Sermons

Rev. Dr. Nahum Beard's Advent Sermon Notes December 18, 2022

Posted on December 18, 2022 at 3:00 PM

4th Sunday in Advent:The Daily Visitation

Readings:

Isaiah 7:10-16

Romans 1:1-7

Matthew 1:18-25

Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18

Collect:

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his

coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the

unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Reminder: Advent season of preparation. Historically fasting and prayer. It is a reminder to

prepare oneself and the Church for Jesus’ second coming

Today: we begin with an invocation for the Holy Spirit to purify our consciences so as to prepare

our hearts.

The instruction within the collect today is that often it is through the daily visitation—daily

encounters with God that our conscience is purified. What does this mean-‘a daily visitation’ or

encounter. How shall we avail ourselves of this means and through it this end of purification and

preparation?

1) First let’s be assured that God our Father is available.

The lesson of Christmas and the Epiphany is that the God-head in the Eternal Son

condescended to come to us. He came to fellowship with Sinners and save us. He condescends

still in the Holy Spirit to enliven and empower.

John.14.23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;

and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

We have been and still are His intended home. His mansion if you will as the collect says. So

knowing His intention and His promise to continually visit us, for His Spirit to indwell us we can

be confident that if we will walk with Him in fellowship and obedience then we must encounter

Him daily.

2) Now it may be that we, not being fully mature or yet made perfect, may not realize this

experientially.

a) A first issue and most likely is in recognition. Analogy: Part of growing up and

indeed parenting is recognizing opportunity and danger. The young child reaches

for the flame, the adult forsees and stops the child admonishing him to prevent

injury whenever possible. So a call to maturity is recognizing the opportunity, the

blessing, afforded to us in Christ. And likewise the dangers that may distract us

or wound us. The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and we have in the

scriptures what we need to recognize and understand.

 

b) Dangers: The Scriptures admonish us the will of God. We have the 10

commandments and the Law of Christ to keep us from danger and to direct our

energies to actively love God, love our neighbor, and our enemy. To receive His

love and listen to and try not to grieve the Holy Spirit. To forgive, and find

forgiveness.

c) Opportunity: The Christmas story is as it says in Isaiah 7 is a sign. It is something

to look for, for Israel. And for us it is important to note that He may present

himself in gentleness and humility. We should look for the unexpected—a word

of encouragement from a stranger, a scripture verse in a text. Sometimes to slow

oneself down and pray even in times of busyness and stress.

d) He comes in power and strength -the lesson of Advent is that Christ will come in

power. He is revealed in power in the resurrection as the epistle says. Now, we

live in a time of transition where the kingdom of heaven is being revealed but is

not fully revealed (inaugurated eschatology-‘now and the not yet’). This is why we

pray and see healing and deliverance more or less in times and seasons, but it is

when he returns that we shall all be healed and delivered in the resurrection. But

knowing He reveals himself in this way we should be bold of faith to encounter

God in vision, dream, prophecy, word of knowledge and wisdom, and His

healing. We do not want to miss the gift of His daily visitation because we set our

eyes, our expectations, to low.

 

3) So we know He must and will come because he has revealed it as His will in His word.

So again we pray that we might avail ourselves of His daily visitation, that He might do

the work in us of purification and preparation as we look to his coming again. He is

faithful and will do it. Let us pray.

 

Categories: None