The Second Sunday in Advent
December , 2015
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
During the season of Advent we are learning. We are learning to desire the First Coming of Christ in the holy incarnation. We are learning to seek Christ now as He comes to us in His word and sacraments today. We are leaning to long for the Second Coming of Christ on the Last Day.
Last week we heard the apostolic blessing upon us that “the Lord would make us increase and abound in love for one another and for all.” Likewise, listened to the Apostle hope that our hearts would be established blameless in holiness before our God. This can only take place in Christ.
This week we hear the apostolic prayer for the church. St. Paul writes, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more…” The Coming Lord desires that our love may abound more and more. Christ comes to us this day as King with a Kingdom abounding in love. Christ comes to us this day bringing an abundance of love.
As His love abounds more and more for us, our love for others is to abound more and more. He died for us so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but live for Him. He lives for us so that we may die to our own sinful flesh and live for Him. He loves us and gives Himself for us so that we may love others and give ourselves for them in which we are abounding in love more and more. Out of your abundance give to others in need. Serve in your vocation whether you are a tax collector or a soldier. Serve in the place were God has placed you whether you are a parent or a child. Live in love.
However, we live in a world that does not abound in love more and more. We dwell in a time where murder abounds more and more from dismembered babies in mothers’ wombs to beheaded Christians in mass tombs. We reside in a place where disorder abounds more and more. We have entered a secular season that tempts us to ignore evil and abound in possessions more and more.
Let us not be fooled. This is the world that hates Christ. This is the creation that sentenced the Creator to death. This is the place that rebels against God’s order. This is the realm that abounds more and more in Evil One.
Yet, this is the place that Christ comes to redeem. Christ comes as King with a Kingdom abounding in love. Christ comes to bring an abundance of love. Christ seeks to make our lives would abound more and more in love. Christ desires that our lives would be filled more and more with the fruit of righteousness.
This week we hear the apostolic prayer for the church. St. Paul writes, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9–11). Where there is fruit, there is a season, that is, a time period for growing fruit. Where there is a season, there is an end, that is, a time period for growing fruit will cease. Where there is an end, there is a time for harvest, that is, a point where the fruit will be gathered and inspected.
As we are being prepared for the day of inspection, we hear the voice crying out in the wilderness. He says, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:8–9).
In the season of Advent, we are learning to inspect our own fruit with knowledge and all discernment, so that we may approve what is excellent. After examining our own fruit, we realize that we do not love God as we should. We do not love others as we love ourselves
Let us not be fooled. Christ comes to His people first for inspection. Understand that the human heart is deceitful above all things. It is desperately sick. Who can understand it? The LORD searches the heart and tests the mind. Do you not realize that the One who made your mind knows what you are thinking? The one who made your ears, hears all that you say. The one who made our eyes, sees all that you do. You will have to give an account according to the fruit of your deeds. Once we have examined our own fruit and found its deficiency, we are ready to observe His fruit.
Come and see what the LORD is doing. Look at the fruit of the Lord’s deeds for you. Behold, the Lord whom you seek suddenly comes to His temple, His house, His body the Church where He is present. Behold the Messenger of the Covenant in whom you delight comes to His temple, His house, His body, the bread of His presence.
Come and hear what the LORD is saying. Listen to the Message of the New Testament. “This is My blood poured out for you. I purify you like gold and silver so that you will bring offerings in righteousness, and spiritual sacrifices of praise. He is the Living Vine. In Him, we are living branches. In Him, we bear living fruit. Behold the Message of the New Testament: “Blessed is the man who trusts in Jesus, whose trust is Jesus. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17). Look, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Amen.
Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier
Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
Los Alamos, NM