Scripture for the
Fourth Sunday of Advent
The theme unifying the scriptures according to Advent ritual practices is either Love or Mary. I’m reflecting upon love in my practice. Micah is written in a time of great despair as the Israelites face political destruction, military devastation and ethnic cleansing in the face of the unrelenting Assyrian siege of their homeland. In that darkness Micah utters a prophecy of radical hope, of a new leader to come (from a podunk little town) to bring peace to the descendants of Abraham, all the peoples of the earth.
The selections of Luke tell the story of Mary, her encounter with her also-pregnant cousin and her song response to God’s action. She is proclaimed the theotokos, the God-bearer because of her belief, trust in God’s love and promise.
The selection from Hebrews quotes an ancient text from the prophet Isaiah. The love-response God desires from humanity is not sacrificial or ritualistic, but is more about social action and purity of purpose: love of neighbor.
How is Advent a call to love? Both to receive and to pay forward, to contemplate and to do? What word of love do you hear in today’s texts?