2nd Midweek Advent Service
Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel and ransom us the captive Israel. Amen. In the name of Jesus, dear friends in Christ,
“Hey, why are you so serious? Loosen up a little bit! Have a little fun! Don’t be so serious!” Has anyone ever said that you? Have you ever told that to someone? We typically say that when someone is seemingly being overly rigid about something or overly determined about one thing. And while there are certain things in life that we can loosen up a bit about and not be too serious about, the reality is, everyone is serious about certain things. In fact, everyone would agree that it’s actually a very good thing to be serious about certain things. And it’s especially true when lives are on the line. I don’t think anyone who rides on an airplane would like their pilots to not take their job very seriously so they don’t end up crashing the plane. I think everyone who hires a mechanic to fix the brakes on their car wants their mechanic to take his job very seriously so that your brakes don’t malfunction when you need them. I think everyone expects that the surgeon who operates on his/her body or the body of one of their loved ones would take his or her job extremely seriously. Being serious about certain things isn’t a bad thing, in fact, when life is at stake -it’s a very good thing!
Our theme for this evening is wait for Jesus in seriousness. The problem in our text is that the people were not serious about the amazing and great thing that God was doing for them. Our text this evening is Jesus’ words right after the words we focused on last Wednesday. Jesus has just done a miracle, he had just driven out a demon who had made a man mute. After that, instead of appreciating this sign that showed that Jesus is God, some said that Jesus drove the demon out by the power of the devil, not God. Jesus answered that charge by pointing out that it wouldn’t make any sense of Satan to drive out Satan for he’d be destroying his own kingdom. Rather, Jesus is like a strong man who has tied up an even stronger man and is carrying away his possessions. After hearing all this a woman yelled out that Jesus’ mother is to be blessed. And in response Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and guard it.”
Then Jesus gets to our text. Jesus first calls the people a “wicked generation.” Why so? Because they keep looking for a sign when the most important sign is standing right in front of them. The Queen of Sheba traveled from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom with which the Lord blessed Solomon- but one far greater than Solomon is here! The Ninevites repented at Jonah’s preaching, but the people in Jesus’ day refuse to listen to him. They aren’t taking Jesus’ seriously.
How serious are you about Jesus? Are we any better than the Jews of Jesus’ day? They ignored the signs of God’s grace right in front of them. What about us? We have Jesus right in front of us, we have his Word in print, His Word attached to water, and His Word attached to his body and blood in the sacraments. How serious are we about these signs of his grace? How serious are you about God’s Word? Do we fritter our life away filling it with trivial things that on the Last Day have absolutely no consequence? How serious are you about your baptism and recalling your baptism and drowning your sinful flesh in the water of your baptism every day? How serious are you about the Lord’s Supper and coming forward with a repentant and joyful heart and leaving to live a new and holy life? Do we hear His Word, receive His sacrament and return to our same old sinful habits? Are we the “wicked generation”? We want our doctors, our pilots, and our mechanics to be serious…but are we serious? This isn’t just physical life! This is eternal life or eternal death- are we serious about that?
Jesus, our Savior, comes to us and tells us to wait eagerly for him in seriousness. He’s coming again. Soak up His Word and his Sacraments. In it he gives you true wisdom and true treasures. What could possibly be more important? Wouldn’t we want to travel far more than the Queen of Sheba to receive the gifts God gives us freely through His Word? Gifts like – forgiveness for sins in Jesus, peace for a guilty and troubled conscience, joy in a risen Savior that no sadness can snuff out, a love that compels us to live more Christ-like everyday.
And what happens when we’re serious about Jesus and His Word? On our own we’re nothing but darkness inside, but the gospel fills us with nothing but light. Light dispels the darkness. When we take Jesus seriously and wait for Jesus seriously His light fills us and shines through us to others. The more you know about Jesus, the closer you are to Jesus, the greater His light shines through you to others. They see it. It’s like having Christmas lights shining in you and through you. Take Jesus’ Word seriously, let His light shine in you, and you will be a beacon of light in this sin-darkened world. And this is how serious this is: God will use His light shining in you and through you to reach more and more souls that they too might be saved eternally. That’s serious business!
So, wait for Jesus in seriousness, taking his word seriously and seriously letting the light of the gospel shine through you. The souls God reaches through you will be eternally grateful that you did. Wait for Jesus in seriousness. Amen.