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The Advent King's Cure for Our Myopia

The Advent King's Cure for Our Myopia

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Sermon preached for the 3rd Sunday of Advent based on Isaiah 35:1-10.
Sermon preached for the 3rd Sunday of Advent based on Isaiah 35:1-10.

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Published by: Rev. Christopher D. White on Dec 14, 2010
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The Third Sunday of AdventDecember 12
th
, 2010
“The Advent King’s Cure for Our Myopia”
Isaiah 35:1-10
Myopia is a disease that affects nearly 70 million Americans. I have myopia. In fact, I have asevere case of myopia. It’s not deadly. It’s not life-threatening in any way in and of itself, but it doeseffect how I live and the things that I do every single day. Some of you probably have myopia – but perhaps you know it better as being “near-sighted.”If you are near-sighted, you know that it affects your everyday life. You have to put on glasses orwear contact lenses to be able to see sharply enough to perform simple everyday tasks like driving a caror even watching television. Myopia sufferers also have tremendous difficulty in the dark, because theireyes do not adjust to the absence of light very well. Without assistance, the myopic live in a blurry, dark,undefined world where they are severely disabled, and subsequently prohibited from seeing important things clearly.Myopia is “near-sightedness,” and oh, how Christians suffer from it – no not the physical disease,spiritual near-sightedness. The prophet Isaiah is going to put some glasses on us today that help us to seehow the
“glory of the Lord” 
made flesh, the advent King, our Lord Jesus Christ, cures our spiritual near-sightedness. He first sharpens our present perspective through fulfilled promise. He sharpens our viewof our present circumstances, enabling us to see farther, beyond the here and now. Essentially, what wesee with our physical eyes now, the deformity, the deficiency of a sin-laden world and a sin-infestedexistence, what we see is NOT what we’re going to get in the end. And that gives us confidence to, “facethe evils of each day with fresh confidence,” as we so often pray.And secondly, he navigates us home to heaven. He invites us to cling to him and his cross as heleads us along the Way of Holiness that will bring us from the exile of this temporal abode to our finalrest, our homeland of heaven.
I. He sharpens our present perspective
Those who suffer from myopia live in an extremely blurry world. Those of you who have myopia,you know how difficult it is to decipher anything without your glasses or contact lenses. Even when I’mwatching television, if I’m not right up close to the screen, all I see is background, I can’t make out theimages, the people, the places clearly, and what I have to give me any understanding of what’s going on iswhat I hear. For the myopic, without our glasses or contacts, we have to be a bit more attentive to what we hear, and that fills in details that we couldn’t see or recognize otherwise.We are all spiritually myopic. Every single human being has had their spiritual vision impeded,distorted and blurred by that sin disease that entered the world at Eden. It affects us today, that ancient disease. Even now, our understanding of God and his will are imperfect, flawed, and our view of ourpresent circumstances is just as blurry, because it’s difficult for us to think and to look beyond thechallenges of the here and now, specifically the challenges of being a Christian in a predominantly anti-Christian world. That can wear on us. That fact burdens us immensely, all because our vision is blurredby sin.
 
God has a cure to sharpen our vision so that we see beyond the here and now to the far-reachingfulfillment of his promises – and that cure is his Word of salvation in Jesus Christ, a Word that helps us tofill in what we cannot clearly see in our blurry sinful state. Here is his word, verses 1-4:
“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus,
it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be  given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the L 
ORD 
 , the splendor of our God.” 
Life, rejoicing, joy; quite the opposite of what we experience in the here and now, and completelyopposite from what the Israelites had and would continue to experience when they went into exile. What do we see now, but death and little reason to rejoice. What we see now is every reason to be down, andprecious few things which we are joyful about. The Advent King changes all of that! The glory of theLORD, the majesty of God made flesh changes all of that!We have every reason to rejoice even now, when our physical eyes see a parched world and awilderness of unbelief. We have every reason to join with Christians around the world and with thesaints in heaven to sing our “alleluias” because once again the Glory of the Lord made flesh, Jesus Christ has gone into action to give to mankind and therefore to us what we could never give ourselves – lifeeternal; full citizenship in the homeland of heaven. How splendid, how glorious and in such an unusualway too – through a cross, through blood; his suffering for our eternal glory – amazing!The problem is, it’s difficult for us to look that far ahead, isn’t it? We’re myopic, spirituallyspeaking! We can’t see this glorious end with 100% absolute clarity. So we need to listen! If we can’t see clearly, we must listen! That’s what near-sighted folks do when they try to watch television without their glasses on – they have to listen. How ridiculous it would be to turn on the television, not be able tomake out the picture clearly and then turn the volume down so that you can’t hear it, or worse, hit themute button. Pointless! Even the captions wouldn’t help, because you can’t see them! You need to listen!The same is true when it comes to God’s promises in Scripture. Just as the Israelites should havelistened to the prophets who spoke, who served the people by clarifying through Word what they couldnot see with their eyes, the advent of the Christ, so also today we have to have our ears open. Weabsolutely cannot press the MUTE button on God. His Word not only clarifies his Messianic plan for theworld, sharpens in us our need a Savior, and warns us to keep our eyes open in these last days and to beconstantly prepared for the final revealing of the Glory of the Lord, it also clarifies why we can be joyful inthe context of much suffering – because eternal glory awaits! You can’t see it, nor can I. It’s blurry, off inthe distance. But with our ears open, we will have reasons to be joyful as we await the eternal andperfect joy of heaven. Romans 8:18 reminds us of that very thing:
“  
18 
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” 
II. He navigates us home to heaven
Now, as challenging as it is to watch television when you’re near-sighted, there are other everydaytasks that are nearly impossible to do without eyesight assistance, like driving. If you’re myopic like me,then you know that it’s not wise to drive a car without your corrective lenses. In fact, it’s illegal accordingto the laws of the State of Michigan (Ohio). It’s dangerous, deadly. And besides those reasons, manynear-sighted people couldn’t see the road signs anyway, so you wouldn’t know where you were goingunless you had a GPS device that could keep telling you, “Go (here), turn (here), your destination is(here)” and even then, there would be difficulty.

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