Summary: A sermon for the 2nd Sunday in Advent
2nd Sunday Advent
"Look, Jesus is Coming"
"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 Christ. Amen
There is a purely American art form that has been lost to the American scene over the last 20 to 15 years. It is the Circus Poster. Some of you can remember those colorful posters that were hung about a month before the circus would come to your area announcing the greatest show on earth. These posters would announce the glory, the "thrills, the glamor and the excitement of the most magical of worlds SOON to arrive for one day and one day only.
The life of the bill poster was tedious and hard work, never accompanied by applause or any sign of appreciation. Few people even noticed him at work, but when he was done, the results of his hard work were seen on barn sides, wooden fences and store windows. It was not at all his job to call attention to himself; his job was to leave a visible sign, a visible proclamation of the greater than himself that was yet to come.
The Circus was coming to town!!
So, our text for this morning from Matthew’s gospel, tells of another whose job was not to point attention to himself, but to one who was coming who was greater than I." John was not the big show, but he came to proclaim that the big show was coming. Jesus was coming.
Yes, this is the season to get ready, to prepare for one who is coming. We light the Advent candles on the wreath this morning as a signal that someone.is coming and we have the next 3 weeks to get ready. But ready for who?? Who is coming? Beginning today and continuing the next weeks of Advent, we will answer that question, who is coming. We will answer the question posed.by our .hymn of the day,"What child is this, who laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?"
What child is this? Who is coming? Does he get confused with another who is coming this season? I would imagine if we asked our children who is coming they might answer with another song that is sung during this season: "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town! He knows when you’ve been sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake!
Yes, this is the season to get ready. Ready for the Christ child in our, lives. 4John the Baptist gives us a hint this morning about how we are to get ready for the Christ
child in our lives. .John brought and still brings into our lives a message for personal repentance. This message that told and tells people they need get out of the ruts, the grooves they are in, to change, to turn around from the kind of lives they are living to repent to .change to make 180 degree, turn. Advent is the time for us to look at; our: lives to note the changes that need to be made then to make them.