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

07 October 2012

Sermon: Proper 22B (OT)

7 October AD 2012 (Pentecost 19)

Title: Shameless! (MP3 Audio)

Summary: Asked to define “shameless,” we might say brazen, indecent, or impudent.

To call people shameless is to say that they refuse to acknowledge guilt or culpability, that their moral compasses point away from north, that they are open and audacious in their sinning. According to our fallen natures, this applies to all of us at one time or another.

However, before the Fall, Adam and Eve experienced a different type of shamelessness. They had no sins that could bring guilt and shame. They could hold their heads high, walk about clad in nothing but the skin and hair God had provided, and revel in their nakedness before each other and before their Maker.

Adam and Eve Covered in Leaves
Shame came with the first sin as Adam and Eve recognized their nakedness. More than any discomfort over physical nudity in each other’s presence, they were ashamed of their spiritual appearance in God’s eyes. Foolishly, they tried to cover themselves, ignoring the Lord’s ability to see them as they were, regardless of the clothing or shelter they drew over themselves.

God’s Law shames the sinner. It reveals His wrath and holds a mirror before our imperfections of thought, word, and deed. Yet He also shows Himself to be a loving, forgiving, reconciling God. He sent His Son into our flesh to take our sinful, shameful natures upon Himself and to die the Roman world’s most shameful death upon the cross in order to release us from their hold.

Today’s Epistle reminds us that because He has purchased our forgiveness, Jesus “is not ashamed to call [us] brothers. (Hebrews 2:11)” Later, the same book calls us to remain focused on “Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.... (12:2)” Christ freed us that we might walk into God’s presence with heads held high, secure in knowing that shame, guilt, and sin are banished.

Thank Jesus that He has given us a new shamelessness, not one of ignoring our sins but of surrendering them to Him that we might be without blame in God’s sight now and forever.

Text: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

Adam and Eve Naked in the Garden
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:18-25

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 Shameless, 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 128; Hebrews 2:1-13; Mark 10:2-16

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