Happenings

Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.





30 November 2014

Sermon: Advent 1B (OT)

30 November AD 2014

Theme: Come, Lord

Rending the Heavens Summary: Often during Advent, Christians are called to ponder and to receive with joy the “now, not yet” of their Savior. The “now” is the Jesus who came in the flesh at Bethlehem, who lived a sinless life, died for our sins, and rose again from the dead. The “now” is also His coming to us in Word and Sacrament. The “not yet” is His promised return at the end of time.

Christians also confront another “now, not yet.” With one breath, we cry out, “Now, O Lord.” We echo Isaiah, “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down ... to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence.” We want our Lord to return in glory to set all things right.

Yet because of our sin, we’re tempted to pray with even more fervor, “Not yet, God!” We aren’t ready to receive Him whose anger burns at all sin, including our own. Each of us wants more time to fix what’s not right in order to be that one “who joyfully works righteousness.” But that won’t happen because The Lord’s demand for righteousness is absolute and we cannot attain it on our own.

However, we fear not because we know that we have Christ’s righteousness as gift. All who believe in the Son receive credit for His good works and faithfulness. Our sins, put to death with Him on the cross, are left behind and we trust that because of His sacrifice, the Father certainly will “remember not iniquity forever.” And we, cleansed of sin freed of guilt, can cry out with joy, “Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)”

While we remain here, we welcome God’s presence in our lives. For even as He continues to forgive our sins and declare us righteous, so He also works His righteousness in and through us, shaping us by the Gospel and the Holy Spirit as a potter shapes his clay.

Potter and Clay Text: Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence — as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil — to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways.

Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people. Isaiah 64:1-9

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 Come, Lord.

Other Readings: Psalm 80:1-7; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 11:1-10 or Mark 13:24-37

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