Sermon and Worship Service videos from Abiding Love Lutheran Church, Austin TX
Sunday, November 29, 2015
1st Sunday of Advent Nov. 29, 2015
The season of Advent has come. It is a time of preparation, to make ourselves ready to receive the One who is coming into the world. We hear freshly the voice of the prophet, coming out of the chaos of the wilderness, and calling forth a new creation: for the rugged places to be made smooth, for crooked ways to be made straight. John the Baptist comes in the Spirit and power of the prophets of old, proclaiming good news – a Gospel of salvation for all people, for all creation – and calling us to prepare through a “baptism of repentance.” This was a new language of faith for the people of John’s time and brings a fresh meaning to faith in ours. As we prepare ourselves for the greatest of gifts, we embrace this calling to repentance, to make ready for the One God wants to bear into the world through us.
Pilate’s question hangs in the air over the plight of Jesus in the grip of Rome. It hangs in the air over the church today as we seek to understand Christ as “King” in contemporary culture. For Jesus, claims to kingly authority are sedition against the empire, punishable by death. For us, the notion of “monarchy” is far removed from our cultural and worldly perspectives. What does it mean for us to proclaim Christ “king” in a world that so clearly defies that reign? What is the truth of it all, as Pilate asks, when it seems clear that his notion of kingship and what Jesus is talking about are two very different things. On the cusp of the new church year, we will explore popular notions of kings and the way Jesus embodies the reign of God: a king who washes feet; the one who would be ruler of all, coming to us as the servant of all … a very different kind of king.