Advent   Leave a comment


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This Sunday is the first day in the Anglican Church’s calendar and the first of the four Sundays in Advent. In the sermon today I talked about the waiting of Advent. Our current world culture finds waiting foreign, hence all the rush to make things happen faster and faster. Advent is an opportunity to choose a reflective approach to the season, an encouragement to learn to wait with hope and expectation. So what are we waiting for? What or who is coming? Originally the Israelites were waiting for the Messiah and when Jesus was born, grew up and began his ministry he was largely unrecognized as the promised Messiah. The people wanted a Saviour who would end Roman rule and take the throne of David, not a suffering King who would die to be raised to glory accomplishing salvation not only for the Jews but for all who believe. From where we are in history the Christmas babe has accomplished the reason he came, to offer salvation for all who put their trust in him.

We no longer wait for him in his role of Saviour, or do we? For some, the Christmas babe is a more comfortable concept if he remains in the manger. For those who have entered into a relationship with their crucified, risen, glorified saviour, he has brought the peace and favour promised by the angels to the shepherds so long ago on that Christmas eve.  (Luke 2:13)  Now we long for his return to bring righteousness and justice to our troubled world. The question comes what is our role to be as we ‘wait.’ When the Israelites cried out in Isaiah for God to rend the heavens and come down, restoring the throne of David, removing them from exile and rebuilding the irtemple, they failed to recognize the bigger picture God’s vision. God was already with them and 

The Vision insists that God’s own strategy (עצה) is behind it all. The coming of the empires is part of it. The scattering of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem fit the pattern. But his people do not “know,” cannot “see” or “hear,” or “understand.” To the very last, only a small minority are willing to take part in his “new world.”

Watts, J. D. W. (2002). Vol. 24: Word Biblical Commentary : Isaiah 1-33. Word Biblical Commentary (4). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
Yet in all this it sees Yahweh at work to fulfill his purposes with Israel and Jerusalem as expressed in promises to Abraham and David.
Watts, J. D. W. (2002). Vol. 25: Word Biblical Commentary : Isaiah 34-66. Word Biblical Commentary (x). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
So are we like the Israelites failing to see, to hear and understand what God is doing in our world as we wait for Christ’s return to rule and reign? Could his plan be for us to be more responsive for his plans of restoration in our world, now, hearing, seeing and understanding. According to the way I read scripture God’s primary desire is for us to know Him, to live dependent on him for every facet of our modern, hectic lives. As we move into that knowing dependency he is free to work through us to accomplish his will on earth as he does in heaven, bringing heaven to earth.
This is worth waiting for, waiting is not doing nothing it is more about living that knowing, dependent life in expectancy that God is work in us and through us to change our world. As believers we are the body of Christ, his hands and feet on earth. Remember what he told his disciples in Matthew 25 “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”, etc. and in the story the righteous will respond, “Lord, when did we see you hungry?” etc. In verse 40, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
In the waiting atmosphere of Advent I pray that we can reflect on God’s plan for us from before the creation of the world seeing, hearing and understanding how he wants to use us to bring his plan for our troubled world into being. Is heaven on earth really possible? 

 

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Posted 01/12/2008 by ergliangel45 in Uncategorized

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