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The Second Sunday in Advent, December 10, 2023

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The Second Sunday in Advent, December 10, 2023

Jesus often warns and admonishes, speaking out against the dissipation that comes from anxiety and worry over the things of this world.  As Jesus indicates here, these cares can weigh us down and even drive us to drink in an attempt to escape through the fog of drunkenness.  Jesus, though, does more than simply admonish.  Jesus himself provides the escape.  He declares, “In this world you will have trouble but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33).

With Jesus as our refuge, there is no need to seek relief in the dissipation of busyness… no need to hide in drunkenness… no need to be weighed down by the many cares of life.  In Jesus, the kingdom of God has already come to you.  As you hear the promises of God’s Word—that is, as the Gospel is preached into your ears, poured over your head, and placed on your tongue “for you”—you will remain unshaken (cf. vs. 26).  Even as this sin-broken creation enters its extremis and is passing away, Jesus has a word of promise, “…straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (vs. 28).  There is no need to cower in fear… no need to worry about the outcome… no cause to be anxious… Jesus’ promise is sure and certain. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (vs. 33).

You hear Jesus’ admonishment, “…stay awake at all times…” in the context of your baptism.  There, in that innocuous seeming event—a splash of water and the mumble of a divine name—the passing away of heaven and earth was brought from the future and inflicted upon you in the present.  Your “end-times” have already been worked upon you.  You have been stood up before the Son of Man (cf. vs. 36).  Now, every time your sins are forgiven… every time the gospel is put in your ears… every time the Son of Man’s body and blood is handed over “for you…”  every time those things take place, you are returned to the promise of your baptism; you are confronted by the Son of Man; you are “straightened up and your head is raised because your redemption is drawing near.”

Table Talk:  Discuss how all of us are no more than one breath away from the “end of the world.”
Pray:  Save me, Father, for I am yours.  Amen

Luke 21:25-36

25 And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

29 And he told them a parable: Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

34 But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

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