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Son of the Most High

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insertal.jpg

Sun 21st Dec 2014  10am Dunoon, 5pm Wyrallah, 6.30pm St Pete’s

Son of the Most High   Lk 1:26-38, Rom 16:25-27, 2Sam 7:1-11, 16

This week – the 4th Sunday of Advent – we celebrate the Annunciation: when an innocent Mary received the news of her imminent pregnancy and that of her older relative Elizabeth during a spectacular and unexpected visit by the archangel Gabriel.

However we might view the doctrine of the virgin birth, clearly this was a profound moment in human history: a humble (most probably a teenager) would soon give birth to the Son of God – opening the way for Emmanuel – God with us.

Likewise the Son of God is born into each believer by a direct act of God.

The 14th-century German Christian mystic Meister Eckhart phrased this idea provocatively when he wrote:“What is the good if Mary gave birth to the Son of God 2000 years ago, if I do not give birth to God today? We are all Mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.”

The lesson for us during this Advent season of waiting may be that God is always birthing new life in our midst in ways that we don’t recognise.

Am I continually allowing God to have his wonderful way with me? Do I allow God to form his Son in me through prayerful submission? Or do I resist by setting him to one side so I can get on with my work, my busy plans, convinced that what I’m doing really is ‘God’s work’?

Is there room for the Son of God in me? Or do I, like the ancient inn-keepers of Bethlehem, hang out the No Vacancy sign and hope he’ll find someone else to pester?

Is he ministering in me as he did in the days of his flesh?

Mary endured the pains of physical labour to give birth to our Lord, but as modern God-bearers we are also called to emulate her willing vulnerability in allowing God to use her body, her life, her very being, to bear witness and to birth God into the world.

(Mary said) “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” [Luke 1:38 NRSV]

 

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16    NRSV          Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”

4But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.

16Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.

Luke 1:26-38    NRSV                26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “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 holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.