Sunday’s Scripture – December 20, 2020
This is the fourth and final Sunday in Advent. After the long, cold days of Advent- of waiting and hoping and longing, Christmas is almost here. Christ is coming.
This week, we light the candle of love. Love is God’s defining attribute. God is love. And God’s love for us, for all creation, is written throughout the pages of Scripture. It is the thread that weaves all the way from Genesis to Revelation.
In 2 Samuel 7:1-11, King David is finally home from war, defending Israel and her land from many surrounding peoples. All is finally at peace. David notices that while he lives in a beautiful cedar palace, God still dwells in a tent. This doesn’t seem right, so he declares his intent to build God a house. However, the prophet Nathan brings God’s reply: No. Apparently, God is content where God is. Living in a tent allows God to move freely among all the people of Israel. In verse 9 God says to David “I have been with you wherever you went.”
Fast forward hundreds of years and many books later to Luke 1:26-38. God doesn’t just love and speak to powerful kings, like David. God also visits and chooses lowly maidens without any power, wealth, or fame, but with an eager heart. In this story, Mary receives the news that she will bear Jesus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Mary is known as the Theotokos, the Godbearer. Long before Jesus would teach on the Holy Spirit, long before Pentecost, Mary is the first to show us that God wants to come and make a home in us. Maybe not our wombs, but for sure our hearts.
From David to Mary, we move from God being with us to God being in us. Turns out, God doesn’t need a house at all. God already has one. It’s us. We are the home of God.
At Christmas, we will celebrate Emmanuel: God With Us. Perhaps the greatest testament to the love of God is God’s desire to be with us. And, in fact, in us. Jesus is not just our friend who is closer than a brother. He is our God who is closer than ourselves.
- Have you ever thought about being a “Godbearer?” What does this mean to you?
- How easy/hard is it for you to believe God is in you this Advent/Christmas season? Why?
- If loneliness is a struggle for you this season, how can you remember and live into the reality of God with you and in you?