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 November 2019

Thanksgiving Sermon: A Bountiful Harvest

Preached on 2 Corinthians 9:6–15
Thanksgiving Day
28 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of A Bountiful Harvest

A Bountiful Harvest Summary: The Scriptures abound with agricultural images being used to describe God’s kingdom and our place in it. In today’s epistle, Paul challenges his readers to trust in the Lord’s promises to grant them full supply and to willingly give for the good of the Church and the expansion of the Kingdom.

Each of us who believes is here because someone else cast the Gospel seed. Now we are privileged to sow that seed ourselves in our daily lives and to further its spread in our support of those who carry the Gospel across our nation and around the world. We trust that the Holy Spirit will grant increase and bless the harvest on the day of our Lord’s glorious return.

Text: The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:6–15

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 the MP3 of A Bountiful Harvest

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 65; Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

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27 November 2019

Congregational Anniversary Sermon: Will God Dwell on Earth?

Preached on 1 Kings 8:22–30
The 65th Anniversary of Peace Lutheran, Slater, Missouri
27 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Will God Dwell on Earth?

Peace Lutheran, Slater, Missouri Summary: Sixty-five years ago, a group gathered to hold the first Lutheran service in the town of Slater, Missouri on Thanksgiving Eve. Tonight, in conjunction with their annual Thanksgiving celebration, the congregation chose to celebrate and offer special thanks for God’s blessings in and through Peace Lutheran Church.

The sermon text is a portion of Solomon’s dedication of the temple in Jerusalem. In it, the king marveled that a transcendent God could dwell immanently and intimately among His people on earth.

Solomon asked, “Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” Should we pose the same question, our answer is already evident: Jesus dwelt with us on earth. He continues dwelling among us in Word and Sacrament. Finally, He will lead us to dwell with God in eternity.

Text: Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day.

“Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!

“Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place.

“And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.” 1 Kings 8:22-30

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 Will God Dwell on Earth?

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 84; Revelation 21:1-5; Luke 24:44-53

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24 November 2019

Last Sunday of the Church Year Sermon: Speaking Against God

Preached on Malachi 3:13–18
Last Sunday of the Church Year — Proper 29C
24 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Speaking Against God

Malachi 3:13-18 Summary: “Tell God that He’s wrong — who, me?”

Yes, you — and all others who live and breathe.

Even if we’re not directly complaining to God, we whine and moan about who we are and what we have. We compare ourselves to others. We see what we have and grumble that others have more, better, or newer.

In all of this, we sound so much like the Israel at the time of Malachi ... or of Moses. Indeed, we’re no different from the ungrateful of all previous generations.

God has worked a complete change, without which we would remain lost and condemned creatures. Instead of letting continue our complaints that He allows the wicked to prosper, He moves us, His dear children, to remember and confess our own wicked thoughts, words, and deeds. In love, the Lord leads us to repent of our own sins and receive His forgiveness while there is yet time.

As Malachi says, the Lord gathers us up as his “treasured possession” sparing us “as a man spares his son who serves him.” This not because we do well at serving Him but because Christ’s perfect service is credited to us as our own righteousness.

Scroll Text: “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’

“You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.

“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.” Malachi 3:13-18

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 Speaking Against God

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 46; Colossians 1:13-20; Luke 23:27-43

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Last Sunday of the Church Year Sermon: Green Wood, Dry Wood

Preached on Luke 23:27–43
Last Sunday of the Church Year — Proper 29C
24 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Green Wood, Dry Wood

Luke 23:31a Summary: In today’s Gospel, Luke shows Jesus prophesying the fall of Jerusalem for the third time in less than a week. Its fall is tied both to his own death and to the end of the world. God’s judgment on sin will fall all who reject His Word and His will. Jerusalem becomes a sign for the Last Judgment.

Jesus shows how bad it is in His comparison: He — the green wood innocent and holy — should be impervious to destruction and flame. Yet sinners are taking Him out to be crucified. Meanwhile, sinful humankind is dry, brittle, and easily put to the torch. What will happen to us?

Our salvation only comes when we trust that divine judgment on sin already fell on Jesus. God put our guilt on His Son and sent Him to die for us. When we believe that He carried our sins to the cross, we possess the salvation and new life that came in His resurrection.

Luke 23:31b Text: And there followed [Jesus] a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him.

