Searching for....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sermon 11302011 Mid-Week Advent 1

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  As we hear the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy, may we understand our willful choice determines our eternal destination.  Yet the promise Jesus Christ made to the thief on the cross and to us like Daniels prophecy will be fulfilled.  May we hear and heed God’s call and during this Advent season, may our hearts be stirred up to understand the true role of the Prophet, Priest and King we call Jesus Christ.  For though these prophecies are from the Old Testament and find fulfillment in the New Testament, may we begin to see and understand them as applicable for us today here in Goodland, KS for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

Recently, Mary our secretary caught me doing something.  Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t illegal or immoral, nor was it moving boxes or items in the church or office, it wasn’t shoveling snow, but to some it would have been just as loud and distracting.  You see, I was whistling.  When we were preparing for Shirley Boll’s funeral, one of the songs chosen, was “Shall We Gather at the River”.  And my love for whistling came out and I could not stop whistling “Shall We Gather at the River”.  The refrain for the song reads, “Yes, we’ll gather at the river, / The beautiful, the beautiful river; / Gather with the saints at the river / That flows by the throne of God.  This gathering that will take place is reminiscent of the fulfillment of the prophecy that Daniel foretold which we heard about on Sunday, where the Son of Man will come in clouds where He will have power and dominion forever over His Kingdom.  And we have a choice to make, hence our free will.

And so from St. Matthew we find the fulfillment of the Daniel passage.  Hear again, the words of Matthew 24:

29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

There are some who would say, Daniel’s prophecy has not been fulfilled.  So how could you say it is fulfilled here in Matthew?  But the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy isn’t ‘normal’ per se.  This passage from Matthew reveals to us how God actually works and functions.  You see as humans on this earth we have been created by God who created all things including the heavens and the earth, the sun, moon and stars and God made all of these things subject to time.  But time is something which God is not limited to.  The Maker of all things is not ruled by something He created, so time to God does not exist.  This is why as we confess in our Catechism that God is first and foremost ‘eternal’ – without beginning and without end.  As Peter says, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

Therefore, prophecies about God sometimes though yet to be fulfilled are written about, like in our case with Matthew reminding us of the prophecy of Daniel and the foretelling of Jesus “and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”.

Thus, just as the people of Daniel’s time were given the opportunity and free will to chose life, we to are given this opportunity.  As we sit here tonight, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, who came down from heaven in a lowly manger is calling us prepare our hearts, minds and spirits for His second coming.  In anticipation of the Great Second Coming, that will be fulfilled in its proper earthly time we prepare for this by remembering His first coming in the lowly manger.  For it was in the lowly manger that the wheels of our redemption were set in motion that led Jesus Christ to the cross of Calvary where He suffered and died for our sins and the sins of mankind.  Jesus redemptive act completed for all time and for all of humanity when He uttered the words, “It is finished”, signaled the completion of His earthly ministry of His first coming, and began the countdown for His second coming “on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

So what is your choice, will you choose eternal life with Your Savior in heaven, and enjoy the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel in Matthew?  Or will you choose death and live life for today and willfully dread the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel?
It is my prayer that you choose eternal life and the joyful journey Jesus Christ offers all of us for all eternity.  For He makes this offer to each of us because of what He has completed and fulfilled for each of us on the Cross of Calvary for all of us saints here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
//trial script