Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

It's only Tuesday - but Sunday is coming! An early post allows you to prepare space in your heart to worship him with greater depth.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Keyword: Love
Theme: Adoration
Action: Worship

First Advent: Light shines in the darkness. Prepare the way for the Lord! Repent!

Second Advent: Hope! Expectation for the fulfillment of the promises, so Believe!

Third Advent: There is such Joy in the Proclamation of Messiah’s arrival. Go tell the Good News!

The Fourth Advent:

Matthew 2:1-12
The Visit of the Magi
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[b] and have come to worship him."
3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 
 6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, 
 are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; 
 for out of you will come a ruler 
 who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'[d]"
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When the Magi in the east “saw the star” they came to Jerusalem to worship Him born King of the Jews. Although they did not know everything about him still they came to worship and to bring gifts.
The wise men brought ...

Gold: - signifying great value – a sign of deity.
Frankincense: - a spice used for worship representing the fragrant worship of the saints – a sweet smelling savour.
Myrrh – represents cleansing and purification.

And all Jerusalem was astonished. A King? In their presence? Who? How could they have missed it if the Magi from the east knew.

A Messiah is born! A new light has shone in our hearts. How do we respond to such a wonderful gift? Wise men still seek Him.
Seek Him – so that you may worship Him, Lord at His birth.
Seek Him – to know Him better.
As you come to know Him better, worship Him with …
- greater depth
- more intimacy
- more commitment
- more costly worship
I will not offer to the Lord that which cost me nothing.

"I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 2 Samuel 24:24

Luke 7:36-50
36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."
44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." 48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." 49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" 50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Sages leave your contemplations brighter visions beam afar
Seek the great Desire of nations ye have seen His natal star
Come and worship! Come and worship!
Worship Christ the newborn king!

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace Hail the Sun of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King

Come and worship! Come and worship!
Worship Christ the newborn king!

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