Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 13:24-37
• (a couple in the congregation waiting for the birth of their granddaughter)
(an engaged couple waiting for their wedding day)
We are waiting for Christmas. We prepare with special decorations, presents, meals, vacation/family time.
• Waiting for celebration of birth of Christ
Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness...
• Isaiah text – what are they waiting for? God’s undeniable earth-shaking presence... the people (God’s people) have long felt God’s absence. They’ve wallowed in brokenness and sin and have lost wars and homelands. There’s a clear lack of righteousness in the land.
Perhaps we join them in wondering O God, Where Art Thou?
We look around and it isn’t hard to see fruits of sinful nature.
We look back and say We’ve been anticipating Christ’s return since he was here the first time, what’s up with that?
• We look to Jesus for words of comfort and guidance and are astonished to hear warning and judgment. We hear him tell his disciples they’ll see his return, and we hear him say nobody knows the day or the hour.
• One thing Jesus anticipates is the destruction of the
, and I see in there a word of faith in God over faith in man. This Temple , beautiful though it be, will not stand forever. No human edifice will stand forever. Plastic does not degrade, but in no ways will plastic outlast God. God is greater. Temple
Another thing Jesus anticipates is the completion of his purpose: to gather God’s people.
Jesus says we will not know the time, therefore we should always be ready, trusting in the Father’s choice of history
and we shall live expectantly, in some ways like a pregnant woman (labor pains of birth of God’s kingdom)
• Reminded of Paul’s dilemma in Philippians 1: ready to die, eager to be with Christ, but eager to work for Lord in the meanwhile. Not anxious but content and busy.
“Many times when I go to bed at night, I think to myself that before I awaken, Christ may return.” - Billy Graham
• Our prayer is Come, Lord Jesus, bring righteousness into the world.
God is faithful. Jesus is coming.
And until he comes our plan is to bring Christ’s righteousness into the world by the way we live our lives.
The kingdom is coming and it is here. Bless God.
• Hymn insert hymn of advent Peace In Our Time