Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, 2018, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Micah 5:2-5a)

The prophet Micah declares that Israel’s ruler will come, as promised, from the smallest clan of Judah in the little town of Bethlehem. They will be bereft until a woman has given birth to a son and his people return. He shall shepherd them securely in the peace and strength of the Lord.

Psalm/Canticle ([Magnificat] Luke 1:46b-55)

Mary praises God for raising her from obscurity to become the mother of the Lord. She sees this as part of God’s pattern of lifting up the lowly and needy and putting down the proud and rich. This is a pattern rooted in the covenant promise made to Abraham and his descendants.

Second Reading (Hebrews 10:5-10)

The coming of Christ means the end to the old sacrifices and offerings as his body is offered once for all instead. Those sacrifices and offerings under the law were unable to please God and it was his will to send Christ into the world that through his body we might be truly sanctified.

Gospel (Luke 1:39-45)

After Gabriel’s visit, Mary hurries to her cousin Elizabeth who is indeed pregnant. Her child leaps for joy at Mary’s greeting and Elizabeth herself is filled with the Holy Spirit. She tells Mary that her baby is blessed, as is she, because she had believed the word of the Lord.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God has not lost sight of the humble and lowly
  • Mary, as a humble believer in God’s word, is lifted up
  • Part of God’s lifting up of the humble involves the sacrifice of his Son.
  • The promises of God are sure

OR

Based on the Alternative Readings

First Reading (Micah 5:2-5a)

The prophet Micah declares that Israel’s ruler will come, as promised, from the smallest clan of Judah in the little town of Bethlehem. They will be bereft until a woman has given birth to a son and his people return. He shall shepherd them securely in the peace and strength of the Lord.

Psalm (80:1-7)

The Psalmist, aware of Yahweh’s displeasure with his people, asks him three times to shine his face upon them that they might be saved. They have suffered greatly but Yahweh remains in their midst and will surely respond to their calls upon his name.

Second Reading (Hebrews 10:5-10)

The coming of Christ means the end to the old sacrifices and offerings as his body is offered once for all instead. Those sacrifices and offerings under the law were unable to please God and it was his will to send Christ into the world that through his body we might be truly sanctified.

Gospel (Luke 1:39-55)

After Gabriel’s visit, Mary hurries to her cousin Elizabeth who is indeed pregnant. Her child leaps in joy at Mary’s greeting and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary praises God for lifting up lowly Israel, fulfilling the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants forever.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God has not lost sight of the humble and lowly
  • Mary, as a humble believer in God’s word, is lifted up
  • Part of God’s lifting up of the humble involves the sacrifice of his Son.
  • The promises of God are sure

 

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