The Lord has a lot to say. God first speaks to Isaiah, and now God speaks to Ahaz, an ungodly king of Judah who seems bent on forming alliances that undermine Judah. But it seems that with Ahaz, God has talked enough; now God acts. God will send the world a child, who is God with us, a word that is heard from Sheol to the highest heavens: a baby who will be born as a sign of hope to a king in military crisis.

Isaiah’s prophecy of a child is a prophecy of hope. Children by their very nature are a sign of hope, full of wonder and delight. In my congregation, the children leave the sanctuary after the reading of scripture to go to Children’s Church. They come back into the sanctuary in time for Communion. The doors open and they skip in like a thundering herd of hope among us, eager to come forward with their little hands wide open to receive the Body of Christ.

Ahaz and all of us tremble in the threats that gather around us. Yet the Lord, even beyond Ahaz’s reluctance to request a sign, sends one that fear has no place in God’s world. Beyond fear, beyond hurt, beyond evil, there is goodness that is God with us.

In a world that is increasingly under siege, little children speak hope in the words of ancient liturgy: “The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.” They know in these simple words that a little bit of Jesus will be given to them soon. As we await the birth of the child who is God with us, let us lift up our hearts and give our thanks and praise.

Lord, help me hope with the hope of a child. Help me learn to wait patiently. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 1:18-25

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Leccionario Semanal
December 16–22, 2019
Resumen de la Escritura

Isaiah is sent to the king of Judah to declare a prophecy of a future birth through a virgin. The boy will be called Immanuel, “God is with us.” The psalmist cries out to God asking for an end to the suffering of the people. He believes that this will occur through a “son of man,” an expression that Jesus later uses to describe himself. Paul’s opening to Romans roots the gospel in the Hebrew scriptures. Jesus comes from the line of David and fulfills the things foretold. To understand Jesus, we must understand the Hebrew scriptures. Matthew recounts the visitation of an angel to Joseph to tell him of the coming birth of a son. Matthew interprets this birth as a fulfillment of this week’s reading from Isaiah 7.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Isaiah 7:10-16. How does Isaiah’s prophecy continue to speak to you today? How do you hope for Christ’s coming?
Read Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19. Recall a time when you have relied on hope for God’s restoration.
Read Romans 1:1-7. What would it mean to add “servanthood” to your list of life goals?
Read Matthew 1:18-25. How is your life different for having listened to God’s call?

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