ISAIAH 63:16B-17; 64:1-8
First Sunday in Advent
Fountain of Life Luth. Ch.
November 28, 1993
WE WOULD LIKE GOD TO COME AND SET THINGS STRAIGHT IN THE WORLD AND IN OUR PERSONAL LIVES!
We often reason that the world is in such a mess that it will take the personal visit by God to get things back on track.
ILLUS: George Burns, "O God" movies...we want God to show up a take care of things... put the "bad guys" in their place...pat us "Good Guys" on the back...and then leave us alone to do as we please!
We want God to straighten-out the situation in Bosnia, Somolia, North Korea, etc.
We want God to lower our taxes, and raise our entitlements.
We want God to do, what we want Him to do!
We'd like God to show up and take care of the mess in our personal lives too.
"Come on, God, come down and get me out of the financial mess in which I've find myself."
"Come down God and fix my broken marriage."
"Come down God and make my children behave."
"Show up, Lord, and turn my supervisor into a decent human being."
"Come down, God, and get rid of the alcohol, drug or sexual problem I've got."
"Don't you think its about time, Father, that You took care of the disease that's destroying my life?"
The people of Judah wanted God to straighten things out too.
They wanted God to come and destroy their enemies...especially the Edomites!
They wanted God to restore the glory of Israel as it was under King David and Solomon.
THE PROBLEM IS, WE REALLY DON'T WANT GOD TO STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT BECAUSE WE ARE THE BIGGEST MESS OF ALL.
Judah had the same problem. (vv. 5b-7)
They had secumbed to the worship of false God's through the evil of intermarriage.
They had given in to making questionable military/political alliances rather than trusting in the Lord as they had in the past.
Even the priests of the Temple has given in to a ridged formalism instead of leading the people in heartfelt worship.
We too have our doubts about God coming to clean up our act.
For one thing, we rather like our pet sins and would rather not part with them.
We know full well it is wrong, yet we continue to repeat the offense again and again.
We've tried to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps a thousand times and we've failed every single time.
We've concluded that since we can get rid of the offense, that we'll just live with it.
But God is still offended by our sins.
He has never taken a side-long glance at sin, but always confronted it with the brutal truth about ourselves.
Here's a reality check: "...all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment..."
Here's the real truth: The problem with Somolia, Bosnia, No. Korea; the problem with shattered relationships and broken families; the problem with our compulsive behaviors is found in ourselves.
It is the innate sinfulness of each of us that brings about every problem in our messed-up world.
It is the terrible curse of sin that has wrought havoc in our personal relationships, our business associations and our disease plagued world.
What's more, it is absolutely going to take a visit by God to clean it all up!
GOD HAS COME AND WILL COME AGAIN TO DESTROY THE CURSE OF SIN.
Now, in this Advent season, we prepare our hearts again to celebrate the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He had a very specific mission for which the trip had become necessary:
He had come to destroy sin and death forever...once and for all!
He had come to fulfill the Messianic promises made again and again over all the centuries from the very beginning.
He has come to destroy the root cause of this world's trials and trauma.
What we seen now are merely the "death-throws" of the end of the world and the end of sin.
What we see now is the final, futile struggle of Satan and his forces to control that which is now beyond his control.
With the birth of the Christ-child in a seemingly insignificant little town in the middle east we see the greatest event of human history beginning to unfold.
We see that our God is motivated by love, not anger.
We see our God is willing to be merciful, rather than filled with vengeance.
Do you really want this Jesus to come to you?
If so, He will forgive you every sin you have ever committed...every offense you have ever given Him...everything for which you have ever experienced shame and guilt.
So boundless is God's love in Christ!
So incredible is God's mercy through the cross.
If so, you are invited to behold the cross on which He died as well as the manger in which He was born.
The purchase of our forgiveness came at great and terrible cost...it is a gift to us, but it was not a free gift to Jesus...He paid for it all!
Here you may see the love of God as you will be able to see it nowhere else.
If so, know that the Holy Spirit of God is working this desire in your heart.
He is calling you though he power of the Word and Sacraments.
Listen to Him, hear His Word, receive new life.
Yes, we desperately want Jesus to come.
Yes, we want to celebrate Christ's coming to Bethlehem...It is a joy to worship at the manger and to rejoice in what God has done!
Yes we want to welcome Him when He comes again at the end of the age to bring the curtain down on this world's history...on the misery of the legacy of sin...on the death throws of Satan and that scoundrel's work.
Yes, we want Him to come again...to see the new heaven and the new earth...to see the place that has been prepared for us since the foundations of the world were laid.
Yes, we want Jesus to come..."Amen, come, Lord Jesus."
EME: As sinners we s
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