Monday after Rorate coeli, The Fourth Sunday in Advent
Posted on December 24, 2018 byunder
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-11 (NKJV)
40:1 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. 2 “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”
9 O Zion, You who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.
On this day the season of Advent comes to an end and flows seamlessly into the season of Christmas. On Christmas Eve we begin the celebration of God’s promise come true as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. During Advent we spent our days joining with the Christians of the Old Testament in anxious anticipation of the Savior’s birth. At the same time, we remember the promise of Immanuel, “God with us,” is as true as the Word made flesh who dwells with us now through His blessed Word and Sacraments.
The Babe in the manger is the resounding fulfillment of Isaiah’s words, “Behold your God!” This Babe in the manger would grow up as the One who lives a perfect life and dies a perfect death on the cross in payment for the sins of the world. This same God continues to come to His people. When God’s Word is read we can truly say, “Behold your God!” When the waters of Holy Baptism flow in the name of the Triune God we say, “Behold your God!” When absolution is pronounced we say, “Behold your God!” When we approach the altar to receive the Body and Blood of Christ the Church must say, “Behold your God!” Jesus, true God and true Man, is there in the flesh.
As Advent draws to a close and flows into Christmas you are reminded that your time on Earth is fleeting and will soon come to an end. By God’s grace, your hope remains in Christ and His final Advent. Then you will be greeted by Christ and you will “Behold your God!”
We pray: Heavenly Father, keep us steadfast in the true faith and grant us patience as we await the coming our our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.