2nd Sunday of Advent
(1) Focus statement:
The one has come who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire, giving us reason to rejoice and to prepare.
(2) Function Statement:
This sermon will cause the congregation to rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit and to yield more fully to the Holy Spirit in order to prepare for the second coming.
I knew a family as I was growing up who lost two of their children to death by natural causes about a year apart. The family had 6 children, four of which were girls. The four girls were in church, but the parents or the boys didn't come to church. The girls sung with a group of girls at the church. They were very active in our youth group. We had prayer meetings on the school campus at noon, and these girls were almost always there. We had cottage prayer meetings for the youth on Thursday nights and again these girls were almost always there. These girls were probably some of the most active among our youth. They were very likeable. Two of the girls died: one in about eighth grade with encephalitis or spinal meningitis. She came down with some type of hepatitis and as a side effect of this she contracted the other and died. She had been healthy up until this time. It was one of those things that you couldn't believe happened. Then, about a year later, one of her older sisters died in about 10th grade with heart failure. It was like any other day. The parents got up to fix breakfast and get the kids of to school. They called them in for breakfast, going around to their rooms and calling them through their doors, but one of the girls didn't come. They went again to wake her this time to discover that she was dead. The autopsy showed that she died of heart failure. Very tragic! How can someone make it through something like this? This is a real story; it could happen to you and I!
The only way to make it through something like this without getting bitter is with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, one who hurts with us, one who gives us what we need to make it through life, one who helps us to put life back together, one who gives us a purpose in life, and one who helps restore us back into the image of God thus preparing us for the second coming. Our part is in letting the Holy Spirit do this for us, yielding! As we yield to Christ, Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wanted to help this family put it all back together. One of the girls in this family let the Holy Spirit do this; the last count I had of her she was still a happy, energetic person serving as a missionary with her husband for their church. Most of the rest of the family literally fell apart. They turned from the Holy Spirit. The family had started to church after the first one died, but they had left the church again after the second one died. The last count I had the parents had gotten a divorce, and the father had become an alcoholic.
On this 2nd Sunday of Advent we need to rejoice in this gift of the Holy Spirit and yield our lives to Christ, so Christ can Baptize us with the Holy Spirit: the one who can give us a purpose, and can get us through life. This story may almost seem so tragic that you would suspect that it was fiction, but it is not. This is a true story with real people; the names have been removed from this posting to protect those involved. This type of thing could happen to any one of us; it happens to someone everyday. We are not promised that we will have no problems and that we will be sheltered from bad things. We need the Holy Spirit to help us through life; we can't make it on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to fit us for the
As we yield our lives to Christ and are baptized with the Holy Spirit,
we will truly be preparing for not only the celebration of Christ's first
coming, but also, the reality of Christ's second coming. Thanks be to God! Amen! Kingdom of God