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The Fourth Sunday of Advent
2 Samuel 7.1–11, 16
Romans 16.25–7
Luke 1.26–38

It always was a mystery. Not just a puzzle – there are enough of those as well, God knows – but a genuine mystery, a truth whose parallel lines disappear behind God’s dark curtain, to meet in that infinity of truth where all is literal and all is metaphorical. Did God intend Israel to have a king? Read 1 Samuel 8 and ponder. Did God intend Israel to have a temple? Read 2 Samuel 7 again and ponder.

At one level they seem simply concessions to Israel’s desire to be like everyone else. A king, like all the nations; a temple, like the ones up the road. There’s the problem: borrowing light from the world, instead of being the light of the world. Kings become corrupt, and are exiled (beginning with David himself, whose immorality, copied among his children, leads to Absalom’s rebellion). Temples become first idols, then ruins...

Taken from Twelve Months of Sundays Year B by N T Wright

Published by SPCK


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