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

26 August 2012

Sermon: Proper 16B (OT)

26 August AD 2012 (Pentecost 13)

Theme: Fresh Joy

The Potter and the Clay
Summary: Shame on those who would dare to tell God what to do! Yet that’s what we do when we attempt to earn salvation by living according to our own ideas of holiness. We become the pots telling the potter what we should look like and how we should be used. We become the Scribes and Pharisees inventing holy acts that we can accomplish in order to avoid the absolutes of divine Law. And even when we think we’re doing fairly well, we find no true joy in our law-keeping.

Through Isaiah, the Lord promises “fresh joy” — not the satisfaction of a job (our own job) well done but the true and lasting joy of knowing that Jesus satisfied the Laws demands perfectly on our behalf. We have this joy when we believe in His atoning sacrifice, when we trust in the promises God made in our baptisms, when we cling to the forgiveness of the Absolution, and when we eat and drink Jesus’ body and blood knowing that by it we are kept holy and perfect in the Father’s eyes.

Text: And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

Ah, you who hide deep from the Lord your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Fresh Joy
Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest? In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.

The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:11-19

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 Fresh Joy, preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Kearney, Missouri.

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 14; Ephesians 5:22-33; Mark 7:1-13

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