Happenings

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





28 July 2013

Sermon: Trinity 9 (Psalm)

28 July AD 2013
Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Title: Mercy Me! (MP3 Audio)

David and Bathsheba Summary: “Mercy me!” — how often we hear this phrase demonstrating mild dismay or discomfort. These words have become a cliché and a stereotype. They bring to mind previous generations of American women from the South gasping in surprise or amazement. How easily we forget that they come from the Church’s ancient prayer, “Lord, have mercy on me!”

The Christian prays, “Mercy me!” The Christian means, “Dear God, treat me with love and tenderness. Show me the kindness I lack, the compassion I withhold, the mercy I hoard. Hold me blameless although I am guilty. Purify me that I might not be a stench in Your nostrils and an abomination in Your eyes.”

God had mercy on lustful, scheming, adulterous, murderous, deceitful David. He likewise has mercy on us dirty, rotten, good-for-nothing sinners for the sake of Jesus. Unable to cleanse ourselves, we cry out to Him time after time for clean hearts and right spirits and discover time after time that His mercy has no bounds.

“Mercy me, O Lord!” we cry out. “Look at me as you do Your only begotten Son and look not on my sins! Give me life, not death; grant healing, not harm. Forgive, feed, clothe, and comfort me not because I deserve it but because they belong to me by Your grace through faith in Jesus Christ.”

Nathan Confronts King David Text: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Psalm 51:1-13

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 Mercy Me!. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Norborne, Missouri.

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: 2 Samuel 22:26-34; 1 Corinthians 10:6-13; Luke 16:1-9 (10-13)

Additional Resources: Please see Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Christ and A New Spirit at Ask the Pastor for more on God’s grace and mercy revealed in Psalm 51. Listen also to You da Man! This recent sermon applies God’s condemnation of David though Nathan — and His subsequent forgiveness of the king — to our lives.

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21 July 2013

Sermon: Trinity 8 (OT)

21 July AD 2013
Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Title: Listen Up ... and Listen Not (MP3 Audio)

Meyer and Osteen, Heretics Summary: The Lord often calls His people to listen, to pay attention, to harken to His Word. However, there are also times when He commands us to stop our hears, listen not, and pay no attention — not to His words but to the words of false teachers.

Each of today’s readings warns us about the dangers of heeding false prophets while the Psalm cautions us against any consorting with know wicked people, lest their thoughts and deeds become ours. Through Jeremiah, the Lord cautions us that many rush out with claims of special revelation, wrapping their own demented dreams in the language of the Faith.

The faithful have always been assailed by hucksters selling their own interpretations of divine truth. Whether prophets of Baal or 21st Century charlatans, if their message isn’t one of sin and salvation, of the Law’s condemnation and killing and the Gospel’s reconciliation and reviving, they are liars — and their lies are damnation’s seeds sown in our midst.

God did not and does not send people who are not “poor, miserable sinners,” as one popular woman says of herself. He doesn’t sponsor “name it and claim it” theology or send out pastors who tell you, “Believe it and you’ll achieve it.” The Lord won’t pretend that we have no sin and no pastor who truly proclaims the Word will say that of himself or of his hearers.

The rightful heirs of the true prophets are those who acknowledge the depths of human depravity and who confess that they are, with the rest of mankind, dirty, rotten sinners. They also recognize that no one can earn, dream, plan, scheme, or work a way into God’s good graces and eternal life but instead cling to and boldly proclaim salvation only through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah Text: Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened? Behold, the storm of the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.

“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’

“How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?

“Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:16-29

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 Listen Up ... and Listen Not. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Norborne, Missouri.

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 26; Acts 20:27-38; Matthew 7:15-23

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14 July 2013

Sermon: Trinity 7 (OT)

14 July AD 2013
Seventh Sunday after Trinity

Title: Living Creatures (MP3 Audio)

The Lord gives life to Adam Summary: “The man became a living creature” — these simple words announce the commencement of human life.

So what is this “living creature”? Is it merely the sum total of the biological and chemical processes that take place in the body? Is it a soul (whatever that might be) that inhabits a fleshly shell for a time before shedding the body’s cocoon and moving on to a higher, spiritual existence?

