2017 12 03 Lorna Laister The First Sunday of Advent
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Advent - Waiting                 SERMON SUMMARY                       Lorna Laister                           3 December 2017

“Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come….STOP!!

What? What does this mean? If Jesus is our king, and a king needs a kingdom, then surely the kingdom is here – because we sure have a king!! So why pray your kingdom come?

Today marks the beginning of advent. This is the new beginning – a new year of Christian worship. We don’t only anticipate or celebrate the Xmas side of things (Jesus has come) It is celebrated in all 3 “comings”

  • Jesus has come
  • Jesus is coming (in the present, continuously)
  • Jesus will come again

ADVENT MEANS COMING or BEGINNING. It is a time of celebration and ANTICIPATION. Over 4 weeks we look at hope, joy peace and love

Today is the beginning of Advent the focus is on what is often referred to as Jesus’ second coming

THAT through the darkness of this world –His light will shine

Why must he return? Don’t you just want God to step in and fix things?

People are depressed with so much bad news. Paul said this Philippians 4:4-9. You see we all fear. That is healthy. It is a God given emotion. But when we dwell on our fears – then it is anxiety. Anyone who has been through anxiety attacks will tell you that this is NOT healthy!!

Fear sees a snake and says “run!” Anxiety says, “Don’t ever go outside because there might be a snake!”

  • Fear is a healthy response to a threat
  • Anxiety is unnecessary meditation upon that threat

One day there will be no more pain anxiety suffering (as we saw in the opening scripture). But the world carries on as if there is nothing wrong. Even though it is spiralling down into disaster! We can sing O come O come Emmanuel!! The opposite of anxiety is FAITH. Sometimes we have to ask for that faith, sometimes repeatedly. So that God can grow the fruit of joy.

PEACE JOY AND FAITH are the outcome of a life spent IN Christ. That’s why he is COMING all the time!!!

My job is simply to abide in Christ. To the degree that I abide in Christ, that I cling to him, that I love him, that I turn to him, that fruit of peace is just going to be. It’s going to happen.” MAX LUCADO. So, abiding in Christ will grow the fruit of faith, joy peace. Why do we need faith in Advent? Because we are hoping for something we cannot see. We cannot prove. Yet it is the truth. We are hoping for the fulfilment of the kingdom. This is what is means to us as Christians. We have hope. We should have joy too.  THEN HIS LIGHT WILL SHINE

God’s promises

READ Revelation 22:6-7

these words are the glue that holds us together when everything around us is unravelling. miscarriages and cancer, job changes and terrorist attacks, God is still a god who keeps his promises. when he says he will do something, he will do it. SLIDE

WE ARE DIFFERENT!

Advent is about a promise

In the garden, when Adam and Eve first sinned and all the world turned away, God promised to send a son who would redeem and reconcile all that was lost and save the world from their sins. when Jesus came, God proved that he keeps his word.

the first Christmas wasn’t about warm fuzzies and fake smiles. It’s not only about presents and trees and food. it was an act of war on death and darkness—planned from before the foundation of the world by a god who doesn’t lose. God went to war through a baby!

So that his light would shine through the darkness

READ Philippians 2:6-11  READ the one who hung the stars and created all things was born to a virgin in a barn so that he might be hung on a cross by the very ones he created. he lay down his life that we might live.

this is our God—the one who fulfils all that he says. if he has done all this before, proving himself faithful, then we can surely count on him to keep his word now!

And his should produce the joy we need SO THAT THE WORLD CAN SEE WE ARE DIFFERENT

Advent is about the future

Advent reminds us that this same God has promised that just has he has come before, he will return to make all things right and all things new. to fix all that is broken. to destroy sin, sickness, and sorrow once and for all, and to shine the perfect light of his glory on us forever.

He won’t return as a baby in a manger, but as a conquering king who puts death and darkness under his feet for good and lets us share in his victory for eternity. Advent is the realistic hope; it is the truest joy in the midst of deepest sorrow. it is the beauty we see through the tears.

  • God has not abandoned the world.

How about this for anticipation!! Romans 8:19-25 The Message (MSG)

Keep hoping. Keep celebrating. Keep waiting. Keep abiding. Then the fruit will grow. Then we can witness. Our God who keeps his promises will surely keep this one too. This is what we believe – even though the world is still turned away from God in many ways –they do not pay heed to the promises and the hope that we have. The hope that produces joy

In the apostle Paul’s times they thought Jesus was returning immediately. He had to discipline them because they were NOT WAITING WELL. They were quarrelling and fighting over little kingdoms and took their eyes off Jesus and HIS kingdom. Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-16 The Voice (VOICE)

“We are prone to the same pitfalls that befell the Corinthians. We tend to focus on the world “that is” rather than the one that is “to come.” …… Advent reminds us that our ultimate hope is not in this world. …We are reminded that we are not looking for a king or kingdom of our own—our King has come, and invites us to help build his kingdom as we await his return in glory”. MICHELLE FLEMING

So how are we waiting? Anticipation; longing; Not nervous waiting. Not trying to earn our way into the kingdom. Advent says the ‘not yet’ will be worth it

  • active – building the kingdom
  • hope filled – and different!


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