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The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

The Second Sunday of Advent

The Second Sunday of Advent

Well, there’s a reversal for you.  The kingdom of God is not near when times are good but is near when times are troubled.  Jesus says so.  How troubled you may ask?  This troubled:  sun, moon, and stars will deliver up portends… the seas will roar, and the nations will be distressed by perplexity… the powers of heaven will shake… and the world will be filled with foreboding.  Perilous times, for sure.  Yet, they are also promising times because Jesus’ has announced that such times herald the nearness… announce the approach… portend the coming… of the Kingdom of God.  Such times are as close as we’ll get to knowing at what day and at what hour the Father will bring in the kingdom (cf. Acts 1:7).  One thing is obvious, though.  Not one of these portends is our doing.  The puny works of humanity do not shake the powers of heaven… they do not fashion signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars… they do not cause the seas to roar… Humanity’s puny works, whether done in pride or despair, are no cause or influence on the nearness of the kingdom of God.  Only Jesus… only Jesus comes announcing “The Kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent!  Believe!” (cf. Mark 1:15).  In those perilous times… in those promising times… Jesus assures us the Kingdom of God is present because he is present.  Thanks be to God!

Prayers from those who believe their lying eyes rather than the enduring Word of God . . .

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  So grant to us the hearing of your Word that we may be held in faith and live by the revelation of truth delivered in that Word.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  As we are held in faith and truth, take from us our fear of perilous times and grant that we live from the certainty of your promise.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  As we live out of your promise, keep us humble with respect to our works for you alone bring in the kingdom announced by Jesus Christ.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  As we are humble in our works, grant that they are nonetheless useful to our neighbors for the delivery of their daily bread and the announcement of the Bread come down from Heaven.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  As we are but a delivery system for the goods of your creation, both this one and the next, give us appreciation for our tasks, duties, and callings set before us from day to day.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  As we are appreciative of the work you would have us do, include the Institute of Lutheran Theology and all those who labor within it among those thankful for their vocations.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

Father in heaven, your kingdom comes despite all evidence to the contrary.  As we are thankful to labor within these days of our baptism, grant us as well a thankfulness for that coming day when we receive rest from our labors as the New Creation becomes manifest in glory.  Tell me the truth, O Lord and hold me in faith.

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