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11 March 2015

Sermon: Lent 3 Midweek

11 March AD 2015
A Lent — Easter Series on Christ and Creation

Title: In the (New) Beginning: Land, Sea, and Plants (MP3 Audio)

Creation: Day Three Summary: Unlike the limited gods invented by the limited imaginations of mankind, our God knows no restrictions besides those to which He holds Himself. The false gods littering the pages of Scripture and all of human history shared none of the Lord’s attributes.

Land gods must stay with their lands or lose power and influence. Ocean gods likewise exert no major influence ashore. So also gods of sky and underworld. Yet here in the beginning, the Lord showed mastery over land and sea by setting the boundaries of each. For good measure, He filled the world with vegetation.

Christ exhibited this same authority over Creation in many of His miracles. He calmed the waters — or chose to walk upon them. He bypassed nature’s normal course by taking the grape vine’s raw material of water and turning it directly into wine. He did this not to entertain but to establish His claim as God’s Son, our Savior.

Jesus continued to bend water to His will, giving us Baptism to wash away our sins. Grain and grape created through Him became the heavenly food of His body and blood when He instituted His Supper. He also surrendered Himself to one of His trees in order to turn the instrument of His death into a life-giving tree.

Hymn: During Lenten midweek services, through Holy Week, the Vigil, and Easter morning, we will be singing With God in the Beginning as Office Hymn or Hymn of the Day. Each time we will sing two stanzas focusing on the Christology of that day’s sermon text from Genesis. The tune I chose is Auf, auf, mein Herz, known among many English-speaking Christians as the Easter hymn Awake, My Heart, with Gladness.

   He who divided oceans,
   Who called forth land from wave,
   Strode forth with great devotion:
   The lost He came to save.
   He walked through Galilee,
   Treading both land and sea;
   He stilled the wrathful storm
   With one brief word of calm

   By Him were plants created;
   Upon their fruits He fed.
   His cross of wood was fated
   To be a tree He’d made.
   The waters still serve Him,
   Baptize away our sin;
   While grape and grain become
   His holy Communion.

      ©2003, 2015 Walter P. Snyder

Text: And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. Genesis 1:9-13

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 (New) Beginning: Land, Sea, and Plants.

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 107:23-32; antiphon v. 43; Job 38:8-11; Luke 8:22-25

Illustration: The Third Day of Creation from Die Bibel in Bildern by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld at Wikimedia Commons.

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