Advent 2 (Populus Zion)
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Delivered By
Pr. Lovett
Delivered On
December 9, 2012
Central Passage
Luke 21:25-36
Description

 

Thank you to the Rev. Fr. Jason Braaten for your thoughts that inspired this sermon.

 

+ Luke 21:25-36 +
 
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
 
There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nation in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world. When you see these signs, you know the kingdom of God is near.
 
We have seen these signs. The eastern seaboard has witnesses the fury of the sea and the waves. People are always saying to one another, “I don’t what this world is coming to.” They faint with fear when they think about the troubles and evil that nations inflict and leaders and rulers inflict. The signs are apparent. The kingdom of God is at hand.
 
The signs of the age that our Lord gives have been since the days of Noah and have never stopped. Surely the world was filled with fear and foreboding as the sea rose and the waters began to cover everything. Yet your Lord doesn’t say to “Watch the signs.” He says when you see the signs, straighten up for your redemption draws near. But he doesn’t say, “Watch the signs.” That’s because the signs are always there because the kingdom of God is always at hand, and your redemption is always near. So He doesn’t say, “Watch the signs,” but rather, He says, “watch yourselves.” Watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the cares of this life. We don’t keep watch on the signs, we keep watch on ourselves.
 
But this isn’t moral advice. The Lord is not telling you to stay positive, don’t drink, and don’t be materialistic. Jesus isn’t telling you to watch your morality closely. He is saying don’t loose heart! Whatever happens around you and even to you – the signs of the end of the age – watch yourselves so that you don’t loose heart.
 
The Lord encourages you and gives you endurance to suffer the violence of this world and the troubles of life by giving you the Scriptures, which record for you the lives of godly and faithful people. The Scriptures teach us that the people of God always busy themselves with waiting on the Lord no matter what sort of evil was around them.
 
Moses waited on the Lord and the Lord delivered him and all Israel from Egypt through the Red Sea. Israel waited on the Lord – albeit with great complaining – and the Lord fed and clothed them in the wilderness. David waited on the Lord when Saul persecuted him, and the Lord delivered to David the kingdom. Everywhere the Scriptures depict the faithful as those who wait on the Lord. They are the ones whose strength is renewed and who run without wearying.
 
Like all the saints before us, we are in a holding pattern until the Man of Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, reveals Himself to all the nations, to all men, women, and children of every people, tribe, and language, when He will come again to judge the living and the dead. So we gather in solemn assembly to eat the bread and drink the cup, for as often as we do, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes in the future. Here we are keeping watch on ourselves and waiting for the coming of the Son of Man.
 
The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for the forgiveness of your sins and for the sins of the whole world. He was raised from the dead because He was found without sin and was obedient to the will of God in everything. Having been raised from the dead He ascended to the right hand of God and rules all things in His mercy and peace. He has grafted you into Himself, taking what was once wild and dying and cultivating it into His own life so that in Him you become alive and live forever. The life you now live – the immortal life – is hidden in Him who is raised from the dead and ascended to the throne of God almighty.
 
This is good news! This is the gospel! And by it you have endurance to wait out the troubles and evils of this life just as Noah waited in the ark, waiting for the Lord to deliver him and his family from the waters of death that swirled beneath him. Noah did not loose heart because the Lord was with him in the ark. Neither do you loose heart because the Lord is with you. He is the ark of salvation in which you rest securely, waiting for the end of the age.
 
This life is hard and full of trouble. Death seems to stalk us at every corner. Friends desert us, family forsakes us. We are as sheep to the slaughter. But we do not loose heart we wait for the revealing of the sons of God when the heavens and earth shall pass away and there will be a new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells.
 
Keep watch on yourselves. Receive what the Lord gives because He gives it to those whom He receives. Hear His word, eat His flesh, drink His blood; gather with His Body in His name. Bask in His glory and peace. Warm yourself in the light of His truth, for He is the sun of righteousness who heals all your diseases and cleanses you from every iniquity and sin. He is the light burns away the darkness and evaporates the fog of doubt and despair. In Him and by the power of His Spirit you abound in hope.
 
In Nomine Iesu
+ Amen +