St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri4 Advent

Sunday, December 19, 2021

The Gospel for today(I have expanded the reading to include the annunciation, because the reading appointed makes better sense if it is in context.)Luke 1:26-45In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. “And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called, the Son of the Most high, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. “Mary said to the angel, “Hoe can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible for God. “Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord: let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that their would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

The third “O” antiphon O Root of Jesse

You will remember that sometimes we put up a large branch, or a paper bare-branched “tree” in the wall of the the parish hall and then add images from the history of Israel weekly (or at home, daily)We call that the Jesse Tree. Jesse was the father of King David, whose natural line died out form Israel. You remember that the prophet Isaiah promised that a “shoot” would spring up from the “root of Jesse.”
This antiphon celebrates that prophesy, and urges him to come – the true and everlasting Son of David.



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