Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020

2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16

Luke 1:46b-55


Psalm 89:1–4, 19–26

Romans 16:25–27

Luke 1:26–38

Advent is a season of the liturgical year observed in most Christian denominations as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year in Western Christianity.

The Samuel quote is about making “a house of cedar”, so as to move from living in a tent. It also assures the founding of Israel.

Luke and Psalms note how much God has done and still promises.

Romans says sharing this religion is open to all peoples.

The second Luke quote is the assurance of the angel Gabriel to Mary that she will give birth to Jesus.

If you were a Christian preacher seeking a theme, here it is: a home that is not just a tent, the power of the Theos to intervene, the inclusion of all peoples, and the origin of the Christian mythos which has been conflated with the Winter Solstice, the darkest and coldest part of the year. It’s not hard to see how relevant all this is to the many immigrants now seeking shelter and safety around the planet, barely subsisting in tent villages. Exodus has never been more relevant.

If you didn’t live on the Blackfeet rez at the time, you might not be conscious of the need for safe housing and the struggle to build housing projects. You might not be aware that between living in the lodges that had been key to the survival of the tribe for hundreds of years and the standard houses of today, People often toughed it out in four-wall tents with early wood stoves. The beginning of the 20th century records many tent fires and a trachoma plague aggravated by woodsmoke particulates that left many people blind.

The Covid-19 pandemic might also be noted as calling for help from a higher power. One can’t help but think of divine intervention. We accept the response of nations.

Born in Portland when all was calm just before WWII. Educated formally at NU and U of Chicago Div School. Clergy for ten years. Always happy on high prairie.