Sunday, December 4, 2022

Second Sunday of Advent 2022 - Behold, A Branch is Growing

Today marks the second Sunday of Advent.  A time that used to reflect on the preparations made for the arrival of the Messiah.  Of the birth of John the Baptist, he who would prepare a way for the Lord.

A voice of one calling:
"In the wilderness prepare 
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert 
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, 
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Isaiah 40:3-5

Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel who alone does marvelous deeds.
Psalm 72:18

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38

As I’ve explored this week, I've always loved the comparison in the miracles of the birth of John and of Jesus.  Though they are not of the same level, through them we see the breadth of the work of God - to bring forth life from the dead and to bring forth life from nothingness. To restore and rejuvenate, as well as to completely create from new.  A beautiful reminder that no matter where we may be in our lives, God can prepare a way.

May we prepare that way today. 

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