Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
I had a new massage therapist this morning who in that little bit of chit chat that happens before I get down to some serious relaxing asked me if I was retired. No tip for her that’s for sure. It made me think that even though I often think I’m much younger than I am, looks don’t lie. Not that I’m close to retirement age, but maybe it’s time for Grecian Hair Formula for Men. The texts for Advent 4a are about people thinking one thing and being told another. Ahaz is going to make a deal with the devil to save his sorry hide but the prophet tells him God “wearied” is going to raise up a leader from the womb of the young maiden who knowing the difference between right and wrong will choose wisely. The psalmist lamenting the downfall of the Northern kingdom, fed on a diet of tears, scorned by neighbors, derided by foes, none-the-less cries out “Restore us, O God” and trusts that the light of God’s face will save. Grace and peace transform Jew and Gentile in Rome into one people, God’s beloved. And finally Joseph seeing one thing is told another and takes the young girl he had planned to divorce quietly as his wife. A Merry Christmas indeed. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.