Sermon: Be Angry, Don’t Sin
Easter 3B — 19 April AD 2015
Title: Be Angry, Don’t Sin (MP3 Audio)
Summary: We Christians don’t always know how to deal with our emotions. Some of us seem to live by them and be guided according to them. Others hold them so tightly in check that others rarely if ever seem them displayed.
God certainly doesn’t want us to follow each whim of our feelings. Yet at the same time, he created us to have these feelings and to exercise them. The difficulty is often when and how we act on what we feel.
While the text is usually translated as “anger,” its Scriptural use involves most any feelings of agitation or anxiety. The Psalmist recognizes that while we can have considerable emotional responses to almost any strong stimuli, God desires us to act upon our emotions according to His Word.
When we do dwell on the negatives or lash out in anger, the Lord calls us to repentance. He also forgives us and offers us His peace. He eases our consciences and quiets our “what ifs” so that we might not only know by faith but also feel in our hearts the abiding safety that is in Him.
This was preached during the second service at Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas. After the sermon, my younger daughter was installed as music teacher for Memorial Lutheran School. As with the day’s Gospel, upon which I preached during the first service, the Psalm spoke directly to the concerns of a new graduate with a new vocation in a new location and made a few references to Laura, her family and friends, and her new church and school during the sermon.
Text: Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4
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 Be Angry, Don’t Sin
NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media 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: Acts 3:11-21; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36-49
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