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Advent 2006 -2- Coming Light: Wake Up O Sleeper!

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Readings: Isaiah 52:1-3, 7-10; Ephesians 5:8-20
. . . for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Ephesians 5:14 (NIV)

I.   Wake Up sleepyhead! (14b)

     A.  We were Darkness once

           1.  Not just in darkness, but we were dark

           2.  But this is past tense: were, once

           3.  Now we are light in the Lord

     B.  Sometimes we still Drift Off

           1.  Drift off to sleep that is–back into darkness

           2.  Temptation most often enters thru a door intentionally left open.

           3.  Other times: like the 3 in Gethsemane

                 a.  We want to stay awake, drift off anyway

                 b.  Our spirit is willing / our flesh is weak

                 c.  Try, fail, get depressed

     C.  Time to Rise and Shine! (14c)

           1.  Wake up from life as boringly hard

                 a.  Our battle against sin: hard (& repetitive!)

                 b.  Our wish to do something important

                 c.  Doing it on our own is a pipe-dream

           2.  Wake up to Jesus coming in power & love!

                 a.  To His very presence in our lives!

                 b.  To His amazing, personal love for us!

                 c.  His incomparably great power for us (1:19)

           3.  Wake up to everything being set right!

                 a.  Find out(10), understand (17), be filled (18)

                 b.  Come out of the dark/shadow world

II.  Behold He Comes! (Is 52:1-3; 7-10)

     A.  Dress for Celebration

           1.  Time to put on your party clothes!

                 a.  Put on the clothes of strength (1a)

                 b.  Don we now our, uh, glad apparel... (1|bible: Isaiah 52:1]]b)

                 c.  Set aside the garb of mourning (2a)

           2.  Clothing also symbolic of behavior

                 a.  Don’t just pretend to be happy, rejoice!

                 b.  Freedom from corruption is coming! (1c)

     B.  Listen to the Lookouts! (8)

           1.  The lookouts/watchmen: Bible Promises

                 a.  Announce joy for (God’s people)

           2.  The Spirit within, exciting anticipation

                 a.  God’s own Spirit is watching w/in us

                 b.  He’s a lookout, watching for His coming

           3.  He’s coming! Get ready!

                 a.  He comes whenever 2 or 3 . . .

                 b.  He comes to us as we ask/invite (5:18)

                 c.  He’s coming again

     C.  He brings Salvation

           1.  He’s coming for to bless (not judge) us

                 a.  He’s bringing Good News!

           2.  His salvation will be complete

                 a.  Now we know a little, then face-to-face

                 b.  Now we struggle, then we will be free!

III. Let Christ Shine! (14d)

     A.  He shines from the Manger

           1.  From the manger to the cross

                 a.  Light shines on Him, but more from Him

                 b.  Christmas light shines from the manger

           2.  Nothing shines brighter than His love

                 a.  Who for the joy set before Him (Heb 12:2)

                 b.  The glitz of the mall can’t outshine Him

     B.  He shines through His Spirit

           1.  The only way to meet Jesus: thru the Spirit!

                 a.  Meet for the 1st time

                 b.  Meet every time, every day

           2.  Jesus shines in/on us thru His Spirit

                 a.  Keep on being filled (v. 18)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

           3.  Thru us He shines to the whole world

                 a.  Mostly be who we are, expressed in what we do.

     C.  Let Him shine in our Lives

           1.  Get out of the shade & let Him shine on us!

                 a.  Leave the shadow world of sin behind

                 b.  The shadow world of human effort

           2.  Come into the light from Bethlehem

                 a.  See the depths of God’s love in the cooing of our King, clothed as a baby

                 b.  Receive Him into your arms, who stretches out His arms for you.

                 c.  Arise, shine for your light has come!

The Bottom Line:

Break into songs of Joy, for the Light of Christ has Risen upon us!


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