Prayer: Dear God, may we not put you to the test by asking for signs but to look for the sign of your love in the birth of Jesus - Immanuel, God with us. Amen
Reading: Isaiah 7: 10-16 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I must admit, I am not good at understanding, let alone writing about, prophecy. Best I can say is it seems Ahaz had a chance to ask the Lord for a sign but Ahaz would not put the Lord to the test like that. Then as the verses go along we hear prophecy of the best sign of all, Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name, Immanuel. (v. 14)
When I am looking for an explanation, some confirmation or even direction, my first thought is that a sign from God would be nice. But perhaps I should not test God in that way. Perhaps the best I can do is to look for "Immanuel, God with us" already.
Recently, I saw God's love in someone on the bus. Where have you seen God lately? Tell your story to someone. Maybe they need a sign, too. Maybe we all just need to know where to look. --Ruth Gates
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