The Fourth Sunday in Advent

Foretold by the Prophets

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
The Virgin shall conceive and bear a son
And you shall name him Emmanuel.

Isaiah 10:14

“She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
Because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
And they shall name him Emmanuel
which means “God is with us.”    

Matthew 1:31–33

The Hebrew Scriptures, with their deep myth of origins, their account of the call of a people, not the greatest but the smallest, yet beloved of God and bearing His promise, of their victories and defeats and exile and restoration; this story has never been  as easily accessible to the inhabitants of modernity as has the story of Jesus, and even when in this secular age neither has been believed the Old Testament Story has often seemed less credible. At the birth of the Church there were those who found the story of Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins at the hands of what they considered a vengeful Father so unlike the Savior full of grace that they rejected the Hebrew Scriptures and the just God they revealed.  One was reputed to be a bishop’s son, Marcion of  Pontus.  And there were others, “the ignorant” who twisted Paul’s meaning (II Peter 3:16), teaching that the law given in the Old Testament had not been fulfilled with the gift of the Spirit-formed heart anxious to do God’s will but had been obviated, done away.   Continue reading “The Fourth Sunday in Advent”