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Scriptures & Message for First Sunday in Advent  –  November 28th, 2021
 
First Reading   –   Jeremiah 33:14-16

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

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Second Reading   –   1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?

Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

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Gospel  –    Luke 19:28-44

And when He had said these things, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.  When He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’”  So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them.  And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”  And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”  And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.  And as He rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.  As He was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.  For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 4and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

 MESSAGE
He Comes As He Came                    Luke 19:28-46

 

Sometime ago there appeared a cartoon in The New Yorker magazine which depicted that dramatic story in the Old Testament of Moses’ parting the Red Sea and the Israelites passing through on dry land. The moment depicted in the cartoon is when the water has been parted and the Israelites are moving swiftly through the passage. Moses is irritated because, obviously, someone has said something to him, so he replies to the man next to him, “Of course, it’s damp underfoot, but that strikes me as a pretty petty complaint to be making at a time like this.”

Now I can identify with Moses. the reluctance to get my feet wet when faith leads me on a new and less traveled road.

I want us to look at Jesus’ “march” to Jerusalem through this lens: He comes as He came. There are three scenes in this story as Luke recorded it — scenes that depict the character of Jesus, how He came to the city of His destiny, and how He comes to the world today. Let’s look at these scenes and learn for ourselves what the road of faith was like for Jesus and what that teaches us.

The first scene is the one we normally associate with the day: Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm branches are waving, people are shouting. The excitement is so great, people have literally taken off their outer garments and spread them in the road. This is the Messiah. The shout becomes an uproar: “Blessed be the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”

The King is coming…and no one could miss it. He’s riding on a donkey.

And He comes today as He came to Jerusalem — in humility.

We need to remember that in those days when a king went to war, he rode a horse; when he came in peace, he rode on a donkey. Zachariah, one of the Old Testament prophets, included this image in his understanding of the Messiah. Listen to him: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey” (Zach. 9:9).

Jesus came to Jerusalem on a donkey, in humility a lesson we, as individuals, in our world have yet to learn.

Put your ingenuity to work, says Jesus. The Christian who follows Jesus does not go unarmed into the daily combats of ordinary life. The Christian merely has different weapons in his or her arsenal.”

So, that’s the first scene. Jesus came to Jerusalem on a donkey, in humility.

Now the next scene. in verses 41 and 42:”As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. “

  1. Campbell Morgan was a powerful man and one of the great English preachers of another generation. As a young seminary student, he fell in love with a certain young woman. He was reluctant to propose to her, explaining, “I think God has laid it on my heart to say some radical things to the church. I may not be a success; I may be persecuted. I don’t want to drag you into that. In five or six years, perhaps I will be established, and then I can offer you my hand in marriage.”

Her immediate reply was, “If I can’t climb the mountain with you, I’d be ashamed to meet you at the top.”

Compassion is love that is deep enough that it is willing to climb the mountain with another.

Jesus comes to us as He came to Jerusalem — in compassion. If we are to follow Him, our love must be so deep that it becomes compassion.

Now the final scene. Let’s read verses 45 and 46:

Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.”

Jesus comes to us as He came to Jerusalem: in Judgment.

Now I know that’s not a popular word, and it doesn’t set well in the minds of folks with the notion that what is right and good can be settled by popular vote. This sort of mushy thinking is always coming to a head in some dramatic way.

It has come to a head dramatically in an Aids epidemic because we have allowed so-called enlightened humanists to establish sexual perimeters rather than God.

It has come to a head in millions of unwanted pregnancies, many of which have ended in abortions because we have had sex education without moral teaching.

To that kind of thinking, Jesus comes in judgment.

And Christ comes to us in the world as he came to Jerusalem in judgment. The question is who can abide the day of his coming? And the answer is, only those who are willing to lose their life for his sake. Only those who move beyond saying, ‘Lord, Lord”, to acting as the Lord would have them act.

The point is that Christ has made the way clear, and we are to walk in it — in faith — and when we fail to take that way seriously, we invite judgment.

Jesus comes as He came. One, on a donkey, in humility.

Two, in compassion.

And three, in Judgment.

There’s a saying that you can’t work for McDonald’s and sell Wendy’s burgers. Well, you can’t! And you can’t go to the new Jerusalem with Jesus unless you go the way He goes, because He comes as He came!

Amen and Amen