20th Dec

Isaiah 7:1014

As Christmas draws closers our readings focus on the key figures in God’s plan for humanity. The text from Isaiah 7 in the first reading provides the background to Gospel story of the Annunciation. Isaiah’s words speak directly to the political situation of 736 BC.  In the face of the growing power of Babylon, Judah is tempted to make an alliance with Assyria. Isaiah warns against this and when King Ahaz requests a sign this is what he hears:

‘The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child
and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Immanuel,
a name which means God-is-with-us.’

Isaiah’s message is very clear: trust in God and don’t be tempted to organise things yourself. From our vantage point the words are very comforting. In the turmoil of our daily lives we need to know that God is with us. The image of a pregnant maiden also tells Ahaz that there is a plan and the difficulties will pass. God’s plan will unfold in months and not years.

Over the past year we’ve had to trust that our government has a plan and it hasn’t been easy. More than ever we have needed to believe that God is with us. We’ve been pretty much powerless in the face of the big issues but perhaps have learnt the value of doing the small things consistently.

Let us pray that we may be open to God’s promptings and ready to trust in his plan for our lives.