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Second Sunday in Advent

December 9, 2007

Second Sunday in Advent        Trinity Lutheran Church
9 December 2007                       Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

Matthew 3:1-12

What in the world does this preacher think he’s doing?  Good grief! He doesn’t even have the decency to come inside.  Always out in that oppressive desert heat.  It’s no wonder so many people want to get wet and cool off with a baptism in the Jordan.  Exhibits Romanizing tendencies too.  Hears confession.  Outrageous clothes.   Someone give him a clue about the clergy look:  dockers, a polo, leather slip-ons, and a pasted on happy, slappy, clappy smile!  And his eating habits!  Good Lord!  Locusts and wild honey!  He scores a few points with the health food crowd.  But quickly gives them back because some poor camel had to die unnecessarily for his weird dressing habits and the locusts – well — the locusts suffer excruciating pain as he oven roasts them in sticky suffocating honey. 

I’ll wager he’s never combed his hair, washed his hands, cut his toenails, or brushed his teeth.  I’ll betcha he’s never shaved in his life.  He lives (dare we say it?) like a savage!  A lunatic that should be outfitted with a straight jacket and locked up in a pink rubber room.  Whoever certified this guy for rural Judean ministry was an absolute idiot!   
But that’s not all! What really chaps our hide and really hacks us off is his sermon.  Calls us (the most religious people in the world), “a brood of vipers!”  Says that we church going and moral value oriented people must “repent.”  He insists that we need “to bear fruit worthy of repentance.”  Who do you think you are John?  What nerve! 

“I’m the voice of one crying in the wilderness!  And not just any voice!  I’m the voice that prepares for the advent of the Lord! I’m the voice that makes paths straight for His advent!”

“I’m not the Messiah!  Never claimed that.  But Messiah is at hand.  Mark my words.  His Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are already upon you.  The Messiah is Jesus.  Mightier than me.  I’m a nothing.  I baptize with water for repentance.  But He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.  After all, He’s the Savior.  And His advent is upon you.” 

So you’re a voice John?  All right Mr. Preacher Voice.  But we warn you.  You keep up that “Brood of Vipers, Repent, Axe at the Root, Cut Down and Thrown Into the Fire” sermon and we’ll see to it that you never preach again.  After all, we’re good people.  I mean we don’t take assault rifles to shopping malls and ruthlessly gun down innocent people.  We’re church going, law abiding, moral, salt of the earth folks.  We walk the straight and narrow.   

And while you’re at it check out our impressive family tree.  The pedigree goes all the way back.  Descendants of old man Abraham!  We’d prove it to you right here and now but we’re too modest.  Just take our word for it:  WE ARE CIRCUMCISED!  We’ve worked hard at being what we are!  We’re self-made people!  We’ve created quite a life for ourselves.  So God owes us.  He’s obligated.  And we are not going to let anybody, let alone you Mr. Preacher Voice, take away what we’ve worked so hard for.  Repent!  You’ve got to be joking!

“No.  Not at all.  I don’t joke about Messiah Jesus and the kingdom He establishes and gives.”

“This incessant justification of yourselves is the root of your problem.  Not with me.  But with God.  And with His Christ:  Jesus.  All you can talk about is yourselves.  How great you are, your family tree, a certain part of the male anatomy, yada, yada, yada.”   

“Do you really believe that God owes you because you’ve had a piece of your flesh cut off?  You’d give Messiah Jesus a back seat to that?  He’s not impressed. If you insist on Messiah Jesus giving you what you deserve . . . well . . . all that’s left for you is God’s wrath.  Set your circumcised flesh and family tree against the coming wrath of God and what will you be?  A lifeless cut down tree or chaff thrown into unquenchable fire.  So it’s time for me to go into Voice in the wilderness mode again.” 

“REPENT!  In other words, believe!  Why? BECAUSE THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!  Messiah God Jesus has turned to you in this Judean wilderness and at rural Trinity, Murdock. Messiah King Jesus rules here.  And He’s not the kind of Messiah King you think He is.  He rules humbly and in mercy.  He governs with forgiveness.  He takes your sin in His body born of the Virgin Mary.  He comes in that Body to suffer and die on the Cross.  He endures the wrath of His Father on the Tree with all your sin.  Behold the Messiah King!” 

“In His crucified Body risen from the grave Messiah Jesus is here.  Reigns over you by giving you gifts you can’t earn let alone deserve.  He comes with pardon for brood of viper sinners in His Word of forgiveness preached into your ears.  He comes with pardon in the bread and wine of His Supper  to give His Calvary Body and Blood offered for your salvation.”

“You are forgiven.  You are Good Fridayed.  The Kingdom of God has come to you.  You’re baptized.”

“Fruit worthy of repentance is a heart that confesses sin as sin.  It is a heart that trusts in Messiah Jesus who dies only for sinners like you and me.  For sinners who are powerless to save themselves.  For sinners who are totally dependent on Him for salvation.  Fruit worthy of repentance is a heart that receives the gifts Jesus graciously gives:  a Baptism He instituted for you and for your children for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.   A bread/wine meal by which He bestows forgiveness, life and salvation with His Body and Blood.”

“Behold, the kingdom of God is at hand.  Right now!  Jesus is here.  For you.  For your salvation.   Happy repenting, in other words, happy believing.  Happy receiving from the Lord.”

Thank you Lord.  Thank you for Preacher Voice John.  Thanks for using him to prepare our hearts and minds for Messiah King Jesus.  Thank you for using him to make a straight path for Messiah King Jesus to come
into our midst with His merciful reign of salvation.   

In the Name of Jesus.   

From → "A" Sermons

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