22 December 2019 Fourth Sunday of Advent

Sentence: A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel: God with us. Matthew 1:23

Collect: Gracious God, you chose the virgin Mary, by your grace, to be the mother of our Lord and Saviour: so fill us with your grace, that with her we may rejoice in your salvation, and in all things embrace your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A reading from the Prophet Isaiah 7:10-16

10Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.’ 12But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.’ 13Then Isaiah said, ‘Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.

****** Psalm 80:1-8, 17-19 (Page 307) ******

A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans 1:1-7

1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

 The Gospel according to St Mathew, 1:18-verse25.

18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ 22All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel ’(which means ‘God with us’). 24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.