Sermon for 11.28.21 “Those were the days”

*Sermon for 11.28.21 (First Sunday in Advent) Text: Jeremiah 33:14-16
Theme: Those were the days*

*In the Name of the Father…Amen. *

*The Old Testament lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.*

*Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*

*Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*

* Sing praise to the God of Israel! *

* Sing praise for His visitation!*

* Redeeming His people from their sin, *

* Accomplishing their salvation,*

* Upraising a mighty horn within *

* The house of His servant David! Amen.*


*Some days are more important than others.*

*As you look back over your life, chances are a number of days stand out.*

But not all days are equal.

Some soon fade into the mix.

Others continue to stand out.

Some of you remember vividly the day JFK was shot,

the day the space shuttle *Challenger* exploded.

Most of you remember September 11, 2001.


*On an individual level, you may remember a particular Christmas or

A special family vacation.

Your wedding day.

The day your favorite team won the biggest game.

Or a day of particular pain, tragedy, or loss that’s forever seared in your

Some days are more important than others.


*In our Old Testament Reading for this morning, Jeremiah speaks to the
people of Jerusalem about some supremely important, crucial, stand-out
days. *

“Those days” sound like some pretty great days.

Jeremiah declared that “those days” are coming, but here in this house of
worship, gathered here before this cross, we celebrate that “those days”
have already come.


*They came with the advent of Jesus Christ. *

Two thousand years ago, God was walking around in our world in human flesh.

Jesus came preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, healing the sick and
driving out demons, suffering and dying for our sins on the cross, rising
on the third day, and ascending to the Father.

*Those* were the days—the days when our Savior, Jesus, walked visibly in
our world and won our salvation.

They are the most important days this world has ever seen.

They are the centerpiece of human history.

*1.1 Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected his
prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

*Jeremiah the prophet pointed the people toward “those days.” *

*But the people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, were more
interested in their own days, in the needs of “right now” of their own
lives. *

“These are the days.

These are the days that count . . . to me.

These are my days.

I have a mortgage to pay and health concerns and a difficult boss.

I have to be concerned with working out and getting the kids to music
lessons and remodeling the basement.

I have retirement investments to navigate, political causes to promote,
hobbies to pursue, and favorite sports teams to root for.

I have mouths to feed, grass to mow, cars to fix.

Jeremiah, don’t talk to me about those days.

Talk to me about these days. These are the days I care about.”

*1.2** Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected
his prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

*And you know, in light of such concerns, countless Israelites had turned
aside to other sources of help. *

*They neglected the words of God’s prophets; they abandoned the worship of

*Instead, they turned to false gods and false prophets. *

*They turned to prophets whose messages focused on the here and now. *

*They turned to the gods of the neighboring peoples, gods whose worship
focused on:*

guaranteeing a good crop for this year,

or on protecting them from current dangers,

or on multiplying the number of their herds.

*1.3 **Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected
his prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

Century after century this had gone on—the Israelites forsaking their God
to run after false gods and focus on their needs of the moment.

And century after century, God had sent true prophets to his people to warn
them and to turn them back, to call them back to hope in God’s promises for
“those days”—the coming days of the Messiah.

*1.4** Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected
his prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

Finally, in Jeremiah’s generation, God’s patience with Jerusalem ended.

The Lord said He had enough of the wickedness His people were involved in
and were actively promoting.

In punishment for their unbelief and idolatry, God announced that he would
bring the Babylonians against Jerusalem.

He told Jeremiah he had made up his mind to destroy the city, and nothing
could change it.

*1.5 **Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected
his prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

That was the situation in which our text this morning was spoken.

Jeremiah had announced to the people that a great destruction was coming,
sent by God’s own hand: the unstoppable armies of Babylon.

To the people of Jerusalem in this desperate situation, Jeremiah speaks the
words of our text: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I
will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of
Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to
spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the
land. In those days [in his days] Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will
dwell securely” (verses 14–16).

*1.6 **Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected
his prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

What kind of a reaction do you suppose Jeremiah got to these wonderful
words of promise?

Well, most of the people despised him!

“Get out of here, Jeremiah, they said, and take your irrelevant,
someday-down-the-road promises with you!

We don’t need a God who will help us ‘in those days.’

We’re tired of a God who says, ‘The days are coming.’

We need prophets who will speak about peace for this day! Just in case you
haven’t noticed, Jeremiah, there are like a million Babylonians outside
these walls, every one of them armed to the teeth. They’re planning to kill
us or carry us off into slavery, and all your God has to tell us is that
‘the days are coming’ when he will fulfill his promises?

Jeremiah, we don’t care about ‘those days.’

*1.7 **Most people of Jeremiah’s time, like people in every age, rejected
his prophecy of “those days,” caring only about “these days.”*

It wasn’t long before Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, as Jeremiah had

That beautiful city of God was torn apart—her great walls toppled—the
temple of God looted and destroyed.

The prince of the city was taken before the Babylonian general, who killed
his sons right before his eyes and then ordered that his eyes be gouged

And he and most of the people were led away in chains to a life of exile in
far-off Babylon.

*2.1 But God would fulfill his promise of “those days”—including another
great day of Jesus.*

But those few among them who still placed their hopes in the promises of
God’s Word through Jeremiah were not to be disappointed.

