Matt Harrison did a post on an Advent sermon by Hermann Sasse back in the bad old days when the Nazis were on the rise. He encourged his congregation to be patient. We have been talking about the seeeming inability in our life together to be patient, especially when it comes to forgiveness and peace. Sasse needs to be heard today. It’s not Advent yet – but…..
But the church has a special understanding of time. She can wait. For nineteen centuries she has sung in her liturgy the “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of theLord!” For nineteen centuries she has lifted hearts high to him who will come to judge the living and the dead. For nineteen centuries she has prayed”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” and heard the Answer, “Yes, I am coming soon.” For nineteen centuries she has heard the sneering question”Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers died everything remains as it always has been since the beginning of creation.” (2Peter 3:4). Through all these centuries right up to the present time she has received no other answer than the comforting and warning words of the New Testament to the Christendom of that time, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to persist but everyone to come to repentance.” (v9). Cod has been patient with us. So the church waits with patience. This patience is foreign to the world. It can’t wait. It must always have everything straight away. That has been true for the entire modem world of humankind in the last century. For it a hope that still hasn’t been fulfilled after nineteen centuries is simply makes no sense. Dear Advent congregation, we all need to be quite clear about what fools we make ourselves in the eyes of the world when we gather here in this house of God today in 1936 in order to have our hope strengthened in the coming of the Lord, and to pray with the Christendom of every century “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”