Summary: When will wars come to an end? When will all people live in harmony? This sermon gives us the answer.
My assignment today is to talk about peace. So naturally I think of war. It seems that humans are very keen on war. In many ways, it is our thing. We talk peace and make war.
In the past 6,000 years of recorded history only 200 of those have been peaceful. It is estimated that between 90 and 95 % of all known societies have engaged in war on a fairly regular basis. And yet we talk peace. And all sorts of smart people have claimed we were on the verge of utopia. In 1897 Hiram Maxim invented the fully automatic machine gun. He predicted that it would bring about worldwide peace because his gun had such devastating effects. I wonder how that worked out?
Orville Wright believed that when he and his brother invited the airplane it would ‘make further wars practically impossible’. In 1912 Marconi, the inventor of the radio, predicted that ‘the coming of the radio will make war impossible.’ Two years later we had World War I. In 1871 Alfred Nobel - the man who started the Nobel prizes and was the inventor of dynamite believed that his invention would usher in world peace. It seems that in spite of all well-meaning intentions we humans keep on going to war.
Our Old Testament text from Isaiah 11 paints a startling contrast to this and to most of what we see around us.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and a little child shall lead them.
Nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
When we pray Sunday by Sunday the prayer our Lord taught us “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is what it will look like.
All of us dream of a day when no one will have to carry a gun. When there will be worldwide peace. When everyone will be treated fairly; no babies bombed in Syria. No racism. No land grabs.
We dream of that day the prophet Isaiah saw: when there will be peace in the valley. The grizzly bear and the Jersey cow will eat from the same pail. The lion and the lamb will lie down together and little children will have rattle snakes for pets. And we will finally get the world leader we don’t deserve. King Jesus will take His rightful place. And the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
One of the functions of the Advent Season is to look at the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. At this time of the year we not only look back to Bethlehem and the tiny Baby but we also look forward. We look to the Mount of Olives when His pierced feet shall once more touch the Western Slopes in power and great glory. This same Jesus who was taken away from us shall come again.
Every Christian is a dreamer. Every time we recite the Lord’s Prayer we dream. Every time we say the words ‘thy Kingdom Come’ we dream of a world without war; without greed, without hunger. We dream of worldwide peace.
This glorious day will come when we get the world leader we don’t deserve. Up to this point in history, for the most part, we have had the leaders we deserved. Selfish, greedy, cruel, incompetent men – men for the most part. Men who became corrupt with power. Go back over the centuries. The more powerful the leader; the more corrupt he became. There are few exceptions.
• James I of England,
• the Medieval Popes,
• the Caesars,
• Alexander the Great,
• the Pharaohs of Egypt.
But didn’t we get what we deserved? Aren’t these leaders and exaggerated reflection of the common man? In our own homes, at work and school, with the little power we have are we not selfish, greedy and sometimes cruel? So isn’t it about time we got a leader who we don’t deserve. King Jesus is the Leader we really don’t deserve.
Psalm 72 that was read this morning tells us what this End Time Leader is going to be like. This is what we have to look forward to in the Second Advent. This is how our prayer ‘Thy will be done’ will be answered.
Jesus will Judge Fairly. He has absolute integrity and full knowledge of every situation. There has never been a judge or a world leader who could ever claim that he had absolute integrity and a full knowledge of every case. But King Jesus does.
Jesus at the Second Coming will bring prosperity to our world. Look at verse 16 in Psalm 72: There will be an abundance of grain in the land. Poverty has never been God’s will for humankind. God did not place Adam and Eve in the Garden and say to them: Now eke out an existence. He came to give us an abundant life.