Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Fourth Sunday of Advent (A), December 18, 2016 - Isaiah 7:10-16 and Matthew 1:18-25

Nuttgens, Joseph: Immanuel -- Behold a Virgin Shall Conceive..., Church of St. Etheldreda, London

Isaiah 7:1-16

The Girl with the Virgin Brand

Who is this girl of whom Isaiah speaks,
Who, soon, would bear a child, and thus critique
The lack of faith that Ahaz came to bear
Upon the country that was in his care?
The child's name, Immanuel, would show
God's people, then (and now!) would ne'er outgrow
Their need to trust that God was in their midst.
This pedigree of faith, which wasn't missed
By Matthew or by Luke, would then describe
A mother and her child, who would inscribe
Upon the hearts of people for all time
A birth we celebrate, and call sublime.

Scott L. Barton

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.

Matthew 1:18-25

What's In a Name?

What's in a name? Look at them here!
Jesus - the Messiah - Mary -
Joseph - Holy Spirit - the Lord -
David - Emmanuel - Jesus -
And the main character gets three!
This introduction, this prologue,
This tale to whet the appetite,
Foreshadows many other names:
Door - good shepherd - way - truth - life - bread -
Lamb of God - Rabbi - Son of God -
King of Israel - Saviour - Lord;
Perhaps the baby reminds us
That he by any other name
Would smell as sweet.

Scott L. Barton

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

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