Fourth Sunday of Advent - Year C, December 23, 2018

From the prophet Micah, we are once more given words of great hope!  God chooses to bring forth greatness from the small and the humble!  Micah tells us that the little town of Bethlehem, too small to be among the clans of Judah, shall bear the one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origins are from old and ancient times, whose greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth and he shall be peace.  Micah might have been thought to be giving and idealized picture of a future king, but in light of Christ we know that the future King’s greatness he spoke of really does reach to the ends of the earth and that he is peace.  

In a letter to the Hebrews the author pictures Christ as He came into the world praying Psalm 40: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; but a body you prepared for me; in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.  I come to do your will, O God.”   Jesus reconciled the world to God by taking away the sacrifice and offering for sin and instead offers his body which had been prepared by God for the purpose of replacing the holocausts and sin offerings once and for all time.  Even the unborn child within Elizabeth’s womb, who would be born John the Baptist, knew the yet unborn Lord was in his presence when the mother of our Lord entered the room and spoke!  Elizabeth herself was overcome by the Holy Spirit and to this day we recite her words when we say, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!”  Elizabeth spoke these words as she was filled with the Spirit:  

"Blessed are you among women, 
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me, 
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, 
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."

Christmas is the day that brought forth the savior of the world!  Rejoice!  For we no longer live in fear even of death, nor of the one who wields the fear of death over us, and therefore can risk all for the sake of the Gospel of Christ Jesus!   His birth brought forth the final sacrifice for sin, and by the cross our sin was removed, our death sentence lifted, our lives redeemed and sanctified in the blood of Christ Jesus!  Praise Almighty God in heaven!  For He so loved the world that He sent forth His only begotten Son as a holocaust for our salvation!  Through Christ Jesus we are redeemed, we are adopted into the family of God as His children and share in the inheritance promised in Jesus.  Whosoever believes in the Son shall have eternal life!  Alleluia!
 
Psalm 80:  Lord, Make Us Turn To You

A very Merry Christmas, and the blessings of the Eternal Lord be upon you and your families!  Rejoice!  For the Kingdom Of God is at hand!