*Text:* Mark 13:24-37; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
*Theme*: Waiting for Christ
*Other Lessons: *Isaiah 64:1–9; Psalm 80:1–7; Mark 11:1–10
1. *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*
1. *The Epistle and Gospel lessons serves as our sermon text for this
1. *Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*
1. *Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*
*Almighty and Everlasting God, as we enter this sacred season of Advent, we
come before You with hearts open and spirits attuned to the message of
Isaiah 64. *
In these ancient words, we find the echo of our own longing – a cry for
Your presence to break into our world, to rend the heavens and come down,
to make Your name known to those who do not call on Your name.
Lord, in Your great mercy, hear our prayer.
We acknowledge, like clay in the hand of the potter, that we are the work
of Your hand. Shape us and mold us according to Your will. In our
imperfections and frailties, remind us of Your steadfast love and unending
mercy. Forgive us for the times we have turned away from Your ways and
hardened our hearts.
In this season of anticipation and hope, we yearn for the transformative
power of Your love.
We wait for the promised coming of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, who
brings light into our darkness and peace to our turmoil. As we prepare our
hearts for His birth, let us not lose sight of the profound mystery and joy
of Your incarnation. Amen.
1. *What do the following things have in common?:*
1. In a long line at the grocery store.
2. Stopped at a stop light and late for an appointment.
3. A child on Christmas morning.
1. *The common element?:*
1. Waiting in that long line to purchase your groceries for the family.
2. Waiting at the really long red light and about to miss your
3. Waiting rather impatiently, an eager child ready to open
their presents that are under the Christmas tree.
1. *The context of Mark 13:24-37: waiting*
1. Mark 13:1-22
1. Christ predicts the destruction of Jerusalem;
2. Desire expressed by the disciples about the signs concerning
the end times and Christ’s return in glory.
1. Mark 14
1. Preparations made for Jesus’ body to be buried.
2. Jesus getting ready to celebrate the Passover one last time.
3. Jesus instituting His holy Supper.
4. Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
5. Jesus’ betrayal and arrest.
6. Jesus on trial before the chief priests and Sanhedrin.
7. The chapter closes with Peter’s three denials concerning
1. Themes of Advent: waiting in anticipation and preparation for the
coming of Christ at His birth and when He comes again in glory.
1. A pregnant woman waits in anticipation for her child to be born.
1. As she waits, she prepares.
1. Getting the nursery ready.
2. Buying ample supply of baby formula, diapers, clothes.
3. Taking her vitamins.
4. Maintaining her health.
5. Keeping her doctors’ appointments.
1. The end times are now!
1. Christ will come again as promised!
1. That promise is as sure as the first promises concerning His birth,
life, suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension
back into heaven.
2. As we are reminded of Christ’s first Advent and His
second coming in glory, what are we to be about?
*1. Be a proclaimer! (Mark 13:24-27)*
*Mark 13:24–27 (NASB95)*
*24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED
AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, *
*25 AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers that are in
the heavens will be shaken. *
*26 “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power
and glory. *
*27 “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His
elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the
farthest end of heaven.*
1. Jesus uses very vivid imagery:
1. An eclipse that will not end.
2. Meteor shower/storm unlike any that have been seen before.
1. And then, there He is: The Son of Man in all His glory!
1. Coming back to bring home to heaven the elect (those who trusted in
Christ for salvation in this life)
2. Coming again to “judge the living and the dead” (Apostles’ and
1. What Jesus proclaims here is something that has been known for many
1. Daniel proclaims in chapter 7 of his book:
*Daniel 7:13–14 (NASB95)*
*13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of
heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of
Days And was presented before Him. *
*14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the
peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is
an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.*
1. *Application for our lives*
1. Option #1: Be fearful to the point of paralysis.
1. Looking over your shoulder in paranoia.
2. Buy all the food and supplies you can.
3. Buy a doomsday shelter or convert your home into one.
1. Option #2: Be fearful with awe and reverence for the Lord.
1. Christ is coming back to take all believers to be with Him in heaven
and finally banish sin, death, and the devil forever!
*2. Be Ready! (Mark 13:28-31)*
*Mark 13:28–31 (NASB95)*
*28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already
become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. *
*29 “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that
He is near, right at the door. *
*30 “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these
things take place. *
*31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.*
1. *The meaning of the fig tree:*
1. Passing of the seasons:
1. winter turns into spring, spring into summer
2. Predictable occurrence.
3. Jesus’ return: unpredictable!
4. Therefore be ready!
1. *What did Jesus mean when He said: “Heaven and earth will pass away,
but My words will not pass away”?*
1. The Word of God, like the Persons who spoke it, lived it, and
inspired it, is eternal.
2. What is true of God’s words is true of Jesus’ words, for Jesus
is God, the Second Person of the Trinity.
