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1 Corinthians 1:3-9 / Isaiah 64:1-9 / Mark 13:24-37

Edgars Sneiders


We recently lit the very first Advent candle on our wreath. This first candle is called the candle of prophecy or hope. Once upon a time, several of God’s prophets foretold that the Saviour of all mankind would come into this world, that He would be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem. That He would take upon Himself all our sins and that through His wounds we would be healed. That He will come to bring light into our lives, to give us all hope, and to free those who are in chains.
This has already happened. This promise and this message of the prophets has already been fulfilled.  Christ has already entered this world. And we will celebrate this event again in a special way this Christmas.
But the prophetic message did not end there.  Especially in the New Testament, there are many prophecies that Jesus will come again one day. He will come to completely destroy the power of death and put an end to all pain and suffering.
Recently, someone asked me. Pastor, haven’t you heard any prophecies about this covid time? What do the prophets say about when this nightmare will end and what will be the solution to it. I trust more in what the Word of God says and our Saviour Jesus Christ teaches us.
In the New Testament reading today, you have again heard these words from our Saviour-
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’
A pastor once helped his unbelieving neighbour to renovate his house. The neighbour’s son was attending Sunday school, and recently the second coming of Christ had been discussed. So he asked the question, “Pastor, what would you do if Jesus were to come tomorrow? The pastor smiled and said, “Well, first I would finish these things that I have to do today, because there is a good chance that your dad will stay here for a while, then I would probably tell some unbelievers that God loves them very much and they have hope to be saved if they call on the name of Christ, maybe I would ask for forgiveness of someone, pray for someone and give all my relatives hugs. And then I would be ready to meet my Lord. 
There is a good chance that tomorrow Christ will not come for His church and the time of God’s grace will continue for a while, but we should all live in the knowledge that I could meet the Lord tomorrow. And in fact it is very real. Because all our lives are so unpredictable and millions of people die every day in this world. And most of them hoped that there would be plenty of time to fulfil their dreams and achieve their goals. So let us be vigilant. Let us live in such a way that we are ready to meet our Saviour every day.
It seems to me that one of the reasons why we children of God are sometimes so sluggish and passionless in our spiritual work is that we think the world is not really so bad and corrupt after all. A statue of a beautiful woman is installed in the Church of Lorenz in Nuremberg. It depicts a woman with a very pretty and sweet face. The text on the statue reads: WORLD’S QUEEN. It has gold ornaments around its neck, gold jewels on its head and a basket of beautiful fruit in one hand. It is a very nice view, but unfortunately it is only from the front. Behind it is a very different and even very frightening view. On the other side of the statue are rotting bones, in which snakes are lodged. This statue was placed in this church so that God’s children could see and appreciate the true face of this world, to see it as God sees it, with its unbelief, malice, violence, uncleanness and other sins. Whatever our personal level of comfort, we must always bear in mind that we live in a world corrupted by sin, whose only hope is Jesus Christ. And who can give that hope to this world but us, the children of God.
One Bible verse says – A generous person will prosper;whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Therefore, let us forgive one another that we also may be forgiven, let us bless one another that we also may be blessed, and let us pray for this beautiful land that God has given us, that it may be healed and cleansed, and that the devil may have no more power over the lives of people and their immortal souls. 
The Bible verse I read to you at the beginning of my sermon ends with these words – He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Greek word “anekletos” translated “blameless” means as not under accusation. If we believe in Jesus Christ and if He is our Savior, then we are no longer under condemnation/ accusation. Satan of course tries to accuse us before God by pointing out our faults and sins, but God says to Satan, “Don’t mention them, because they have already been paid for. My Son Jesus Christ has paid the full price for every sinner’s sins by His death on the cross.”
Therefore, we will be perfect before God, not because we are very good people, but only because of Christ’s sacrifice and God’s love.
May this love of God encourage each one of us in this new Church Year to be even more constant in our prayers, more fervent in our faith and service, and more loving towards our neighbour. And may God help us to live such a life that we are ready to encounter our Saviour and Redeemer every day.