Happenings

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





18 March 2015

Sermon: Lent 4 Midweek

18 March AD 2015
A Lent — Easter Series on Christ and Creation

Title: In the (New) Beginning: Sun, Moon, and Stars (MP3 Audio)

Creation: Day Four Summary: Light, navigation, and keeping track of time — we’ve certainly found plenty of use for sun, moon, and stars. Sun and moon lift and lower the tides. And aside from all practical concerns, we enjoy the stars at night, the full moon, dawn and dusk, or sunrise and sunset for their sheer beauty.

We should expect this, for Scripture says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)” Yet nothing proclaims His glory like His crucified and risen Son — and God used the heavens to prophesy and to proclaim the Christ.

Old Testament prophecy concludes with the promise of the coming “sun of righteousness” bringing “healing in its wings. (Malachi 4:2)” The Lord used a special star to lead the wise men to the Savior (Matthew 2:1-12). Jesus prophesied concerning the End Times in terms of the heavens and Scripture concludes with His declaration that He is “the bright morning star (Revelation 22:16)” heralding the dawn of eternity.

The heavens, by themselves, cannot reveal the source of our salvation but God uses these lights to point those with willing hearts to His Son Jesus, “the life” who is truly “the light of men. (John 1:4)”

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.

   He who caused stars to brighten
   The farthest evening sky
   By them the wise enlightened,
   Announced the King was nigh.
   E’en in the darkest night
   Their glory, shining bright,
   Lights praises near and far
   To Christ the Morning Star.

   The promise of the sunrise
   Gives flight to earthly gloom
   Just as that darkened Friday
   Gave way to conquered tomb.
   The Sun of Righteousness
   In joy shines bright to bless;
   He rises over grave
   Eternally to save.

      ©2003, 2015 Walter P. Snyder

Text: And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.”

And it was so. And God made the two great lights — the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night — and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. Genesis 1:14-19

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: Sun, Moon, and Stars.

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 104:1-2, 19-23, 31-35a (antiphon Psalm 148:3); Malachi 4; Matthew 17:1-9

Illustration: The Fourth Day of Creation from Die Bibel in Bildern by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld at Wikimedia Commons.

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