Adv4C18. Micah 5:1-4a. The Lord announces to Bethlehem, where David was born, “from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from of old, from ancient times.” “He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord.” “His greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.” In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, Psalm 89 & Psalm 132:11-12, God declared that an heir of David would rule forever. We understand that person to be Jesus the Christ.
Luke 1:39-45. Mary has just been told, right after she accepted her God-given assignment to be the Mother of God-made-man, that Elizabeth in her old age is to bear a child. She immediately recognizes that Elizabeth will need help. The sixth-month old child in Elizabeth’s womb is so Spirit-filled he “leaped in her womb,” because God-made-man has arrived in Mary’s womb. “Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,” blesses Mary and her awesome, divine child and expresses her astonishment that Mary, despite her spectacular calling has come to help Elizabeth in her lowliness. Elizabeth says, “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary then, after she has answered her call to duty to Elizabeth, rejoices that God “has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness” to rejoice that “the Mighty One has done great things for” her. It seems to me that Mary had been long-suffering in her unrecognized closeness to God amidst many others who were of no account in the eyes of God yet held in high esteem by many in this world. They were ones who were “arrogant of mind and heart” and others rich in the things of this earth. Mary had put her life in the hands of God and not of this earth. God not only was helping Israel his servant but also Mary his handmaid, “remembering his mercy,” for those who “have favor with God.”
Hebrews 10:5-10. “When Christ came into the world,” God the Father was not looking for just another Old Testament/Covenant offering. He desired to show the infinite depths of his love for the whole world. Jesus, both divine and human, was to be the once-and-for-all offering. God “takes away the first to establish the second” Covenant. God became a helpless, tiny baby to purposely put himself in the hands of those who would contribute to his handing himself up as a sacrificial redemption for our sins to God the Father. His incarnation and birth into humanity and then death on the cross were one seamless act of redemption. In a sense the Annunciation/Incarnation, celebrated on March 25 which tends to fall around Holy Week, is an integral part of Holy Week as one seamless act of redemption. He became flesh (John 1:14) so to offer himself up on the cross in the flesh (1 Timothy 2:5-6a) (Rom 6:8).