Happenings

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





31 May 2015

Sermon: Unclean and Holy

Preached on Isaiah 6:1-8
Trinity Sunday — 31 May AD 2015

Title: Unclean and Holy (MP3 Audio)

Isaiah and the Seraph Summary: The sacred and the profane cannot abide each other. Isaiah found himself before the Lord of hosts and the seraphim and realized that he was a sinner, unclean and intolerable to the Holy One. Yet he didn’t flee because faith in his God held him until he could hear the fulness of the message.

Yes, God is a “consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).” However, we who trust in the Son are not consumed. Instead, we benefit from the fiery trials suffered by Jesus (cf. Luke 12:49-50).

He who was consumed by death then consumed it in His resurrection, ensuring that the fires of hell would never touch those who believe in Him. Through Word and Sacrament, the Holy Spirit applies the blessings won by Christ. Thus the “holy, holy, holy” Lord God makes for Himself a holy people.

We confess with Scripture that we are sinful from conception and birth and remain sinners in thought, word, and deed. When not actively committing sin, we often passively sit by and refuse to do good, to love others as Christ loved us. We also confess that we are saints — redeemed by Jesus, brought to faith by the Holy Spirit, and children of our heavenly Father.

Unclean, yet holy ... sinners yet saints: We live day by day in this marvelous mystery of the Faith. Even as we remain in this fallen Creation, we also anticipate Christ’s return in glory, the complete and everlasting cleansing of our sinful natures, and an eternity in the blessed presence of the Almighty.

Seraph Text: In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:1-8

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 Unclean and Holy

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: Psalm 29; Acts 2:14a, 22-36; John 3:1-17

Trinity Sunday: Visit Aardvark Alley for a bit more on the Feast of the Holy Trinity.

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06 May 2015

Funeral Sermon: Engraved on God’s Palms

Preached on Isaiah 49:13-16
6 May AD 2015
The Funeral of Betty Jane Harms

Title: Engraved on God’s Palms (MP3 Audio)

Isaiah 49:6 Summary: Believers deeply desire and often valiantly struggle to remember the God of their salvation when facing suffering and death. Job wanted his confession “I know that my Redeemer lives” carved in stone, the letters filled with molten lead, so certain was he of his eventual resurrection and everlasting life in the Lord (Job 19:23-27).

In our text, the Lord tells Jerusalem that He also has made a carving of remembrance, this in the palms of His own hands. While He was addressing Israel figuratively, in Christ He later opened His literal flesh-and-blood palms to crucifixion’s engraving.

Even while Golgotha’s nails named Jesus as “sinner,” God also made Christ’s palms a memory book, wherein could be recorded Jesus’ wondrous name of love. By the power of the Holy Spirit, this name becomes ours through Baptism and the Word.

Yes, dear saint, your name is written on the palms of the Lord for Him to see, to remember, and to love you forevermore.

Text: Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49:13-16

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 Engraved on God’s Palms

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: Psalm 23; Hebrews 13:20-21; John 10:11-18

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