Summary: A sermon for the 2nd Sunday in Advent Series A A sermon about repentance
2nd Sunday Advent
"An Honest View of Yourself."
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit that befits repentance, and do not presume to say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:1-12, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Babe born in the manger. Amen
From the Book "A Sign in the straw" by Pastor Richard Hoefler comes the following:
"A well known lecturer related that he had been a coal miner in his boyhood and told about first day as a mule wagon driver.
Before that day his father sat down and told him about all the dangers he might encounter and warned him to drive with caution.
There was one spot called "Deadman’s Fork".
It began with a steep decline and a curve in the mine passage. Immediately after this curve was a fork and the passage divided into two tunnels. One tunnel went only a few yards and then dropped off hundreds of feet into an abandoned shaft.
On his first trip behind his mule riding a big load of coal, he approached "Dead Man’s Fork".
His heart began to pound in his chest. As he started down the decline, the hill, the heavy load pushed at the mule and he started to. run. The boy pulled with all of his might on the reins, but the mule refused to slow down.
Fear suddenly gripped the boy, his legs went cold, his body trembled as he could hardly hold the reins over the mule’s back.
He panicked, And in his panic he couldn’t remember which passage he should take at the fork.
Was it the left one? No! It is the right one! Or is it??
His mind went blank with stark fear!! Then, just as he turned the corner and approached the dangerous fork where he must decided to go either right or left, to live or die, he saw a light.
Ahead of him in the semidarkness was a man with a lantern. It was his father! Waving the lantern his father called out,"This way, son!! This way out of the mine!!"
"That," said the lecturer,"that was the most beautiful sight I ever saw in my life. My dirty, coal-smeared father waving me to safety with the dim light of a lantern."
In those days, came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" "The voice of one crying in the wildernesses, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather girdle around his waist."
John the Baptist was like that coal-smeared father waving his son to safety. John, the wild one calling, exhorting, crying; "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
John came to prepare the people for the one who was coming, Christ the Lord. We sang in the first hymn and as we sang last week, "What Child is this" who is coming into our lives during the Christmas season? How do we get ready for him.
John gives us another clue about this one who is coming by saying;, "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with the fire."