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

17 August 2011

Sermon: High School Chapel

Proper 16 — Pentecost 10 — 17 August AD 2011

Sermon Theme: Your Spiritual Worship

Jesus on the CrossSummary: By coincidence, today’s reading for the Saint Paul Lutheran High School chapel service was a portion of the epistle for the coming Sunday. The challenge was to preach the text (which strongly focuses on sanctification) while still preaching Christ and the full and free forgiveness we have in Him.

To merely pound home the content of these verses would mean a near total emphasis on the demands of the Law. To ignore the content would mean dismissing these divinely inspired words of Saint Paul.

The solution was to apply the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to the hearers as His gift to them. They, in turn, are freed by His forgiveness to sacrifice themselves to Him — and to their fellow man — in their “spiritual worship” as they live out their vocations in faith toward God and love to each other and to all people.

Text: I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Hymn of the Day: We sang the first two stanzas of Before the One True God, which I wrote for this academic year at SPLHS:

  1. Before the one true God whose name
    We hold and hail with glad acclaim,
    We offer this poor sacrifice:
    Our bodies purchased by the price
    Of Jesus’ suff’ring, blood, and death,
    Our hearts and minds, our lives and breath.
  2. From lands afar and places near,
    In one accord we gather here.
    Though disp’rate members each may be,
    One body in You, Christ, are we;
    And to each other we belong
    As varied notes in one great song.
Hymn text © 2011 Walter P. Snyder. May not be used or reproduced without permission.

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 Your Spiritual Worship, preached to the students, faculty, and staff of Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, Missouri.

Note: While certainly a Lutheran educational institution, St. Paul Lutheran High School is also a mission field. Not only does it admit academically qualified Lutherans, the school also welcomes a number of other Christians as well as non-Christians — even some atheists. A high percentage of students come from other lands, so the International Service is tailored to the age of its hearers, while remaining mindful of those unskilled with English, uncomfortable with Christianity, or both. Present this day were American students and those born in Russia, Slovakia, Norway, China, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and elsewhere.

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