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At this juncture, David is a big winner: king of Israel and Judah, conqueror of the mighty Philistines, with the captured city of Jerusalem his capital. Living in “a house of cedar”—not local stone, but expensive wood, a tribute gift from King Hiram of Tyre (see 2 Samuel 5:11)—David, perhaps...

God, help me put aside my good ideas for your gracious plans. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
December 14–20, 2020
Scripture Overview

In the fourth week of Advent, we focus on prophecies of the arrival of the Messiah. When David commits to build a temple for God, God promises to build a house for David as well. This is the line of David that will rule forever, and Jesus comes from this line. In the first reading from Luke, Mary rejoices after her visit to Elizabeth, for she understands that her child will play a key role in God’s redemption. Paul reminds the Romans that his message about Christ did not begin with him. Instead, it is the fulfillment of promises made through the prophets. The second reading from Luke might more logically have come first this week, for it describes how Mary reveals the importance of this child in her song of rejoicing.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16. When have you thought you were participating in God’s plans and later realized you had misunderstood God’s desire or instruction?
Read Luke 1:47-55. Consider how you magnify the Lord. How do you pass on your faith to future generations?
Read Romans 16:25-27. Remember the carols you have been singing this Advent and have sung throughout your life. How do they help you proclaim the mystery of the Incarnation?
Read Luke 1:26-38. In this season of giving and receiving, how do you remember that God is the giver of all good gifts? How do you return your God-given gifts to God?

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