Sermon for 1st Sunday of Advent – 11-28-2021
Psalm 25:1-9; Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1st Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
In the psalm for today, it is attributed to David, and he states he is lifting up his soul to God, because he trusts Him, knowing God will never be shamed or let his enemies triumph over him. This is implicit trust in God. He recognized God as our teacher and that Moses, priests, prophets, and parents were “teaching assistants, and that all taught under God’s authority, not their own. In the Old Testament, God was often called Savior, though we attest Jesus is our Savior, for He teaches us by experiences, and parables, that we all may understand God’s truth. Jesus was sent to live, giving hope in the face of trouble and forgiveness of our sins. God taught us love, Jesus lived it our for us, as an example of how to live and love our friends, neighbors and even those we have not known as yet. Furthermore, He taught us to love even our enemies with no restraint on our part, that they too, might find God’s love in their life.
From our lesson in Jeremiah, we find the land of Judah in her most desperate hour. Many people did not recognize the seriousness of their position. However, if we will but take seriously our covenant relationship with God, He will fulfill His promises, even when we think it is not possible, for nothing is impossible for God. We must believe God; trust God; take our relationships with fellow believers seriously; take our covenant with God seriously; be alert to recognize and apply God’s correction; and live in joyful expectation of God’s final restoration of His people and His creation. Simply put beloved, we must believe that God will do what He promises He will do. It may not be in our time, but He is never late, He is exactly on time, to accomplish His will for us when we are ready for this to take place. He wants us to put ourselves in His loving hands, and believe when He promises something, He will do it. Sometimes we pray for things we are not ready or prepared to accept, and His response is “Not Yet,” or “No” because we don’t understand the responsibility it would befall on us if He said yes, or “Yes” because we have placed our confidence and our beliefs completely in Him and are ready to take a deeper step with Him.
In our lesson from 1st Thessalonians is another teaching lesson. Has anyone ever asked you, “How do you know that God will fulfill His promises?,” My answer is simply, He said He would do it and and He does not promise anything that He will not fulfill; therefore, I trust God’s Word and do not give a thought to His not fulfilling a promise. My joy comes from the many times throughout time, when God has interceded on behalf of His children, therefore I praise His Holy Name in anticipation of the works He will do for us. What Satan means for evil, God turns into good and righteous and worthy for His people. Yes, there have been events throughout history that Satan or one of his followers has intended to disrupt God’s truth, yet it does not stay that way and God will turn it around for the good of all. This is what He has promised to do for us, because He loves us. When things don’t work out, it is usually because we didn’t believe enough to be patient to see His working in our lives. We can depend of God’s promises, His love, His mercy, His forgiveness and especially His grace. We must be obedient to Him.
From the Gospel of Luke we read, “Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out and let those in the country not enter the city.” Why, because if was about to be leveled, completely destroyed. Terrible things were about to happen and many would die if they remained. He said there would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. This is Jesus talking and He is talking about the final days, “Salvation’s Completion.”
Jesus has promised to protect those who obey Him; ultimately His protection is from eternal destruction. When our Christ came to earth, it was as a sweet child, who grew up on this earth, experiencing what all humans experience in life. However, His second coming will be in all of His Power and Glory and “Holy One” will accompany Him. Some believe Christ’s earthly kingdom will b e established at the second coming, while others believe the even will usher in the new heavens and new earth. “Redemption” is a broad concept in the Bible, ranging from the person to the cosmic. From the physical to the spiritual, and from the temporal to the eternal. It is associated in all its fullness with the future coming of Christ.
Our salvation is not complete yet. That will take place in connection with the second coming of Christ. The complete redemption of God’s people will take place in the end time when Christ returns.
So what does all this mean? It means that we as God’s children ought to know Him. If we do not study His Word, then it would be easy for Satan to trick them into accepting an alternative Christ. We are to study His Word regularly for understanding, not as a theologian, but as a Christian seeking to know our God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ personally. It is being called as children of the Living God to follow His will in our lives and to live our lives accordingly. It is in loving those who are unlovable; it is in reaching out to others with the love of Christ and drawing them near to us and to Him. We are to “bear fruit” for Christ, continuing His ministry by taking our petitions (prayers) for ourselves and others to Him, seeking His healing those in body, mind, and/or spirit as per His will. It is letting others see Christ working through us, because it is by His love that others will recognize Him working in us. That way we live our lives, the way we talk with others, the way we help others, that Christ is most readily seen by people and a desire to serve Him will come upon them by the way the way you treated them. Amen.