S-1281 1SIA/3B 11/30/11 Hymns: (O) #68; S. Advent to a New Creation to the tune LW 438; (C) #73
Text: Isaiah 11:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Matthew 19:28-30
Theme: “Advent Restoration” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
Question: “Have you restored something?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! The text for the 1st Midweek in Advent is the Epistle lesson: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…;” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
Introduction: In Nomine IESU
Saints in Christ, when I used to be in the painting business, we would often get a call to restore a house or a business that had been damaged by fire. We would be the first on the scene and the last to leave. We would come in and spray a special chemical called “Kills” to seal and cover the smoke and charred walls. We would spray every possible corner of the house from inside of the attic to the base-board of the basement.
At times we would have to spray it more than once so that the smell and blackness be covered. When we were done, other professionals would enter into the restoration process: sheet rockers, plumbers, air-conditioners, electricians, carpenters, and carpet layers. All of us would work hard to restore the house or business so it is functional again. When the restoration was completed, the house or business was newer and better than before the fire.
In the Epistle reading for our first Midweek in Advent, Pastor Paul tells of the restoration that takes place in the lives of the believers. Listen again, please to the text: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. How does this restoration takes place? Paul gives us the answer “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…;”
This restoration has taken place from God Himself who restores and reconciled us to Himself through Christ . On account of Christ, you and I have been restored anew. While you may look the same, you are not the same. At the foundational level you are totally new! All of the old is gone, and now is the new you, worked in your life in Christ, on account of Christ and because of Christ. PAUSE.
At the fire site, the professional workers used all sorts of tools to help them get the job done. All of these people worked hard and long to accomplish the task of restoration. Some used soldering gun, skill saw, drills, taping knives, brushes and the like to make the house lovely and livable again.
And so did the professional Messenger of heaven—Jesus the Christ in restoring us to the place of being new again. However, He didn’t use the tools of blue collar professionals like skill saw or brush. No He used something more valuable and precious. He used a manger and mountain; straw and spear; cradle and cross. These were the elements the heaven-sent Messenger used to restore us back to who we were intended to be. Once this work is worked upon us, we stand before God not remodeled, but remade. We are new! Yes, we are! This is what Christ has done for you!
We see this newness and restoration revealed in Holy Scriptures. We behold how the Lord Jesus Christ gets involved in the lives of His people because He loves the earth He created and He loves us even more. Unlike the TV show “Extreme Makeover”, where people come in razes a house to the ground and start all over, the Lord of Creation doesn’t destroy what He has, but restores it to its original as it was in the day of Eden where all of creation was at peace with God. There Adam and Eve walked in the Garden among the beasts of the forests without fear. There they enjoyed the privilege of worship the awesome heavenly Father.
Tonight, in our readings, we behold the great miracle of restoration done by the Author of life Himself—Jesus the Christ. First in Isaiah we hear these words: “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. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. 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. (Isaiah 11:6-10).
Again, in the book of Revelation we read these blessed promises: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I Am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Yes, write it down and know it. These words are trustworthy and true! This is a golden promise for you and me beloved. Here we see the marvel of God’s love. Here we behold how the sinner is justified. Here we learn of the new creation in our hearts worked not by professionals, but by passion. Our Lord’s passion for me and for you is evident in making us new again.
Now this Advent Restoration defies all human logic and physics. It is a restoration more amazing than the miracle that Christ did when He changed the water into wine. When water became wine, He changed the molecules so that which is water, become fermented wine. In an even greater way, we have been changed on the Spiritual level. Our molecules of sin are now molecules of saints! Now that is different! PAUSE
Do you remember what I said I used when we went into a house to paint after the fire? Kills! We had to spray every corner to kill the stench and scars of the fire. Well the Author of life uses something betters than Kills, He uses His own precious blood. His blood covers every stench of death and scar of sin. His own blood makes us pure and holy. His blood kills, remove every sting of death and gives us new life begun here and lived with Him forever in the New Mountain of Eden.
This Advent we anticipate and celebrate newness. We look forward once again to the newness of the Babe of Bethlehem. This newness also signals our newness. We, who once bore all the marks of death and hell, are new creations! We long for that final advent when we will no longer have to wait for this. Come Lord Jesus! Bring us your eternal newness! AMEN.
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA