Advent is Our Life

Rev. Rich Rudowske

About The Episode

Lutheran Bible Translators’ Executive Director elect, Dr. Rich Rudowske, explores four responses to Advent and Christ’s Second Coming.  

Gain perspective beyond daily life to see more of how God is working.

Rich Rudowske
If Advent has become irrelevant, it’s because we’re so wrapped up in our daily lives, our routines, our job, our schedule, that we lose perspective that there is something more out there. 

Rich Rudowske
Welcome to the centrally translatable podcast brought to you by Lutheran Bible translators. 

Emily Wilson
I Richardesky and I’m Emily Wilson, and you might be able to tell from the recording here rich is under the weather. So we are going back to a sermon that rich preached a number of years ago about the relevance of Advent in our everyday lives and four different responses we might have thinking about Christ’s second coming and just what it might mean for us. And as we live out our lives, Christ focused, Christ centered, how we can give him glory. But before we jump into the episode, just want to encourage you all, if you have not yet subscribed to essentially translatable, you can do so on all of your favorite podcast platforms. Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, audible, any of those spaces, and to be sure to not miss an episode. So we’re going to dive in and listen to throwback from rich. 

Rich Rudowske
Grace and peace to you from God our father, from our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Out there, it’s Christmas, or everybody wants you to believe it’s Christmas. Our society is highlighting Christmas and celebrating Christmas. All kinds of lights and shopping and all that great stuff. But in here, it’s advent. I want to talk a little bit about advent because advent is our life. Advent is relevant. And although there’s the temptation to skip right to it and get to the Christmas, that’s like playing with all the wrapping paper and forgetting about the gift. Because the story of Christmas is this, that Jesus came once. 2000 years ago, God interrupted history. God became a man, and not only a man, a weakless, helpless, totally dependent infant depending on a man and woman. 

Rich Rudowske
2000 years ago in the Middle east and the richness of advent is this. Jesus will come back. Jesus will come back not as a helpless infant, but as Matthew 25 says, when the Son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. He will come visibly acts. Chapter one says, this same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way that you have seen him go into heaven. He will be seen by the whole world at one time. Matthew 24 says, for as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. At that time, the Son of man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn. 

Rich Rudowske
They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And unlike Jesus coming at Christmas, all the world at that time will experience it first. Thessalonians four says, for the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. If advent has become irrelevant, it’s because we’re so wrapped up in our daily lives, our routines, our job, our schedule, that we lose perspective, that there is something more out there. C. S. 

Rich Rudowske
Lewis once wrote, as I’m sure most of you know, he wrote, that we are far too easily contented. We find happiness and contentment or pleasure, or at least we find busyness in the routines of life. And we so easily forget about the bigger picture. So as we continue our journey into advent again this year, let me ask you an important question. When you hear that Jesus will come back again, and the manner in which he will come back again, ripping apart the sky, everybody will see him at once. What do you think about that? What response does that arouse in you? I think if we could pull most of the world, we would find that the responses would be one of four different responses. 

Rich Rudowske
The first is people would say, I guess I really don’t think much about that, which is my response most of the time as well, because there’s so much else to focus on. Right? It’s all I can do to focus on my wife, my kids, my bills, my house, my job, the things that I see and vy for my attention. Yet Jesus will come back one day and interrupt all of this. Mark 13 says, therefore, keep watch, because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone, watch. 

Rich Rudowske
And I would make the case that the Bible even encourages us to make Jesus return and the advent life part of our everyday talk. James, chapter four. The writer says, now listen, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. You don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, if it is the Lord’s will, we will do this or do that. Someday Jesus will interrupt all of this, our lives, our routines and time, when he returns again. How would things change in the way we approach our lives if we lived? In light of the fact that Jesus’return is imminent, what would change? 

Rich Rudowske
The second response might be, that sounds pretty scary. When Jesus comes back, I can certainly identify with it. Can you imagine what it must be like to see Jesus coming in a manner that the entire world sees it at once? That boggles the mind. The Bible says two Peter, chapter three. The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. So it doesn’t exactly sound like a nice, relaxing day, does it? And you might ask yourself, well, what if I’m not ready? What if I’m, like, actually right in the middle of a sin when Jesus comes back? What if he’s coming? Takes me by surprise, and I’m simply caught off guard? 

Rich Rudowske
If these kinds of questions enter your mind, there’s also comfort in scripture for you. One Corinthians, chapter one. Paul writes, therefore, you do not lack any spiritual gift. As you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, God, who has called you into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ, our Lord is faithful. The promise of God is that he keeps you strong and blameless to the end. A third response might be to quote revelation 22, verse 20, amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Right. Do you ever feel that way? Like there is a lot going on, and enough of the suffering, enough of the problems in the world, illness, despair, death. The world just keeps getting worse and worse. 

