Summary: Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! A celebration of Christ the King Sunday
Concordia Lutheran Church
The Feast of Christ the King – November 22.2009
† IN THE NAME OF JESUS, LORD AND SON †
May you be always able to focus on the goal, the incredible time when faith and hope fade from view, as the peace-filled love of God dawns with crystal clarity as you see Him reigning in all His glory! Amen!
It is Doxology Time!
The massive cleanup has been accomplished.
The tasks are but a faded memory.
The sun has set, and there is but a glow in the sky…
Everyone in the room almost simultaneously, takes a deep breath, as their bodies relax in almost an eerie quietness.
The stress of preparation and the anxiety that built all week, is satisfied by the completion of the day of feasting and fellowship, and the day is made complete, as all rest, and realize the blessing that has been shared.
That scene could be your home, or the home you visit this Thursday. Even more perhaps, I believe it describes the feeling the moment after the judgment, the moment when we realize we are in God’s presence forever, and the celebration of God’s prodigals returning home, turns into the reality of eternity in His presence.
As we celebrate this, last worship service of the church year, as we prepare to feast at the table of the Lord, we spend this time, looking to that future. We are not just looking to the future of 2010, or even 2011 or 2012. We look towards “the” future, we focus our awareness and hope to that which is described in our Introit – and we look forward to that new heaven and that new earth, described as being the home of righteousness.
As we consider this future, may our hearts soar as we express with words of praise, the glory of God, Father, Son and Spirit!
• Looking forward – 2 Pet 3:13
o New and Improved
o New Completeness
o Righteousness dwells
In the introit this morning, the antiphon is an incredible encouragement. It comes from Peter’s second epistle – a work written in the midst of persecution, and a time when the church was incredibly challenged by what was going on around it, in a world that didn’t make sense. Hear the words again,
“We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.”
I wish that we could all, in these days, remember these words daily! Not only remember them, but the incredible significance that they bring to our lives. The words are loaded with meaning, and as we grasp that, we understand even more why God deserves not only all of our praise, but all of the glory, honor, praise!
Peter tells us we are looking forward to, awaiting eagerly, this new heaven and new earth. The word new there, doesn’t just mean another, or a younger earth. It’s not just another edition of the same old thing, with the same old problems and the same old broken promises. This isn’t about the 2010 new car, that has a couple of new upgrades and a newer looking coat of paint, but in 40,000 miles will be old again. Nor is it talking about the newer television or the new computer. When God talks of a new creation, it is complete.
The new heaven and the new earth – everything that is, as one commentator put it, everything that is life, and all that sustains and contains it. In ancient times, they saw this in the idea of the egg – the new life in the yoke, being the earth, and the whites being all that in the universe that sustains life, the ecosystem, the heavenly bodies that provide light and heat and gravity and growth. The shell, being that which contains and protects it all – and the very concept of God – the egg – being all that, and more.
All, except for God, recreated, made new, made pure and perfect.
Peter describes this, as the home of righteousness, the home of that which is just. This isn’t just talking about just and righteousness as in our time – but just in the manner that everything is the way it should be- everything in creation, and everything working in harmony, in concord. Everything so good, and complete, that it is like the perfect Thanksgiving feast, where every bite is savored, as is every word is likewise enjoyed! And yet that doesn’t even begin to describe it, for the presence of God is not just felt, but experienced with every sense overwhelmed by His love, His purity, His glory!
• Look back – Pslam 39
o The Short Measure
o Lifetime = nothing
o What am I waiting for?