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December 23, 2018 – The Fourth Sunday of Advent – Hype and Promise

Isaiah 42:1-9,Matthew 1:18-25

Isaiah is perhaps the ancient version of the 5 pounds of ads that show up in the paper on Thanksgiving, or the wave of advertising emails that show up the week of Thanksgiving. They are all there telling us to get ready for what is coming. They hype us up, they build up the anticipation.

Imagine, if you will, what the people who hear this passage are expecting. Hear the language that describes the one who is coming. Are you excited yet?

Now, come into the Matthew passage.It’s kind of anti-climactic. It’s like the toy of the year 4 days after Christmas, or when the batteries die. And she bore a son, and he named him Jesus. Seriously? That’s all we get from Matthew? After the build up in Isaiah, I expect more, we expect more, the people of God expect more.

So, how do we maintain the excitement of the anticipation? How do we not get sucked into the post holiday,“it’s here, so now what” blahs? Tomorrow we will gather and tell the story of the birth of Jesus. I’d suggest that if those songs are enough to get us to sing with great joy and gusto, the one they are written about should be enough as well, no matter how anticlimactic the arrival may be. Sing, live, pray,laugh, weep, with the joy of the coming of God.