Summary: The first sermon of Advent at Concordia Lutheran Church. It is the title and theme of the series
He Will Do What is Promised (Faith)
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May the grace of God, that incredible mercy, and peace that resides in you because of the Holy Spirit, sustain you until His imminent return!
The Time Is Close
You wondered with every passing car, whether the guests arrived. A car door closed and you rushed to the door, disappointed that it was the neighbor’s guests that arrived.
Perhaps you were even jealous.
You had worked so hard, to make your house a welcoming place, a place where everyone felt at home. Where people were able to set aside life, and enjoy each other. It is one thing for sure, to have a clean, beautifully decorated home, with great comfort food.
It takes a bit more preparation for the façade to be matched by a sense of peace, and the blessing of being a place where everyone knows they are loved. That is God’s desire for heaven as well, and He will make it happen!
That is the preparation of Advent, the adventure that we travel until we find ourselves at home with God.
Our Advent journey is preparation for His coming, preparing for our being drawn into His presence.
For it takes a bit of work to understand that He’s waited expectantly for the day of Christ’s second coming, that He is awaiting us, His family to come home!
The Wearied Wait..
I want to go back for a moment, to that time when you are glancing out the window. When you are expecting your company, friends or family you dearly love, who you have missed,
It is in that last hour, before their arrival, time seems to slow down. That every noise, whether it be a car door, a phone ringing causes your level of anticipation to race. You wonder if the food will be enough, or be good enough. You wonder if they will be comfortable as you rearrange the pillows on the couch for the thirtieth time.
That last hour seems to take a week.
Have you ever thought about God waiting for the fulfillment of time in that manner?
He knows the timing, so He doesn’t worry like we do, but can you see Him waiting expectantly for your arrival?
You need to be able to, for we aren’t the only ones who plan for the future and then wait with expectation.
Think about it, Jesus is described as the Bridegroom, the Father as the one who throws the wedding feast for His Son.
The Father, who awaits his prodigal son, the one finding the coin or the lost sheep throw feast when they find that which was lost.
Hear Jeremiah’s words again,
14 “The day will come, says the LORD, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them.
It is one of our challenges that we struggle to see God’s anticipation, a challenge caused by the guilt and shame we struggle with daily.
It is why we are uncomfortable with the silence during confession and absolution if it goes more than 15 seconds…. Yet how many of us need to take more than that time, to realize how much God frees us from?
The expectation of God blessing us in the way He promises is the nature of our Advent journey. Looking forward to His completing that which He all the good He has promised us, His refining us, gathering us, leading us home.
Back to the first promise, the one that when it came true at the cross, made the rest possible.
The Promises Coming True
Hear Jeremiah’s words once again,
"I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them.
15 “In those days and at that time I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. 16 In that day Judah will be saved," (NLT)
Judah and Israel, the divided kingdom of God’s people, back together. Those who stayed dedicated to God and the prodigal brothers who have finally come back home.
It represents the people of God, in its entirety, those who have known God all their lives, and those who come back at the end of time.
In that day, because of One who was completely righteous, completely without sin, and His sense of what it just and good, and to use the old word from the liturgy, salutary, because of the Righteous one’s benevolent love, because of the sinless One’s actions done in love, the people of God will be saved.
Have been saved.
For the last sentence of Jeremiah’s promise, of this prophecy says it all.
The Lord is our Righteousness.
He became everything we would need, that we would be able to come home to God. On the cross, He took care of every sin, and then in the resurrection, He brought us back to life.