Sermon: Proper 17A (OT)
Theme: Food for Faith
Summary: We Christians often wonder why a loving God doesn’t provide smooth sailing throughout our lives. God loves us. We love God. Why so many problems?
Much of the trouble comes because the more we trust God and the more we display faith in Christ, the more the world hates us as it does its Creator and Redeemer. This world and its prince cannot abide either the bitterness of the Law or the sweet taste of the Gospel. Sinners don’t want to be told that they’re sinful. Do-it-yourself types hate hearing that everything is done for them and that there’s nothing they can do to work their way into God’s good graces.
To all our complaints and all of the world’s resistance, God offers nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He invites us to continue eating the Bread of Life come down from heaven as we receive Jesus in Word and Sacrament. He tells us that as the world hates His Son, so it hates those who trust in Him for salvation. Yet He promises to be with us always, to strengthen our faith, and to lead us from a life of pain and trouble into the bliss of life everlasting.
The Church continually brings us to align our hearts with this teaching and to feed solely on Christ, as when we pray the traditional Collect for the Word: Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Text: O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach.
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.
I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation. Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?
Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.” Jeremiah 15:15-21
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Food for Faith.
Other Readings: Psalm 26; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28
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