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

07 May 2014

Chapel Sermon: Saint Paul Lutheran High

7 May AD 2014
Week of Easter 3

Title: In the Path of Judgment (MP3 Audio)

Gavel Summary: When we hear that we’re under judgment, we tend to worry. Could it lead to fines, restrictions, or even incarceration? And when we know that we’re in the wrong, our fears multiply — rightly so under normal circumstances.

Yet the prophet celebrates standing in the path of the Lord’s judgments. Why? Because he knows that divine judgment includes righting wrongs, aiding the poor and brokenhearted, and bringing health and healing to the sick and sorrowing.

Is there judgment upon our sins, God’s wrath poured out on our wickedness? Yes, of course — but Jesus faced it in our stead, suffering and dying that justice might be tempered with mercy and divine punishment swallowed up by eternal joy.

As recipients of this judgment, we gratefully go forth in our vocations, where we can be agents of Christ’s heavenly justice, dispensing favorable judgments upon hurting people in a sin-sickened world.

Text: In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul.

My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:8-9

Hymn of the Day: Here are the introductory, monthly theme, and doxological stanzas 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.

    We may not all be called to preach
    Or in Your vineyard labor.
    Still, all of us are sent to reach
    And serve in love our neighbor.
    May each of us who trust Your Word
    Call out to You, “Oh! Send me, Lord,
    And use me as I’m needed!”

    O Father, to our race You gave
    Your Only Son, our Savior,
    That us from sin and death He’d save
    And grace us by Your favor.
    His name with Yours we all adore
    And Holy Spirit evermore
    As to our tasks You send us.
    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 In the Path of Judgment, 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. May’s emphasis is “Send Me” from verse 8. 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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