If you’ve read my previous three Sunday articles, you’ll know that I have been sharing readings from French Reformer Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples’ book Epistres et Evangiles pour les cinquante et deux semaines de l’an, or “Epistles and Gospels for the 52 Weeks of the Year”. Anne Boleyn owned an illuminated manuscript of Lefèvre’s work, a manuscript which was prepared for her and given to her by her brother George. It would have been very precious to her so I’m sure she delighted in reading it every Sunday.
Here are the readings for the fourth Sunday of Advent…
Philippians 4: 4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 1: 19-28
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
On this day in history…
- 1495 – Death of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford and 1st Earl of Pembroke, at Thornbury. He was laid to rest at Keynsham Abbey, near Bristol. Jasper was the second son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois, half-brother of Henry VI and uncle of Henry VII.
- 1549 – Death of Margaret of Navarre (Marguerite of Angoulême and Marguerite de France) at Odos in France. Click here to read more.