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

29 August 2012

Chapel Sermon: Encouraged in Christ

29 August AD 2012
The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist

Theme: Encouraged in Christ

Jesus Died for Me
Summary: The theme for the 2012 – 13 academic year at St. Paul Lutheran High School is Made Wise in Christ, taken from Colossians 2:2-10. Under this theme are monthly emphases and weekly foci. August’s emphasis is “Encouraged in Heart, United in Love” and the week’s focus is “Wise in Christ — Encouraged in Heart.”

Time is at a premium for the SPLHS chapels, so I tried to make a few quick, concise Law applications both to students and to teachers and to bring the Gospel’s forgiveness and Christ’s encouragement to each. As noted below and heard in the sermon, SPLHS chapel speakers are talking to young people who reside across the entire spectrum of faith and unbelief.

I addressed the academic, athletic, and personal challenges they might face and pointed out how each difficulty prepares them for a greater struggle later on. Yet believers who constantly prepare to meet ever-increasing challenges and who, at the end of life, are still looking to face their greatest obstacle will discover that they have already met — and overcome — it in their baptisms.

Text: For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Hymn of the Day: Here are the introductory stanza and that for August of O Heavenly Wisdom Come to Earth, which I wrote for this academic year at SPLHS:

  • O heav’nly Wisdom come to Earth,
    O Christ, You Child of virgin birth,
    We pray that You would make us wise
    That we might learn Your love to prize.

    Unite us, Lord, in faith and life
    And free us from despair and strife
    That we, in freedom from above,
    Might serve each other with Your love.
Hymn text © 2012 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 Encouraged in Christ, preached at Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, Missouri.

About the Service: 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 chapel speakers must tailor their messages age-appropriately while remaining mindful of those unskilled with English, uncomfortable with Christianity, or both. Present this day were American students and those born in Slovakia, Norway, China, Madagascar, Japan, Vietnam, and elsewhere.

Note on Playback: 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.

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