already know the answer to.” In our lesson for today, we are inserted into the middle of a conversation…ongoing. Ahaz is scared of the military and political forces around him and is being “encouraged” to remember that God is capable of all things good and faithful. “Just ask for a sign of God’s greatness…”
But he refuses to ask, because the reality is…he already knows the answer. He knows that if he asks, and if a sign is given, he will be forced to trust and believe. So he refuses.
God a promise is given anyway. Isaiah says, “A virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
Not only does he get this sorta backed in a corner position, he also hears, “Immanuel.” And what does this even mean? It means, “God with Us.”
A sign to Ahaz and to all of us that we are not alone. Regardless of what life throws our way, regardless of whether or not be fear it or resent it or falsely worship it, God is bigger…and God is not content with just “making” a world and leaving it to play out life. No, God is with us. Remains steadfast and ever present.
Immanuel, we give thanks that you know our fears and hopes and challenges so deeply you anticipate what we need. Proof. Comfort. Grace. Remain with us during this season of Advent so our hearts will remain open and free to your signs of great love and mercy. Amen
Where have you seen Immanuel this week? Where have you seen God with “you?” Tell a friend or share in the comments below.
About Mitzie…Mitzie Schafer is a Deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Florida Gulf Coast University and a Master of Art in Religion from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary with a concentration in Christian Education and Christian Spirituality. She has been writing curriculum and teaching faith formation for more than ten years. Mitzie’s faith is grounded in the belief that God is the initiator and we are the respondent. That God’s yes is always bigger than our no. That being created in the image of the Creator, makes us by our very nature, creative. And that God LOVES ALL people.
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