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

06 January 2014

Sermon: Epiphany—Year A (Gospel)

6 January AD 2014
The Epiphany of Our Lord

Title: The Giver’s Gifts (MP3 Audio)

Summary: The gifts of the wise men tell us a bit about their recipient. A hymn that I wrote speaks of this:

Their incense honored Deity
And gold was gift to royalty;
While myrrh foreshadowed death and grave
As sinful men He came to save.

Yet no gift, no matter how rich, can even begin to match the gifts that Christ the great Giver gives to us. As He exchanged the wealth of heaven for earthly poverty, so He exchanges our sinfulness for his full and free forgiveness. With this remission of our sins, He also gives us salvation and life everlasting.

All that we can give is a response to and a return upon His generosity. The only good we can give is the good He lavishes on us. We give to Christ as we give to others out of love from Him.

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh Text: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. Matthew 2:1-12

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 The Giver’s Gifts.

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 72:1-11 (12-15); Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12

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