Advent Candle: Repent! Change your ways, be baptized!
(Based on Matthew 3:1-12)
Leader: John the Baptist proclaimed, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."
People: And the people went out to him and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Leader: And John said, "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful that I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
People: He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire." We light the first Advent candle to remind us to keep awake and be ready. (Pause while the first candle is lit.) We light the second Advent candle to remind us to change our ways. (Light candle.)
Hymn # 147—1 -3 O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Hymn # 151 O Come all ye Faithful
Call to Confession – James 4:1-10
Words of Assurance: 1 John 1:9 (ESV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness
Prayer for Illumination1 John 1:9
We Listen to God's Word
Scripture: Isaiah 11:1-10
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins. 6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
9 They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
Sermon: Shoot from the Stump
Intro: this world seems fairly hopeless right now. The world seems full of doom. Full of natural disasters. Terrorism. Economic issues and so on. People look at this and lose Hope.
But as we look at advent as believers we have hope. Not because we look at this world full of it's disappointments but because we look to the one who brings hope. The Christ.
In what situation was this passage written?
The people were under the threat of the Assyrians. And here God gives Judah hope for the future.
It tells the people that things will get worse before they get better...so bad that the line of David would be reduced to a stump only.
So much trouble would happen to Judah and Israel. David's line was reduced to almost nothing by the times the Romans came. They were just an impoverished people.
There shall forth a root from Jesse. See new growth will come out of it.
Why does it say Stump of Jesse? When everywhere else it is all David?
The one promised will be a new David.
God is bringing a new chosen one, a new David.
This is a new shoot.
God has a chosen new leader, a new David, one who will be so much more, an ensign to the people
In fact he is the root and the shoot simultaneously.
This fact tells us that he is not just another king, but more than a human king, one who surpasses all the rest.
The spirit of the Lord will be in him, not just on him, but it will utterly fill him. He will be delighted by the fear of the Lord.
This one promised will be able to deal with sin permanently.
He will be filled with righteousness, and will be the perfect judge, who will transform this world, changing the essence of the world.... everything will change. He will bring a time of total safety.
Imagine it...that total lack of danger, that total safety.
The world will be put back into the order that it was meant to be in. Human kind established at the head of creation again.
The glory of the Lord will fill the whole earth just like the flood once covered the earth.
Jesus is our just judge who has perfectly met all his obligations.
Jesus always knew people even without them telling him a thing. He just knew who they were.
Isaiah points us to what is coming.
Isaiah offers us Hope. Jesus Christ is coming. Look what is coming when we will have total safety. No more hurt or destruction. The mountain of the Lord comes.
Hymn # 639 Once in Royal David's City
Hymn # 160 God Rest you Merry Gentlemen
Hymn # 168 – 3 Hail the Heav'nborn Prince of Peace