“Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on your ancestral house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.”
I may be jumping ahead a little to Christmas Eve, but I can’t get that image out of my head – the sign of a young woman with a child, a son, who will be called Immanuel. Ahaz wanted or expected something more, but Isaiah gave him the lowliest of all images – a woman and a child. How fitting that it would be the fourth week of Advent where the theme is typically love – can there be a more beautiful and telling expression of love then that between a mother and child?
Of course, it was that and unfathomably more…a love that would change the world. I am looking forward to experiencing a glimmering of that soon…