Isaiah 7:14b The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (after the rebellious and stubborn people of Judah reject God’s truth that He will deliver them from the enemy they see before them, after they even refuse to ask Him for a sign of His good intentions, God Himself in His mercy and relentless and determined pursuit of His people unilaterally chooses to give us a part of His very Self, His Own Son, as a pledge of His unwavering love for us through this young and inexperienced and, as yet, unclaimed young girl who will bear and bring forth the purpose that God Himself has planted within her; the Hebrew word for virgin refers to a young girl who has arrived at a marriageable age, but has not yet married, and is also related to a word meaning to be concealed and hidden; as we experience the Lord, whether in our initial salvation experience or in a daily moment of desperate need of His presence, we, too, finally reach a time when we move away from where we have been hidden away and where the truths of God have been hidden to us and into a place where we are called to be married to the Lord, ready to bear the fruit of His truth borne out in faith and trust in Him; this young virgin will embody the message of His Name, that God Is With Us; as the Lord brings us forth who have also been hidden away, inexperienced and unable, He implants within us the seed of His presence, the pure and unencumbered faith that comes from Christ; as we conceive His word in us of His salvation and provision, as we bring forth the new life in Him that has been birthed in us, we know with certainty today that, indeed, God Himself Is With Us!) May the Lord richly bless you this day! Submitted by: Sally Shields