The last Sunday in Advent offers a creative juxtaposition of images. In the Old Testament God’s promise to David is spoken through Nathan the prophet. It’s a fascinating exchange in which David seeks to align God with his own agenda by building God a house. But, in reply God refuses, offering instead to build for David a dynasty (a house). As Psalm 89 reveals, God does not need David’s wealth or protection and God will not be domesticated to David’s agenda. Rather it is David who is to be strengthened by God and who is to align with God’s purpose. Yet, centuries later when this promise is fulfilled in Christ, the way it happens is in stark contrast to the royal wealth and grandeur of David. In fact, the circumstances and songs of Christ’s incarnation reveal the Baby to be One who undermines imperial power, wealth and domination in all its forms.
In Paul’s closing words to the Romans, the radically inclusive nature of this Reign is celebrated. And so, as we remember again the announcement of Christ’s incarnation, let’s remember that it’s not just the birth of a Child that is important here, but the birth of a whole new order of love and justice which this Child brings into our world.
May we find that our preparation for the Coming One is completed, and that our work is done well as we worship this week.