“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

Sunday Scripture: The Sign of Immanuel

by | Dec 19, 2021 | Christianity | 0 comments

10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your[f] God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he[g] said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.[h] 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”

18 In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.[i]

20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River[j]—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels[k] of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

— Isaiah 7:10-25, English Standard Version

As we have less than one week to go before we celebrate the birth of Our Lord, King, and Saviour (well, a bit more than that for my Orthodox brethren), it is worth remembering that there have been many attempts throughout the history of the Church to destroy the truth and deny the miracle of Christ’s birth. Among the absolute worst of these heresies was Arianism, a genuinely deadly threat to truth, sound doctrine, and the power of the Gospel:

In celebrating Christmas, we celebrate the unity of the Church, standing for the truth – and those truths are embodied by and embedded within sacred Scripture. We MUST hold fast to the truth of Scripture, because that truth points us straight to the One and Only Truth – that Jesus Christ is LORD, and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Without Him, and without the miracles of His immaculate conception, virgin birth, and death and resurrection, we are damned.

Understand this, brother, and understand it well. Write it down on a piece of paper on your desk if you must – heck, write it on your hand if you wish:

In the eyes of God (but not Man), you are a wretched, broken, sinful creature who deserves to DIE and to be crushed by the accumulated weight of ALL of your sins, and you can do NOTHING to get around this fact, outside of the infinite grace and mercy of God Himself.

It is because of that grace and mercy that God sent His co-eternal Son down to Earth, in the very miracle that we shall soon celebrate. Never forget this. Always give thanks for it. Ignore empty “tradition” and ritual – stay true instead to Scripture, grace, faith, and the promise of salvation through Christ alone.

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