The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask? I will not tempt the Lord!” Then Isaiah said: Listen O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall name him Emmanuel. IS 7: 10-14
I have two coffee mugs that I really like. One I brought back from the Holy Land. It depicts five loaves of bread and two fish that the Lord used to feed the multitude. I got this mug while staying at the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It is a sign to me of the Lord’s desire to feed the hungry, not just bread to satisfy my physical needs but also feed my soul. The other mug I only use during Advent and the Christmas season. It is a sign to me of God the Father will send his son Jesus to live among us.
What do these two mugs have to do with today’s reading? Well, they both remind me of God’s promise to me. Unlike Ahaz, one of the Kings of Judah, when asked if he wanted a sign from the Lord of any size or magnitude that would prove God’s promise to save the royal house of David from oppressors, he refused. He preferred to depend on the might of his army while he was king and not on God. He wasn’t into putting his trust in the Lord.
But…the Lord did give him a sign: the Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall name him Emmanuel. And we hear this passage repeated in the Gospel of Matthew some 780 years later. It was passed on through generations. It is a sign of God’s love for us! God sent us a Savior to redeem us from our sins and to love us unconditionally.
During this Christmas season, when I am distracted by worldly commercialism, may I always remember Emmanuel – God is with us.
Prayer of Christmas Thanks
Thank you Father for all the gifts you have bestowed upon me. All good comes from you. Help me to use the gifts and talents you have given me wisely and not abuse or waste them.