Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 23, 2012

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for December 23: Micah 5:2-5; Luke 1:46-55; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45; Theme: 4th Sunday of Advent – Peace, song: O Come all ye faithful – UMH 238 Micah: As we read this text, it is important to remember that Micah is a prophet of old. We have to hear this in his terms and not in our terms. The basic message of the lesson is that there is going to be a new reign of a new David. Things will be different from the present. This new David will rule in the midst of Peace, and not war. He will make laws that fit the needs of the people, not the government. This is an important scripture to hear today because it talks of the new David being born in Bethlehem. It reminds us that Jesus is born the Prince of Peace. He Which kingdom do we live in, or preparing for? The kingdom of this world and the kingdom of Jesus world? Luke: For the last two weeks, we have been reading about the ministry of John the Baptist. He says that he is preparing the way for one who is greater than he is. Now we hear the story when both of these men are in the womb. Their mothers are cousins, but they have different lives and different pregnancies. When Mary discovers that Elizabeth is also pregnant, she comes to visit her. They share in joy. Elizabeth recognizes Mary’s baby as blessed, The baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumps for joy. The husband Zephaniah is still silent. When the angel spoke to Mary she believed and was excited. When the angel spoke to Zephaniah he does not believe and is rendered mute. So Elizabeth says blessed is she who has heard and believes. She gives Mary three blessings. But they are both a support to one another. So one wonders, did John and Jesus grow up together and continue that relationship. Questions: What would it means to live in a world where our laws are based on a peace economy and not a war economy? How do we prepare ourselves to live in God’s kingdom? Do the politicians remember us or the needs of the systems? What does it mean to be the prince of peace? How do you recognize the spirit working in the lives of those around you? How do you share in their joy? How do you share in the role of John by telling others about Jesus?

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