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

05 May 2013

Sermon: Easter 6 C (Epistle)

5 May AD 2013

Title: Home, Sweet Home (MP3 Audio)

The Feast Summary: Call it Paradise, the New Creation, New Jerusalem, or the New Heavens and the New Earth. Think of a return to Eden, green pastures and still waters, or a never-ending banquet. Scripture gives us many images of our resurrection home. Seen beside each other, these pictures seem confusing and contradictory. Seen together through the eyes of faith, however, they begin to show the fullness of God’s plan of salvation and the riches beyond measure that await us pilgrims when we complete our journey home.

Today’s reading from Revelation continues the image of the New Jerusalem introduced in last Sunday’s Epistle. The symbolic gates and foundation stones remind us that our faith is built on the sure word of the prophets and the apostles and that our citizenship is proclaimed and guaranteed in the Scriptures. While quite possibly symbolic rather than literal, the gold and precious stones display the richness God lavishes on our eternal dwelling place — and the value He assigns to us who trust in Christ’s redemption.

Text: Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

Folio 55r of the Bamberg Apocalypse It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed — on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb....

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day — and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:9-14, 21-27

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 Home, Sweet Home, preached to the saints of God at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Fayette, 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 67; Acts 16:9-15; John 16:23-33

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