Posts Tagged ‘Repentance; Least in the Kingdom of God’

Advent is All About Repentance

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent

Is 41: 13-20; Mt 11: 11-15

Dc. Larry Brockman

So, the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist!  This is what Jerome said about this Gospel:  “Every saint who is already with the Lord is greater than he who yet stands in the battle; for it is one thing to have gained the crown of victory, another to be yet fighting in the field.”  That’s what all of us are still doing, you see; fighting in the field.  And that’s how John the Baptist, who was as great or greater than any person born of a woman, could still be less than the least in the Kingdom of God.

Yes, we all still have a way to go in our battle to enter the kingdom of God.  But we have help, the kind of help Isaiah talks about.  For the Lord says:  “Fear not, I will help you”.  And it is as if he is talking to each and every one of us.  All of us are all being told to “Fear not, I will help you”.

Some of us have a whole lifetime of years left in the battle for our souls- 70, 80 years or more.  Others of us have already gone through most of the battle- 70 or 80 years of it.  Yet none of us knows when the battle will end; for the battle could end just minutes from now as well as years from now no matter how young or old we are.

The question for all of us this morning is simply this?  Are you ready for the battle you are engaged in right now?  Are you fighting as a soldier of God against the forces of evil, striving to enter the narrow gate, to enter the Kingdom of God.  Because you have to be ready and prepared for that constantly, at all times; there is never a break.

The rest of Isaiah’s words seem mysterious.  The Lord offers his help, yet he calls the people, his own people, worms and maggots.  That’s because the people of Isaiah’s time were not listening.  They were not heeding the warnings of the prophets; and they were faltering in their battle with evil.  They were failing as individuals; and they were failing as a nation.  They were depressed and turning from their God.  Yet, even so, God tells them that he is with them; and that to take heart, because no matter what, they will prevail if they accept his help.

It’s the same way for us.  No matter how grim things may seem for us, we need to fight on because God is with us the whole way.

These are great words of consolation for me.  Because no matter how hard I try to avoid some occasions to sin, it just seems like I falter and fail in the same ways over and over again.  But God doesn’t make junk.  All of us are loved by God else he wouldn’t have made us.  God doesn’t give up on any of us easily.  And so, yes, he is there always to help us in battle.  He doesn’t abandon us when we fall.  Rather, he is there beside us trying to get us to get up and fight on.  And if we keep doing that, resolving to get up, sin no more, and fight on, then things will be as he describes later in Isaiah.  Eventually we will break through; the way will we opened for us.

What I have just described is called “Repentance”:  Recognizing what we need to change in our lives, resolving to change them for the better, and moving out accordingly.  Advent is all about repentance.  It was John the Baptist’s message.  And the Kingdom of God belongs to those who repent.