Rev. Jim Toole
Advent Sermon Series: Prepare the Way
Prepare the Way
Today we start our Advent sermon series called Prepare the Way. The Old Testament is pregnant with Jesus. So as we prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus on Christmas, we want to look at Jesus through the Old Testament Prophets.
Theme: The Advent and Christmas Season highlight the mercy and compassion of God coming to us in Jesus.
What does the story of Jonah have to do with Jesus?
As Jonah went down into the pit of the whale, so Jesus would descend into the pit of death. And just as the whale could not contain Jonah and coughed him up, so the grave would not contain Jesus. Jesus’ death, like sending Jonah to Nineveh, shows the great lengths of God’s mercy and compassion even for folks who utterly turn their back on Him.
I believe at the core of Advent is the concept of “longing”. Webster’s Dictionary describes “longing” as a prolonged unfulfilled desire or need. The prophets verbalized the longings of the Jewish people waiting for the Messiah. In Advent the concepts of waiting and longing can be interchanged.
I would like to propose three Advent Disciplines to help us in our longing… Slow down… Listen… Dream
- Proactively and intentionally set time aside during Advent so you can slow down and get in touch with your longings.
- Then listen to yourself but more than just that, listen to the faint or strong knocks at the door where Jesus is trying to break through and speak to you.
- As you slow down and get in touch with your longings, as you listen to God speaking to you in your circumstances, start dreaming about what God can and is going to do.