Advent 4, 2017

2 Samuel 7.1-11, 16: God and King David are negotiating in this 7th chapter.  David, wants to build a “house” (temple) for God.  Instead, God tells David, “have I complained about my holiness being moved about in a tent and tabernacle?”  Have I ever reproached anyone for this?  NO!”  God tells David (through Nathan the prophet) that God will make of David a great dynasty to serve God’s people.  David does not need to worry about building God a house.  Later, God assures David, one of his descendants will build a proper “house” for God.

For the people of God, this story is fulfilled when Solomon begins to build the great Temple in Jerusalem for God.  This temple is based, in part, on David’s original plans.  For the Christian tradition, this story is messianic and points toward the descendent of David, Jesus, as the ultimate “temple” of God’s presence to the people.

Canticle 3, Magnificat the Song of Mary, a different setting of this great song of Advent (see Advent 2 for comments).

Romans 16.25-27: These are the concluding verses of Paul’s epistle to the Romans.  In form, it is a blessing.  The suggestion of this blessing is that Paul’s writings are an interpretation of the ancient revelations of the Jewish community in the writings, prophecies, and poetry of Judaism.  The key and authentication of Paul’s interpretation is the person of Jesus.  Moreover, the proper response to this proclamation is faith.

Luke 1.26-38: The Annunciation passage—The visitation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary who informs her of all that is about to happen to her and to her kinswoman Elizabeth.  Mary is puzzled by all this and wonders how it can be.  Gabriel tells her that God, thru the Holy Spirit, will make all this happen for “nothing will be impossible” for God.  In a passage that is one of the all-time great declarations of faith, Mary says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  It is the simplicity of this passage in Luke that gives it its power!

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