Sermon: Lent 5 Midweek
A Lent — Easter Series on Christ and Creation
Title: In the (New) Beginning: Sea Creatures and Birds (MP3 Audio)
Summary: We use the expression “neither fish nor fowl” to refer to something difficult to categorize. However, on the Fifth Day of Creation, God creates real birds and sea creatures. During Jesus’ years on earth, fish and fowl played both literal and figurative parts in His work of salvation.
His parents offered the sacrifice of a pair of birds during His presentation at the temple. He told fishermen how to fish and then called them away from their nets. He described His love for Jerusalem as that of a hen for its chicks. He fed huge crowds with a handful of fish. He appropriated the Sign of Jonah as a foreshadowing of His death and resurrection.
Just as does the rest of Creation, so the creatures of Day Five glorify the Lord, serving His purposes of preservation and salvation and and acting as His instruments to usher in the New Creation..
Hymn: During Lenten midweek services, through Holy Week, the Vigil, and Easter morning, we will be singing With God in the Beginning as Office Hymn or Hymn of the Day. Each time we will sing two stanzas focusing on the Christology of that day’s sermon text from Genesis. The tune I chose is Auf, auf, mein Herz, known among many English-speaking Christians as the Easter hymn Awake, My Heart, with Gladness.
On eagle’s wings descending
God moves to save His own.
In might and pow’r unending
He lifts us by His Son—
Gathers us for our good
As does a hen her brood;
He knows each bird that falls;
He meets the needs of all.
Fishermen called by their Lord
New life would soon begin;
Left boat and net at Christ’s word:
“Henceforth will you catch men.”
They heard how Jonah’s sign,
Following God’s design,
Foretold the Savior’s doom,
Foreshadowed conquered tomb.
©2003, 2015 Walter P. Snyder
Text: And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”
So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”
And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23
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 In the (New) Beginning: Sea Creatures and Birds.
NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.
Other Readings: Psalm 84 (antiphon Job 12:7-8); Isaiah 40:28-31; Matthew 12:38-41
Illustration: The Fifth Day of Creation from Die Bibel in Bildern by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld at Wikimedia Commons.
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