December 24, 2017 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

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“YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN ANYTHING. THE LORD IS WITH YOU.”

Oh, Advent! How you vex me! “Cereally!” From the earliest years of my childhood, Advent meant Christmas is near! Yes, Advent wreaths, calendars with chocolate, decorations, Christmas cards, a Christmas tree with the ever-growing number of presents underneath. Advent rocked!

But as I grew older and a little wiser, Advent began taking on a whole new meaning. The
songs and readings during Advent started to inform me of the hope and the desperation
of the season. Yes, hope and desperation. There was nothing warm and fuzzy about a
young virgin getting a visit from an angel saying, “You’re going to have a baby and it ain’t your fiancé’s or soon-to-be husband’s. And by the way, you have to tell him soon.”

That’s the “desperation” part.

But Mary knows who she is and whose she is…and is able to say, “Let it be done unto me.” She’s able to trust God’s grace and persevere with the mission that God gives her.

This is the “hope” part!

David needed rest from his enemies (on every side). If I had enemies on every side, I don’t think I’d be able to rest at all.

This is the “desperation” part.

But the prophet Nathan gets a word from God, and tells David, “Go do whatever you have in mind, for I am with you.” In addition, God reminds David, via Nathan, that through all of the horrible and difficult moments of David’s life, the Lord was right there with him. David was never alone.

This is the “hope” part.

And so it is with us. Wherever we go; whatever the circumstances of our lives – politically, personally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – THE LORD IS WITH US. We are not alone. That’s the great news. We don’t try and save the world, or even ourselves. We simply remember, “We are not alone. The Lord is with us. What would you have us do, Lord? How might we share our lives?”

Do you know anyone who needs to hear the great news? Tag. You’re it. Have a great
Advent! The Lord is with you!

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