December 22, 2019 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 17, 2019

 

Isaiah 7:10 -16

 

A favorite Peanuts cartoon shows Linus sitting on his doghouse and typing furiously. When asked what he is composing, Linus answers he is writing a book on theology. The book will be titled, “So Have You Thought You Might Be Wrong?”

 

It is very easy to dismiss the Virgin Birth as old fashioned, a myth created by religious people long ago but no more real than Santa Claus. But, maybe not.

 

The idea goes back to the prophet’s battle with the king over what to do to defend a nation against mighty empires that surrounded on all sides.

 

On the one hand, the king wanted to choose one empire and hope that empire would protect the nation against the other empires. On the other hand, the prophet felt the king should trust God and offered the king a sign of God’s power.

 

The king wanted no sign, but the prophet offered it anyway, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call his name Immanuel…” Isaiah 7:14

 

The king paid no attention to the prophet’s sign and, in a few years, the king’s alliance failed and the nation went into captivity.

 

All of which suggests that, as Shakespeare says, “There are more things in heaven or on earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

 

A suggestion: If you have not taken the Virgin Birth seriously, try imagining you just might be wrong - and keep open eyes and open-mind to the possibilities of God, of life and of the future.

 

Rev. David McMillan, HR is a retired Presbyterian minister. In his retirement he has contributed his talents to Westminster by leading a Sunday morning Bible study, helping with the newsletter, preparing for publication of the new church family photo directory, and most recently by chairing the WPC Centennial Anniversary Planning Committee. He and his wife Elizabeth live at The Beverwyck in Slingerlands.

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