Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Time in the Word Advent 1

The new church year begins with the Second Coming. It is the one Sunday of the year which features the return of Christ as the main subject. In light of the interest in the Second Coming, the church would do well to consider this doctrine of the church and teaching of the New Testament. The Gospel calls upon us to be on the alert for the sudden, unannounced coming of Christ. The world’s cry for God to come to His people is heard in the Old Testament lesson. Paul refers to the Second Coming in the Epistle by assuring his people that they have every spiritual gift as they wait for Christ’s return. The Psalmist calls upon the Lord’s to return to help and save His people.

Collect for Advent 1Stir up Your power O Lord and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved y Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Monday, November 24, 2008 Psalm 25:1-3 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Zechariah 9:9b “Behold Your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation.” This passage of Scripture will be quoted on Palm Sunday as Jesus rides triumphantly into the city of Jerusalem. Our king comes not in triumph as a military hero by rather in humility and meekness. David and his sons did not ride horses but rather mules (see 2 Samuel 18:9; 1 Kings 1:33)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008Isaiah 64:1-9- An appeal for the Lord to return to save His people. This lesson comes from the third section of Isaiah (chapters 56-66) It was written in the period of 540-500 BC. The Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile. The exiles find a pathetic situation: Jerusalem is desolate and the temple has been burned to the ground. The people are despondent and impatient for God to come and do something about their condition. They feel that God is angry and has hidden His face from them. He is accused of causing them to sin. The people confess their sins and feel confident that God will not reject them for He is the potter and they are the clay.

Wednesday, November 26, 20081 Corinthians 1:3-9 – By grace Christians lack no spiritual gift as they wait for Christ’s return. This section of Scripture was chosen for this “Second Coming” Sunday because Paul refers to the return as the day of Christ. As the Christian waits for that final event, the promise is given that we are sustained by Christ’s grace and will be guiltless for Christ’s appearance. God is faithful in His gifts and promises.

Thursday, November 27, 2008Mark 11:1-10 – Watch for Jesus’ unexpected coming. Because the time of Christ’s return is unknown we must watch for Him. In this brief lesson the word “watch” is used four times. Twice Jesus says, “You do not know when the time will come.” This fact is the reason for being on the alert. The emphasis is laid on Jesus’ return as sudden and unexpected.

There is no place here for speculation when the time of the return will be. It is an exhortation to be ready whenever He comes. Since no one knows the time, it is necessary for the faithful to look for Him every day. The mood of Advent is not speculation but joyful anticipation of the Lord’s return.

Friday, November 28, 2008 Psalm 80:1-7 - This Psalm is the appointed psalm for this coming Sunday. Verse 7 is the key verse, “Restore us and we shall be saved”.

Saturday, November 29, 2008 Matthew 21:1-16 - Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn; “O Bride of Christ, Rejoice”. How does the Savior choose to make Himself known? Not in pomp and circumstance, not with a grand fanfare and a floury of light and sound. Instead He chooses to be placed in a manger, the feeding trough of the animals. He is born in a stable where beasts are kept. Not the place you would go looking for the savior of the world.

But this is the amazing thing about our Savior, He chooses to be found in those places the world would least expect. He chooses to reveal Himself in those places the world considers unimportant. He chooses to exert his power in what an unbelieving world considers weak and of little consequence.

The cruel cross of Calvary looks ahead of us even in Advent. Does the death of a condemned man seem compelling enough to offer atonement? Could His life and sacrifice really save you? The surroundings and the circumstances of His birth predict His death. They are the means by which we find peace with God and absolution for our sin.
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO


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