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

20 July 2014

Sermon: Trinity 5 (OT)

20 July AD 2014
Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Title: What Are You Doing Here? (MP3 Audio)

Lutheran Communion Summary: “What are you doing here?” the Lord asked Elijah — and He asks you, also. Why do you attend church? Why are you listening to this sermon? Why are you where you are in your life? For what are you looking? In whom do you trust? In what do you hope?

Elijah’s discouragement came close on the heels of the impressive victory over the priests of Baal. Likewise, we often and quickly forget God’s closeness to us and ignore the victory His Son won for us.

He wants us to know why we come to Him — for forgiveness, life and salvation. He points out our sins so He might take them from us and forgive our guilt. He proclaims that His Son’s death won for us everlasting life. He builds faith that we might trust our salvation in Jesus Christ. He gives these wonderful gifts through Word and sacrament.

He also wants to strengthen us “in fervent love toward one another,” as we pray in one of the traditional close-of-service prayers (cf. 1 Peter 1:22-23; 4:8). The Holy Spirit brings us into the Church so that we might know that we are not the only ones left among the faithful and that each of us are united as one in the body of Christ.

What are you doing here? God willing, you are receiving His grace and are taking away refreshment and restoration so you might continue living “in faith toward [God] and in fervent love toward one another” as long as He grants you breath.

Elijah in the Cave Text: And [the Lord] said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.”

And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him. And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”

And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”

And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him. 1 Kings 19:11-21

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 What Are You Doing Here?. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Norborne, 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 16; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 or 1 Peter 3:8-15; Luke 5:1-11

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