Scripture doesn’t make such distinctions. We are neither souls traveling about in “meat taxis” nor purposeless brutes acting and reacting according to random circumstances. To be a “living creature” means to be body, mind, and spirit united. It means heartbeat and breathing, thoughts and emotions. Living includes our place in this Creation and our standing before God.

Christ came to redeem and restore not only the soul or spirit of fallen mankind but also to heal and remake broken bodies and tormented minds. His miracles of healing and feeding say to our sin-afflicted bodies what His words of forgiveness say to our sin-stained souls: “Behold, I am making all things new. (Revelation 21:5)”

Jesus came not to separate “bad” flesh from “good” spirit but to forgive us and thereby restore us each to the internal harmony that our race lost in the Fall. He came in the flesh to save flesh-and-blood creatures. He took wounds upon His body as a token of our bodies’ healing. His thoughts were troubled so He might ease our sorrowing hearts. His spirit remained pure that He might purify our souls and grant us a purposeful life in time and a pure and holy life in eternity.

We are living creatures. By faith in Christ, we live more deeply and completely than we could ever manage on our own. We already “have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10)” and trust His promise that life will be even more wonderful in the Resurrection.

Jesus Feeds 4000 Text: Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord

God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:7-17

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 Living Creatures. Preached to the saints of God at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Excelsior Springs, Missouri.

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 33:1-11; Romans 6:19-23; Mark 8:1-9

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07 July 2013

Sermon: Proper 9C (OT)

7 July AD 2013
Pentecost 7

Title: Babied and Blessed (MP3 Audio)

Mary Cassat: Mother Berthe Holding Her Baby Summary: The expression “babe in the woods” describes someone helpless, naïve, innocent, inexperienced, and gullible. Besides the innocence, at least from sin, all of these describe to some degree our own spiritual maturity and certainly speak to our inability so save ourselves.

Babies — weak, easily injured, and unable to support or defend themselves — are how God depicts the exiles banished to Babylon. Yet they are not left helpless, for He tells them how Jerusalem will once again be their mother, their refuge, their comfort.

We have been joined into the house of Israel through Baptism. By faith, we live as the children of Abraham. As such, we know that the promises of blessing belong to us as well as to Isaiah’s Judah. We, also, have a mother to shower love upon us.

While awaiting the fulfillment of the new Jerusalem, we still live in Christ’s Church, the Jerusalem of faith. She is the mother who wraps herself around us, holding, comforting, and consoling. She bore us through the womb of the font and gathers us to hear God’s forgiving Word and to feed on Jesus’ body and blood.

As long as we live, we’ll never outgrow our need to nurse upon her pure spiritual milk, to rest in the lap of Christian worship. We must continue having our soiled garments cleansed, our hunger fed, our thirst slaked, and our fears calmed. Whether held tightly to the Church’s breast or dandled joyfully on her lap, we receive the nurture we need throughout all our earthly days.

Andrea Solario: Jesus and Mary Text: “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance.”

For thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees.

“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.” Isaiah 66:10-14

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 Babied and Blessed. Preached to the saints of God at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Fayette, Missouri.

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 66:1-7; Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18; Luke 10:1-20

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03 July 2013

Sermon: Proper 8C (Gospel)

3 July AD 2013
Pentecost 6

Title: Rain of Fire, Reign of Peace (MP3 Audio)

Napalm Strike Summary: Those blasted Samaritans! How dare they refuse hospitality to the Master! James and John were in favor of calling in a divine air strike and bombing them back into the Stone Age: “Jesus,” the Sons of Thunder begged Him, “let us call down flames from above on those rotten sinners!”

James and John were wrong. All too often, so are we. We want God to visit His wrath on the wicked, conveniently forgetting that we also are sinners. To do so is to ask Him to judge us by the same criteria we use on others — inviting Him to condemn us as we condemn.

There will come a Day when Jesus pronounces judgment upon those who reject His grace. Until then, however, His message — His church’s message — is one of reconciliation. For Jesus came not to rain down fire upon us but to lead us into His reign of peace. He comes now in Word and Sacrament so sinners like these Samaritans, like James and John — like you — can know forgiveness and peace.

James and John Text: When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.

And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Don't Look Back To another he said, “Follow me.”

But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:51-62

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 Rain of Fire, Reign of Peace.

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 16; 1 Kings 19:9b-21; Galatians 5:1, 13-25

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