Advent Reading: Keep awake! Be Ready! (Based on Matt. 24:36-44)
36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Leader: The Son of Man is coming, but about that day and hour no one knows,
People: Neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Leader: Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
People: Therefore be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. We light the first candle of Advent to remind us to keep awake and be ready. (Light candle and announce hymn.)
Hymn # 147—1 O Come, O Come Emmanuel
We Approach God
- Call to Worship – Psalm 122
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
2 Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together,
4 to which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions' sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
- Hymn # 165 Saviour of the Nations Come
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.
God's Will for our Lives—Summary of the Law
Hymn # 149 Joy to the World
We Listen to God's Word
Scripture: Isaiah 2:1-5
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
3 and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,[a]
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord.
Sermon: Mountain of the House of the Lord Shall Be Established
Intro: Pastor remembers candle light services when he was a child and how much he enjoyed it. The candles and the anticipation of Christmas . Not only the looking back to the birth but the looking forward to Christ's return. To the God will bring his salvation to the world in all its fullness.
Isaiah was telling the true Israelites that God will be establishes himself full well.
The mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest...
- consider this, in the days this was written the highest places where considered the most important
- the highest places were an integral part of worship
- God's mountain will be the highest of the all -- ergo showing that God is the only God, he is the only and best God.. he is above absolutely everything
The nations will flow to it
- the peoples of the world will come to this house of God
- the will come with hearts open to learn of the Lord, being transformed into people living for God
For out of Zion shall go forth his law
- we need to be spreading God's word
- we need to help the hunger for God's word to spread
He shall judge the world
- God will deal with whatever hides under our violence perfectly
- God will make it so here is no reason for war anymore
- God will bring peace to the world
- true peace only comes through Jesus Christ
- God will make us one new people of God
Jesus is the one through whom all people meet God
Jesus is the mountain of the house of the Lord
Jesus is he highest place
Jesus is the one who draws all people to God
Isaiah saw this
Micah saw this as well.
So we need to "Come let us walk in the light of the Lord."
- we the people need to come and live in the light
- we need to see that the day is coming when God will show who he is to the whole world
- we need to live in this anticipation
This is the call of advent
Let us put on armour
let us put on the clothes of light and righteousness
Let us seek restoration and peace
Let us be mindful of way we live our lives as a people of God.
We Respond to God's Word
- Hymn # 238 Christ Is Coming
- Hymn # 358 Bread of the World in Mercy Broken
- Hymn # 163 To us a Child of Hope Is Born
Hymn # 156 – 6 All Glory Be to God on High