November 30, 2021 A+D
John 1: 35-42
NO SERMON AUDIO
In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Advent means “coming.” Andrew might have been seeking a more stable rabbi, looking for someone not stuck in the desert, or he might have been perfectly happy as John’s disciple. It didn’t matter what Andrew thought he was doing or wanted. Jesus was seeking and calling him.
It is much the same with you. The Lord comes to you, sometimes bidden, sometimes not. He is the One who comes in the Name of the Lord. He is not yours to command or forbid. You can reject Him, of course, but please don’t. That is not an exercise of power, but simply self-destruction. To say that He comes unbidden is not to say that He forces Himself on you. Rather it is that He is persistent and patient. He loves you and doesn’t give up. Thus did He seek you in Baptism and so also does He come now in His Word and in the Holy Communion. He comes in the Name of the Lord to rescue you and bring you home.
This will be the point of John’s question from prison: “Are you the Coming One?” He asks that because that is what we desperately need. We do not need a God who gives us a place to stay in this living death. We don’t need a hero who will throw out Rome or defeat the coronavirus. We don’t need a strategy for losing weight or living our best life possible. What we need is a God who comes to us, who comes in the Name of the Lord to meet us here on earth in order to redeem us and prepare us to leave this world, a God who comes even when we are pouting or being stupid or selfish, a God who loves us out of ourselves and our sins.
Hearing John, Andrew followed Jesus. If we listen to the prophets in the Bible we will also follow Jesus. We follow the Lamb who comes in the Name of the Lord and who takes away the sin of the world. That is what the Old Testament is all about. God set up a system to get us back, to wash and cleanse us, to atone for us. The Tabernacle and Temple were part of that system. So are the Sacraments of the New Testament. The Tabernacle and Temple delivered the benefits of the cross, of God’s self-sacrifice, of the Lamb who does more than cause the angel of death to pass over, but who takes away the sin of the world. The tabernacle and temple delivered forgiveness to the people. They looked forward to what God had promised to faith and that which we look back to: the Blessed Son of David who comes in the Name of the Lord.
The Old Testament saints were reckoned righteous by faith. God saw their faith, their trust in Him, and counted them as righteousness. It is the same with us. And thus if we hear the Old Testament, the prophets like John the Baptist, we will also follow the Lamb that they all proclaim. This is what John and Moses and Isaiah all want for us, what they peered into and hoped for and which has been delivered to us.
By grace, Andrew stayed with Christ. He did so even unto his own martyrdom. For after the Lord was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, He then sent Andrew and the others out preaching – so that folks like us would also be brought into the fold. By the mouth of Andrew Christ came in the Name of the Lord. Andrew was faithful until death. Now He stays with Christ forever.
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord and blessed is the one to whom He comes, that is to say, blessed are you, Advent people. Jesus is here.
In +Jesus’ Name. Amen.