Sunday, December 04, 2011
Jesus says, "Watch," which admonition must be weighed against whoever else may say, or scoff, that there is no reason to be concerned about a Day of Judgment. Jesus does not lie, and therefore we must watch, for the Day is surely coming. And how much better for men to have "hearts failing them for fear" today, than to have them fearful on that Day, when it is too late. Let us therefore take to heart his admonition to watch. It means two things: first it means to repent, to turn again from our forgetfulness and failure to believe--for it is easy to envy, to covet, to desire, to steal, when you do not believe the One who is coming with his reward, and it is easy to judge, to condemn, to assume jurisdiction in your heat, when you do not believe that the Judge will sit on the throne of his glory--and second it means to be comforted and believe him who came the first time in humility. Advent is a precious time, for it is both a time of contrite recognition that he will come in glory, and a time of comforted preparation for Christmas, our celebration of his coming in humility for us and for our salvation. Advent is the merging of these two things in our minds, and so it is a time of contrition and of joyful faith. The sermon.