Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020

Please see Using Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16)

Having established his kingdom, David presumes that it would now be a good time to build a house for the Lord. Instead, the latter proposes to build a house for David, a line of descendants on the throne of Israel forever, ruling over a kingdom of lasting peace.

Psalm (Luke 1:46b-55)

In response to Elizabeth’s exuberant blessing of her and her unborn child, Mary praises God for exalting her so highly. She sees the same pattern in what happened to many in Israel’s past when God acted to honour his ancient promise to Abraham’s descendants.


Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

After extolling the unending nature of the Lord’s love, the Psalmist celebrates the covenant made with David. Exalted to the throne of Israel and, calling the Lord “Father”, David was promised for sure that his descendants would rule forever.

Second Reading (Romans 16:25-27)

In closing his letter to the Romans Paul commends them to God. He reminds them again of his own role in revealing the mystery that Gentiles are as eligible as Jews to be part of God’s people. This exalted standing is based on the teaching of Jesus and the prophets.

Gospel (Luke 1:26-38)

Gabriel tells the virgin Mary that she will bear a son to be named Jesus who will occupy the throne of David forever and even be called the Son of God. Assured that this birth will be a work of God’s Spirit, her questioning confusion becomes humble acceptance.


• God is in the business of exalting the humble
• The fulfillment of prophecy in the coming of Jesus
• The unexpected nature of the Christ-event
• God directs all history to his purpose
• The two advents of our Lord
• God always honours his promises, in his own way, and in his own time



Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 22, 2019, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.


Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-16)

Challenged by two attacking armies, King Ahaz hesitates to ask the Lord for a sign confirming Isaiah’s prophecy of victory. The Lord provides a sign anyway: soon after a young woman bears a special son named “Emmanuel”, Judah will be delivered.

Psalm (80:1-7, 17-19)

The Psalm is a plea to the Shepherd of Israel to put aside his anger with his sheep and restore them. The Psalmist asks that God’s right-hand man lead them to salvation and faithfulness. They will come back to life as the face of the Lord shines upon them.

Second Reading (Romans 1:1-7)

Paul reminds the Romans of his call to be an apostle to Gentiles such as them. While the Gospel was promised in the Jewish prophecies about their Messiah, grace has now been extended to all. Jesus’ resurrection has declared him Son of God and universal Lord.

Gospel (Matthew 1:18-25)

Joseph is directed by an angel to go through with his engagement to Mary because she is with child through the Holy Spirit. Her son is to be named Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins and, we are told, this is the fulfillment of the Emmanuel promise.


  • God of salvation is with us
  • Israel’s expectations of restoration looked to God to provide a saviour from amongst them
  • God’s own Son bears the promise and reality of resurrection
  • God’s salvation often arrives in an unexpected manner and usually exceeds all expectation