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Rejoice in God Your Savior

4th Sunday of Advent

Rejoice in God Your Savior

Text: Luke 1:39-55

“Why me?”  She was just another young maiden living in little Nazareth near the Sea of Galilee.  She was engaged to her husband to be, a simple carpenter originally from the small village of Bethlehem.  A young lady no different than any other—until the angel Gabriel appeared to her.

Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.”  “Who?  Me?” she thought as she looked at the heavenly being with a troubled stare.  “I’m highly favored?  Why me?”

Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You will be with child and will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus . . . So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

“Me?  Why me?”  Still dumbfounded, Mary trusted in the immeasurable grace of God and replied, I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.”

“But why me?”  The thought kept running through her mind as she packed a bag and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea.  She was going to see her relative Elizabeth.  She had to tell her what had happened and she wanted to hear more about Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy.  Read the rest of this entry

Bible in a Year, Week 9: Philippians, Colossians

This is the ninth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is Philippians and Colossians. It should only take about 5 minutes a day, or about 1-2 chapters a day to complete the assignment.

Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Philippians and Colossians:

Background: Philippi had become an important city under King Philip (its namesake) and his son Alexander the Great. As world powers shifted, it also became an important city under the rule of the Roman Empire. Philippi was made a Roman colony and many Roman soldiers retired to that city.

Paul first visited Philippi on his second missionary journey. Acts 16 tells us of the amazing events that took place there, and the great work that God accomplished. He also visited twice on his third missionary journey. It is very clear that Paul was writing this letter while imprisoned. It seems as though he wrote this while under house arrest between 61-63 A.D. He wrote to encourage them to remain steadfast in their faith, and to share with them the great joy that all believes have in their Savior Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1: Paul opens again with the standard form for his letters. Three parts can be identified: 1) Author, 2) Audience, 3) Greeting/Blessing. As a theme for the book of Philippians is joy and rejoicing, Paul had much joy as he considered his brothers and sisters at Philippi. He was very thankful for them, their faith, and their partnership in the work of sharing the good news about Jesus. Now it was his prayer that they would keep it up! Read the rest of this entry