Sermon - December 5, 2021 - St. Martin's In the Desert

Sermon – December 5, 2021

Second Sunday of Advent
December 5, 2021
Year C

First Reading: Baruch 5: 1-9
Canticle 16: The Song of Zechariah
(Luke 1: 68-79)

Second Reading; Philippians 1: 3-11
Gospel: Luke 3: 1-6


Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and
prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and
forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our
Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
forever. Amen

Malachi 3:1-4

“See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord
whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple”.

The prophets, were sent as messengers to preach repentance and to bid God’s
people to prepare for salvation.

Isaiah was a Hebrew prophet who lived about 700 years before the birth of Jesus

(Isaiah 9:6) prophesies that Jesus Christ will come as a baby; Jesus is described
this way. “For a Child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rest upon
his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace.”

And the Prophet (Malachi 3:1-4), proclaims that a holy messenger is on the way,
the prophet raises a question for all who proclaim God’s arrival with joyful
expectation. Are you ready?

Are We Ready?

For most of us, we are preparing for the Christmas season and it’s to be filled with
baking cookies, decorating, attending church services, and preparing for families
to come visit. But are we ready for the Messiah?

Some families haven’t seen each other in two years because of the pandemic.
Christmas to most, is a time of season with wonderful smells, sounds of laughter
and traditions, memories of past Christmas.

For some, Christmas can be overwhelming with loneliness and grief.
The prophet Isaiah’s message to us, in chapter 9 verse 6, The coming of the
Messiah, The One, is whom the gospel message centers on.
This verse can bring great comfort to all.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his
shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting
Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Advent means “Coming” and it prepares for Jesus’s coming.

Advent is a time when we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. It is a time
for preparation, for the birth of Jesus our Lord. It is also meant to be a time of
reflection and a time set aside to renew our connection to Him.

Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

In our Gospel reading today, you might ask… Why is John the Baptist in Advent?
Advent deals not only with Jesus’s first coming as a babe, but also with his Second
Coming at the end of salvation history. He is the last old covenant prophets and
he is here to pave the way for the coming of the Lord, his message and death.

Luke 3:3-6

He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of
repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words
of the prophet Isaiah.

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be
filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be
made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the
salvation of God.”

John the Baptist was coming to pave the way for the coming of the Lord. 
Our troubles are removed in love, when sin is pardoned.

Whatever weakens our reason…. impairs the tenderness of our conscience,
obscures our sense of God… and takes off the relish of spiritual things…that to us
is sin.

These types of things, put God second and we need to put God first in our lives, to
let God’s light, shine through us so much, that we can show the world a new and
better way. We need to be ready!

Advent opens wide the door of our faith, as we recognize the fullness of our
humanity: birth, life and death.

Advent, is also about what is to come and the joy preparing for the birth of Jesus,
born of Blessed Mary.

Jesus taught us, healed us and died for us, so that we might have life eternal.
We are reminded that Christ has come into the world and that Christ continually
comes into our world, as we get ready and open our hearts to Him this Advent


May the Lord prepare our hearts, by the teaching of his word and the convictions
of his Spirit.

The high and proud thoughts may be brought down, good desires planted,
crooked and rugged tempers made straight and softened, and every problem be
removed, that we may be ready for his will on earth, and prepared for his
heavenly kingdom.

The glad tidings of the coming of Christ were to be sent forth to the ends of the

Christ is the good Shepherd; he shows tender care for weak believers, and those
of a sorrowful spirit.

Each Advent season, the church offers us these weeks at the beginning of our
Christian year to remember, that we worship a God who loves the world enough
to become flesh and walk on this earth.

Good News:

Our God walked and talked among us in person of Jesus Christ, to teaches us
through his life and through his death, about his enormous love for the world.

The liturgical season of Advent, grants us the space at the beginning of our
Christian year, to remember and to anticipate the One who is the Messiah.
The One who has saved us from our sins, and who comes to offer hope to the

We get these weeks to remember, that God is with us and we are ready.

The Reverend Lola Culbreath