Thursday, December 6, 2012

Alarm: Ready for Redemption #1

Listen online, and here!

 
Jeremiah 33.14-16 (branch), Luke 1.68-79, Luke 21.25-36, 1 Thessalonians 3.12-13
 
Story: Christmas Eve at the Grantley
The "little apocalypse" (a feature of the final discourse of Jesus in the synoptic gospels)
Fear? No
"Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (Lk 21.28)
"Proximity detector" for Jesus’ coming
Story: New car and the alarm system
First purpose of alarms: be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and worries of this life (Lk 21.34)
Wake up
dissipation (pleasure)
drunkenness (addiction)
worries (anxiety, obsession, compulsion)
often rooted in a "good" that is twisted
A period of great stress in my life ... Robin sounded the alarm.
For the sake of what is less important, we too easily lose connection with what is most important. That’s why we need alarms. We are sleep walking away from God – God’s love, God’s purpose for our lives – and we need an alarm to wake us up.


Story: Labor pains, Jesse born early
(shopping for the dresser)
Second purpose of alarms: be on guard so that ... that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. ... Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things (Lk 21.34-36). "Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" (Lk 21.28).
Pay attention – once we wake up, we need to stay awake
We seek not just the signs of Christmas and the shopping season. We seek not just the memory of Jesus as a baby. We seek the signs of Jesus coming to make the world right, to set his people free. And, it all begins with the skill of a proximity detector, to know when Jesus is near, to discern signs of his presence here and now – even as we wait for his coming.
Visiting in the community – couple gals w/ kids
Soccer - Steve’s greeting
Bazaar
Caring groups – Cottage Bible study (Jean), Disciple (Pam)
Practical helps – fixing a furnace
Layette kits –
In Romans, Paul says that not only we but all of God’s creation is waiting for the children of God to be revealed. All of creation is waiting for that salvation day of Jesus’ coming. And, he concludes with this very organic alarm: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves . . . groan inwardly while we wait for . . . the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8.22-23).
Getting ready for redemption:alarm clock
wake up – salvation, our connection to God and each other, is greater than our worries, pleasures, addictions
pay attention – look at all the signs of his coming. They surround us every day. BE a SIGN – layette kits, hospitality, joy, invitation
 
Benediction:

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13 And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

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