FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT – FIRST SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”  3Nathan replied to the king,“Whatever you have in mind,go ahead and do it, for theLordis with you.”  4But that night the word of the Lordcame to Nathan, saying:  5“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lordsays:  Are youthe one to build me a house to dwell in? 6I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day.  I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling.  7Wherever I have moved with all the Israel-ites,did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherdmy people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’  8God spoke to the prophet Nathan:  “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says:  I took you from the pasture and from following the flock to be ruler over my people Israel.  9I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you.  Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men of the earth.  10And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed.  Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel.  I will also give you rest from all your enemies.  The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:  16Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”