December 23, 2012 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

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Sometimes it’s tough to believe God when He makes promises. He tells us not to fear, yet how often I am afraid. He tells me I am loved, yet how often I feel unlovable. He tells me He is with me always, yet how lonely life can seem at times. He tells us in the end He will triumph, but sometimes it seems evil is winning in the world.

Why is it so tough to believe that what He said is true and that His promises will be fulfilled? Perhaps the better question, in light of today’s Gospel, is – what made it possible for Mary to believe that what God spoke to her would be fulfilled?!  I think she believed and trusted God because she knew Him!  She knew His ways and knew the history of His promises. She knew He was always true to his word in the past!  She knew His love and that He would always provide for her.  She knew she was the beloved daughter of the Most High God and in that knowledge she was able to trust and believe in anything He promised. God is a Father who keeps his promises!

Does a little baby doubt the care of his parents?  Of course not!  So, too, we are invited to turn to the Lord as a dependent child.  A baby does nothing to ‘earn’ love or prove himself ‘loveable’, yet he doesn’t doubt for an instant that his parents would provide for all his needs.  Let’s review some of the promises God has made to us – Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Hebrews 13:5: “I will never forsake you or abandon you.”  Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Romans 8:37-39: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Revelation 21:5: “I make all things new.”

A few days from now, we will be celebrating Christmas. This is a celebration of our God who came to us as a child to give us the example of we are called to be – little and dependent upon the Lord!  I invite us to go to the Lord this week and think about one area of our life where we could be more like Mary and “believe that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Our God is a Father who keeps His promises!

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