Therefore, the Lord himself will give a sign for all of you. Look! The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and name him Immanuel.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You gave this prophecy to Ahaz when he refused to follow your instruction to ask for a sign. Claiming he did not want to put you to the test. You wanted him to trust you, just as you would have all of us to trust you. What an extraordinary sign? Even Mary asked Gabriel, “How will this be since I am a virgin?”
Moreover, Mary gave birth to Jesus, and Jesus’ names—the Christ, Son of God, Son of David—all remind us he was God with us. For the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, those who knew the Old Testament promises, you would have thought the fulfillment of this prophecy was a no-brainer. After 470 years of prophetic silence, a virgin from the lines of Abraham and David gives birth to a son. Born in Bethlehem, that child is shuffled off to Egypt to save his life and returns to Nazareth.
It is easy for us to criticize to ask, “how could they have missed the obvious?” We have both the prophecy and the fulfillment of the promises. And yet, we fail to realize the magnitude of your salvation. You saved us by sending your Son to be with us, becoming like us, and living among us. Jesus came to this earth for the soul’s purpose of dying on the cross for us. So through faith, we would have salvation and eternal life, and every year at Christmas, we are reminded of how the virgin Mary had a child. Forgive us when we get wrapped up in the glitter and lights of Christmas and fail to see the greatest gift we will ever receive—the gift of salvation. It came through the forgiveness for all our sins. All this came to us because of our Immanuel. Jesus came here to take all our sins to the cross and to suffer the punishment of our sins. He defeated death and Satan, so they are powerless over us. Strengthen our faith this Christmas so we fully appreciate and realize what the presence of God with us meant for our salvation. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
Remember the most fantastic present you have ever received. Your salvation came into the world delivered by a virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.