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Much has been made, historically, of this prophecy of a young woman giving birth. It has served, sometimes, as a litmus test of faith: “Do you believe in the doctrine of The Virgin Birth?”

But when these words are spoken by Isaiah to King Ahaz (Isaiah 7:10-14) the point is not that a miraculous birth is about to occur; the point is that God is about to intervene in human affairs, and the sign of it will not be something supernatural but something immediate, and fleshy, and human: the birth of a child.

Help is on the way, the prophet declares.

God of every day miracles, open our eyes to your presence with and among us. Help us to look with wonder at the gift of life itself, and to trust in you as a child trusts a good and loving parent. Amen.