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Advent 4 - 18 December 2016

Philippines

Isaiah 7.10-16

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: ‘Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.

 

Psalm 80.1-7, 17-19

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
 
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
and come to save us! 

3 Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved. 

4 O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? 

5 You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure. 

6 You make us the scorn of our neighbours;
our enemies laugh among themselves. 

7 Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved. 

17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one whom you made strong for yourself.
 
18 Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name. 

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

 

Romans 1.1-7

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

HYMN: O come, O come Emmanuel

Tune: Traditional
Sung by the choir of Clare College, Cambridge

1. O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel
That into exile drear is gone,
Far from the face of God’s dear Son.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

2. O come, thou Branch of Jesse! draw
The quarry from the lion’s claw;
From the dread caverns of the grave,
From nether hell, thy people save.
Refrain

3. O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright!
Pour on our souls thy healing light;
Dispel the long night’s lingering gloom,
And pierce the shadows of the tomb.
Refrain

4. O Come, thou Lord of David’s Key!
The royal door fling wide and free;
Safeguard for us the heavenward road,
And bar the way to death’s abode.
Refrain

5. O come, O come, Adonaï,
Who in thy glorious majesty
From that high mountain clothed in awe,
Gavest thy folk the elder Law.
Refrain

Cologne, 1710, based on the ancient O-Antiphons
Tr T A Lacey 1853-1931

 

 

 

Matthew 1.18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
   and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ 

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

 

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

It is easy to become over familiar with the story of the Incarnation, but behind the ancient prophecies and work of the Holy Spirit, it is a story about a man and a woman at the beginning of their life together. We see the character of Joseph, his honesty, dignity and respect for Mary, as well as his faith in God. When Jesus entered our world, he entered our experience and meets us where we are, in the ordinary profound moments of life. That is where Immanuel chose to dwell. Let us in our own lives not neglect the ordinary for in these moments, God is at work.

  • Thank God for the life of Joseph, a saintly example for all men, single or married and for Mary, his wife, the Mother of our Lord.
  • Give thanks for the work of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (Anglican Church of Canada) as they seek to bring God’s love to others.

Written by Dr Michael Sutton, Catechist, St Paul’s Anglican Church Burwood. © Anglican Board of Mission, 2016

 

ANTHEM: Magnificat in G

Composer: C V Stanford b.1934
Sung by the choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge

My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations. He hath showed strength with his arm he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end.  Amen.

Words: Luke 1.46-56, Book of Common Prayer

 

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