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Notes for Advent 2 – Luke 21:25-36

by pastorjuhl ~ November 30th, 2009

I encourage you to read Fr. Weedon’s study found under “Advent 2”. Here are some additional quotes from various sources.

Church Fathers

And then shall appear the signs of the truth; first, the sign of the spreading out in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet, and the third, the resurrection of the dead; yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with him” (Zechariah 14:5). Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven (Didache 16:6-8; ANF 7:382).

Remember, Lord, Thy church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou hast prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory unto the ages (Didache 10:5; ANF 7:380).

“And He rested on the seventh day.” This says: when His Son comes, He shall destroy the time of the wicked man and judge the ungodly and change the sun and the moon and the stars, then He shall truly rest on the seventh day (Epistle of Barnabas 15:5; ANF 1:146).

Far from us be that which is written, “Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, ‘These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old and none of them has happened unto us.'” Fools, compare yourselves to a tree: take the vine. First it sheds, then it buds, then leaves, then flowers, and after that the sour grape, then the ripened fruit. See, that in a little time the fruit of a tree matures (1 Clement 23:3-4; ANF 1:11).

Death is every individual’s last day (Augustine, quoted by Luther).

So oppressive therefore will be the unrest of souls, that, unhappily conscious of the multitude of our offenses, and fearful of the judgment to come, the very dew of baptism shall dry upon our brow. (Ambrose)

Corporal things having passed away, there remain now only the intellectual and the heavenly, namely: the kingdom of a world that will never pass away, and the promised rewards that shall be given to the just…. Since we have received the promises of God, in which we place all our hope, we who before were bowed down shall now raise our heads, for the redemption we have longed for will then be at  hand, that namely for which every creature is waiting (Eusebius).

Nothing of this world is more durable than the heavens and the earth, and nothing in the order of nature passes away more quickly than speech. Words, as long as they are incomplete, are not yet words. Once completed, they cease utterly to be; because they cannot be perfected save in their own passing away. Therefore He says: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass. As if he were openly to say: all that seems to you enduring and unchangeable, is not enduring and without change in eternity. And everything of mine that seems to pass away, is enduring and without change: because my speech, that passes away, utters thoughts (sententiae manentes) which endure for ever (Gregory the Great).

Dom Prosper Guernager, “The Liturgical Year”

I desire that you come and be born within me, so when the convulsions of nature warn me of Your coming to judge me, I may “lift up my head,” as You bid Your faithful disciples do, who, when the rest of men shall tremble at the thunder of Your judgment, will have confidence in You, because they have You in their hearts (1:131). Fr. Lehmann has the full quote in a previous year’s Advent 2 post.

Blessed C.F.W. Walther

The false Christian is presented in God’s Word as a person who says in his heart, “My Lord delays His coming,” while the true Christians are described as those “who are waiting for the Lord.”

Blessed Martin Luther’s House Postil

During His first advent [Jesus] rendered the greatest service, a service which no angel, no creature was able to render, and prepared the kingdom for his believers and elect. But when the number of the elect is complete, he will not return as a servant but as a master, in order to free us from earth, maggoty mire, death, and decay.

That is the one thing we ought to learn today, to prepare ourselves for the Lord’s return, just as we confess in our Creed that our Lord Jesus Christ will come to judge the living and the dead.

We must, therefore, not think of Judgment Day as coming in the distant future, but anticipate it every day.

The purpose of My coming is not to cast you into hell but to deliver you from the vile, sick, infirm, and wicked life of this world, to separate you from the devil and his servants, and to place you among the angels where you will not suffer but live in everlasting glory. (Weedon has the longer quote)

When you see such signs [says Christ] and, in addition, the world’s abominable false security, plus its carousing, gluttony, scraping, and scratching, then remember your redemption is close at hand.

A personal note: Isaiah 24 is a fantastic chapter to read in preparing to write your sermon for this Sunday. Paul’s catechesis on the Last Day in 1 Thessalonians 4 is good reading too.

2009 Hymn Plan: LSB 333, 336, 514/873, 672

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