Sermons on Advent
In this week’s passage, we are introduced to two faithful Israelites: Simeon and Anna, both of whom had spent their life waiting for the promised redeemer, God’s Messiah. Unlike the Pharisees who were trying to bring about the Messiah’s arrival through their good works, the Sanhedrin who had capitulated to Roman politics, the zealots who were trying to liberate Israel by force, or the Essenes who withdrew from engaging the world at all, these two faithful believers trusted God’s promises in his timing, and so found themselves in a position to meet and receive the Messiah at his arrival. The parallels for us today are obvious.
The time of John the Baptist’s birth were days of wonder and praise, for after 400 year of silence from heaven God powerfully visited his people. Like a psalmist, Zechariah sang praises to God, declaring the mighty attributes of God and his Son and prophesying about events that would soon shake the world. This Sunday we will read of these extraordinary days and the fullness of God through his Son, learning that through this we can love him and trust him more.
This Sunday we will be looking at Mary’s response to God’s promise and we will ask the question “How do we respond to God’s Promises?
The wise King Solomon, having understood and experienced many things, and blessed by God with great wisdom, makes a simple observation that we can all resonate with: “A deferred hope makes the heart sick.” – In our passage this week, we will watch a faithful Israelite couple have two of their deepest, deferred hopes suddenly fulfilled. Their reaction can give us great insight about ourselves, and point us to an unshakeable hope that will never fail us.
For us today, we say, “Jesus the Messiah has already come.” But for centuries prior to that history-making day, the people were in high anticipation. This Sunday three of our pastors will have a panel discussion examining many of the remarkable Old Testament prophecies of the advent– the coming– of Jesus.