The Fourth Sunday of Advent

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And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Luke 1:39-45

 

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And blessed is she that believed: 

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary “she was troubled at his saying”

but her response was one of complete trust.

“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me  according to your word.”

When Mary told Joseph his first reaction was to call of the betrothal.

“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example,was minded to put her away secretly.”

But then the angel came.

We don’t know what Joseph said to the angel who visited him.

But we do know that he “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.”

His response was also one of trust.

Mary believed what the Lord said.

Joseph believed what the Lord said.

And they acted accordingly.

What if we believed what the Lord says and acted accordingly.

 

God says: Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.

We don’t ask because sometimes we don’t want to know.

We would rather do it our way and ask forgiveness after we mess it up.

 

God says: Don’t worry about whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear.

All mankind scratches for its daily bread, but your heavenly Father knows your needs.

He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

 

God says: Give and you shall receive.

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try me in this,” says the Lord of Hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

We say: I’d rather wait to see how much You give me first then I’ll decide how much to give back.

God is saying give to me FIRST  and trust ME

 

In her book “The Unnecessary Pastor” Dr. Marva J. Dawn writes:

Church members find themselves powerless in the world and not able to invite

neighbors into the faith because Christians often don’t live in ways that give any

warrant for belief. Observers don’t seem to be saying, “Oh, you Christians have a superb

attitude about time. I can see that in the way you observe the Sabbath.”

They don’t say, “Oh, you Christians have a great perspective on money;

you are so generous and don’t seem to be scrambling after it like the rest of society,”

or “It amazes me that you Christians never try to pull power plays.”

The best evangelist I’ve ever known was a dear man who spoke English so poorly

that he was painfully shy . . . yet his grace and goodness were evident to all his peers.

Anyone who ever needed any help went to Peter, for the people knew that he loved

them.

God’s love through us is the language we speak, the way of life in which we are engaged.

The Trinity’s grace undergirds our customs and practices and habits of faith, which show

how we have learned from Christ. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture and the community of

faith and the risen Christ within us to train us in those traditions and disciplines and

language. By these means God draws the world to Himself.

 

 

Ask your self  –    Can people tell that I am a Christian by the way I live?

Do people look surprised when they find out I go to church?

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, the final day of Advent.

Tomorrow the season of Christmas begins – GOD WITH US.

May we live our lives in such a way as to proclaim the message GOD IS WITH US!

 

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For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7
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We light this candle as a symbol of the Prince of Peace.
May the visitation of Your Holy Spirit, O God,
make us ready for the coming of Jesus, our hope and joy.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

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