Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Fourth Wednesday of Advent 2021

Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 for he has been mindful

    of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

    holy is his name.

50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,

    from generation to generation.

51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones

    but has lifted up the humble.

53 He has filled the hungry with good things

    but has sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

    remembering to be merciful

55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,

    just as he promised our ancestors.”

Micah 4:1-5

4 In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established

    as the highest of the mountains;

it will be exalted above the hills,

    and peoples will stream to it.

2 Many nations will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,

    to the temple of the God of Jacob.

He will teach us his ways,

    so that we may walk in his paths.”

The law will go out from Zion,

    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

3 He will judge between many peoples

    and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.

They will beat their swords into plowshares

    and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation,

    nor will they train for war anymore.

4 Everyone will sit under their own vine

    and under their own fig tree,

and no one will make them afraid,

    for the Lord Almighty has spoken.

5 All the nations may walk

    in the name of their gods,

but we will walk in the name of the Lord

    our God for ever and ever.

Ephesians 2:11-22

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.  Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.  The sap which course through the trees carries the memories of the red people.

The white people's dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars.  Our dead never forget this beautiful earth for it is the mother of the red people. We are part of the earth and it is part of us.

The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices of the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and human beings--all belong to the same family.

For this land is sacred to us.  The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors.  If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice of my parent's parent.

The red people have always retreated before the advancing white people, as the mist of the mountains runs before the morning sun. But the ashes of our ancestors are sacred. Their graves are holy ground, and so these hills, these trees, this portion of the earth consecrated to us.

You must teach your children that the ground between their feet is the ashes of our ancestors.  So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.

This we know.  The earth does not belong to us; we belong to the earth. This we know: All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. We do not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

Even the white people, whose God walks and talks with them as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers and sisters after all; we shall see.  One thing we know, which the white people may one day discover--our God is the same God.



O Ruler of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart, O Keystone of the mighty arch of humankind: Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.


I acclaim the greatness of the Lord,

I delight in God my Savior,

who regarded my humble state.

Truly from this day on

all ages will call me blest.

For God, wonderful in power,

has used that strength for me.

Holy the name of the Lord!

whose mercy embraces the faithful,

one generation to the next,.

The mighty arm of God

scatters the proud in their conceit,

pulls tyrants from their thrones,

and raises up the humble.

The Lord fills the starving

and lets the rich go hungry.

God rescues lowly Israel,

recalling the promise of mercy,

the promise made to our ancestors,

to Abraham's heirs for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Our Father...

God our greatest joy, we rejoice that you call all peoples to live in peace and in happiness.  Teach us to trust you and each other that we might be free from worry and fear.  May we ever seek peace and pursue it, in your holy name, Creator, Redeemer, and Spirit.  Amen.

May God bless us, deliver us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

Let us bless God/and give thanks. 

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