Advent 2 (Populus Zion)
Delivered By
Pr. Lovett
Delivered On
December 4, 2011
Central Passage
Luke 21:25-36
+ Luke 21:25-36 +
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Your salvation comes, daughter of Zion.  Look around you.  Wars and rumors of wars have filled the ears of men since Cain laid violent and murderous hands on his brother, Abel.  People are fainting all over the world at what is coming on the world.  They always have.  Nomads lived in fear of larger tribes; smaller nations in fear of larger ones; and we live in fear of those countries that hate us and possess nuclear weapons; not to mention our fear of men without conscience who murder our bodies just for the shoes on our feet, or who would violate our daughters or brainwash our sons, causing no end of disaster just to satiate their bloodlust.  We’re afraid of the punk on the street.  And as the world grows smaller with mass media, so our fears of tomorrow loom larger.  As we know more of mankind, so we know more of suffering.  Do you see these signs?  Then straighten up and raise your heads, your redemption is drawing near.
Here the Son of Man comes in the cloud of heaven, coming with power and great might. He is an unstoppable warrior invading His enemy’s land.  The Lord of Glory shines forth from Zion, His holy hill.  Let all the inhabitants of Hoisington tremble, for the Day of the Lord is coming; it is near.
When ancient Israel drew near to her enemies, her enemies trembled in fear.  When Joshua son of Nun and successor of Moses, crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, the inhabitants of Canaan became afraid.  They’d heard about Egypt and Pharaoh and how Moses had defeated them; how this once small, insignificant nomadic tribe had become a powerful nation of valiant men who were mighty in battle and unafraid to die.  And now this warring people, this nomadic nation of Hebrews was coming for their lands and vineyards.  It was said of Joshua and Israel that they were a mighty people and that their God was all-powerful; able to rescue His people and slay their enemies even before swords were drawn.  Time after time the cities and kingdoms in Canaan tried to defeat Joshua and stand against him.  Time after time they fell by the word of Joshua’s God.  Kings and men fled before Joshua and His God.  They made alliances and treaties with one another, trying to become strong enough to withstand the coming day when Joshua and the people of God would enter their cities and bring them to ruin.  But none could stand before this one like the Son of Man. Everywhere he went destruction followed after him. And he was a type of the One to come.
For the second Joshua, the virgin-born Son of God, also conquers.  He, too, leads a mighty people, a warring nation into hostile lands and territories.  And like His namesake, the son of Nun, our Joshua conquers kings and generals, swallowing up His enemies like an unstoppable force, and unquenchable fire.  The Lord is His name, and He is mighty in battle; a devouring fire, a mighty tempest.  He is Lord of armies – Lord God of Sabaoth.  And there are none who can stand before this Son of Man and His mighty army of saints.
But though His army is flesh and blood, they do not fight with weapons of men.  They carry no sword of steel or iron; swords that can be defended against.  They do not wear armor of bronze and they do not ride horses with hooves.  Our Joshua leads His people with weapons of the Spirit; the Sword of Truth which is the Word of God.  Our armor is the Spirit of the living God who gives us life where there is death and hope where there is no hope; extinguishing the flaming arrows of the enemy and guarding our hearts and minds in Christ from despair and anguish.  Our horses are not saddled and bridled beasts of the earth, but we ride on the prayers of the saints that go before us and come after us.  They carry us swiftly to victory and never grow old and never tire of running and of battle.
This is the Lord’s army.  Strong and mighty in her Lord.  She is unstoppable and without defeat.  No one can stop her sword and no one can stand under her attack.  The Lord is relentless and He relentlessly leads His army on, engaging the enemy in every place, conquering men and establishing His kingdom.  Behold, the Lord comes.
The son of Nun that conquered Canaan was a prophecy.  The Son of Mary that conquers the wills of men is the fulfillment.  Whereas the son of Nun fought battles on the battle fields of men, the Son of God fights His battles in the hearts of men.  His Jerichos are not cities with walls, but men of pride.  His victory is not measured by land conquered or kingdoms toppled or governments established.  His victory is measured by hearts that soar at His Word, by spirits that delight in His promises; by knees that bow before Him in humble adoration.  He does not put His enemies to the sword that only kills, taking sons from their mothers and making wives into widows, but He puts them to the Sword of the Spirit that makes sinners into saints, raises dead men to life, and restores dead sons to their mothers.  He puts the solitary and lonely into His heavenly home, His Father’s house.
His sword is the Word of Truth. And it is sharper than any two-edged sword; able to separate bone from marrow and sin from the sinner.  It penetrates the hardest of defenses and breaks the strongest of wills.  It turns kings into paupers and beggars into kings.  It lays proud men low and raises the humble on high.  It devastates the self-righteous and self-sufficient and gives food to the hungry and shelter to the exposed.
You, O Christian, have been conquered.  You have been defeated by the second Joshua, the warrior-king.  You have been laid low and decimated; drowned in the sea made red by His blood.  But you have not been left there.  You have also been raised.  You have been given a new spirit, the Spirit of life and of immortality.  You are holy because your Lord is holy.  You have not been made slaves but brothers.   You have not been laid waste but that you have gained the riches of the kingdom of heaven.  Your God comes and He does not keep silence. 
His mighty voice is heard throughout the world.  The Lord has caused His majestic voice to be heard over the face of the whole earth through the preaching of His Church. His gospel goes out into all the world like a mighty trumpet proclaiming the victory and coming of our God and King, Jesus.  Every pulpit and congregation is a watchman on the tower, blowing the trumpet, heralding the coming of the Lord. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes in the future.  By this the world is conquered.
But also when a mother prays for her child; this, too, is the trumpet blast of battle.  When a father teaches his sons the ways of the Lord, it is a battle cry that puts fear into the enemy and topples the walls of Jericho.  When out of his poverty a man puts his offering in the plate, it is the honor of a warrior caring for the orphans and widows of war.  The Lord conquers by your prayers, by your devotion, by your offerings.  Not because we are anything, but because it is His good pleasure to conquer through the weakness of men. Prayer is enough, o man.  Alms and devotion are enough.  By these, as by disciplines, you watch yourself and by them you stay awake, O Christian.
By His Word, you have gladness of heart because His Word raises you from your daily sins and gives you life.  Rejoice that you have been conquered by the Son of Mary, for He comes with healing in His wings.  He is not a hard Master but welcomes you into His kingdom for the glory of God. 
In Nomine Iesu
+ Amen +