Fourth Sunday of Advent

It was a difficult time in the Southern Kingdom of Israel. Its king believed that it, like the Northern Kingdom, would fall to the wider powers of the world. It was so terrifying a moment that when God directly offered the king a sign, the king wouldn’t listen. God offered a kong-an, and the king refused to answer. Perhaps smiling like a parent, God patiently ignored the panicked king and worked through the prophet Isaiah to say that the immediate crisis would be resolved before the time a newborn, named “God with us,” would learn to separate good from evil. In the midst of the drums of war, God chose a child to calm the nerves of the people.