Rich Rudowske
Their crime, drugs, lack of respect for human life, terrorism, poverty, hatred, hurricanes, wildfires. These things, while obviously unpleasant, are actually to be expected and serve as reminders that Jesus is coming soon. Jesus himself says in Matthew 24, you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen. But the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All of these are the beginning of birth pains. The world is in a state of winding down or devolving, not evolving, devolving, constantly groaning and writhing and waiting the return of Jesus. So, too, our own lives may be full of turmoil and pressure, and we stress and we would love for Jesus to come back. 

Rich Rudowske
I know for me, if I didn’t have to go back to the office on Monday, that would be great. But Jesus has words of comfort for us too. Matthew eleven says, come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. And also reassures us, saying in revelation 22, he who testifies to these things says, yes, I am coming soon. A fourth reply. If you ask somebody, what do you think about the return of Jesus? It was a troubling one to me, and I think it would take the form of a question. It would be, who is Jesus? Who is Jesus? 

Rich Rudowske
Nearly 2000 years ago, after Jesus declared that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him, and he urged us to go, there are still people in heaven and on earth who, if we ask them about the return of Jesus, would say, who is Jesus? They’re everywhere. At work, at your school, in your neighborhoods, maybe even in your own home. And if you zoom out for a global picture, you would find that a majority of the people in the world would ask, who is Jesus? Who is Jesus? There are many different ways to break that down. 

Rich Rudowske
I work in languages, and from a language perspective, there are 7000 languages spoken in the world and 4500 of them have inadequate access to God’s word in a language that folks understand, so that nearly 400 million people around the world cannot even understand the message of the gospel. Who is Jesus? Can you imagine not having access to God’s word to try to deal with life’s problems, to try to understand who you are and how things work. And just from a worldview perspective, how the world that you live in and how things operate, the creator of the universe or whatever, that is how that all works. You’re not able to do that in this sermon alone. And if you’re keeping track, I quoted the Bible twelve times, twelve different Bible passages in order to try to deal with the understanding of just a small topic. 

Rich Rudowske
Although it’s huge, what does it mean that Jesus is coming back? That’s a luxury that 400 million people around the world could not even simply begin to do. They just don’t have it available to them. As we reenter Advent and the Christmas season, bear in mind there are so many opportunities to reach out with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your personal contacts, your church, the community around you, through sending missionaries. You are the current and future leaders of our church and we are called to be in mission. If we live with a focus, a Watch toward the return of the master. How will we conduct ourselves differently in response to the overwhelming need for the gospel? Is Advent irrelevant? According to the scriptures, advent is our life. We live in the period between the first coming of Jesus and his second coming. 

Rich Rudowske
We live equipped with the Holy Spirit and commissioned to reach out to others in his name. It’s my prayer this advent as it is every advent and Christmas, and if the Lord wills into the next year that we conduct our lives as individuals, as a church, as leaders in our church, aware of and driven by the anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ in the great advent to come. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen. 

Emily Wilson
So I just really appreciated listening to this sermon of these different like, oh, like, this is scary, Lord, come know, like, oh, this is so exciting. Or just this. Have I shared who is Jesus and just the magnitude of how we might be able to live out our lives in such a way that we are constantly pointing to who he is. I was just sharing that with a group of friends of like, we never want it to be the case that someone could turn to us and be like, you didn’t tell me this good news. Yeah. So I just really appreciated that. 

Rich Rudowske
Yeah, I just really love the idea that advent is where our life is also when we really stop and think about it, that we are in this period of waiting, just like people were waiting for thousands and thousands of years before Jesus first coming. And that has bearing on who we are and how we conduct our lives. And it’s just always a good reframing to be living in light of that. 

Emily Wilson
Yeah. And I don’t know about you guys, but I am not the most patient of waiting individuals. So I know that we are strengthened in the waiting, that we are called to rejoice in the waiting because that means we also get to share more with people and just to be intentional. So we do hope that this sermon has been a blessing to you and we encourage you as you interact with people around you, to share that blessing of advent with your community. 

Speaker 4
Thank you for listening to the essentially translatable podcast brought to you by Lutheran Bible translators. You can find past episodes of the Slash podcast or subscribe on audible, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow Lutheran Bible translators’social media channels on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or go to to find out how you can get involved in the Bible translation movement and put God’s word in their hands. The essentially translatable podcast is produced and edited by Andrew Olson our executive producer is Emily Wilson. Podcast artwork was designed by Caleb Rotelwald and Sarah Rudowski. Music written and performed by Rob Vite. I’m Rich Radowski. Me so long for nowhere. 


  • Rich and Emily discuss the relevance of Advent in our daily lives
  • Focus on Jesus’ return and sharing the gospel with others
  • Rev. Rich Rudowske delivers a sermon message on our responses to Advent

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