Adventus – He Comes

St. Matthew 21:1-9 (Midweek 2016)

In the name of Jesus, who is coming soon.   Amen.

Dear fellow redeemed in Christ our Lord…  Advent comes from the Latin word adventus.  Adventus means “coming.”  Advent is all about Jesus’ coming.  It’s a season of faith, hope, and love.  It’s a preparatory season. It’s penitential — with the violet reminding us that it’s time to repent of our sins because Jesus is coming!  We need to be ready, and we are made ready.

We know that Advent isn’t Christmas.   We know that the world gets that all wrong.  Advent, if you will allow the comparison, is the pre-game to Christmas; it’s the set-up to Christmas.  The world in which we live plays so much in the pre-game that they’re done before the game even starts.  Decorations have been in some stores since before Halloween, and Christmas – I mean “holiday” – music has been on the radio for at least 3 weeks.

Christmas, however, is the big season.  Advent is the warm up; it’s the time for us to be stretched out, and be made ready for the Lord’s coming.

In the Gospel reading for tonight as well as this past Sunday, the Lord comes into Jerusalem, riding the royal donkey.  King Jesus.  David’s Son.  The Christ, the Son of the Living God.

The people of Jerusalem were all were looking for a king to slay their foes and lift them high.  David’s Son rides into David’s city on David’s ride, proclaiming to all that He is a David King.

But it’s… a… funny sort of King.  He comes in humility to His coronation.  He rides in lowly pomp to die.  Jesus conquers your foes, but not by having the biggest planes and tanks.

No, He comes not to reign on the earth; He comes to be defeated.   And by His being defeated, Jesus wins every single game against your enemy – for all time, for you.  He is rejected by His people; He is beaten; He suffers; He is crucified.  And by that active and passive obedience of our Lord, you are saved.  You are forgiven.  The devil, the world, and your sinful flesh are conquered.

In His coming, in His Advent-ing, Jesus saves you.  He takes upon Himself the sins of the whole world — every bit of the icky, disgusting, shameful sins that we do in the darkness; every stab of pain we experience; every cup of sin that we drink over and over again almost against our will as we grimace because we don’t want to do the things that we do… but we still end up doing them, anyway.

Jesus rides today into Jerusalem – He advents – in order to raise you up out of your sins, out of your failures, out your shadowy corners, and bring light to your world.

His Advent — His coming — gives you faith, which stands through suffering.

His Advent gives you hope, and it is a hope that sees not only the light at the end of the tunnel, but that the King of the Universe has blown the top off that tunnel, letting His own light break through.

And His Advent gives you love.  His love for us enlivens us to love those around us with the love that we have received from Jesus.

That, dear friends, is why we rejoice in Faith, Hope, and Love here at Divine Savior.  Faith in Jesus, hope for a joyful outcome to our world, love for those around us.

It’s Advent!  It’s time to repent of your sins, a time to turn from them.  You have been given a new beginning; you have been given a new start from God.  He has taken away all your sins.

And we are able to do that precisely because Advent provides us with an annual reset, a do-over, a mulligan; it’s kind of a stop and a restart.  Jesus washes everything, He baptizes it in His coming.  He comes in His Word to put salvation into our ears.  He advents to place His Body and Blood into our mouths for the forgiveness of all our sins.

And soon, on the Last Day, He will come one more time in glory on the clouds of heaven to judge both the living and the dead.  There, too, in that awesome coming, He will not come to judge or destroy us.  No; He’s coming on a rescue mission to snatch us from all this, and we will be saved.

But today we have King Jesus on His donkey, riding into Holy Week and the Cross!  That’s not very Christmas-y; it’s not supposed to be.  Rather, it is the start of Advent, because He’s coming.  It’s a new start, a new beginning, a time to remember your baptism, a time to receive the Lord’s gifts, and a time to be forgiven.

So, dear fellow redeemed, add some more Jesus to your Advent this year.  Come to church on Wednesday nights and receive some more of the Lord’s words.  Read some devotions.  Add some more of His faith, hope, and love to your life.  You are forgiven.  You are freed from your sins.

Those around you could use some more faith, hope, and love in their lives, too.  Make up with those who you have wronged.  Be reconciled with those who have wronged you.  Do it now, before He comes at Christmas.

Because it’s Advent! Jesus is coming — to save us.  It’s a new year. It’s a new beginning…for you, for those around you, for our church. Christ is coming, coming into Jerusalem on the Royal Donkey, and on the clouds of heaven on the Last Day.

In the mean time, He continually comes to you in the Word, in baptismal water, and in His Body and Blood.

Your sins are forgiven.

In the Name of Jesus, who is coming soon!  Amen!