Posted by: geolocke | 2015/12/20

Advent 2015 – 4th Sunday

Greetings and Blessings to you all!

As I light the fourth candle on our Advent wreath, I think about how the scriptures for this day are filled with greetings and blessings. In Morning Prayer we hear from Deuteronomy (28:2-4a), and the daily recitation of the Canticle of Zechariah (Luke 1:46-55.) Then in the readings for Mass we hear from the Prophet Micah (5:1-4a) and the Gospel story about Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45.) Today’s readings focus on the building excitement of what was then yet to happen. And so today we celebrate this general feeling of expectation and excitement about what will soon be, the coming of Christmas Day.

It is true that for some, this is a season of “humbug” and grumbling, and yet others are still excited, if for no other reason than for the opening of presents, or to have an extra day off from work. But I am excited and filled with expectation of the new day that is yet to dawn. A day that will be like no other in the history of this world. A day when peace will rule over this tired old troubled world. It may be tomorrow, or it may not come until sometime in the distant future long after today’s troubles are just a few notes in some history book, but I believe that it will come and that is why the coming of Christmas excites me.

For me, Christmas offers a time to really reflect upon some of the most critical lessons that God wants us to learn: to trust, to accept, to have faith, and to act.  We see it time and again in the stories of the Bible where people of no power or prominence are chosen by God to be the instruments of God’s Will,  but always with their permission. And at this time of year we are blessed with remembering the story of Mary and Joseph.

Mary, a child by today’s standards, is asked by God’s messenger to become the mother of God’s Son. Of all the questions that could have come from her, she only asks “how can this be?” and when she is given the answer her reply is simply “let it be.” Engaged but not yet married, Mary must have known her yes would expose her and Joseph to ridicule, scorn and scandal, but still she says yes. Mary Trusts and Accepts the Messenger’s words, and she Acts upon them in Faith that the Will of God is being accomplished.

Joseph is no great leader of men, no powerful warrior, no statesman, but just a simple carpenter. He is only an unknown son of a minor branch of the house of David, Israel’s greatest King. When he discovers that Mary is with child before they have been together as husband and wife, he decides to divorce her quietly, so as to spare her any extra shame. But God’s messenger comes to Joseph in a dream and tells him not to be afraid to take Mary for his wife because through her pregnancy she is performing God’s Will. Joseph then takes Mary into his home and becomes her protector and subsequently, the adoptive father of her son, Jesus. Joseph Trusts and Accepts the Messenger’s words, and he acts upon them in Faith that the Will of God is being accomplished.

Through all the dark and troubling times that lay before them, their travels to Bethlehem and their dangerous flight to Egypt, they accept and act upon the Word of God in faith and trust, carrying the Light of God with them through the darkness.

And so it is still today, that in this dark and dangerously troubled time, by remembering their story, I still have cause for hope. I still have Hope because there are still people to be found who perform simple acts of love and kindness, not because they hope to receive anything in return, but because they are willing to trust and accept that through their faith-filled acts, the Will of God is being accomplished. And as long as such people remain on this earth, my Hope for the coming of the new dawn will not diminish nor fade.

And so I leave you with the words of Elizabeth when she greeted her cousin Mary upon her arrival:

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Advent Blessings to you all. -geo

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Responses

  1. You are so encouraging !

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  2. May all the refugees,homeless and alienated know that they are loved by God. Merry Christmas!

    Like


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