Happenings

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





20 February 2016

Lent 2C Sermon: The Lord Will Relent

Preached on Jeremiah 26:8-15
The Second Sunday in Lent, Series C
21 February AD 2016

Title: The Lord Will Relent (MP3 Audio)

Luke 13:34 Summary: Unfortunately, God’s Word finds some of its strongest resistance in His Church, among His people. In today’s Gospel, Jesus pointed out Jerusalem’s sorry record of murdering the Lord’s messengers. Yet neither He nor His Father had given up on Israel and soon He would join the Holy City’s martyred prophets, shedding His blood to pay for Israel’s sins and the sins of all mankind.

Jeremiah clearly show that ignoring the Word and assaulting its proclaimers wasn’t a problem new to Jesus. The prophet came to rebuke and chastise the city and the nation, directly accusing Judah’s inhabitants of all manner of wickedness. From the greatest to the least, none escaped the Law’s condemnations.

Yet Jeremiah wasn’t there only to condemn but also to proclaim full forgiveness from a gracious Lord — a Lord who was eager to “repent of the disaster” at hand. He longed to relent of His judgment. He desired a vibrant, active Church. He wanted a population of forgiven, joyous children filling the nation.

To this day, sinners — both within and without Christendom — resist the Word. They reject God’s judgments and scorn His mercy. Individuals, congregations, and entire church bodies find ways to substitute their own thoughts and wishes for the will of the Lord. Even pew-sitting, offering-giving, congregation-serving Christians — even you and I — may find ourselves at odds with God’s Word and in conflict with His messengers.

Thanks be to God that Christ didn’t turn His back on going up to Jerusalem to be the next of the slain prophets. For the same forgiveness that He won for those who crucified Him belonged also to those who rejected and killed His prophets, who rebelled in the Wilderness, who sinned in the garden. And yes, Jesus’ forgiveness also belongs to us modern-day rebels. For the sake of His Son, the Lord relents of our judgment and gives us His pardon and His peace.

God grant that we unworthy outlaws continue to believe in Christ’s sacrifice, receive His forgiveness, and — by the power of the Holy Spirit — live lives of faith toward God and fervent love toward one another.

Jeremiah at the Temple Text: And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you.

“But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.” Jeremiah 26:8-15

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 The Lord Will Relent

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 4; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35

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