The Gracious Promise: 2021 Advent Sermon Seeds Series

“The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill my gracious promise…”

(Jeremiah 33:14a CEB)

Grace and promise represent two central themes in the Christian experience. Both come to us as gifts from God. Perhaps there is no greater representation of the intersection of the two than the Incarnation, which this prophesy names as the Holy One’s “gracious promise.” This Advent, Sermon Seeds will explore the gracious promise that was and is and is to come….

Each week, the focus scripture will be found in the Gospel according to Luke, whose work frames the ministry of Jesus and the disciples as a continuation of the work of “rejected prophets” like Jeremiah, Malachi, Zephaniah, and Micah who will also enter our conversation. 

Luke “brings in angels, characters who prophesy, and the Holy Spirit. According to Luke, God proclaims Jesus’ messianic identity even before his conception when the angel Gabriel describes him as “the Son of the Most High,” the one who will inherit David’s throne and “reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32-33). This is confirmed by three Spirit-filled prophets: John the Baptist (in utero), his mother Elizabeth, and his father Zechariah (Luke 1:41-44, 76). When Jesus is born in Bethlehem, “the city of David,” angels announce the advent of “a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Simeon recognizes Jesus as “the Lord’s Messiah” (Luke 2:25-32).

McWhirter, Jocelyn. Rejected Prophets: Jesus and His Witnesses in Luke-Acts. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013.

November 28, 2021: Luke 21:25-36 | “Signs” | Sermon Seed

December 5, 2021: Luke 3:1-6 | “Written in the Book” | Sermon Seed

December 12, 2021: Luke 3:7-18 | “Proclaiming the Good News” | Sermon Seed

December 19, 2021: Luke 1:39-55 | “To She Who Believed”


The Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Sermon Seeds Writer and Editor (lindsayc@ucc.org), is a local church pastor and worship scholar-practitioner with a particular interest in the proclamation of the word in gathered communities.