Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent Begins and We Get...

Happy Advent, everyone!!

The season of Advent is upon us quickly this year, it seems.  Advent is the traditional beginning of the Christmas season, of course.  

But today's intense and spiritually fulfilling sermon ("What is All the Hoopla") by Pastor Mankin flashes forward to the arrival and presentation of Christ at that fateful passover in Jerusalem.   As we approach the season celebrating the coming of Jesus, it is important to know where He is headed.... why is here at all.  

He is to suffer a humiliating death on the cross in atone for OUR sins.  Jesus did not come and die for just the sins of Christians but, rather for the sins of all humanity.  Yet it is though hold the faith of redemption in Him who are assuredly redeemed unto eternal life.  

Pastor Mankin explains that while Jesus comes as a heroic, conquering king, he is different.  Unlike heroes and celebrities of the secular world... actors, politicians and sports stars who typically travel either in high security limos or uber high-end cars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porches, etc.  

Even the Pope has a special, custom built car that was built for him to tour different locations around the world. 

In stark contrast, Jesus enters Jerusalem and present himself to the teeming throngs and worshipers on a lowly colt, as was foretold in the old testament book of Isaiah.   Jerusalem at Passover is in a frenzied state of celebration.  All of Judaism descends annually to worship and celebrate.  And this year is especially over the top because word has been circulation about this traveling rabbi who is now drawing larger and larger crowds wherever he goes. 

(These same adoring fans will soon turn in extremis on their king and implore the Roman governor of Jerusalem to crucify him.  Crucifixion is a death reserved by Roman law only for the lowliest and most despised of criminals.  Just being a Roman citizen is enough to save even the most hardened and despicable criminal from such a harrowing, brutal, agonizing and long public death.)

Our Savior, this Jesus, who redeems us from our sinful condition,  unlike secular heroes and celebrities, does not grandly transcend the humble conditions of his birth.  He does not buy his mother a mansion but rather promises a mansion for all of His redeemed.   He does not own a stable of expensive sports cars.  He does ride on a donkey.  He does not charge us hundreds of dollars to see him perform.  But, rather, he offers the free gift of eternal salvation given to us freely by His Grace. 

In Jesus, we have the King we really need, rather than the King we want or think we need. 

For a transcript and podcast of today's sermon at Messiah Lutheran Church, please visit and scroll down.  Please remember it takes a few days to a week for sermons to be updated.  

Please also note that this blog does not necessarily represent the views of Messiah Lutheran Church or the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS).  It is merely a witness to my personal Christian journey which generally takes a Lutheran perspective.