Sunday, December 21st, 2014
The Fourth Sunday in Advent
A Prayer For Today
December 21st, 2014
Our Gracious Heavenly Father,
On this last Sunday of Advent, we quietly reflect on the mystery of the miracle that will soon be revealed to man in a stable in Bethlehem.
We are in awe and wonder, at how your Son entered our world and came to be with us. We pause to receive the gift you have given us and ask that Your Spirit will make our lives and our hearts ready to receive this most blessed gift you have chosen to bestow.
We pray that You give us the power to understand the hope we feel as we await His time. Help us to understand what the birth and subsequent death of the Christ Child promises us. Let us pray today, that we become Your devoted servants, and that we might be instruments in sharing the love You bestow with both our families and all we meet during the coming days.
Through Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever more.
Author of Today’s Gospel Reading
St Luke the Apostle
The holy Evangelist Luke was born in the Syrian city of Antioch. His parents were not members of the Hebrew race; and the very name “Luke” bears witness to this in part, for it is an abbreviated form of the Latin name “Lucanus.” Furthermore, in one passage in his Epistle to the Colossians, the holy Apostle Paul makes a clear distinction between Luke and those “who are of the circumcision,” that is, the Jews (Col 4:10-15). In his own writings, however, Luke shows a thorough knowledge of the Law of Moses and the customs of the Jewish people. Hence, we may conclude that Luke had already adopted the Jewish religion before his conversion to Christ. Moreover, in his native land, which was renowned for the flourishing state of the arts and sciences, Luke had developed his intellect with various scholarly studies. From the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, we learn also that Luke had studied medicine (Col 4:14). Tradition also informs us that he was a painter. He undoubtedly received an excellent education in general, for the quality of the Greek language in his writings is far more pure and correct than that of the other New Testament writers.
When rumor of the miracles and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ spread from Galilee throughout Syria and the entire surrounding region, Luke journeyed from Antioch to Galilee, where the Lord Jesus Christ had begun to sow the seeds of His saving teaching. These seeds found good soil for themselves in the heart of Luke, and bore much fruit. The holy Luke was soon found worthy of a place in the company of the Seventy Apostles and, after receiving traveling instructions from the Lord and the power to work miracles, he went “before the face” of the Lord Jesus Christ, preaching the imminence of the kingdom of God and preparing His way.
Our Old Testament Reading
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 NAB
When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?’
“It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”
Our New Testament Reading
Luke 1: 26-30 NAB
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
We Light The Candle Of Love….
Each Sunday, we light candles in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world. The flames symbolize our longing, our desire, our hope, and our love. We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, the last purple candle is lit. This candle symbolizes love. In humility, The Love Candle acknowledges that we have received atonement for our sins because He first loved us.
Song For Today
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Lyrics by Noël Regney
Music by Gloria Shayne Baker
Performed by Carrie Underwood
This song was written in October, 1962, by the couple who were then married, and was intended as a plea for peace during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.”
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.”
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold;
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.”
Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light.”
“Bring us Light!”
Thanks Be To God!
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