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

22 September 2013

Sermon: Proper 20C (OT)

22 September AD 2013
Pentecost 18

Title: Back in Balance (MP3 Audio)

Scales Summary: Social injustice is a sin but it’s also a symptom — an unmistakable witness to mankind’s sinful, fallen nature. The wicked practices that Amos decries testify against a people who make themselves into objects of worship, who judge themselves better than others.

We may not spend the Lord’s Day actively planning to cheat others, to achieve wrongful gain at others’ expense, to create and use crooked measures in order to bilk the unwary. However, we do often give only cursory attention to the preaching of the Lord’s Word and the reception of the Lord’s Supper, preferring to zip into church, get pepped up, and dash out in an hour or less.

By nature, we are out of balance. And if we approach God’s judgment thinking that we will save ourselves, we’ll find the balance weighted more against us than we would have seen in Israel’s most dishonest scales.

Yet God addresses — and redresses — the imbalance. He piled the weight of our sin on Jesus, blaming, condemning, and killing Him because of our evil. He balanced His scales of justice by bringing unjust condemnation upon His Son and then brings us into balance and harmony by gifting us with Christ’s righteousness.

Note that while the assigned Old Testament reading only went through verse 7, I also referenced verses 8-10 as I preached the Gospel because of their strong connection to Jesus’ suffering and death on Golgotha.

Da Messina: Crucifixion Text: Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?”

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?

“And on that day,” declares the Lord God, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day.” Amos 8:4-10

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 Back in Balance, preached to the saints at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farley, 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 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-15; Luke 16:1-15

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