Sunday, December 21, 2008

Advent 4

Today's readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Romans 16:25-27; and Luke 1:26-38 (sermon text).

Medieval paintings of this scene depict God's power: His word goes from Gabriel's mouth to Mary's ear, conceiving Jesus Christ. But let's look at Elizabeth first. Her pregnancy was no accident either; six months previously God had likewise spoken to Zechariah. Elizabeth, barren, had then conceived John. Now with Mary, God chose to act in an out-of-the-way manner in an out-of-the-way place, Nazareth.

The Bible has few personality details for Mary and Joseph. Why? Answer: It's NOT about them! It's all about and pointing to Jesus Christ! He is the only reason for our home - blotting out our sin (the cause of hopelessness). But Christmas is NOT about hope either! Why do we think that the Word's byproducts are more important than the Word Himself? Let Christmas be about Christ for once!

The story is profound, not sentimental. Here are the details, given, that we need to know about the characters:
  • Joseph is descended patrilineally from David, a fulfillment of God's promise (see the OT reading) to build His house from David's seed.
  • Mary is favored because God chose to favor her. It's the same way for us saved ones - we are made BY GOD into the favored ones of God! She also happens to be descended from David.
  • "You shall call His name JESUS." Note well: it's not "Hope" or "Peace," but rather "Yeshua" (Savior). Therefore turn to Him, the Everlasting King of the Everlasting Kingdom.
God has forgiven you your sins and reversed the work of the first Adam. And that's what Christmas is all about.

Have a blessed last week of Advent and prepare for a Christmas Eve post! Feast your ears also on "In Dulce Jubilo" and "O Magnum Mysterium."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hope that you have a happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.