But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

“For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:27-43

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 Green Wood, Dry Wood

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 46; Malachi 3:13-18; Colossians 1:13-20

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17 November 2019

Pentecost 23 Sermon: Deadly Fire, Delighted Frolic

Preached on Malachi 4:1–6
23rd Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 28C
17 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Deadly Fire, Delighted Frolic

Malachi 4:1-6 Summary: God promises to end this fallen, sin-infested creation. He warns evildoers, threatening those who reject Him with everlasting punishment. He compares his judgment with a fierce blaze sweeping through dry, harvested fields. The useless stubble will be utterly consumed.

However, for those who believe in Him and trust His promises, He promises forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation through Jesus Christ. The Son who healed the blind, deaf, and lame will raise us up healed and whole. Sin-sickness and all its physical, emotional, and mental symptoms will be cured.

Jesus took our sins’ punishment upon Himself that He might clothe us in His righteousness. Through Malachi, the Lord contrasts His wrath at the impenitent with His tender mercy for stricken sinners who trust in His grace. On the Last Day, He will raise us up to health and wholeness. In joy we will join all the redeemed “leaping like calves from the stall” in celebration of lives of never-ending bliss in the New Creation.

Malachi 4:1-6 Text: “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi 4:1-6

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 Deadly Fire, Delighted Frolic

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 98; 2 Thessalonians 3: (1-5) 6-13; Luke 21:5-28 (29-36)

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Pentecost 23 Sermon: Raise Your Heads

Preached on Luke 21:5–28
23rd Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 28C
17 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Raise Your Heads

Luke 21:5-28 Summary: Jesus calls us to be faithful unto death, whether it be peaceful or violent, whether it comes in the everyday course of life or falls upon us because we confess Him. Because the world and Satan its prince hate the Lord, they hate all who trust in Him.

No matter the circumstances, Jesus invites us to follow faithfully wherever He leads. Even if living as His people brings suffering and death, it also leads us to life without end. Therefore, we can lift our heads and calmly meet every trial that comes upon us, knowing that we are already kept safe for the Resurrection.

Text: And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, [Jesus] said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?”

And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Luke 21:5-28 “But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

“Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:5-28

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 Raise Your Heads

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: Malachi 4:1-6; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3: (1-5) 6-13

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10 November 2019

Pentecost 22 Sermon: Praise the Lord!

Preached on Psalm 148
22nd Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 27C
10 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Praise the Lord!

Psalm 148 Summary: We usually think of praise as the conscious action of thinking beings. We might go so far as to include “higher” animals as capable of some sort of praise. This is particularly likely when we look at domestic animals, particularly our pets. We want to believe that they appreciate us and desire to show their love.

However, we rarely give thought to the idea that inanimate objects can actively praise someone. How can a star or a planet, a mountain, a snow storm, or a tree give praise? Yet that’s the picture painted by the psalmist.

By its very nature, the entire creation praises the Lord simply because it was made by Him. Perhaps under divine encouragement, even that which lacks sentience can actively praise God — after all, Jesus said just before the events of today’s Gospel that if the people’s voices were stilled on Palm Sunday, “the very stones would cry out. (Luke 19:40)”

We Christians especially praise Him because we are remade by Him as His redeemed children. Because of our faith in Christ, He now praises us as His holy people.

Text:

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
  praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
  praise him, all his hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,
  praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
  and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord!
  For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them forever and ever;
  he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
  you great sea creatures and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and mist,
  stormy wind fulfilling his word!
Mountains and all hills,
  fruit trees and all cedars!
Beasts and all livestock,
  creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
  princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and maidens together,
  old men and children!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
  for his name alone is exalted;
  his majesty is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people,
  praise for all his saints,
  for the people of Israel who are near to him.

Praise the Lord! Psalm 148

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 Praise the Lord!

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: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, 13-17; Luke 20:27-40

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Pentecost 22 Sermon: I Am

Preached on Exodus 3:1–15
22nd Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 27C
10 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of I Am

Exodus 3:1-15 Summary: I am — the God who is, who was, and who will always be — brought everything into existence. He also brought Himself into this Creation, coming to earth in human flesh, that He might take our sins upon Himself, making us into new beings, possessors of joy-filled lives everlasting.

