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

02 June 2013

Sermon: Proper 4C (OT)

2 June AD 2013
Pentecost 2

Title: Will God Indeed Dwell on the Earth? (MP3 Audio)

Solomon Prays Summary: Much of Christendom labors under the illusion that “the finite is not capable of the infinite.” In other words, the temporal cannot contain the eternal, the Creation cannot truly hold its Creator. Normally, this type of thinking is most prevalent in arguments against the possibility of Jesus’ body and blood being really present in His Supper.

However, this rational (to limited human thinking) way of thinking is a default position for many who confess Christ’s Real Presence. It’s a way of keeping God at a distance, of marveling at His might from a safe distance, of deluding ourselves that casual, occasional obedience passes for keeping the Law in all its points, and of pretending that showing up for worship and participating in the busy-work of the Church amounts to saving faith in Jesus.

Solomon asked, “Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” Will He who fills Creation at the same time locate Himself at a specific place and time in order to grant specific blessings? Of course He could ... and can ... and will. In the small, curtained cube of the Holy of Holies dwelt the fullness of the Deity. He governed all He created yet paid special attention to the people He had made.

However, Solomon didn’t live long enough to see God’s ultimate “yes and amen” to his question. He died centuries before his greatest Grandson was born of the Virgin. However, He testified to God’s helping, healing, saving work done at his own time and looked forward to the day when the Lord took on human flesh to complete His promised rescue — a rescue not only of Israel but of “the foreigner.” Indeed, God desires “all the peoples of the earth” to know His name, to trust in it for salvation, and to call upon it in times of sorrow and of joy.

Jesus in the Manger Text: Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day....

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place....

“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name's sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.” 1 Kings 8:22-24, 27-29, 41-43

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 Will God Indeed Dwell on the Earth?. 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 96; Galatians 1:1-12; Luke 7:1-10

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