Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy New year -- First Advent!

First Sunday in Advent 27 November 2011
What’s next? Mark 11:2-3.
“Go into the village just ahead of you and as soon as you enter it you will find a tethered colt on which no one has yet ridden. Untie it, and bring it here. If anybody asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it, and will send it back immediately.’”

1. What’s next in general…
a. Physical trials and persecutions. Mark 13:5-10. Jesus answered: Watch out and don't let anyone fool you! 6Many will come and claim to be me. They will use my name and fool many people.
7When you hear about wars and threats of wars, don't be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn't the end. 8Nations and kingdoms will go to war against each other. There will be earthquakes in many places, and people will starve to death. But this is just the beginning of troubles.
9Be on your guard! You will be taken to courts and beaten with whips in their meeting places. And because of me, you will have to stand before rulers and kings to tell about your faith. 10But before the end comes, the good news must be preached to all nations.

b. Spiritual trials and suffering. Mark 13:19-22 19It will be a time of misery that has not happened from the beginning of God’s creation until now, and will certainly never happen again. 20If the Lord does not reduce that time, no one will be saved. But those days will be reduced because of those whom God has chosen.
21“At that time don’t believe anyone who tells you, ‘Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ 22False Christs and false prophets will appear. They will work miraculous signs and do wonderful things to deceive, if possible, those whom God has chosen.

2. What’s next – specifically…
a. God cares about details and seemingly small matters – donkeys!
b. God calls us to walk by a childlike trust and confidence

3. What’s next – Jesus with us always
a. …according to His assumed human nature and with the same, He can be, and also is, present where He will, and especially that in His Church and congregation on earth He is present as Mediator, Head, King, and High Priest, not in part, or one-half of Him only, but the entire person of Christ is present, to which both natures belong, the divine and the human; not only according to His divinity, but also according to, and with, His assumed human nature, according to which He is our Brother, and we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Even as He has instituted His Holy Supper for the certain assurance and confirmation of this, that also according to that nature according to which He has flesh and blood He will be with us, and dwell, work, and be efficacious in us. (Solid Declaration)
b. Jesus’ “earthly ministry” will continue in our witness, mercy and life-together throughout this new church year.

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