Summary: An Advent Sermon
1st Sun. in Advent
"Between two Comings !!"
A time of celebration is at hand. Yes, a time of celebration is at hand, a new year begins today!! But wait you say, Pastor, this isn’t January 1st, it is November 25th. Ah, true it is, but just the same, a new year begins today. The new church year begins today. Today begins the 1st Sun. in Advent and the season of Advent begins the church year. You will notice something else new this morning, new paraments on the altar, pulpit and lectern. They are blue in color, because BLUE is the color of Advent. Blue is the color of HOPE and Advent is the season of HOPE, WAITING, ANTICIPATION and LONGING.
We HOPE, WAIT, ANTICIPATE, and LONG for the coming of the Messiah, the righteous one of God. Our gospel lesson is a parable told by Jesus which shows very clearly the WAITING, HOPING, LONGING and ANTICIPATION of this season.
Jesus begins with a statement of HOPING, WAITING, WATCHING, LONGING and ANTICIPATION, He says: "Take heed, watch, for you do not know when the time will come." He tells us to be watchful, He tells us to be waiting, He tells us to be hopeful, He tells us to be anticipating His return. Then He proceeds to tell the disciples a parable about HOPING, WAITING, WATCHING, LONGING and ANTICIPATION.
This is a short parable, but one which is filled with many truths. This is an allegorical parable meaning each part means something. Follow along with your insert. The man is Jesus and His journey is the ascension, His servants are the church, you and I who are members of the body of Christ and He commands the doorkeeper to be on watch. The doorkeeper is a difficult term, but it could mean those who are in charge have a responsibility to keep the house in order until the master returns.
Then He gives this warning: "Watch therefore--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning--lest he come suddenly and find you asleep."
Sleep is a symbolic word for a state of unpreparedness. It means one is indifferent and unconcerned. This parable was preached to the disciples before Jesus ascended into heaven as a warning of His return and description of the work of His church while they await His coming.
Notice in these words a fore-shadowing of coming events in the Passion of Jesus.
Pastor Thomas Long in his book Shepherds and Bathrobes says on page 13: "The master could come "in the evening," and in the very next chapter, Mark tells us that "when it was evening" Jesus ate his last meal with the disciples, and tells them, "one of you will betray me." Or the master could come "at midnight," and Mark records that, later that night, the disciples went with Jesus to Gethsemane. While Jesus prayed his cry of anguish, the disciples, no doubt weary of waiting, slept. "Could you not watch one hour?" Jesus said to them. Perhaps the master will come "at cockcrow," and Peter turned to the accusing maid with a curse and a denial, "I do not know this man." The cock crowed. Maybe the coming of the master will be "in the morning," and "as soon as it was morning," Jesus was bound and led away to his trail and to his death."