FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

December 24, 2017

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a-16

 

Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in?

I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

 

Psalm 89:1-4, 26, 28

 

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;
    

with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;
    

your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    

I have sworn to my servant David:

‘I will establish your descendants forever,
    

and build your throne for all generations.’”

He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
    

my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’

Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,
    

and my covenant with him will stand firm.

 

 

Romans 16:25-27

 

Now to God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

 

Luke 1:26-38

 

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 (NRSVCE)

Meditation

 

 

There is a common expression today, “Don’t put God in a box!” We get a sense of that in these readings. “Are you the one to build me a house to live in?” the Lord asks. Then he describes his movement in David’s life from the pastures to his establishment as King. God made David great and provided for him and protected him giving him rest from all his enemies. Even after his death, when there is no more that David can do, God promises that David’s name and posterity will endure and that the great King will descend from his lineage.

 

What more could we want than to see God’s hand moving in our lives in every situation we find ourselves in? No matter where we are on our journey: humble beginnings, vocations discerning, leadership, mentoring or retirement, we can find God moving and we can move with Him if we are open to following him and making him our King.

 

In our Advent journey, from the beginning when Mary accepted the Will of God for her to conceive a son, to the day of Jesus’ birth, we see that God’s Word is true. And from the prophecy of Isaiah and the foreshadowing of Abraham, God’s plan and His promises are faithful.

 

Today, we can take a moment to consider that every day and in all things, God has been with us and has a Will for our lives and for our afterlife as well.

 

 

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