Herrenhuter readings for the 1st Sunday in Advent, the 30th November 2014

Bamberger_apokalypse_010vWho has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has taught Him? (Isaiah 40:13 NKJV) Jesus Christ says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelations 20:13 NJKV) 

On this first Sunday in Advent the Church begins a new Church year. In the midst of all hustle and bustle of our daily lives the new is already there and getting off to a good start – whether we know it or not. That is how it was from the very origin of all and everything. Even when the world was still dark and void – yes, when it had not even been created – God initiated his marvellous creation: “Let us make …” and so in the beginning God created heaven and earth. He’s busy with this amazing work even in these latter days even as he has already begun the new and 2nd creation in his Son Jesus Christ – the new world and the new heaven in which righteousness dwell.

Now the Prophet asks: Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has taught Him? (Isaiah 40:13 NKJV) It’s more or less a rhetorical question. Nobody could direct or counsel the Lord on this. Yet he has meditated over this himself and has been in deliberate counsel with himself always. So the Church understands God the heavenly Father together with eternal Word Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, who was hovering over the initial chaos in divine counsel with himself: “Let us create … and he created heaven and earth, made man and woman …” Finally he concluded: “See, behold – everything is very good!” 

Martin Luther puts this divine trialogue into words and to music in his reformational “Nun freut Euch lieben Christen g’mein…” (Dear Christians, one and all, rejoice LSB 556). God speaks to his beloved Son (verse 5): “Its time to have compassion. Then go, bright jewel of My crown And bring to all salvation. From sin and sorrow set them free; Slay bitter death for them that they May live with You forever.” And the Son on his part obeys, does it, becomes my brother, leads the devil captive and assures me: “For I am yours, and you are Mine, And where I am you may remain; The foe shall not divide us.”  At his departure to the Father he promises to send the Holy Spirit – the comforter and teacher und guide in all truth. (verse 9). This divine conversation keeps all going, because as he speaks it happens, what he says is true and real – more than anything else. The blessing of this story is that he has told us about it through the apostles and prophets. We know that this is God’s story with us and that we can rely on it to keep us in all truth – for Jesus Christ himself is the truth. He says of himself: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelations 20:13 NJKV) His Father says: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased – listen to him!” And the Holy Spirit reminds us of all, that our Lord entrusted to us through his blessed apostles and prophets – starting off with Moses! 

He is coming again and is already preparing his return in glory to judge the living and the dead. The Church is waiting eagerly. It’s lamps are burning in glad anticipation. We all pray together: Come Lord Jesus – come soon! In this sense I wish you a very blessed Advent. Amen.

Come, O precious Ransom, come, Only hope for sinful mortals! Come, O Savior of the world;  Open are to you all portals. Come, your beauty let us view;  Anxiously we wait for you.

Enter now my waiting heart, Glorious King and Lord most holy. Dwell in me and never leave, Thought I am but poor and lowly. What vast riches will be mine When you are my guest divine!

My hosannas and my palms  Graciously receive, I pray you; Evermore, as best I can, Homage I will gladly pay you, And in faith I will embraceLife eternal by your grace.

Hail! Hosanna! David’s Son! Jesus, hear our supplication!Let your kingdom, scepter, crown Bring us blessing and salvation That forever we may sing: Hail! Hosanna to our king!

Hymn # 34 from Lutheran Worship

By: Johann G. Olearius
Author: Neuverfertigtes Gesangbuch
Tune: Meinen Jesum Lass Ich Night
1st Published in: 1699

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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