Adventing with Peace

The following is the opening paragraph from the sermon I am preaching on Sunday, December 8 — the 2nd Sunday of Advent. The theme is peace that only God can give through the birth of Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior who is coming again.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Matthew 3:2]

Those are the words of Jesus as he prepares his disciples for this eventual departure – a death they do not and can not understand right now. But it is a death that will usher in the peace that Jesus is leaving with them ~ for he is the Prince of Peace as prophesized through Isaiah. It is a peace that goes beyond comprehension. It is a peace that can not be manufactured, copied or imitated. It is a peace that, really, can not even be imagined – only hoped for with complete confidence. And I say confidence because – well – Jesus left it and because God promised it long before the man, Jesus, came on the scene. We talk about peace, but rarely do we pursue it rightly. The world imagines a peace where wars cease, racism is eliminated, discrimination is gone. Governments try to legislate peace. Churches pass meaningless resolutions that claim to eradicate racism. Basically, they try to ban sin which cannot be done by humans. Shalom – the peace that Jesus brings is so much more and is only ushered in through Jesus and the arrival of God’s kingdom. Let our Adventing continue.

Thy Kingdom Come

God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and live a godly life on earth now and in heaven forever.
[Martin Luther’s Small Catechism]

Jesus said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near
[Matthew 3:2 and 4:17]

Reflecting on God’s kingdom is one that gives me great peace. When Pilate questioned Jesus, our Lord said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Which means nothing of this world can touch those who are within. And to be within is a gift of God through His Holy Spirit.

God’s kingdom is not a place,
With walls and buildings to embrace.
His kingdom is not a base,
That exists out there just someplace.

His kingdom is Jesus our Lord.
His kingdom is not of this world.
His kingdom exists without end.
His kingdom is our great reward.

God’s kingdom is here.
God’s kingdom is coming.
God’s kingdom is present.
God’s kingdom won’t disappear.

So,

Repent! The kingdom is near.
Hear this and turn from your sin.
Jesus the Lord died for you.
That in death you may never fear.