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

08 December 2013

Sermon: Advent 2A (OT)

8 December AD 2013

Title: Stumped? Shoot! (MP3 Audio)

Shoot from a Stump Summary: No one looks for signs of vigorous life in an old, dry tree stump. Similarly, after the Lord’s judgment fell upon Judah, who would be looking for a continuation of the Davidic kingship and the Messianic line?

Who would look, indeed? Only those who continued to trust in God’s promises that the seed of Eve, the great offspring of Abraham, the righteous King whose rule would extend over all nations was to be born from the children of Israel, the tribe of Judah, the family of Jesse.

In our own lives, either because the Lord is disciplining us or because we allow hope to dwindle, we might start feeling like dead, dry stumps. The life we want, the life we know we should have, the life promised by Him seems unbearably distant. Where is our growth and vigor? It comes only by the grace of God.

We celebrate the Lord’s promise to sustain, guide, and guard us. We rely on His mercy, knowing that even if He feels far off, He’s actually as close as His forgiveness. Through Word and Sacrament, He reminds us that we are His now and that we will remain His into all eternity.

The green shoot that sprang up from Jesse’s stump is our Lord Jesus. In Baptism, our Savior grafted us into the family tree of Abraham (see Romans 11). He is our Vine and we His branches. Blessed by the fruits of Jesus’ labors, we now bear His fruit as He works in and through us (John 15:1-8). Mindful of John’s words in today’s Gospel, we take heed to our salvation, trusting in Christ’s Word, lest we remove ourself from His gifts and face the axe of judgment and the fire of damnation.

Christus Victor Text: There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples — of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. Isaiah 11:1-10

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 Stumped? Shoot!, 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 72:1-7; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

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