December the 15th finds us again in the book of Isaiah chapter 7, verses 13-14:
Then he [Isaiah] said, “Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
This is a prophecy about the virgin birth of Jesus. I don't know much about Biblical times Jewish weddings (or modern Jewish weddings for that matter), but I know when the couple got "engaged" they were essentially man and wife. A divorce was necessary to terminate the betrothal. The bride was supposed to stay with her family for a time (a year, I think) while the groom prepared for his bride, maybe built a house, or things like that. The bride was to stay a virgin during that time. But the Gospel of Matthew says this about Mary, the mother of Jesus in chapter 1, verse 18:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
The part of verse 18 in the passage above, “before they came together,” indicates that Mary was still a virgin when “she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.” And further in Matthew chapter 1 it says this, in verses 22 and 23:
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
So, Mary is the virgin prophesied about in Isaiah 7:14. And tomorrow we will see the direct calling on her life by the angel of the Lord.
The ornament that goes beside the tree tonight is a small sign with the words of Isaiah 7:14 printed on it.