Trinity 22 Sermon: The Cup of Salvation
The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity
23 October AD 2016
Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of The Cup of Salvation.
Summary: At the close of today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us of the consequences of not heartily forgiving those who sin against us. There’s no limit on how often: God calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven or risk forfeiting the forgiveness that is ours in Christ.
How, then, do we dare “lift up the cup of salvation”? What gives us the right to assemble “in the presence of all His people”? To do so in the “courts of the house of the Lord”?
We dare because Christ dared drink His cup of suffering and death. He drained the bitter dregs and refilled it with heaven’s most precious wine, His own blood shed for us. His cup, our salvation. In it comes full remission of our own sins.
On the cross, Jesus forgave the very people who were torturing Him to death. And not only them, He forgave everyone for whose sins He was dying—including us. As we truly grasp exactly how much He forgave, His spirit then leads us to respond by forgiving others.
Each of us stands as indebted as the servant who owed ten thousand talents, and when we realize this, the size of the debts owed to us by others appear tiny by comparison. Just as we owe God no restitution, so none of our debtors owes us.
Freed from the burdens of either paying (to God) or collecting (from others) any debts, we joyfully seek out His presence and the company of our fellow redeemed. We celebrate this freedom as we lift the cup of Christ's salvation in Christ’s Church among Christ’s people.
Texts: What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord! Psalm 116:12-19
[Jesus said,] “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:35
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 The Cup of Salvation
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: Micah 6:6-8; Philippians 1:3-11; Matthew 18:21-35
Illustrations: Unknown Italian Master; Chalice (c. 1550); Web Gallery of Art. Eric Gill; Crucifix, Chalice & Host (1915); © Tate 1979, CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported).