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

04 September 2013

Sermon: High School Chapel

4 September AD 2013
Week of Pentecost 15

Title: Waiting for Mercy (MP3 Audio)

Isaiah in the Temple Summary: Although it sometimes seems that He’s not paying attention to our problems and the world’s woes, God always waits for the most opportune time: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)”

God never judges in haste when a delay allows Him to forgive and receive sinners. Just as He delays His wrath in the hope of setting it aside, so we trust that all of His blessings come to us at the proper time. He knows that we are poor, weak sinners who cannot help ourselves and He delights in showing us mercy.

He waited for millennia to send the Savior “but when the fullness of time had come God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)” He fulfilled divine justice not by striking down us sinners but by sending Jesus to the cross to atone for our evil and to pour out the promised mercy on all mankind.

Likewise, he moves us to patiently await His blessings, to trust that all good gifts come at the proper time. Yet He also implants in us an eagerness in us to receive His full and final gifts on the Last Day, when we are raised incorruptible and made eternal citizens of the new heavens and the new earth.

Text: Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Isaiah 30:18

Hymn of the Day: Here are the introductory stanza and that for September of Isaiah in the Temple Saw, which I wrote for this academic year at SPLHS:

  • Isaiah in the temple saw
    You Lord, Your glory clouded.
    He trembled fearfully, in awe
    Of your bright presence shrouded.
    In grace, You claimed Him as Your own
    And sent him forth from Your high throne
    To bear Your Word to sinners.

    The six-winged seraph straightway flew
    With blazing coal from altar.
    It’s touch Isaiah’s lips made new
    That his words would not falter.
    Baptismal flood, not holy fire,
    Now cleanses sin, averts Your ire,
    And moves us to extol You.
Hymn text © 2013 Walter P. Snyder. May not be used or reproduced without permission.

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 Waiting for Mercy, preached at Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, Missouri.

Notes: 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.

About the Service and the School: The theme for the 2013 – 14 academic year at St. Paul Lutheran High School is Here Am I, Send Me, taken from the opening verses of Isaiah 6. Under this theme are monthly emphases and weekly foci. September’s emphasis is “Your Sin Is Atoned for” from verse 7. Time is at a premium for the SPLHS chapels, so I tried to make a few quick, concise Law applications both to students and to teachers and to bring the Gospel’s forgiveness and Christ’s encouragement to each.

While certainly a Lutheran educational institution, St. Paul is also a mission field. Not only does it admit academically qualified Lutherans, the school also welcomes a number of other Christians as well as non-Christians — even some atheists. A high percentage of students come from other lands, so chapel speakers must tailor their messages age-appropriately while remaining mindful of those unskilled with English, uncomfortable with Christianity, or both. Present this day were American students and those born in Slovakia, Norway, China, Madagascar, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and elsewhere.

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