The sign of acceptance
What is your favorite sign? Do we think of a sign, the thoughts of a road marker, a billboard for a restaurant, or an array of lights filling the night sky? Yet, in the context of the Christian scriptures, we experience the joyous declaration of Christ’s birth upon this global planet. I love the verse in Isaiah 7:14 which states, There the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. This classic verse declares the futuristic plan of our heavenly father to redeem the nation of Israel and the Gentile population as they call upon the mighty name of Christ Jesus for salvation. Through, the verse is nicely wrapped in the middle of a pronouncement for the tribes of Israel about the upcoming exile to the region Assyria. How could God let this occur? If you send a declaration of hope and redemption from our sins, would not God tell the Prophet Isaiah and King Ahaz towards the end of the siege upon Israel? However, with the sovereignty and powerful presence of our Lord, God tells them to not test his patience and his plan to redeem the people he loves. Let us examine this verse to see some great applications for our lives.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you – The word “you” in this portion brings out the parsing of a second person plural. The Lord did not solely give this proclamation to the people of Israel. He declares this statement for the massive groups of humanity as they follow the Lord.
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, -- In many translations to the English language, this portion of scripture declares a “young women.” In the time period of the 8th century B.C., many “young women” were kept for their husbands in the context of marriage. Just like the historical stories of our cultures and families, many parents want their young daughters (and son) to keep themselves pure for the marriage relationship. I believe the translation of “a virgin” is spot on with the time period and desire of God to send his son, Jesus Christ, to become fully God and fully man from the womb of a virgin and will call Immanuel – one of the most powerful names ever given in the history of mankind. Immanuel, God is with us! Through the exile of Assyria, the trials of faithfulness to God in the tribes of Israel and Judah, to our current country of America, we know beyond a shadow of doubt the promises of God with us.
As you celebrate the wonderful Christmas season with friends and families, let us always remember the present of Christ’s birth and plan of salvation for humanity. Many blessings and wonderful times throughout this Christmas season as we celebrate the greatest sign given – Jesus Christ.
Chaplain Chris, Rebekah and Emily Weinrich wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy holidays.