Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth – CRC Sunday Sermon

November 29, 2020
1st Advent Sunday – Expectation & Hope

Pastoral Reading
Matthew 1:18-25
1st Advent: Expectation & Hope
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way.
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph,
before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things,
behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,
“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife,
for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,
for he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son.
And he called his name Jesus.

Opening Hymn
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Trinity Hymnal #196)

Focus this week: Sophia Orr (12/22/2003)

Congregational Hymns
Joy to the World (Trinity Hymnal #195)
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates (Trinity Hymnal #198)

Offering Hymn
Glorious Light (HMA #36)

Scripture Reading
Jeremiah 8-9

Preaching the Word
Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth – Jeremiah 8-9

Closing Hymn
Great God What do I see and Hear? – Trinity Hymnal #321

(links to sermon and hymns are in blue font)
CCLIC #108183

2 thoughts on “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth – CRC Sunday Sermon

  1. This is such a good sermon Pastor Crippen, thank you, so much here.

    Coming from a very secular, chaotic, and abusive background, when I finally went to an evangelical church in my early twenties, I soaked in their message of ‘Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness’. It was a beautiful balm to my shattered soul, and I finally felt seen, heard, and loved…and by God no less! I cried during sermons and felt overjoyed at the discovery that there was not only good in the world, but in the universe as well.
    I prayed the standard prayer of asking Christ to forgive my sins…but looking back, I didn’t really even understand what that truly meant…the love, acceptance, and forgiveness message was always at the forefront, but true real sin and the debilitating, repentant recognition of it, along with the agony of recognizing real evil and wickedness were ever really talked about. It was all so tidy and warm, and there was no way for me to recognize the wolves I encountered there under the guise of sheep, the ones who took me under their wooly-skinned cloaks and caused my newly found faith to be filled with constant battles, even to this very day, as I married into their pack, blindly believing that they new God’s truth more than I, considering what my background was.
    This sermon gave me a bit of hope because it is only recently that I feel I was able to really see and truly grasp the enormity of my sin, and repent with a devastated heart saying ‘what have I done?’, without the ‘love, acceptance, forgiveness’ blinders on and the messages of ‘peace, peace, when there is no peace’ keeping me from the truth. It caused me to always look at sin, mine and that of others, as something that you could magically wave a religious wand at and all would be well. It hurt to have the rose colored glasses torn off of my eyes, but I’m so glad to know the truth now, as painful as it is.
    After such an abusive upbringing, the messages of God’s love spoke to my lonely, desperate, incredibly sinful heart…but a message about the sin, wickedness, and evil that permeates His creation would have served me so much better, which is why your ministry is such a gift.
    I know of many truly good people who were at this church, wonderful people who were looking to bring together God’s family here on earth, and serve Him, which many did in so many ways…but I wish the church’s motto had been ‘Love, Acceptance, REPENTANCE, and Forgiveness’ and I pray daily that God will forgive my foolish blindness and continue to open the eyes of all who are being lulled into a false sense of salvation and security, with their wounds only lightly healed by the false messages of ‘peace-peace’.
    Blessings to all who are fighting for God’s truth!


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