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Friday, fourth week of Advent

December 23, 2005

Blessed Friday!

O Emmanuel,
God-with-us,
Our King and Lawgiver,
The Awaited one of the peoples
And their Savior
Come to save us, O Lord, our God
Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
Matthew 1:22-23
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”

Readings:
Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14 “Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand”
+ Luke 1:57-66

The King is coming! He promised He would, but the promise has gathered dust for so many years we were afraid He might have forgotten. Now new excitement is stirring. The King is on His way! Did you hear the rejoicing as His herald made his grand entrance? All the neighbors and kinsfolk thought the miracle baby should be named Zechariah, after his father, who had been struck dumb during his service in the Temple, but his aged mother objected. Once his father confirmed that the child’s name was John, his silent tongue was loosed and he began to exclaim the praises of God! Everyone was all astir, wondering just what this might mean. We know what it means! This is it!!!

John’s out in the desert now, crying out, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord!” (Matthew 3:3). The final preparations are underway. The roads are being straightened, the mountains leveled, the valleys filled in, all the rough places smoothed out in His honor. People are going out to John in repentance in droves (Mark 1:5), trading their stony hearts for natural ones (Ezekiel 11:19), so that the molehills that they’ve turned into mountains in their own hearts may be cast into the sea. The Baptist is turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers (Malachi 3:23), so that the valleys of hatred dug between the generations may be filled in with love. Hearts are being purified like silver so they will shine in the radiance of His Majesty (Malachi 3:3). Any moment now, the Baptist will raise his eyes and exclaim, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! …this is the Son of God!” (John 1:29, 34). What more is there to say? Except perhaps, “Teacher, where do You live?”, to which He answers, “Come and see” (John 1:38-39).

Let us come. Let us see where and how the Master lives, that we may never be parted from Him!

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