Sunday, December 24, 2017 | Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent
On the same date: Nativity of the Lord, Christmas Eve
Old Testament 2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16
New Testament Romans 16:25–27
Gospel Luke 1:26–38
God comes to us even from the very beginning.
Sometimes I think that many of us forget that God created us in God’s image and that God does all for us and even when we turn from God, God keeps coming to us.
From the time of creation of humans, God came to them. God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
We here in Samuel that God does not need a house. He had been with the Israelites wherever they went. Either in the ark, a tent or in the Tabernacle.
Instead of God wanting a house, God says that God will make a house for God’s people. God keeps on doing. God keeps God’s promises. God is there for us.
The author of Luke recounts all that Lord has done, all the promises that have been kept towards God’s people.
When Paul is writing to the Romans, he speaks of the power that God has provided to the people in the Gospel, the Good News, the Proclamation of Jesus Christ. Again, God coming to us, God doing for us.
The Gospel prior to the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, was a secret, but now it has been revealed to us and there is power in that Good News.
Now that we get to the Gospel in Luke.
We continue to see in this time of Advent, a time of waiting for the One who is to come, that God does come.
God comes to Mary through an angel, and it is God who finds favor in Mary. We never hear it is anything that Mary does, but simply God is the one, who does in the finding of favor.
God through the Holy Spirit, comes upon Mary, and becomes incarnate of human flesh in Mary’s womb. Is this something that only God can do?
Scientists will tell you that it is theoretically possible for a woman to conceive a child without the normal circumstances, but then the child would be a woman. It is the Holy Spirit’s intervention that the Son takes on flesh.
This is no fairy tale. This is not something that was invented decades later. This event is told through Luke and Matthew. It is the same story but enough differences, it is not likely they were dependent upon each other to balance the story. This event must have had validity for it to be told in the very early church. It has validity to be still told today.
Sure, you have all sort of speculation as to other explanations for the “virgin” birth, but the event story has stayed the same, no exceptions.
God comes to Mary, through an angel.
God come upon Mary in the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s response, Here am I, and may it be so.
God comes in the form of a man, through Mary, for all of us.
We wait for the action of God, but that action has been and continues to be always there from God, towards us, for us in all circumstances. It is nothing we did or do, it is always God who is the initiator.
God does and comes to us, in all circumstances.
Maybe this time of waiting is not for us to wait on what already is. Maybe it is God who is waiting, waiting on us. Waiting for us to be the disciples he has called us to be. Waiting for us to respond to God’s call to follow Jesus Christ. Maybe God is simply waiting for us to pray honestly and listen, “God, please help me to be who you called me to be. Help me to use the gifts you have given to me. Help me to be a disciple who reaches out in mission and ministry to the world.”
As the Psalmist said, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10a
Just listen for the GREAT I AM.