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

07 December 2014

Sermon: Advent 2B (OT)

7 December AD 2014

Theme: A Voice Cries Out

VDMA Summary: Whenever we approach God’s word, we should ask, “What does this mean?” We need to know what each individual word means, how they work together according to the rules of grammar, and what they meant at the time they were first spoken or recorded. Most importantly, we need to know is what they mean in light of the person and work of Jesus.

The pastor is called to “cry” what God gives him to say. Therefore, he needs to understand both the text and those who will hear his preaching. What he cries should be determined by the words before him, what his people need to hear, and how they will hear and understand. He also needs to know how to apply the words as God’s harsh, condemning Law and His sweet, forgiving Gospel.

So it is here in Isaiah 40. We hear uncomfortable, even painful words: wither, fade, warfare, iniquity, sin. We also hear words that uplift and set straight: tender, pardon, good news, strength, reward. Whether preacher or hearer, we pray that God’s abiding Word will be proclaimed and heard in order to convict and condemn sin and to comfort and forgive repentant believers.

Jesus Our Shepherd Text: Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:1-11

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 A Voice Cries Out.

Other Readings: Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8

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