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Summary: The world may be filled with the rain of despair, but we are covered by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We are covered by His Purple Reign.

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For Those not Familiar with an Anglican Service there are 4 Scripture readings before the message is given. Today Scriptures were Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 and Luke 21:25-36

In a neighborhood .......in the city of Baghdad, .....a child plays on the sidewalk...... outside of his home .....when a military convoy .....drives by.

Suddenly..... a truck explodes. Gunfire breaks out. ......The child is hit.

His body,.... battered and bleeding, ....lies on the sidewalk. His mother cries ....for help.

Soldiers come ....Iraqis, .....Americans...... it doesn't matter to her, .....she simply wants someone,... anyone, .... to help her child.

A soldier.... picks the child up .....and carries him toward .....a waiting ambulance.

The sky turns purple, ....the clouds open up ....and it rains,.... and it rains,.... and it rains. (Long Pause)

The sound of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" ......flows almost un-noticeably from a speaker..... in the hallway ....of the chemo-floor .....in the hospital.

You can tell the veterans .....from the novices.

The veterans walk around...... in their bathrobes, .... their IV drips on wheels, .... a look of fierce determination..... in their eyes.

The novices ....are not quite there yet.

They still have that..... "startled deer ....in the headlights".... look.

A woman sits by herself off in the corner, .... gazing out the window, .... an empty ..... nondescript look .....on her face.

A young man comes through the door,..... looks around, ....sees her,.... and moves with haste .....in her direction.

He goes down on one knee ....and buries his head.... in her lap.

She gently... runs her hands through his hair.... as a tear streams ....down her cheek.

She looks out the window ....and sees the sky has turned purple .... the clouds open up.... and it rains, ....and it rains, .....and it rains. (Long Pause)

The lawyer's office is decorated.... in green and red; .....a giant wreath ...is attached to the front door.

They come separately ....and don't even make eye contact .....as they sit .....in the lounge area.

The lawyer calls them .....into her office.

She talks and explains, ..... but they do not really hear her.

They sign the papers..... and it is finished.

He will get the kids this Christmas, .... She will get them next year.

They leave without ever having .....said a word.

The sun is setting, ....the sky has turned purple,.... the clouds open up ....and it rains, ....and it rains, .....and it rain. (Long Pause)

Beloved.... The truth of life ......is this .... no one escapes .....living.

And living ....involves hardship and pain .....as much as it involves .......joy and gladness.

It rains ....and it storms ......just as mightily on the good .... as it does .....on the bad.

God lifts no one above the turmoil..... the pain ..... the suffering, ..... not even his Son.

The redemption .....that is ours in Christ Jesus ......is not some sort of luxury cruise ....through the calm waters .....of the Sea of....." Pain Be Gone".

God's plan ....has never been to insulate His people .....from the rain that falls, ..... it is to prepare us ....for the storms.... that will come ....our way. (Pause)

There is a reason.... that purple .....is the liturgical color ....for both Advent ....and Lent.

The purple of Advent .....reminds us that the baby born in the manger .... was born... a King.

Purple ....is the color..... of royalty. (Pause)

And the purple of Lent ....reminds us that the child born a King ....had a divinely-human destiny .... A destiny upon the throne .... of the Cross.

Purple, ....therefore,.... is both a royally joyful color ....while at the same time..... royally melancholy.

But in both cases, ....purple reminds us..... that our King reigns. Beloved......Our God reigns.

And we are covered in his reign...R-E-I-G-N..... His purple reign;

We are secure .... We are covered in His ......purple reign.

In Advent, ....we are called to look forward.... to the day .... of our King's .....promised return,

A day ...when every knee shall bow .....and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11)

Yet.... this day of return ....comes with a degree ......of foreboding.

The domesticated view of Advent.... focuses only on ....the impending birth.... of the baby King Jesus.

Yet Advent also has this tumultuous side .... that is connected to..... King Jesus' second advent.

All the rain.... that falls from the purple sky..... on the good,.... the bad, .....and the indifferent.... is all adding up ......to something.

It is all pointing .....to something.

All of the stuff in this world .....that looks so meaningless, .... so futile of purpose, ..... all the pain and suffering,

All the wars and disasters, ..... all the cancer and sickness, .... all the hopes and fears of all the years.... (Slow) are all pointing toward ...something.

And Jesus uses the language of metaphor and poetry ....to connect with the deepest parts.... of our lives....

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Talk about it...

Grant Bennington

commented on Nov 23, 2015

Excellent sermon...I loved how you tied it into the sacramental nature of communion. It would be a great sermon for first time commnicants.

J Jeffrey Smead

commented on Nov 23, 2015

Thank-you for taking time to reply and thank-you for your kind words. May it help explain the reason for Advent and reinforce the importance of the Lord's Supper. Blessings Always Jeff

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