Midweek Advent 3


Advent is a time of preparation and anticipation.  The word Advent means “coming,” not “it’s already here.”  So, this is a time when we prepare ourselves to celebrate the coming of Jesus as the Messiah. 

Yet, we in the Church–even within ourselves–have to contend against the secular Christmas, which has looked like Christmas since Halloween.  So a certain restraint is in order, a certain discipline–the discipline of waiting.  Christmas will come; now is Advent.

Main Body

Now, we consider the coming miracle of the incarnation, Jesus Christ, being born from the Virgin’s womb.  This is the same Jesus who was born of His Father in eternity before all worlds.  Now, He is the Word made flesh, the Word that speaks all life into being.

Yet, Advent is not only the season when we ponder the infant Jesus, but also the man Jesus, the king Jesus.  Advent reminds us who this Jesus of Nazareth is.  Advent reminds us why Jesus came here to live, to work, and to die.  Jesus was the child formed in the throne room of the Virgin’s womb.  Yet, this infant Jesus grew up and died in our frail flesh as His crowning glory to be our king.

We know that earthly kingdoms do not last.  They rise and fall.  They flourish and decay.  Empires waste away and fade into oblivion.  Nations come and go.  The kingdoms of this world, whether powerful or weak, do not stand forever. 

Most of the Israelites in Jesus’ day wanted a messiah who was strong and mighty, who would conquer their earthly foes.  They wanted someone who would rise to the peak of political power.  They wanted someone who would shower them with the wealth and riches of a powerful kingdom.  They wanted an impressive, earthly king.  This they did not see in Jesus.

What king is born in a musty stable to hard, working-class parents?  What king asks hated tax collectors and lowly fishermen to be His companions?  What Israelite king shows compassion on a Samaritan and forgives her sin?  What king kneels down next to adulterous woman and challenges the righteous to recognize their own sin?  Oh, what a different king Jesus is!

Jesus wasn’t–and isn’t–the king the world wants.  In an age of quick fixes, fads, and forms of false escape, many run from the real solutions to their real problems.  In today’s politically correct world, sin, death, and the devil are now hostile words we should not speak.  Such words are considered malicious and no longer fit for us to use.  So why do we need Jesus when we think we can fix ourselves?

But what is the truth?  The truth is that we can’t even fix our problems.  Left on our own, using fixes, fads, and escapes, we will still surely die.  But thanks to be to God that He sent His Son!  For only Jesus was the king the dying world needed.  He was the king the world had to have!  No other way existed to save this fallen world, except through Christ the King! 

Jesus was the king who cared and loved enough to leave His heavenly throne to wear the robe of our human flesh.  He was the king who would wear a crown of thorns for His subjects.  He was the king who would give His life for us, the walking dead.  He was the king whom the world needed like no other.

Jesus was most kingly when others violently and viciously attacked Him.  Jesus was most kingly at those times when the world would see Him at His weakest.  Jesus was kingly when He carried His cross.  Jesus was kingly when He forgave the thief on the cross and promised to be with him in paradise.  Jesus was kingly when He cried out to His Father in anguish and gave up His Spirit.

This world sees the last days of Jesus as anything but regal and kingly.  He spent His last days doing what He had to do to save a dying world.  The king had to do the unthinkable.  The king had to die.  That’s why Jesus, our Advent King, did not come in pomp, power, and prestige.  He came, instead, to show His deep and fathomless love.  He came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for the many.

Because of the king who Jesus is, we should not find His kingdom surprising.  His kingdom is not of this world.  King Jesus delights in bringing His holy gifts to His people, not in exacting tribute. 

Today, King Jesus still comes and still delights in bringing His holy gifts to His people.  This is Jesus’ Advent, His coming, His coming in Word and Sacrament, in His means of grace.  

King Jesus came into your life in the lowly word and water of holy baptism.  There, He planted His Kingdom in your heart.  There, He marked you as His own.  There, He gave Himself to you as the Lord of your life.  There, God “has rescued [you] from the power of darkness and has brought [you] under the reign of the Son … through whom [you] have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14).  

In Holy Absolution, King Jesus comes into your life in the lowly words of forgiveness, which your pastor speaks following Christ’s command (John 20:23).  Christ’s forgiving words still contend against sin, death, and Satan.  Those words give what they say–Christ’s own forgiveness.  With your sin’s forgiven, death has lost its sting.  Now, not even Satan and his minions can harm you.

In His Holy Supper, King Jesus comes to you in the bread that is His Body and the wine that is His blood.  In His Supper, He reaches out to you, giving you His own righteousness.  That’s what His Body and Blood are–His righteousness given to cover your sin!


The world got King Jesus wrong–and still does!  But to Christ’s own, we know that through Christ the King’s suffering and death, and through His holy Sacraments, He continues to come to us–even now–as our King.  Such are the bounties, the gifts that King Jesus comes to bequeath on you–even now. 

Robed in such riches, you will have a seat at Christ’s Table when He comes again in glory to judge the living and the dead.  To Him, we give all glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and even into the ages of ages!  Amen.