Text: Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

“And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” Exodus 3:1-15

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 the MP3 of I Am

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 148; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, 13-17; Luke 20:27-40

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Pentecost 22 Sermon: God of the Living

Preached on Luke 20:27–40
22nd Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 27C
10 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of God of the Living

Luke 20:27-40 Summary: Not believing in the Resurrection, the Sadducees wanted to ridicule Jesus and discredit this teaching. They came up with the story of the woman widowed seven times, hoping to use earthly life to challenge what Christ taught that believers will experience in the New Creation.

The Lord turned their thinking on its head. He couldn’t answer their question as asked since it began with a faulty premise. He instead used the account of the burning bush to point to the correct question and answer.

Because the living God is also the God of the living, we know that in Christ we have lives that will never end. Therefore, many of this life’s institutions, including marriage, will have no place in the Resurrection.

Text: There came to [Jesus] some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.

“Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

“But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him any question. Luke 20:27-40

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 God of the Living

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 148; Exodus 3:1-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, 13-17

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03 November 2019

All Saints Sermon: What Kind of Love!

Preached on 1 John 3:1-3
All Saints Day
3 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of What Kind of Love!.

Fra Angelico: Saints Summary: Look! Behold! Pay attention!

Led by the Spirit and following those who came before him, John points clearly to Christ. Any good gifts, any true blessings flow through Jesus from the Father. Because He is the perfect Son who offered the perfect sacrifice, we are God’s children by faith. Because He lives, we live also — in time and throughout eternity.

Humankind can only define itself negatively before God. We are the rebels, Satan’s bastard children, heirs of wrath and judgment. Yet even the vilest sinner discovers by faith in Christ that no iniquity is greater than Jesus’ forgiveness. The most wayward and prodigal of sons still find the Father’s arms welcoming them as He redefines them by water and the Word as His dear children.

We don’t play guessing games, trying to figure out what eternal life will be like or what it means when Jesus returns and we are “like Him.” It is enough to know that we will be completely satisfied, absolutely joyful, and perfectly pure in heart and mind. No matter how exactly the New Creation resembles the various Scriptural images — green pastures and still waters, a never-ending banquet, or a city of gold and jewels — we know that it will be our home because it is where our Savior will lead us to dwell.

Text: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3

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 What Kind of Love!

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 149; Revelation 7:(2-8) 9-17; Matthew 5:1-12

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27 October 2019

Reformation Sermon: Poor Comparison

Preached on Matthew 11:12–19
Reformation Day (Observed)
27 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Poor Comparison

Matthew 11:12-19 Summary: The text is the alternate Gospel assigned for Reformation Day in the Lutheran Service Book Lectionary. It illustrates mankind’s ongoing difficulty with receiving Jesus at His word.

Christ can just as easily compare the people of today — whether of the Church or not — with the same spoiled children He mentions here in Matthew. Too often, we make the same attempts to force God into our expectations or make Him act according to our wishes. Thus when He compares us as we are to us as we should be, we completely fail in comparison.

The faithful Christian realizes, however, that God calls the tune. He continues to play the same two songs of Law and Gospel, condemning our sins in wrath and forgiving them for Christ’s sake.

Text: [Jesus said,] “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’

“Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” Matthew 11:12-19

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 Poor Comparison

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 46; Revelation 14:6-7; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36

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Reformation Sermon: Fortified!

Preached on Psalm 46
Reformation Day (Observed)
27 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Fortified!

Psalm 46 Summary: Our powers are insufficient for the trials of this world. As the hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God declares, “With might of ours can naught be done.” We need fortification; we need the Lord Himself surrounding us.

Only He can protect us. Christ alone is the Gate. He opens to allow us in but closes to keep sin, death, and Devil at bay. The Holy Spirit extends Jesus’ invitation through the Gospel, brings us to faith, and leads us through the Gate into our refuge and dwelling place.

We also need internal fortification: God must dwell within us, strengthening us as we continue on our pilgrimage. He lifts our hearts, raises our heads, straightens our backs, and energizes our limbs. As we take shelter in Him, so He also makes His home in us through Word and Sacrament, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Text: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46

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 Fortified!

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: Revelation 14:6-7; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36; alternate Gospel Matthew 11:12-19

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26 October 2019

Wedding Sermon: A Threefold Cord

Preached on Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
26 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of A Threefold Cord.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Summary: Scripture defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Yet it also teaches that without God in its midst, a marriage isn’t as strong or healthy as it could (or should) be.

