Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

4th Sunday of Advent

19 Dec 2020, midnight

Above is a short service opening the Season of Advent on the first day of the new Church Year. You may also like to read the appointed readings for 4th Sunday of Advent along with Lucy's word.

Readings:2 Samuel 7.1-11,16; Canticle: Magnificat or Psalm 89.1-4,19-26; Romans 16.25-27; Luke 1.26-38

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the thoughts and meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, o lord, our strength and our Redeemer. Amen

A Word from Lucy: When I read the ancient account from the Book of Samuel, I was struck by God’s words to the prophet intended for King David. For God said, “I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle”. This is followed by God’s challenge asking when had God ever asked “Why have you not built me a house?” followed swiftly by God’s promise that “The Lord will make you a house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever”. This reading tells me that God does not need a house but that we do. This reading also reminds me that God is with us - wherever we are. Then as I read the Gospel account from Luke, I was struck by God’s impending fulfilment of the ancient promise recorded in the Book of Samuel. For the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would bear a son and that he was to be named Jesus, and that this child would be great and called the Son of the Most High, and to Jesus would be given the throne of his ancestor David, and that Jesus would reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there would be no end. As I read on, I realised that the the ancient promise to King David was fulfilled as Mary gave her consent to God with the words ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Such simple words that hold for all eternity the fulfilment of God’s promises of old. Then as I read Paul’s letter to the people in Rome, I realised that Paul was giving thanks for the fulfilment of this promise. So today we give thanks for Mary's yes because in her yes - she allowed God to fulfil his long awaited plans.

Let us pray: Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed if the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen