Ad Te Levavi—Advent 1 (Jer 23, 5–8; Mt 21, 1–9; Rom 13, 11)

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“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord.”

᛭ INI ᛭

((5. Oops!: What days are coming?))

“The days are coming.” What days? What does the future hold? What’s going to happen? Truth is we don’t know. That’s the scary thing, isn’t it? We don’t know what’s going to happen. Tomorrow’s coming, but we don’t know what will happen until we get there. Each moment, each year, each month, each hour, each minute, each second is a surprise: it’s unknown, until it’s over.

So, do the Lord’s words fill you with hope or dread? “The days are coming.” Depends on the situation, I guess. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, those words don’t really offer that much comfort. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord.” In the investing world, past performance is not indicative of future returns, and yet for us past tears, do warrant future fears. “The days are coming.” What days?

((4. Ugh!: Our fear comes from unbelief.))

This fear comes from our unbelief. We’re afraid of the future because we worry that the Lord won’t take care of us, that He won’t be bothered with us. We’re just like Adam and Eve when they were afraid of the Lord when they heard Him in the garden. When those days come, we believe they’re going to be bad. That the Lord will be out to get us, or that He’ll ignore us.

In our unbelief we expect things that the Lord hasn’t promised. He makes all sorts of promises. He tells us all sorts of things. But when faced with “the days are coming,” our minds, our hearts run to the things that are least certain. Our worries and fears! We focus on those things and our expectations for how the Lord will fix them.

We set the terms for what will be good days, what will be bad days. And when the Lord doesn’t meet our expectations, when He’s God and we’re not, well, we don’t like that very much, at all. That’s putting it mildly. But that turns into a feedback loop for us. We enter the emotional and spiritual churn of “the days are coming.” What days? When? How long?

“My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD—how long?”

((3. Aha!: THE DAYS OF THE LORD’S SALVATION ARE!))

Our unbelief makes us like children who only half listen to what their parents are saying. And so when the Lord says, “The days are coming, declares the Lord,” our minds are off to the races. We miss the actual promise and good news of His words. What He’s telling us is meant to bring us peace and comfort as we live our lives not knowing what’s coming. Let’s turn our ears to all that the Lord says to us, today.

“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. This is the Name by which He will be called: The LORD, our Righteousness.”

Instead of leaving us hanging, wondering what days are coming. He tells us exactly what days are coming. “The days are coming, declares the LORD.” What days?

THE DAYS OF THE LORD’S SALVATION ARE COMING!

((2. Whee!: They’ve already come and will come again.))

THE DAYS OF THE LORD’S SALVATION ARE COMING!

In fact, they’ve already come. Jesus is the “righteous Branch” promised in Jeremiah 23. “In His days Judah will be saved,” and that’s what’s going on in our reading from Matthew 21. The Lord made a promise, and He kept it. Jesus rode into Jerusalem as “King of the Jews.” There He was crucified. There He died. There He rose.

Those three days, Good Friday through Easter, those are the days of the Lord’s salvation. They came, just as the Lord promised them. Jesus rode that donkey, as promised. “This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet.” So also His death and resurrection. The Lord’s salvation was accomplished. Done deal. Just as surely as Christ lives and reigns now.

“In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely.” It doesn’t depend on you or me. It doesn’t depend on how stalwart we are, how firm or uniform our faith is. It all rests on the Lord’s promise. You and I are saved by the Lord. Saved from those things we can’t extricate ourselves from: our sins, our fears, our lack of faith. He forgives us. Saves us. He promises to, and that’s exactly what He does.

THE DAYS OF THE LORD’S SALVATION ARE COMING!

In fact, they’ll come again. Just as surely as the Lord kept His promise before. So also He’ll keep it now. The Lord’s salvation will come, eternal life will come. As surely as Christ shed His blood for you, as surely as He rose from the dead. So also, Paul’s words of promise are true for you, too. “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”

Salvation will come. Jesus will come. “He will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead.” You don’t need to be afraid of that day. For when that day comes, Jesus tells you, “lift up your head for your Salvation is drawing near.” (Lk 22)

((1. Yeah!: They’re here now!))

THE DAYS OF THE LORD’S SALVATION ARE COMING!

In fact, they’re here now! The Lord’s salvation isn’t just has been. It isn’t just will be. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Author and Finisher, the Beginning and End of your salvation, of your faith—and at every point, every time in between!

What we see in our Gospel reading today is exactly how it is for us today. The Lord comes into the midst of the people. He comes to do exactly what they need Him to do, what He promised to do. He does what they cry out: “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Save us! Save us!

Right into their midst Jesus goes. Right into our midst Jesus comes. “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6) Salvation. Has to be salvation. Right for you. Right to you. It can’t be any other way. It’s exactly what the Lord says: “This is My body. This is My blood. Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”

That’s salvation. Right into your mouth. His body. His blood. How can you be anything but saved? How can it be anything except the day of salvation? As if that weren’t good enough, the Lord always gives more. You’re baptized. You’re forgiven. You’re absolved. You’re getting Gospel-filled sermon.

Come hell or high water all that’s true. Jesus for you. Jesus to you. Salvation for you. Salvation to you. Not just calvary. Not just empty tomb. Not just Last Day. This day. Now. Hear it. See it. Eat it. Drink it.

THE DAYS OF THE LORD’S SALVATION ARE COMING!

In fact, now. Right now. No matter what happens from this day forward. The Lord’s gifts and promises are true. His salvation is yours. He’s yours. You’re His. He’s your “Righteous Branch.” He is “the Lord, Your Righteousness.”

He told you that Day would come. It came. It will come. That’s today! He comes today. “Behold, your King comes for you.” Humble. Lowly. For you.

᛭ INI ᛭

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