When Christ is central in a marriage, whatever frays the nerves or stretches the endurance of the other two strands cannot break the braid. His strength, made perfect in our weakness, supports husbands and wives. As He clings to them, He also leads them to cling to Him — and to each other — with similar tenacity.

Preached for the wedding of Albert Foster and Kelsey Keuhne at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Saline City, Missouri.

Text: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.

But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9–12

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 A Threefold Cord.

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: Genesis 2:7, 18-24; Matthew 19:4-6

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20 October 2019

Pentecost 19 Sermon: Wrestling for a Blessing

Preached on Genesis 32:22–30
19th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 24C
20 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Wrestling for a Blessing.

Genesis 32:22-30 Summary: God allowed — or forced — Jacob to struggle with Him throughout the night before easily taking the budding patriarch out of the fight. Yet even though a dislocated hip would prevent a physical victory, Jacob clung on for a blessing.

He received more than that, for the Lord also gave him a new name. Instead of being known as the Heel Grabbing Trickster, he was now the God Wrestler. We don’t know the exact text of the blessing but we know that it was be Israel’s new name, not Abraham’s, by which God’s chosen people would be called.

God also renames us as He blesses us. In Baptism, while we keep the names given by our parents, we receive a new family name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As God’s children, our new selves still struggle with Him, not in competition but rather cooperation. He moves us to strive against our own sinful desires, the allure of the world, and Satan’s temptations.

During our days of wrestling on earth, Peniel* times come as we meet God face to face in Word and Sacrament. Still, though, we only see Him in part. The fulness of this revelation must wait until our resurrection into eternal life.

*Peniel is Hebrew for “face of God.”

Text: The same night [Jacob] arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had.

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him.

Genesis 32:22-30 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

And he said to him, “What is your name?”

And he said, “Jacob.”

Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.”

But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.

So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Genesis 32:22-30

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 Wrestling for a Blessing.

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 121; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5; Luke 18:1-8

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Pentecost 19 Sermon: Give Me Justice!

Preached on Luke 18:1–8
19th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 24C
20 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Give Me Justice!

Luke 18:1-8 Summary: Some people misunderstand this parable, thinking that it means that if we pester God long enough and hard enough, we’ll get whatever we want. If that were the case, He would be dumping an awful lot of counterproductive junk on us because we often fix our desires on things that aren’t good for us.

But Jesus tells this story after speaking about the divisiveness of the Gospel and the possibility of persecution falling on those who follow Him. The widow asks for justice. Jesus would have us also asking for justice, as well as faith and forgiveness. We pray not to enrich ourselves but to be protected from evil, particularly eternal death.

Text: And [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’

“For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1-8

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 Give Me Justice!

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 121; Genesis 32:22-30; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

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16 October 2019

Funeral Sermon: Master Craftsman

Preached on Psalm 139:13–116
The Funeral of Beno Messer
16 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Master Craftsman.

Waterfall Fountain Created by Beno Messer for His Wife Hannelore Summary: Craftsmanship means different things to different people but a true master such as Beno Messer leaves ample evidence of his artistic vision and the hard work necessary to bring the vision to completion. Through most of his life, this master craftsman worked in metal and other materials to make products both beautiful and functional.

Whether it was repairing others’ works or designing and constructing his own projects, he refused to cut corners or rush his tasks. He wanted to leave things better than he found them, and he displayed this same attitude in the rest of his life. He invested himself deeply in others and his craftsmanship extended into his family and friends as he always worked to make things better for other and to do better by others.

On an eternal scale, God also shows Himself to be a master craftsman. The psalmist confesses this in the sermon text. But the Lord wasn’t content to create beauty. When Adam and Eve fell into sin, breaking themselves, their world, and their relationship with Him, He set about to undo and remake the damage into new and lasting beauty.

His craftsmanship, then goes beyond physical beauty or effective function. He works through Jesus to make all things new and right. He creates clean hearts in place of our filthy, sin-damaged natures. He works all things for good for those who believe in Him. Through the instrument of the cross, He bent and broke His Son so that He might straighten and restore us and our relationship with Him.

In Baptism, He makes us new. The Holy Spirit continues crafting us into the creatures He desires us to be through the Gospel. Jesus remakes and re-forms us as He feeds us on His own body and blood. And at the end of time, God will unveil His final project as Master Craftsman when He brings us into the new heavens and new earth to live with Him forever.

