1st Sunday of Advent – Sermon 323

23rd December 2019 Off By Derek
  • 1st Sunday of Advent
  • 10.45am Thursday HC
  • 5th December 2019

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ



Advent – the start of a new Church year – a time of new beginnings – new resolutions – observed since at least the fourth century – it was originally used to help Christian converts prepare for baptism

Advent comes from the Latin word for ‘arrival’ or ‘coming’ – ‘The Lord is coming’ – when we look forward to the birth of Jesus – and celebrations of Christmas Day

Jesus comes to us in grace – as our Saviour – speaking to us – in our hearts –

We experience Him through prayer – in the Eucharist – and in the word of God proclaimed –  

We meet Him in our many day-to-day experiences

We need to be ready to receive and welcome Jesus however and – whenever He comes to us –

So – are we ready – to greet Jesus – ready to receive the coming Christ child?

Point 1        Knock on the door?

Imagine – it’s summer – (not too difficult I’m sure!) – we’re relaxing in the garden – everything – in the house – is in a look of cheerful untidiness – half drunk glasses – books and magazines lying about the place – 

Suddenly – there’s a knock on the door – there are several people outside – ready to come in – expecting to participate in an event – you’d planned some time ago but – forgotten about –

In the next five minutes – you steer your visitors into the garden – scramble the papers together- empty the glasses and cups – and within minutes everything is neat and tidy – and you are ready for things to go ahead –

It’s possible to – tidy up most rooms – in a few minutes – but you can’t reverse the direction of your whole life – by the time the knock on the door comes – it’s too late – 

In our Gospel reading – Jesus uses the analogy of the thief in the night – that if the houseowner knew when the thief was coming – he would ‘stay awake’ – and not let his house be broken into –

Jesus is preparing His disciples  –  for His final victory –  on the cross –  and His return to heaven – His message – is made more complicated – because it talks about – two different events – the coming judgment of Jerusalem – and the final judgment at the close of the world’s history –

Jesus’ message – can be applied to either – or both – on the one hand – it’s a warning to be ready for the second coming – and on the other a warning to be ready for our own death –

The message that Jesus gives us – is that we need to behave – like people who know –Jesus will – come sooner or later – but we don’t exactly know when –

Jesus’ return will be visible to all – He will be coming back – as the same person – but with a resurrected body that will be known to all – and we need to be ready for that day –

Point 2 What should we do?

And Paul in our NT reading- tells us what we should be doing – to get ready

‘lay aside the works of darkness – and put on the armour of light’

Paul tells us we need to – take a spiritual shower – and clothe ourselves with Jesus –

turn our lives over to God – and respond to His mercy and love –  

He urges us to wake up from our sleep – the door is open for us all to enter – but to do that –

we need to live wisely – and in the light of Jesus’ return – so we are ready to enter it –

We need to – live our lives responsibly – and in the light of what Jesus has done for us –

Jesus loves us so much – that He laid down His life for us – on the cross  – to pay the debt for our sins He gave His life  – so we can receive forgiveness and our relationship with God – can be given a fresh start –

We are in a race – not competing against each other – but against – the obstacles that hinder us –

And as Christians – we know the Spiritual battle has already been won – by Jesus – but it cannot be our victory as well – until we have surrendered ourselves to Him – and accepted His authority over our lives –

point 3         Live in the knowledge of Christ

 Advent is – not just about counting the days to Christmas – it’s there to help us rethink where we are – and what we must do – to grow and strengthen the bond we have with Jesus – what we must do to live our lives in the love of Christ –

Believing that Jesus is coming should bring us peace – prompt us into a lifestyle of godliness – help us realize that the task ahead of us – is never as great as the power behind us – that – the gift that Jesus will bring us this year  – will be even greater than the gift He brought us last year –

When Jesus has us in the palm of His hand – we know we are looked after –

Advent is a time to trust and believe in Jesus’ promises – to trust and believe in the coming Christ child –

A little girl – came into the room where her father was – and said ‘Daddy can we play?’

‘later’ – said her father – ‘I have to finish this first’

‘OK – she said – ‘When you’ve finished’ – I’ll give you a great big hug’-

‘That’s very kind’ – said her Dad – and as she went to the door – the little girl – did a U-turn – and came back and gave him the biggest hug she could

‘Thought you were going to wait till I finished’- said her dad – 

The little girl replied- ‘That’s so you know what you have to look forward to’ –

One meaning of Advent and Christmas – is that God wants us to know – through His first coming – how much we have to look forward to – in His second coming


Today we begin to participate in the joyful birth of our Saviour – but in order to prepare for it – we must pray for new birth within ourselves –

In Advent – and throughout the coming year – we need – to pray to the Holy Spirit for strength and power – to help us look again at His word – and the promises of His kingdom – to change and accept afresh – Jesus – into our lives  –  and to live in the power of His Spirit –

Jesus has opened the way to salvation for all who believe and follow Him.

Let’s make this Advent – the time – when accepting the Christ child really does become the way forward for us all –