Annunciation of the Lord (March 25, 2012)
The Annunciation, ca. 1644 by Philippe de Champaigne
10 Later, the Lord sent this message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.”
12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I will not test the Lord like that.”
13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).
This seems like a strange passage, considering that we are currently in the heart of the season of Lent. However, since the church year is built around the narrative of Jesus, another of this week’s scriptures deals with the angel coming to Mary to announce the birth of Jesus. Verse 14 is a familiar text in relation to the Christmas story. Today we are reminded how the New Covenant began. It began with the angel coming to Mary to announce Immanuel — God with us.