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Fourth Sunday of Advent – Reflection

December 23, 2017

It is an unusual circumstance when the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on the same day as Christmas Eve. I have watched pastors and churches wrestle with whether to observe both or to only observe Christmas Eve. At Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies, we will be observing both.

When I chose the lectionary passages for the morning service I realized that the Third Sunday of Advent’s reading (the Magnificat) actually came after the Announcement by Gabriel that Mary would give birth to God’s own Son which is this Sunday’s Gospel reading. This will be a second opportunity to explore the courage of Mary. Last Sunday I challenged our congregation to see Mary not as some docile woman but rather as a courageous revolutionary who challenged the religious leaders of her day to their very core.

This Sunday we will explore the courageous nature of her faith which enabled her to reply to Gabriel’s proclamation, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Her reply was indeed courageous — “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Such trust and faith we would do well to emulate in our own lives.

We will be baptizing two precious children during the service this Sunday. As the congregation and the parents promise to pray for and encourage Lilly and Grayson (along with their parents) as they begin this journey of faith, I will be thinking of Mary’s bold proclamation of faith and trust! “Here am I, a servant of the Lord…”. When we present our children for Baptism… when we make our profession of faith… we too say, Here am I, a servant of the Lord.

This Advent season has been a struggle for so many. Your Padre and his sweet partner in faith and life have had their own share of struggles in the Valley of the Shadows along with our community.

Will you join with me in this holy season, dear reader, in following Mary? Will you say with me, “Here am I, a servant of the Lord”? May we make that bold proclamation with Mary and then live lives of service, sharing the grace, love, and mercy of Christ with all whom we meet. Will you stand with her and be different from what too many in this world see as christians (lower case is intentional)?

Use us, Lord, your humble servants, we pray. Make us your instruments of love… peace… mercy… healing… Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

  1. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among” ” Be it done to me according to thy word”. Blessed is she who believed that the word would be fulfilled” It is all about the Word!

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