Sermon: Advent 1A (OT)
Title: The Mountain of the Lord (MP3 Audio)
Summary: As mountains go, Zion isn’t much. It stands only 2,510 feet (765 meters) above sea level. One needn’t leave Palestine to find much higher hills. How then can the Lord promise that He will establish it “as the highest of the mountains (Isaiah 2:2)”?
God obviously meant something other than physical height: Zion would be exalted because of its importance. Faithful Israelites already understood and always spoke of going “up” to Zion, regardless of the place from whence they came. Zion was the home of the temple, “the house of the God of Jacob. (v. 3)” Here the Lord ruled His people and, most importantly, here He forgave sins.
Our Savior’s final pilgrimage to Jerusalem took Him “up to the Mountain of the Lord (v. 3)” on Palm Sunday. There He finished pouring Himself out, by the end of the week totally humbling Himself “by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)” His enemies raised Him up on the cross not to exalt but to scorn and shame Him.
Yet because He so faithfully and completely humbled Himself, the Father raised “Christ ... from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)” Now exalted, He sent forth His forgiving Word “from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3)” into “Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)”
In Baptism, even we who dwell many miles and many centuries removed from the Savior’s death and resurrection have our sinful natures put to death and are raised to “newness of life (Romans 6:4)” in Him. We belong to the nations flowing to Zion (cf. Isaiah 2:2) through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Text: The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. Isaiah 2:1-5
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of The Mountain of the Lord, preached to the saints of God at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Fayette, Missouri.
NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.
Other Readings: Psalm 122; Romans 13:(8-10) 11-14; Matthew 21:1-11 or Matthew 24:36-44 (alternate Gospel)
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