Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Christ is Coming. Get Ready.

Pastor Weie's Sermon - The Baptism of Our Lord

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Christ is Coming. Get Ready.

I Corinthians 4.1-5

Wednesday of Advent III/December 19, 2018

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

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

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

 

I          The entire season of Advent

is about getting ready.

 

We spend these holy days

getting our decorations ready

getting all our presents ready

getting our plans ready.

 

We also spend Advent

getting Spiritually ready for the coming of the Lord.

 

God gives us these days

to get ready to welcome Christ as the Babe of Bethlehem.

to get ready to welcome Christ as he comes to us

in the Word and Sacraments.

and

to get ready to welcome Christ when he comes again in glory.

 

II         When that happens—

When Christ comes again in glory—

St. Paul says

he will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness

                                                and

                                                reveal the counsels of the hearts.                                       (I Corinthians 4.5)

 

III       When Christ comes again

you must be ready—

because when he comes

he will shine a light

on every single sinful

thought/word/and deed

you have tried to hide

from your brothers and sisters in the faith

AND

from HIM, too!

 

When Christ comes

he will open up the hidden things of our hearts

and lay them out in the open

right in front of God and everybody.

 

When Christ comes again

there will be no keeping secrets

there will be no darkness in which to hide

and

there will be no escaping his perfect/holy/ and righteous

judgment.

 

IV        So now is the time to get ready.

Now is the time to repent of all your sins.

 

Now is the time

to shine God’s light

on the darkness of our hearts

and reveal our sins to God and to one another.

 

Now is the time

to pour out all the sinful filth we’ve stored up in our hearts

and be done with it—

so we can be ready for the coming of Christ.

 

Now is the time

to take our stand at the foot of the cross

and be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb of God

who takes away the sins of the world.

 

Now is the time to get ready for Jesus

by repenting of our sins

because repentance

is how Christians get ready to welcome Christ.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

 

V         When St. Paul says

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful—

(I Corinthians 4.1-2)

            When St. Paul says that

he’s really speaking of himself and his fellow workers

in the gospel.

 

But he could just as well be speaking of all of us.

 

How do you want people to consider you?

As a secret sinner

who indulged all your worst desires

and tried to hide it all in darkness and concealment?

 

Do you want to be known

as a manifest sinner

who filled up your heart

with sin and shame and had a good time doing it?

 

Is that how you want to be known?

 

Or—

would you rather be known as a servant of Christ?

a man who follows Jesus wherever he leads—

a woman who listens to Jesus and cherishes his word?

 

Wouldn’t you rather be known

as a steward of the mysteries of God?

as a Christian who receives the gifts of God

in Word and Sacrament

and holds them sacred

and uses them as God intends?

 

Wouldn’t you rather be known

as a faithful Christian

who confesses all your sins

repents of all your transgressions

and

strives by the Spirit of God

to live a holy life here and now

because God has promised you everlasting life

with Christ when he comes again in glory?

 

Wouldn’t you rather be known

as a Christian

who spent this life

getting ready how it counted most—

getting ready for the coming of Christ

and everlasting life in his kingdom?

 

Isn’t that how you’d like others to consider you?

________________________________________________________________

 

VI        Christ promises us that when he returns—

he will give us

everlasting life and share in his heavenly glory.

 

So now’s the time to get ready for that.

 

            Confess your sins.

Shine God’s light on the darkness of your heart

and clean it out.

 

Open up your heart

and pour out all the sins you’ve stored up inside it.

Turn away from your sins

and never go back.

 

Because Christ is coming à

and he’s coming quickly.

 

And when he comes

he will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness

                        and

                        reveal the counsels of our hearts—

                                    and then our praise will come from God.                           (I Corinthians 4.5)

 

VII      Christ’s coming will be very frightening for those who do not repent—

who try to hide their sins

in the darkness

and

in the deep recesses of their hearts.

And they should be afraid—

because they will spend eternity in hell.

 

But for those of us who believe in Christ—

who hold his word sacred and gladly hear and learn it—

For us who repent of our sins

and trust in the mercy of God in Christ Jesus

like we did at the beginning of this service—

and

like we do every single day

God has promised to be our praise at the End of Days

and Christ will be our salvation.

 

So get ready!

Get ready for the coming of the Lord.

Repent.

And pray with everything you’ve got—

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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