In spite of present hardship—bitter hardship—they clung to God’s sweet

In spite of present hardship, and maybe partly because of present hardship,
they set their hearts not on their own day, but on the days which were

Guess what? We will meet these faithful people one day, and rejoice with
them, when Jesus comes again to reign over us forever!

*2.2 But God would fulfill his promise of “those days”—including another
great day of Jesus.*

*“The days are coming,” *

God promised. And come they did.

Six hundred years later—at God’s own perfect time—God made a new branch
sprout from the line of King David.

His name was Jesus, God’s own Son, and he came to Judah and to Jerusalem to
fulfill every promise God had made to them.

He conquered death and sin and hell.

He restored the relationship between God and his people. He won eternal
victory for God’s people over all their enemies—eternal security for them,
eternal joy, an eternal kingdom.

*2.3 But God would fulfill his promise of “those days”—including another
great day of Jesus. *

“Those days”—Jesus’ days—are God’s source of true help and comfort for his
people—also for us, living in 2021.

The significance and power of Jesus’ earthly life extends far beyond the
day when he ascended to the Father and was hidden by the clouds.

The saving strength and merciful favor of God for you today is rooted and
anchored in “those days”—in the life and work of Jesus Christ, come in the
flesh for you, two thousand years ago.

*2.4 But God would fulfill his promise of “those days”—including another
great day of Jesus. *

*That’s why the Church observes a church year, a liturgical year, year
after year, rehearsing the life of Christ, over and over again. *

From Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, to Lent and Easter, and Ascension and
Pentecost, our Scripture readings and hymns direct our attention to the
saving life and work of Jesus Christ.

The church year directs our attention to “those days,” which God tells us
are the most important days for us.

And so, as we begin another church year today on this First Sunday in
Advent, we fix our eyes, we set our hearts, on “those days.”

*2.5 But God would fulfill his promise of “those days”—including another
great day of Jesus. *

*Those are the days that truly matter most. *

As we hear from the Scriptures about Jesus’ life of love two thousand years
ago, we encounter his revelation of God’s true heart, his profound love,
and the true pattern and meaning of life.

As we eat this bread which is his body and drink this cup which is his
blood, we do so in remembrance of the days of Christ’s saving work; we
proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Because of Jesus’ death two thousand years ago, ALL OF YOUR SIN AND GUILT
is removed today.

At the baptismal font, as our Lord gives us new life in Holy Baptism, he
does so by the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Because of his resurrection two thousand years ago, you have the pledge of
eternal life and glory today.


*If you’ve ever cut down a tree, you know it can be a big job. *

You plan it out carefully, you notch and fell the tree (and yell timber!),
you cut off all the branches and section the limbs and the trunk, you stack
the wood or haul it away, and after all the sweat and sawdust, the task is

Where a tree once stood, all that remains now is the lifeless stump.

But come next spring, you might just find out that the tree you chopped
down is not gone and that the stump is not so lifeless.

For out of sight, under the ground, the sprawling roots of that tree are
still gathering and sending forth life.

New green shoots spring up, and what seemed like a dead stump can become a
living, growing tree once again.


*Jeremiah uses this image in our text (Jeremiah 33:15–16) to describe God’s
promise to King David that one of his descendants would reign over the
people of Israel in justice and peace forever. *

God brought severe judgment upon the people in Jeremiah’s day, and God cut
off the line of the Davidic kings; they were left like a stump.

But God’s merciful love and faithfulness to his promises were like the
powerful roots of a tree.

And the new green, living shoot that he caused to sprout forth from that
stump was Jesus Christ, born from the lineage of David to bring new life
for his people (cf Jeremiah 33:17–26).


*Some days are more important than others, more outstanding, more special,
more crucial. *

For those who know Jesus, those days, his days, are the most important and
dearest of all.

There is another day that needs to be discussed.

It will be the greatest of all days; Jesus calls it “that day.”

That day is yet coming, our Lord Jesus has promised us, when the heavens
above will be shaken and we will see Jesus coming on the clouds with power
and great glory.

Even as we fix our eyes on those days two thousand years ago, the days of
our Lord Jesus, we also watch for that day, just as our Lord encourages us.

In the flood of your everyday worries and concerns, dear brothers and
sisters in Christ, set your hearts on that day.

And when you do see him coming on the clouds, “straighten up and raise your
heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)!


*Because of his saving work for us at his first coming, when Jesus comes a
second time, he will raise up all the dead, and he will give eternal life
and a place in his eternal kingdom to all who trust in him. *

All of his saints from days long past will rise from the dust on that day,
and we will shine with them like the stars forever and ever.

Jeremiah will be there, and those who trusted Jeremiah’s words. “In those
days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely” (verse 16).

On that day, all our troubles will end.

And God and his Messiah, King Jesus, will reign forever and ever.

At last, they will establish justice and righteousness in the earth.

Our Lord Jesus, our King, will establish justice and righteousness in us
and among us.

That day is coming soon, Jesus promises us.

Stir up your power, O Lord, and come.

Some days are more important than others. Amen.

*Let us pray:*

*O bright, rising Sun, now shine on us *

* In need of illumination;*

* Come scatter the shades of sin and death *

* And shatter their domination.*

* Be guiding our footsteps on the path *

* Of peace, in Your presence dawning! Amen *

*Text: © 1992 Stephen P. Starke, admin. Concordia Publishing House. Used by
permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110000247*


*2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of
God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.*

*The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. *

*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*