Fourth Sunday of Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 19, 2010: Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
Isaiah 7:10-16: “Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13 Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.”
Matthew 1:18-25: “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 ‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and they shall name him Emmanuel’, which means, ‘God is with us.’ 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.”
Fourth Sunday of Advent Comment: I have heard some Christians say, “One should not ask God for a sign; it shows lack of faith.” I agree in part to this statement. My faith is always ‘lacking’ in the sense that it is lacking strength. Faith is a fruit of the spirit that needs nurturing like any other living thing. I praise God that God is willing to give signs in order to develop faith.
The greatest sign is wrapped up in the name Emmanuel, meaning ‘God is with us’. God, in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in eternally resident in the heart of the believer. Discernment is the gift that the Spirit uses to enables us to recognize to signs. When circumstances dull our awareness of God in our midst, what better prayer to pray is there than, “God show me You!” Amen
© December 16, 2010