Advent 4 (Series C)
Scripture: Luke 1:39-45
Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (LSB 357)
All of the Old Testament comes true in the incarnation. Jesus is the culmination of all the prophets’ messages. Jesus is the longed for Savior of men. When Jesus comes, He shows us what true love is: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Mary goes to visit her relative, Elizabeth. She bears the living Lord Jesus Christ in her womb. Even there He effects His surroundings.
John leaps in his mother’s womb when he hears Mary’s greeting. This is the hallmark of the Christian faith–the message will be declared. It will be the whole livelihood of John. He will be a preacher. The Lord Jesus will say that to preach is why he came into the world (Mark 1:38). St. Paul says that faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).
Jesus sends preachers into the world to bring His good gifts and Spirit to His people. They are called to be faithful to this Word and to declare it in season and out of season. What do they declare and do?
Jesus has come as King and Lord to die upon the tree of the Cross for the salvation of the world. He appeases the wrath of God and brings forgiveness of sins and life eternal by the shedding of His blood for you.
He comes with good gifts in the water of Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution and the Sacrament of the Altar–good gifts of true advent love for you this Christmas. This is truly the God of heaven and earth. He is the babe of Bethlehem: the Son of God and the Son of Mary. He comes for you–to free you from your sins and bring you to Himself.
Jesus is love. He is God and He shows us and gives us His true heavenly love in His dying on the Cross. The promise is for you and for your children and for all who believe.
Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted up by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Published December 2012