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The Rev. William Klock: Sermon for the Sunday Next Before Advent (Jeremiah 23:5-8; John 6:5-14)

November 25, 2011

It is hard to believe we have completed another church year, but from Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia, here is a Sermon for the Sunday Next Before Advent, which is based on Jeremiah 23:5-8 and John 6:5-14.  Fr. Bill, in this one, does an exemplary job of showing us that these readings point us to His coming, and that the First Advent points to the Second Advent.  I also like what he has to say about “Stir Up Sunday”:

But, brothers and sisters, the First Advent of Jesus always points us to his Second Advent.  Jeremiah and the Old Testament prophets prophesied the first coming of the King to establish his kingdom—bringing righteousness, gathering his elect from the nations, and bringing them together as his Church—his true Israel—as he makes them a temple for himself.  But the King himself prophesied that he would come back.  The kingdom life we have now is only the down payment of the life we will have with him when his kingdom is fully consummated at his return—when his spiritual kingdom will become a physical reality.  In the meantime we have work to do.  In the collect we asked God to “stir up” the wills of his faithful people, that we may produce abundantly the fruit of good works, and receive his abundant reward.  We often call this last Sunday of Trinitytide “Stir Up Sunday”.  Would that God might stir us up out of our complacency and remind us of the blessings he has poured out on us.  Would that he might stir us up out of our complacency and remind us of the kingdom life he’s called us to live.  Would that he might stir us up out of our complacency that we each might consider the gifting for ministry that he’s given us and do the work of the kingdom.  Would that he might stir us up out of our complacency and remind us how important and how urgent it is that we share his Gospel—his Good News of hope for sinners—with those who are in darkness. How much of our time and our gifts do we squander?  As the disciples did with the left over bread, gather up the fragments and consider again the call to ministry and service that God continues to give us as we move into the new year and come another step closer to his Second Advent.  Yes, we do live in this world, but our real home, our real citizenship, and our real future is in God’s kingdom!  Live fully in the grace he has given; use the gifts he has given you to advance his kingdom—don’t let them become leftovers; and take advantage of every opportunity he gives you to serve his kingdom.

Indeed, may the Spirit of God stir us to using our gifts for His glory and the spread of the Gospel, and may we – each of us – draw closer to Him this Advent.

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