following the signs

We rely on signs a lot, don’t we?

Before the days of the GPS, would you have tried to drive from Tyler to Poughkeepsie, NY if no signs were available? How about driving in the vicinity of a school, if no signs were there warning you to slow down? Or navigating Colorado’s mountains – after dark, in winter – without signs of approaching hairpin curves?

If we depend so much on signs for life’s ordinary needs, how much more so to guide us eternally?

To His people of the Old Testament, God provided a sign that couldn’t be missed. He announced that “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him ‘Immanuel’.” (Isaiah 7:14) Hundreds of years later, that same sign led Mary to accept her role as the Christ-Child’s mother. It also guided Joseph to “take Mary home as his wife.”

So to what final destination is this sign taking you, but to heaven? And in the meantime, how is the sign helping you? Can you see Jesus more clearly and more fully because of it? Does the name “Immanuel” give you comfort and confidence along the way? Is the Child born of a virgin the one who guides and directs your choices? Your priorities? Your values? Does this sign remind you that God has come to save His people from their sins? Yes! Yes! And amen!

In these closing days before we celebrate Jesus’ birth, join me in thanking God for all of the signs that we are given in Scripture. Even more so, let’s follow His signs, even as we follow His Son!

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