Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

2 Samuel 7:1-17
Psalm 89
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38

REFLECTION: “Who’s Doing What for Who?”

King David is described in Scripture as a man after God’s own heart. In our reading today from Second Samuel, David laments the fact that the Ark of the Covenant is sitting in a tent while he lives in a significantly nicer home.
But David’s desire to build a house for God’s glorious presence takes a bit of a detour, as God instead shares with David, through the prophet Nathan, that he desires to make of him, of David, a strong house from which salvation would come.
And, while Solomon later built a splendid temple, it is the Tent that best represents the way God seeks to manifest his presence in the world.
A few months back, we celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles… remembering the impermanent dwellings – including the Tent that housed the Ark – that had their origins in Israel’s wilderness trek. God uses temporary, earthly, and even human ‘tents’ for his glory… tents like Mary.
Did the Temple of Solomon in all its glory ever, EVER, host the glory of God in the intimate, personal, and redemptive way that Mary did within her womb? Did all the gold and silver, incense and lamps of that magnificent temple, or its successor, erected after the Maccabee triumph over the Greeks, ever shine forth in the life of this world as clearly as Jesus did, even from Mary’s womb? Not even remotely.
Brothers and sisters, God took flesh in the womb of the Virgin. Through her the Eternal Word united itself with our nature, and began the process of redeeming it through his life, his death, and his resurrection. Mary’s role is not prophesied simply in Genesis 3. It is prophesied in the Tent, we hear about in our first reading today. God works in Mary and raises up her humble estate.
And, my dear friends, God still works today on earth in the lives of his people… though our lives may be short and temporary in the earthly sense, he works in, with, and through us today… and thus become bearers of God’s glory when we embrace and walk in fellowship with Christ.