Pastor's Pen 12/01/2015
The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.(Isaiah 7)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Blessed Advent. The season of Advent focuses us on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The earth prepares to receive her King. This preparation has been going on ever since the Fall into sin. Where Adam and all of Adam's Children now live outside of paradise.
But God's promises are passed down from age to age, generation to generation, and from parents to children – the promise of the coming Savior Jesus Christ for you. He shall bruise your head,you shall bruise his heel. (Genesis 3) The promise that God spoke in the Garden – the promise is all about Jesus - His rescue of you, His Kingship, His power to defeat the Devil and bring you back to God. What a grand and glorious promise! What joy and anticipation to look forward to God's coming to earth--brings rescue.
O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel! (357)
The promises of God about Immanuel coming to save you. We hear and believe. Singing of the coming of our King. Singing that is filled with rejoicing in Jesus. What God promises--He does. For God always keeps His promises. When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4)
How does one prepare for God's coming to earth? Put up lights? Set a tree in our home? The list of things we do can be a great tradition – and also full of meaning rightly understood. But how to prepare for God coming to you? Repent! By repenting of your sin. Indeed! Because Jesus is coming to save sinners, sinners like us. What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus. (Acts 3)
Advent is filled with God's Word for you. God's promises. God coming to you in His Holy Word and Blessed Sacraments filling you with repentance. God gifting you repentance so that you can receive your King, Jesus Christ.
Rejoice – Jesus comes for you. Your sins, Jesus takes them and buries them in His body. Jesus shed His blood to cover you and dies in the place of sinners. Jesus gets up from the grave, our King has risen, He has risen indeed. Jesus brings life everlasting to you in the gift of faith. (Ephesians 2)
Rejoice – Jesus comes for you. Christ the King showers you with His gifts in Holy Baptism. For Jesus is Immanuel--God with us. This is the promise He made to you in Holy Baptism to never leave you nor forsake you. (Matthew 28)
May this Advent be one that is filled with rejoicing as King Jesus serves you. Rejoice in repenting and believe in God's promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He serves you with His Gifts that reign eternal.
357 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save, And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!
- Pastor Berndt
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