Readings: December 20, 2015, 4th Sunday of Advent

All readings from the Message Bible  © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson 

  • Micah 5:1-4a

     The Leader Who Will Shepherd-Rule Israel

Thus says the Lord:

But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter—From you will come the leader

who will shepherd-rule Israel. He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.

Meanwhile, Israel will be in foster homes until the birth pangs are over and the child is born,

And the scattered brothers come back home to the family of Israel. He will stand tall in his shepherd-rule by God’s strength, centered in the majesty of God-Revealed. And the people will have a good and safe home, for the whole world will hold him in respect—

Peacemaker of the world!

  • Hebrews 10:5-10

     The Sacrifice of Jesus

Brothers and sisters:

You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year; you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice. It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar that whet your appetite. So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God, the way it’s described in your Book.”

When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—/God’s/ way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.

  • Luke 1:39-45

     Blessed Among Women

Mary got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,

Your’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed!

And why am I so blessed that the mother of my Lord visits me?

The moment the sound of your greeting entered my ears,

The babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.

Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!



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