Summary: An Advent sermon that encourages us to engage in daily repentance with Jesus.
As we get closer to the end of the year what are you looking forward to?
Family get togethers.
The prophet Isaiah in chapter 11 lays out a picture of something that all followers of Jesus Christ can look forward to.
Listen again to a few verses of Isaiah chapter 11.
As I read this again think about what images comes to mind.
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling a together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.
Is that something worthwhile looking forward to?
Eventually when Jesus comes again,
everyone and everything will be living together, peacefully.
And throughout Advent we are not just preparing to get together with family,
or even to celebrate the coming of baby Jesus at Christmas.
If that is what our Christmas preparations are all about then we will miss out.
There is something far more important than Christmas day to prepare for.
Advent is also about preparing for Jesus’ second coming.
It is the time when we will experience Jesus completing his work .
And this includes the images of Isaiah chapter 11 being real.
It is important to remember that Jesus will come again.
And when he comes again he comes to judge the living and the dead as the Nicene Creed and 1 Peter says.
Now something for you to think about;
Are you living with this in mind?
Are you living your life with the fact that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead?
Last week our texts orientated around us being ready!!
This week we are encouraged not just to be ready for Jesus to come again but to repent in preparing for Jesus!!
This is not a popular word for many people.
I am yet to hear of a congregational call paper say, we are looking for a pastor who will call us to repent.
Many people would prefer to come up with excuses or reasons why they acted in ways contrary to God’s will than consider repenting.
But remember this;
no matter how good your excuse is,
or how viable you think your reason is for acting and living contrary to God’s way.
When Jesus returns it will not wash.
Jesus is not interested in your excuses or reasons.
He is interested in your repentance.
So what is repentance?
Repentance requires you first to listen to God.
Remember it is God who sets the standards, not you.
The place to find God’s requirements is in scripture.
And the simplest statement of God’s requirements is the phrase Jesus gave us.
It is the phrase our parish has adopted as the mission statement.
That phrase is we should love God and love others as we love ourselves.
That is the foundational point for our entire life.
Everytime we fail in that area, we have sinned.
Everytime we don’t live up to that statement we have sinned.
So the statement from scripture of loving God and loving others as yourself should be central to everything you do.
All your actions, words and thoughts should be measured on this statement.
Everyday this week I am encouraging you to examine your day
and in your prayer time to ask God where I have not shown love to Him or to others,
ask yourself that same question.
Now God’s word originates from scripture,
however it is not the only place we receive it.
Often God puts people in our life to share God’s word,
and at times they may say hey you need to repent.
Usually they don’t say it that way.
Often they say things like we should, or you should.
For instance recently I read of a story of a congregation.
This congregation was a fairly orderly congregation.
Recently some homeless people had been gathering and resting in their grounds.
One day one of them asked the pastor, about opening the church hall when the weather was bad and allowing them to have a coffee.
Immediately the pastor replied that this was probably not possible.
However the next day when discussing the instance with an elder.