The Promised One
TWO SAMUEL SEVEN
This was the answer to one of my canonical examination questions before ordination to the priesthood in 1973. The question was: “What is the earliest appearance in the Old Testament of the notion or idea of a once-and-for-all savior?” (I got it right, by the way.) The Second Book of Samuel, Chapter Seven, is given as our first reading on this Fourth Sunday of Advent and echoed in the Gospel of Luke as the child to be born of Mary is described as the one who
will be great and will be called Son of the Most High
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his Father,
…and of his kingdom
there will be no end.
The history of humankind seeking knowledge of God is nowhere better articulated than in the Messianic prophesies, and, in this case, in the historical literature of the Old and New Testaments.
As Christmas approaches, do we not sense a brotherhood and sisterhood with all of those ancients who sought a personal connection with God? Who wanted answers to the great questions, “Who are we?” “Where do we come from?” and “Where are we going?” From the time of the first prediction of the Messiah (c1200 BC) and the declaration of His birth in writing (Gospel of Mark, c70 AD), Messianic faith germinated and budded forth. Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem of Judea, became the proposed answer to ALL of the great questions. I suppose we must credit Mary and then Joseph for first placing their faith in him as “The Promised One.” More than 2000 years removed from the time The Holy Family walked this Earth, how strong is your faith and mine in Jesus the Christ? If truly He is the answer to all of our greatest and most profound questions, how do we adequately celebrate the “2014” anniversary of his birth…this coming Thursday?