Read 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16, Ps. 89:2-5,27,29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38
“He will be great and called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom, there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
Right from the time of King David, God already had the coming of Jesus Christ in mind. When we consider the promise made to David (that his throne shall be established forever), we cannot but agree that this promise was only fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The question is: “What made David pleasing to God?” The answer is our first lesson for today: Humility.
1. God Favours the Humble.
Despite being king of Israel, David never forgot his roots, how he used to be an ordinary shepherd boy before God elevated him. David never saw himself as some self-made man. In today’s first reading, David felt so embarrassed that the Ark of God was dwelling in a tent. “How can I live in a house of affluence while the Ark of God, who made me what I am, is just there in a tent?”
Like David, Mary never saw herself as some First Lady. Instead, she could say to the Angel: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord”, meaning: “I am nothing before God; let God use me as He pleases.” While David opted to build a house for God, Mary agreed to become a living tabernacle for God. Humility is not necessarily thinking less of ourselves but giving God His due.
Let us pause for a moment to examine our hearts: “Am I giving God His due? Do I have a place in my house dedicated to God for prayers? Do I show respect to God in the way and manner I treat items used for worship? Am I concerned if the Church where I worship God is in bad shape? What efforts am I making to honour God like David?”
2. It Takes Humility to Obey God.
David was the commander-in-chief of Israel. Everyone obeyed him, yet when Nathan told him what God had said regarding building the temple, David did not argue or insist on his decision. Let us examine our hearts. If, for instance, you have made up your mind to do something and the priest of God tells you not to proceed with this decision, would you accept it as the voice of God?
St. James teaches us: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6). St. Peter adds: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6). Humble people do not assume they know better than God. They do not try to pick and choose God’s commandments; they obey God because they consider God as greater than themselves. It takes humility to treat your body as God’s temple. Let us pray for a deeper sense of humility in our lives.
3. Building for God is a Privilege.
Another lesson for today is that we should always consider ourselves lucky when we can contribute to the growth and development of the house of God. David had everything they needed to build the Temple, but God considered him unworthy. It is not about your money but whether God allows you to be part of His house.
Indeed, no one can boast before God. The prophet Isaiah reminds us: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? The Lord says all these things my hand has made, and so all are mine. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.’” (Isaiah 66:1-2).
Although God did not permit David to build the Temple, God blessed David for his good intentions alone. For having it in mind to build a House for God, God showered blessings on Him: “I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. … When your days are fulfilled, and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.” (2 Samuel 7:8-12).
Do you have the means of building for God? If yes, then do it gladly. Do not be like those who want to be praised (or awarded titles) before they give. However, even if you don’t have money to contribute to the building of God’s house, ensure you have good intentions. If God blessed David to the point of incarnating in the line of David (thereby making David’s kingship an everlasting one), how much more will God bless those who go beyond their good intentions and build for Him?
4. With God, Nothing is Impossible.
To assure Mary that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Angel Gabriel announced that Elizabeth (a “barren woman”) was now in her sixth month with a child. The Angel said: “For with God, nothing will be impossible.” This is another great lesson we learned today – to trust less in our abilities and strengths while we place all our trust in God. According to St. Paul in today’s second reading, God is the only one who can strengthen us; He is the only wise God.
Dear friends, we must pause today and reflect deeply on the Christmas Story. It is a story of how God did a series of impossible things – how Elizabeth conceived in her old age, how Mary became pregnant without knowing a man, and how God took our human flesh and remained God.
Regardless of your situation, know that God can still turn things around for your good. If God can make a virgin conceive, then it is not too late for Him to intervene in your problem. Zechariah concluded in his mind that he and Elizabeth were too old to have a child, but God shocked him. You are worried because you think you have reached the end of the road. God will shock you. Be humble enough to accept that you don’t know everything. God is a specialist in doing things the human mind labels impossible.
Conclusion: Christmas is a story of Humility
In the words of St. Paul: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death.” (Philippians 2:5-8).
If God could be this humble by taking on our human nature, we who are called to be perfect like God must also learn to drop our pride and enter into the world of those less privileged than ourselves.
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, may my celebration of your birth increase my humility. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (4th Sunday of Advent. Bible Study: 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16, Ps. 89:2-5,27,29, Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38)
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu