121816 – Look, Again

Our Scripture readings for the final Sunday of Advent offer us stories of two men, both given the opportunity to see their current situations in a different light. In our reading from Isaiah, King Ahaz is invited to look for the promises of God in the middle of what seems to be a hopeless dead-end. Could God work redemption when all of the signs point to the destruction of Judah? And in our Matthew reading, Joseph is confronted by an alternative story–in which his betrothed has not been unfaithful to him, but rather God is at work to bring about salvation for God’s people living under the oppression of Rome.
Both men are invited to look again, and to see the new thing God is doing in their world. Ahaz is paralyzed by fear, unable to imagine God’s future. But Joseph, who had every reason to turn away from Mary, finds the faith to look again and in doing so, he becomes part of God’s saving work.

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