Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Peace be with you!
There are hundreds of reasons why God the Father should call no one to any special calling. We all have at least one area where we fall short of being able to serve God. Some are poor and have no real power or influence. Some are too young to even understand what is going on. Others have gone against God’s wishes by lying, stealing, or [whatever “it” is]. Other times it is just impossible. We are not worthy to be called by God.
Yet God calls David out of the shepherd’s field to become a decorated Israelite soldier and to eventually become the king of Jerusalem. God takes a shepherd boy and conquers all his enemies (2 Samuel 7:1, 11). God takes a shepherd boy and makes him the king of his people, the uniter of Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 7:8). God uses David to create a nation where all of his people are welcomed to live a community with one another. God uses David to build Jerusalem as the center of the Jewish faith where his people could gather (2 Samuel 7:10-11).
In return, God promises to make David’s kingdom last forever (2 Samuel 7:16). From a shepherd to a soldier to a king, God uses the under-qualified to advance God’s kingdom. . This promise seems impossible, the stuff of dreams.
Fast-forward a few hundred years, and you find a scared Galilean Jewish teenage girl from the line of David, . An angel visits her with news that the Lord is with her and that she, a virgin, is pregnant with God’s son (Luke 1:28, 31). Mary exclaims, “What impossible news! How can this be? I am a virgin” (Luke 1:34).
The angel explains, “You will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and you will have the Son of God. Now go and visit your relative, Elizabeth, who was barren is also pregnant. Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:35-37).
Mary says, “I am here, Lord. I am ready to carry out your plan” (Luke 1:38).
Again, God takes the under-qualified to do something impossible. God takes Mary, a teenage virgin, and makes her the mother of the Son of God. God gives the world the greatest gift through a young girl who is barely old enough to understand what is going on in the world. Yet Mary agrees to be a vessel for God to come into the world. Mary steps out in faith and puts her trust in God.
This is where we find hope: a teenage virgin who gives birth to a baby boy who is God’s son. The baby boy will grow up to be our Savior and will die on the cross for our sins. To think it all started with a teenage virgin who was scared but took the call anyway, because God favored her.
From David to Mary to Jesus to us, God continues to show his favor to his creation through forgiveness, love, and grace. God finds amazing ways to express how he favors each one of us. Sometimes it is through kind words from a friend, an unexpected surprise, a random act of kindness, a gentle push toward something new, or a new opportunity. God has amazing ways to show us the light and to get us where he needs us to be. All we need to do is believe God can and will make the impossible possible.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for favoring Mary and David, unlikely, under-equipped human beings. Remind us you favor us, despite our flaws. Lead us to do your will and to trust you will be with us. Use your star to guide us through the night to the manger. Thank you for expressing your love for us. Amen.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the behavior covenant by commenting on it.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
- How have you answered God’s call?
- How has God favored you?