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A Sign, High and Deep: What Is it God Wants of Us?

The LORD spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!” Then Isaiah said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. (Isa. 7:10-14) This reading in Isaiah is fraught with beauty and mystery, and perfectly captures the sense of human smallness that always accompanies Lent, particularly as the end of the season draws nigh, and we take a measure of all the ways we fell short in our expectations of ourselves, and all we would…

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