Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 20, 2020
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16
Second Reading: Romans 16:25-27
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
“HERE AM I” “Obedience of Faith”
Gospel: Luke 1-26-38
“The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Mary, a regular person, just like you and I. A human who has found favor in God’s eyes. A young woman who is a virgin and engaged to be married to Joseph.
Like all of us, she was a sinner and needed grace, just like all of us do. She too needs a savior.
“And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus”.
Mary is confused, she is afraid and perhaps struggles with it. “Greatly trouble” Mary asked, “How can this be, since I am a virgin”? The angel explains and the son she will give birth too, will be the Son of the Most High, it implies both divinity and royal authority.
The Angel gives her someone she can connect with and relate to, “Elizabeth”, who is old and 6 months pregnant with John the Baptist. With this new information, Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Obedient and Faithful”.
This will be no ordinary child, he is the Son of God, sent from Heaven, to walk among us, to heal, to teach and to died on a cross and save us… for we are all without sin.
Mary is a model of discipleship for several reasons. She agreed to God’s plan for her virgin birth of the Savior of the world; she was a person of great prayer and a person of great faith. She said yes! to the angel, even when she really had no clear idea of excepting what this call meant. Placing her own desires aside, Mary agreed to be the Mother of the divine Son.
This was Mary’s great contribution and model for discipleship: to be… not only Jesus’ mother, but his follower as well, and she, who would carry forward his mission! Mary’s life therefore, becomes a model for all Christians: not only for women, but for men who desire to be faithful to God’s call. She was an excellent example for single, married and widowed women today, for people who are financially poor and spiritual poor, and for those who want to follow God.
The grace of God had been given her, she had great faith and love for God…she didn’t relay on anything else but her faith. Mary “said” yes to God, this gentle women of strength and wisdom, this woman of great faith, the Mother of God, will give birth to Jesus Christ the Messiah, the savior of humankind, to bring Hope and Joy to the world, Jesus the Light of the World.
Mary is a good example of how we need to fully except God’s will in our life, she heard the word of God and acted on it…and we can too! We can follow Mary’s example and say “Here I am God”. I know it will not be easy for me, but I can be brave like Mary and trust my faith, knowing that God’s kingdom really comes,
Why do I look forward to Christmas, the birthday of our Lord and Savior? Because, no matter how dark things are, and there is darkness, either in someone’s life or the world. Every time we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we are reminded that, He always brings hope, Joy, Love and our promise of salvation.
God’s greatest gift to us is Jesus, He was not born in a palace, but in a manger. If we connect the thread, we find the Holy Spirit, we hear from the angel, “Don’t be afraid”. Our life will change and we can help those who also need to know just how much God loves us.
The Reverend Lola Culbreath