Summary: A sermon for the first Sunday in Advent.
“THERE IS PEACE”
By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
Will there ever be peace?
Right now, America and much of the world is at war.
But this is not the only kind of war that is going on--the conventional war that we keep
hearing about on television and reading about in the newspapers.
There are men, woman and children who are at war within their own bodies due to lack
of food, while some of us are forced not only to count our own calories, but also to buy diet food
for our dogs and cats.
Nation is rising against nation, and at the same time families are rising against families as
children are becoming more rebellous, more disobedient, and more out of control.
And their is war within our souls as we are bombarded daily with high-tech gagetry and
new forms of entertainment that are just calling out our names....tempting us, diverting our
attention, and wasting our time.
Yes, there are wars being fought all around us.
In hospital beds as people are racked with pain.
In our streets as gang members protect their turf like a pack of dogs.
And in our homes as mommy and daddy fight, as son and daughter disobey, and as we all
try to scratch and claw our ways to some grand illusion called the American Dream.
It’s amazing that any of us are even sane at all, and sometimes I even wonder if we are,
but in our Scripture lesson for today we see a prophecy of hope.
We see that some day, the instruments which cause destruction will be turned into
instruments of construction and there will be no more war.
When will this happen?
How will this happen?
And will we be the ones who will experience this?
In verse two of our Scripture lesson, the Prophet Isaiah declares, “In the last days the
mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised
above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.”
Okay, this will happen in the last days, but what are the last days?
Well, in a very real sense, the last days began with the first coming of Christ which we
will be celebrating in 23 days.
God came to earth in the form of a human being, and was tempted in every way that we
are tempted, but never gave in....never sinned.
He felt all the cravings of the flesh, and proved it possible to overcome them.
He taught us how to live through His teachings and His actions, and then He was
slaughtered as an innocent offering for our sins so that we might have a way to be reconciled to
Then He was resurrected, proving that death has no hold on Him, and that death has no
hold on anyone who is in Him.
This was first realized at Pentacost when the Holy Spirit came down from heaven like
tongues of fire and completely filled the first apostles.
And a crowd gathered, and they were amazed, and they asked one another: “What does
this mean?”, and some of them said that they had had too much wine.
But Peter stood up and told the crowd that they were not drunk, but that this was the
beginning of what had been prophesied that “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my
Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see
visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
So the partial fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy began with the first coming of Christ, with
those who first believed in Him...the fishermen who became His disciples, those who were
healed because of their faith, the woman at the well who became a believer, and her entire town
which converted because of her testimony and witness.
And we must not forget those who repented, believed, and were baptized at Pentacost.
Yes, these people became the Church, and ever since, over the past two thousand years
people have been flocking to this Church and finding....peace!
But this is a spiritual peace, a peace that passes all understanding, a peace that is able to
take over the human heart in the face of all the craziness that is going on in the world.
Back to our Scripture lesson, what is “the mountain of the Lord’s temple....” that will “be
raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it?”
It is the Church, the Church of Jesus Christ.
What Isaiah was prophesying was that one day it would become clear to many people
that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Church of Jesus Christ would be the way to find peace.