4 Advent -Thursday
Fourth Sunday in Advent
– Thursday –
And Elisabeth brought forth a son. And she rejoiced greatly, and her neighbors and her cousins rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and meant to call him Zacharias, after his father. But his mother exclaimed: “Not so; but he shall be called John.” They marveled and called his father. After receiving a writing table, he wrote: “His name is John.” And straightway his mouth was opened, and was able to speak once again. And being filled with the Holy Ghost, he prophesied and said: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets which have been since the world began: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.” And turning to the babe, he said: “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:57-79).
PRAYER. – Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art the dayspring, the sunrise, from on high; Thou art the eternal Son of the Father, our Light and Salvation; Thou hast appeared and Thou dost give light to us who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and hast guided our feet into the way of eternal peace. In Thee, Lord Jesus, is our salvation, the forgiveness of all our sins. What tender mercy of our God! Dear heavenly Father, Thou hast truly kept Thy Word – Thou hast raised up a horn of salvation for us, which is Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Son of David. Through Him, Thou hast saved and delivered us out of the hands of all our enemies, that now we are Thine own, and may serve Thee with joyful, childlike hearts all the days of our life, until Thou shalt take us home. Praise and glory be to Thee, O God of mercy! Grant that I may always keep Thy Word through which Thou dost impart to me all Thy salvation – divine power to firmly believe what Thy Word teacheth regarding this salvation. Amen.
A little Child, Thou art our Guest
That weary ones in Thee may rest;
Forlorn and lowly is Thy birth
That we may rise to heav’n from earth.
Hymn 80, 3.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:16-25
Theme: Preparation for God’s Unspeakable Gift
16 Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
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