This Sunday’s readings provide us with a good example of the Christian tradition of reading and understanding the Old Testament, in the light of the New Testament. In our first reading God makes a promise to King David that an offspring of his will live and reign forever.
“… I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”
But how can this be so? The answer to this seeming impossibility is found in today’s Gospel. The sacred writer Luke, after making clear that her human lineage is from the line of David, recounts that the angel Gabriel announced to Mary “…Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He 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 he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
This is but one example among so many in salvation history recounted in the Bible illustrating that God keeps His promises – albeit not always in the way we expect! And God’s greatest promise… sending of His Son into our world to make our crooked and straying ways straight!