Advent Sermon 4: Preparing the way for the Dawn
Preparing the way of the Dawn
Preparing the way of the Dawn
Proposition/Behavioral Aim: This advent we must remember that we are empowered by God to prepare the way of the Lord and present salvation to others, by sharing the story of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth, God's healing Day-spring.
This advent season we have been learning that this time of year is critical to the healthy growth and development of the body of Christ.
This season we have learned that advent pushes us to remember. Remembering is key to growing in maturity as believers. Remembering moves us to recognize certain things about us and about God.
We remember that this season aint about us. As much fun as we have with the getting and the giving of this season. As much fun as we have with the Christmas ham, the greens, the sweet potato pie. As much fun as it is to be with friends and family, to gather with loved ones for the making of wonderful memories. That is NOT what this season is about at all! Instead this season is about remembering Jesus, the Son of God, and what God has done through Him!
It is about remembering that God has kept His promise to redeem and restore
It is about remembering that God has not left us in darkness
It is about remembering that God loves us so much that He was willing and able to give His best for sinners.
But it is also about remembering the type of salvation that God has given us through Jesus Christ. We often time shout about being saved, but we don’t always reflect on the nature of the salvation we have been given. That it doesnt belong to us, and because it doesn’t belong to us as people, we may have a say in recieving but we don’t get to decide where and to who it is given. That we are saved not just from external enemies, but internal dispositions of heart that make us susceptable to being enslaved through our selfishness. And that God’s heart for us is revealed in this salvation- that God is thinking about us with the intention to give us a future and a hope!
Remembering that we are saved to worship God, fully and completely. And that the more we are free the more we can worship, and the more we worship-the more we are transformed into the likeness of God. Image is about compositon, but likeness is about behavior and disposition- and God desires that we have a holy disposition, so that we can have a righteous lifestyle, that reflects the truth of who God is!
But we also must remember that because of this advent season we have work to do! Advent is not simply about presents, but about the Church being prepared to do the work that God has given her to do. Often we hear about Churches and Christians wondering what they should be doing. But God has already given us a job- to prepare the way of the Lord.
We must remember that as a prophetic people we have been called to prepare the path of the Lord in the lives of others
as prophetic people we are empowered to prophetically proclaim God’s message and God’s will
as prophetic people we are empowered to prepare the path of God’s salvation through actively proclaiming/preaching the gospel- every child of God is a preacher, the question is who is the audience.
as prophetic people we must be formed and reformed by God’s word-
allusion to not just but also , which sheds light on God’s heart for salvation
through the tangible presence of God
We have to remember that we will have to prophetically proclaim the good news of Christ in the face of opposition
As prophetic proclaimers we must be willing to press God’s claim and heart in the face of competition.
forgiveness/remission of sin- God excusing our selfish competition with Him for the throne of our heart
As prophetic proclaimers we must be willing to press God’s claim and heart in the face of opposition
The gospel is for those who sit in darkness- sitting is more than occasional sin. sitting means that sin has become your identity, and thus darkness is your position of comfort.
an allusion to . God’s victory, but for there to be victory there has to be a battle, and God is willing to save us in the face of opposition. God’s not scared of opposition, but we are. We assume that the opposition is too big for us- it is, but we are not the one’s who are winning the victory.
We have to remember that the salvific end result of our proclamation does not lie with us, but the Day-spring of God, Jesus of Nazareth
The victory will be won by the Day-Spring of God.
the Day-Spring of God comes from God
The Day-Spring of God is the tangible presence of God with us
The Day-Spring of God shines on those enamored with darkness and death
He guides us in the way of peace- Himself, by giving Himself not just in a manger, not just on a cross, but even right now protecting, preserving and interceding for us.
We can trust in God to empower us prophetically to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, because in Jesus and our call we serve a God who has proven His faithfulness to guide us to His peace, through the Prince of Peace.
How does He guide us, by living His will Himself. By being faithful and obedient to the will of His Father, by being gracious, and merciful as the tangible presence of God. Even in the face of darkness and Death.
By being God with us. We can trust the Lord, because He has shown that He is faithful and true and that He has been, Is, and will be victorious for john states, “ The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” God’s Day Spring will never be defeated. The question is will we participate in His victory by remembering that we are a people empowered to be prophets/proclaimers of God’s grace, or will we forget that Jesus and not anything else is the reason for the season?
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.