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

30 September 2012

Sermon: Proper 21B (OT)

30 September AD 2012 (Pentecost 18)

Theme: “Only” Everything (MP3 Audio)

Israel Gathering Manna
Summary: “Now is the winter of our discontent” ... and the spring ... and the summer ... and the autumn. No season escapes our complaints that we don’t have enough — or enough variety — to make life what we imagine it should be. We ignore God’s highest gifts and focus on the lesser blessings and then we proceed to whine about even Christ for us in Word and Sacrament.

We “only” have complete forgiveness of sins and God’s unbreakable promise that we will remain His dear children throughout time and all eternity. Faithful pastors “only” give us Jesus, rather than pep talks, philosophical lectures, or guides for daily living. We “only” find our Lord where He promises to be; that is in the Gospel and in Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution, Christ-centered preaching, and Holy Communion.

We get no fanfares and flashing fireworks. God gives us no variety: We don’t this week “taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)” and next week nibble on Islam or dine on Hinduism. The “only” thing that our Father feeds us to nourish our journey to His everlasting kingdom is His eternal, only-begotten Son.

Since He refuses to poison us with false teaching, God rebukes our senseless demands for variety in what He chooses to feed us. He continues to condemn us and our ungratefulness with His Law — yet He also forgives, restores, and renews us with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we gladly receive this grace proclaimed by His faithful prophets, apostles, and pastors and cease our endless, senseless, selfish searching for variety in receiving His highest gifts of forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

Israel Complaining about Manna
Text: Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”

Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the Lord blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me?

“Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.”

So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.”

But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29

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 “Only” Everything, preached to the saints of God at Faith Lutheran Church, Knob Noster, 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 104:27-35; James 5:(1-12) 13-20; Mark 9:38-50

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