December 4, 2022 - Preparing for the Lord's DayDecember 1, 2022 Preparing for the Lord's Day
Preparing for the Lord's Day
When you read our passage for this coming Sunday, you might ask yourself, “Why would Pastor Weber choose this passage when Sunday’s theme is peace?” In the first verse of the passage, Jesus says to his disciples,
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”(Matthew 10:34 ESV)
How does this verse parse with the angels’ promise of peace on earth? (Luke 2:14) How do we understand what Jesus is saying here in light of his mission to bring peace to the world? (John 16:33)
To answer these questions, we must first understand the nature of this world. Jesus’ advent was not a homecoming. Rather it was an invasion. Jesus was born into enemy territory. For the god of this world is Satan, himself. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Jesus came to bring peace, but that peace must first be won. Paradoxically, the only path to true peace is conflict. Jesus had to come and wage spiritual war against sin, Satan, and death. He had to take up the cross and fight the battle to establish his kingdom.
In our passage for this Sunday, we see that Jesus is calling his followers to know peace through this spiritual conflict. The peace that he brings is a peace that must be won. It is a peace that every Christian must fight to attain. For the way to peace is the way of the cross. And what we will see is that every Christian is called to battle for true peace through submission to Christ alone. To come prepared for the sermon, take time this week to read and to meditate upon Matthew 10:34-39, Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 9:2-7, Jeremiah 6:14, Micah 7:1-6, Ephesians 6:12, and this article on the peace Christ brings.
This week we will celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper during our worship service. As we receive the elements of bread and wine we look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. For as we physically receive the signs of the Lord’s body and blood, spiritually we feed upon him and all his benefits. Our hymns for this week include “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” and “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People.”
Text: Matthew 10:34-39
Title: The Battle for Peace
- Every Christian Must Submit Their Peace to Christ (v. 34)
- Every Christian Must Submit Their Loyalties to Christ (vv. 35-37)
- Every Christian Must Submit Their Self to Christ (vv. 38-39)
A Liturgical Note:
Last week began the season of Advent in which we celebrate the coming of Christ. We look back to the first coming of Christ with gratefulness and joy and we look forward to the second coming of Christ with hope and anticipation. Note in the worship service the several elements reflecting this celebration. Along with the purple paraments are evergreen arrangements that reflect the everlasting life which Christ brings to his people. On Christmas Eve night the paraments will change to white and the sanctuary will be fully decorated to welcome the Christ Child, Immanuel, God with Us.
Each week we will also include the lighting of the Advent wreath candles. This moment includes a Scripture reading and a prayer that reflects the four themes of Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. On Christmas Eve night the final candle will be lit, the center white candle. This signals the birth of Christ, the light of the world.
We hope that each of you will take time to reflect upon the beauty of the season displayed in the floral arrangements, the paraments, the liturgy, and the special music. May our hearts long for Christ and the beauty of His coming.