Fourth Sunday of Advent
The Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel.
In Jesus we see the scope of human possibility. His life is good news for the poor, sight to the blind, liberty for captives and a time for recognizing God’s favor. It is a gift that can be opened and shared by those ready to become poor in spirit; ready, like Mary, to “let it be” — to create a space in one’s being to receive and magnify the Spirit of God. Today we anticipate the gift of Jesus’ presence among us, the source of joy and the source of a fully human life.
O Come. O Come, Emmanuel
I will try not to let busyness deprive me of time to reflect on the real meaning of this celebration.
“The Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
To call Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, Lord and Savior as the Christmas stories do, is a confession of commitment, allegiance, and loyalty. To do so means: I see in this person the anointed one of God, the decisive disclosure of God –of what can be seen of God in a human life, the fulfillment of Israel’s deepest yearnings , the one who reveals God’s dream for the world. This is what it means to call him Emmanuel and affirm that Emmanuel has come.
Marcus Borg, The First Christmas
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
The message of Christ is not Christianity. The message of Christ is Christ.