Advent: Looking Back and Ahead

In the season of Advent, looking back and ahead, we remember that Jesus has already come, born in a stable, in the midst of instability. The kingdom of God is at hand. Listen to this today’s sermon to hear more.

Psalm 122:1-9

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.

I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
And now here we are,
    standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is a well-built city;
    its seamless walls cannot be breached.
All the tribes of Israel—the Lord’s people—
    make their pilgrimage here.
They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord,
    as the law requires of Israel.
Here stand the thrones where judgment is given,
    the thrones of the dynasty of David.

Pray for peace in Jerusalem.
    May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls
    and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say,
    “May you have peace.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:1-5

The Lord’s Future Reign

This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
    will be the highest of all—
    the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
    and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
    and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
    his word will go out from Jerusalem.
The Lord will mediate between nations
    and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
    nor train for war anymore.

A Warning of Judgment

Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord!

1 Timothy 6:11-21

Paul’s Final Instructions

11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 15 For,

At just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 16 He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will. All honor and power to him forever! Amen.

17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.

May God’s grace be with you all.

Advent: Looking Back and Ahead

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