Happenings

Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.





11 July 2011

Sermon: Proper 11 (Epistle)

Pentecost 5 — 9 July AD 2011

Sermon Theme: Groaning in Christ

Creation GroansSummary: Burdened by sin and by living in a fallen Creation, Christians often groan under this weight. We cannot pick up the cross of Christ and follow Him when we’re incapable of even picking up one foot and putting it in front of another.

Paul isn’t giving us permission to grumble but rather to groan. We don’t complain but we do cry out under the load. To do so is to voice the same groans uttered by Jesus as He carried not only the weight of His cross but also the burden of mankind’s sins to Golgotha.

As long as we live and breath the air of our fallen earth, we’ll groan under the day’s aches and pains and under the assaults of Satan, the temptations of the world, the unjust expectations of others, and our own human weakness. Yet like a pregnant woman who knows her time is near, so we know that our own complete redemption also grows close.

Until we are raised up perfect on the Last Day, the Holy Spirit will groan with and for us and will form and phrase the prayers whose content escapes our shattered spirits and quaking hearts. We know that whatever we truly need to complete our course in faith will be granted by our loving Father in heaven.

Note: Due to a mix-up, I prepared this sermon for the following week in the liturgical calendar. So if anyone finds anything worth mining in it for the upcoming weekend, please feel free.

Text: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

Heartfelt PrayerAnd not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:18-27

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 MP3 of Groaning in Christ, preached to the saints of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Marshall, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:57-64; Isaiah 44:6-8; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

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