Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Advent Hope

Pastor Weise's Sermon - Remember the Sabbath, to Keep it Holy
Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Advent Hope

Romans 15.4-13

Midweek Advent II/December 12, 2018

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain


Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

I  It’s been said

that Advent is the season of Hope.

And it’s true—

this time of year

people hope for all kinds of things.

Some folks hope for a white Christmas.

Children hope for Santa to bring them just the right presents.

Lots of us hope for peace during these holy days.

Now, those are necessarily bad things—

But that’s not the king of hope

Advent is really about.

II         When the world speaks of hope

it’s usually just making a wish.

I hope it snows on Christmas Eve—

but I can’t really do anything about it.

I hope Santa brings me this or that—

but I don’t know if he will.

I hope my family can stop fighting long enough to celebrate Christmas—

but there are no guarantees.

When the world hopes for something—

its hope is always followed by a sentence that starts with, “But”—

because worldly hope

is really just a wish.


III       When Christians speak of hope—

we’re talking about something entirely different from worldly hope.

Our hope as Christians

is about way more than wishing.

Christian hope is a virtue given to us by God himself.

. . . now abide faith, hope, and love, St. Paul says.                           (I Corinthians 13.13)

Christian hope

is hope that looks back to those who have gone before us in the faith


it is hope that looks forward to joining all the saints of God

when Christ comes again in glory

and gathers all the saints into the mansions of the Lord.     (Hebrews 11)


Christian hope is hope

formed by tribulation

refined by perseverance

purified in our God-given character                                                               (Romans 5.4)


while being

filled up on the Word of God—                                                                        (Romans 15.4)

for the entire Bible has been written for our learning

that we

through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures

            MIGHT HAVE HOPE!                       (Romans 15.4)


This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,

both sure and steadfast,

Hebrews says.

This hope enters the Presence behind the veil,

where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus.            (Hebrews 6.19-20)

Our hope as Christians

is hope that fills us with all joy and peace in believing

                                    so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   

(Romans 15.13)

Not a single one of those promises

is followed by a sentence that begins with, “But.”


our hope is sure.

our hope is certain.

our hope is Christ.


IV        Our hope is so much more than some simple wish.

Our hope is

REAL hope.

TRUE hope.

HOLY hope—

because it is hope

that rests on

the Root of Jesse—

our Lord Jesus Christ—

whom God the Father has raised up to rule and to reign

over the Jews

over the Gentiles


over all Creation.

V         Our hope

is hope that rests on facts

not wishes.

It’s hope that rests on the fact

that Christ—the very Son of God—

was born of the Virgin Mary

put to sleep in the manger in Bethlehem on Christmas night.

It’s hope that rests on the fact

that Christ—the one mediator between Man and God—

paid for our sins on the cross of Calvary—

and rescued us from eternal suffering and torment.

It’s hope that rests on the fact

that Christ—the Savior of the Nations—

opened the way to heaven for us all by his resurrection from the dead

and delivered us from death, the devil, and hell when he did.

It’s hope that rest on the fact

that Christ comes us—even now—

through the miraculous working

of his Word


his Sacraments.

It’s hope that rests on the fact

that Christ will come again in glory at the End of the Age

to welcome us into the perfect bliss of his everlasting kingdom.

VI        This hope—

is no wish.

This hope—

This Christian hope—

Your hope and My hope—

is hope that clings firmly

to the promises of Godin Christ Jesus, our Lord.

And today

we are blessed to hear one of those promises again.

Both the Blessed Isaiah and the Apostle Paul say in our hearing today—

There shall be a root of Jesse;

                        And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles—

                        In Him, the Gentiles shall HOPE.                                      (Romans 15.12/Isaiah 11.10)

and St. Paul says

This is hope that does not disappoint.                                                             (Romans 5.5)


VII      Hope built on Jesus

is the only true hope there is.

Hope founded on Jesus

is hope founded on the truth of God’s promises

and the authority of God Word.

Hope based on Jesus

is hope that doesn’t just wish something will happen—


it is hope that knows

what has happened—

what is happening


what will happen—

Christ has come.

Christ is present.

Christ will come again.

Hope planted firmly in Jesus

is hope that uses these holy days of Advent

to repent of all sins

to prepare or the coming of the Lord


to welcome Jesus as he comes.

VIII    Christian hope is hope that says—

Come, Lord Jesus.  Come quickly.  Amen.


Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Hymn of Response:  Savior of the Nations, Come


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