Text:

You formed my inward parts;
  you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
  my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
  when I was being made in secret,
  intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
  in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
    Psalm 139:13-16

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 Master Craftsman.

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: Isaiah 25:6-9; John 14:1-7

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13 October 2019

Pentecost 18 Sermon: Until Death Us Do Part

Preached on Ruth 1:1–19a
18th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 23C
13 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Until Death Us Do Part.

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Summary: Initially established through Lot’s incest after Sodom was destroyed, Moab fully earned the Lord’s rejection by hiring the prophet Balaam to curse Israel. Yet the Lord loved these outcasts and wanted them back as His own.

Through the love shared by Ruth and Naomi — a love flowing from His own boundless mercy and grace — He received Moab into His chosen people. He did so through the unlikely vessel of a Moabite woman. Ruth’s selfless love for her mother-in-law and her promise to never forsake her led her to travel back to Judah with Naomi.

There, God granted her a righteous and loving husband who more than cared for both her and Naomi. And beyond merely showing that He cared even for these often-despised Gentiles, the Lord included Moab in the line of the coming Davidic kingship and thus into the earthly family of the coming Savior.

Text: In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah.

They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.

Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.

And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”

But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”

Then they lifted up their voices and wept again.

And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. Ruth 1:1-19a

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 Until Death Us Do Part.

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 111; 2 Timothy 2:1-13; Luke 17:11-19

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Pentecost 18 Sermon: If

Preached on 2 Timothy 2:1–13
18th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 23C
13 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of If.

2 Timothy 2:13 Summary: As Paul nurtured Timothy in the Gospel, so the apostle encourages Timothy to do the same for the next generation of pastors. Yet even though this is a pastoral epistle, Paul writes much that holds for all Christians. After all, the pastors must know the Word in order to preach the Word and must believe the same Word in order to be saved.

So here, as the section concludes, we have a series of “if” statements. The first connects us with baptism, in which we died with Christ in order to live with Him. Second is the promise that those who endure will enter His eternal reign. Even now, God moves us to reign over our own thoughts and passions, directing them in faithful pursuits.

Next comes the warning to avoid apostasy and rejection of the Gospel. We sometimes call this the “sin against the Holy Spirit,” for it is a rejection of the God-given faith and salvation we have through the Spirit’s working. We dare not tell Him that we don’t want or need Jesus’ suffering and death.

Yet Paul realizes that even our best intentions and holiest desires fall short and he comforts us with the reminder that God cannot deny His love and forgiveness any more than He can deny Himself, for His nature is love. No matter how weak we are or how many times we stumble, He continues to receive His penitent children into His gracious presence.

Text: You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for:

   If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
   if we endure, we will also reign with him;
   if we deny him, he also will deny us;
   if we are faithless, he remains faithful —


for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:1-13

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 If.

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 111; Ruth 1:1-19a; Luke 17:11-19

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06 October 2019

Pentecost 17 Sermon: Slow Haste

Preached on Habakkuk 1:1–4, 2:1–4
17th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 22C
6 October AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Slow Haste.

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Summary: Everywhere he turned, the prophet saw the bad guys winning and he wanted to know when the Lord was going to come down and set things right. When would He stop using pagan nations such as Assyria to visit His wrath on sinners? When would He check the evil perpetrated among His chosen people? When would righteousness be its own reward?

Instead, the Lord sent a vision promising that another pagan nation, the Chaldeans, would be His next instrument of judgment. They would destroy Assyria but would also reach out against Judah, which continued to sin against its God. There was nothing the Israelites could do to save themselves for none could make themselves right before the Lord.

However, the Lord promised that the “righteous shall live by his faith.”

This righteousness came only through trust in the Lord’s promises of His forgiveness and coming rescue. During the New Testament and beyond, it specifically and solely came to mean belief in Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for us. He was the One to bear the full brunt of the Father’s wrath at sin and sinners.

How long will it be? When will our troubles end and our enemies be vanquished? The Lord has His own timetable. Even as He warns of hastening judgment, He also promises to delay on behalf of those who will still be brought to saving faith by the power of His Holy Spirit. He urges us to be slow to judge but quick to mercy.

God says, “‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)” Now you are baptized. Now you are forgiven. Now you are righteous and living by faith.

Text: The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted....

I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

“Behold, [the wicked man’s] soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4

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 Slow Haste.

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 62; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:1-10

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