3. God is eternal!
4. Therefore, God’s Word is eternal!
5. Therefore, it will outlast all of creation!
1. *Application for our lives*
1. Now is not the time to be “lazy” in regards to one’s faith!
1. Be observant to what is going on in the world, trusting the Lord that
He has EVERYTHING under His control.
2. Stay tuned into the Lord!:
1. Read His Word daily.
2. Spend time in prayer daily.
3. Remember your Baptism daily.
4. Spend time with your fellow brothers and sisters in
Christ, whether by phone, text, email, direct message,
or in person visit
1. Give encouragement as well as receive it!
2. We are all in a battle for our souls and we are not to
do it alone!
1. As soldiers are trained to serve in the military, one of the many
things they learn is this:
1. Be battle ready, whether it is a time of peace or a time of war.
*3. Be Alert! (Mark 13:32-36)*
*Mark 13:32–36 (NASB95)*
*32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but the Father alone. *
*33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed
time will come. *
*34 “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and
putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also
commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. *
*35 “Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the
house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster
crows, or in the morning— *
*36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep.*
1. *Now is not the time for “sleeping” when it comes to our faith.*
1. Stay awake!
2. Stay alert!
3. Don’t waste time trying to figure out the exact day or hour of
Christ’s return because you will be like the rest who have
tried the same
4. No one knows when Jesus will return, but He will return!
5. Augustine: “Let no one then search out for the last Day, when
it is to be; but let us watch all by our good lives, lest the
last day of
any one of us find us unprepared”
Various Authors. The Lutheran Study Bible (Kindle Locations 266183-266184).
Concordia Publishing House. Kindle Edition.
1. *With being awake and alert, there is a need for vigilance.*
1. Maintaining your concentration for a sustained period of time.
1. Working as a usher/security guard while studying at the seminary.
1. *Application for our lives*
1. Live a lifestyle of:
1. Watchfulness in prayer.
1. Praying for those who don’t yet know the Lord
2. Praying that these people would trust in the Lord for
salvation before it’s too late.
1. Watchfulness in your devotional reading.
1. Encouraging yourself in your walk of faith.
2. Encouraging others in their walk of faith.
1. Watchfulness in service to others.
1. Serving as a watchman.
*4. Be Vigilant! (Mark 13:37)*
*Mark 13:37 (NASB95)*
*“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”*
1. *Your vigilance is to be constant.*
1. Be alert:
1. Dressed and ready for action
1. Dressed with the full armor of God.
1. Be actively engaged in the Lord’s work:
1. Reading God’s Word
3. Worship on Sunday/Wednesday
4. In your daily life
5. Service to others
1. *Application for our lives*:
1. Be proactive in your faith!
1. God has blessed you with this gift.
1. He expects you to exercise it to His glory and the betterment of
1. Be actively engaged in the mission and ministries of the Lord’s
Church here at First Lutheran.
1. Don’t use the excuses of:
1. I’m too old.
2. I’ve already put my time in for God and country.
3. I’m too busy.
4. I don’t know what I can do to help.
5. Let somebody else do it.
1. If you don’t do it, who will?
2. If you don’t do it now, when?
1. *Be a proclaimer of the Word, that all may hear and believe! Be
ready! Be alert! Be vigilant!*
1. Advent serves as a call to action:
1. Live a life that anticipates Christ’s return any day and at any time.
2. Live a life of worship and service
1. *At the beginning of every sermon, I usually share these words or a
variation thereof with you, words from 1 Corinthians 1:3:*
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. *Do you know why I do that? *
1. Is it because I seek to share some magic formula with you, in order
for you to have a better life?
2. Perhaps it is what I’m supposed to say and how every sermon is
supposed to start?
3. With these words, I am reminding you that, as you await the
return of Christ, you have the unconditional love, mercy, and
of God found in Jesus Christ that eternally saves you.
4. Right now you have peace with God.
5. Everything is well between you and God because of Jesus
Christ’s saving work, and as your pastor, you need to be
reminded of this
1. *When God wanted to greet us, He did something that gives this word
of greeting its true value*.
1. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and Lord.
2. It is only through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection
for us that we have God’s grace.
3. We have His unconditional, unearned, and undeserved love,
mercy, kindness, and forgiveness.
4. We have peace with God knowing that everything is well between
us and Him.
5. As we wait for Christ’s return, we are comforted by that grace
and peace that only God can give.
6. With what the Lord gives us daily, we are then truly ready to
greet Jesus when He visibly appears on the Last Day. Amen.
1. *Let us pray:*
Lord, we pray for our world, longing for Your justice, peace, and healing.
May Your Spirit move among us, bringing renewal and restoration.
Guide us to be bearers of Your hope, love, and light to all those we
We lift up to You those among us who are suffering, whether in body, mind,
May they feel Your comforting presence and find strength in Your unending
God of all ages, as You have been with Your people through generations, be
with us now.
Renew our faith, rekindle our hope, and deepen our love for You and for one
1. *The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your
hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.*
2. *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*