Sermons

Summary: As Christmas approaches many people become discouraged despite the festivities yet we have everything to live for according to all of today's readings. Read on!

  Study Tools

This sermon was delivered to St Oswald’s in Maybole,

Ayrshire, Scotland on the 13th December 2019

(a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

Summary: As Christmas approaches many people become discouraged despite the festivities yet we have everything to live for according to all of today's readings. Read on!

Welcome

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent and it can be a time of depression for many, yet we have everything to life for. So the theme of today's service is hope and encouragement; which we see in all three of today's readings. For now, we will start with the peace.

We meet in Christ's name. Let us share his peace.

Today's readings are: Zephaniah 3:14-20; Philippians 4:4-7 and Luke 3:7-18 and Canticle 9.

Prayer: Father, let your message this morning be one of hope and expectation. Father let my words convey your message, and may we be blessed with your peace; which surpasses all our understanding. Amen.

Introduction

Our first reading this morning came from the book of Zephaniah and I will be honest, it is not a book I have spent much time studying as Zephaniah was number nine of the twelve minor prophets in the Old Testament. These prophets are normally referred to as the prophets of doom; but Zephaniah is different; full of hope, and expectation.

The book of Zephaniah was written over 600 years before the birth of Jesus: at a time of international intrigue externally ... and the alluring threat of idolatrous worship internally.

After a great number of condemning prophesies of doom by his cohorts, Zephaniah promised a day of great rejoicing when God would walk on this earth, and be present among His people. This would bring not only forgiveness and security from oppression; but prosperity and renown among all His people.

Zephaniah went on to say that God would bring great judgment, not only to Israel, but to all nations ... and God would reconcile Himself with his people; motivated by His everlasting love which he promised in His covenant with Israel. This reconciliation was to be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, 600 year hence; so it was still to be brought to completion by the work of the spirit, (with a small s), human spirit in all who believe. Reconciliation means put right, bring together, or resolve. God was to reconcile Himself with man ... so what a wonderfully thought for those people back then.

====================

We now move onto our Gospel reading which describes the events just before the ministry of Jesus, about 30 AD. Here John the Baptist is preparing the way, for the coming of the Messiah; which will be sooner rather than later.

John’s preaching seems harsh and fundamental to our modern ears, but several themes stand out in John’s message:

 the absolute sovereignty of God in spite of ritual correctness,

 far-reaching social justice,

 and the promise of a messiah who would come in judgment to win a glorious victory.


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion