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

07 August 2011

Sermon: Proper 14 (OT)

Pentecost 8 — 7 August AD 2011

Sermon Theme: Were You There?

Crashing WavesSummary: A Lenten hymn rather sentimentally asks the Christian about Jesus’ crucifixion, “Were you there?”

In today’s Old Testament, however, God pointedly asks Job (and us) as if it were a matter of life and death, “Were you there at the world’s beginning? Were you there when I put everything together just as I planned Were you there to suggest improvement upon a perfect Creation? What, then, makes you an expert on what I have planned for your life?”

We discover that it is a life or death question. Only He who framed the world and established the oceans’ boundaries knows what is right for us. Only the One walked on the waves, stilled the storm and died and rose again can guarantee our salvation and establish us in our lives and our vocations.

Were we there with Him at the beginning of Creation? No. Were we there to watch as Jesus suffered, died, and rose? No. But God in Christ is here with us, for us, and — through Word and Sacrament — in us that we might be preserved through this life and prepared for life everlasting through faith in our Savior.

Hurricane KatrinaText: [The Lord said to Job,] “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements — surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

“It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.

“Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.”
Job 38:4-18

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 MP3 of Were You There?, preached to the saints of Christ at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Fayette, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 18:1-6 (7-16); Romans 10:5-17; Matthew 14:22-33

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