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

09 October 2016

Pentecost 21 Sermon: The Saving Hand of the Lord

Preached on Luke 17:11-19
The Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost — Proper 23C
9 October AD 2016

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of The Saving Hand of the Lord.

Luke 17:13 Summary: We cannot say with certainty that miracles of healing or heavenly protection from severe injury or death do not still occur — but we don’t seem to see much evidence. Lepers aren’t regularly sent to show themselves healed to the priests. Paralytics aren’t everywhere springing up, dancing for joy at their sudden healing.

A hymn tells us that, “in days of old,” the hand of the Lord was “strong to heal and save.” Scripture is replete with examples, including today’s Gospel, of miracles of deliverance and healing. The first stanza reminds us:

   Your hand, O Lord, in days of old
   Was strong to heal and save;
   It triumphed over ills and death,
   O’er darkness and the grave.
   To You they came, the blind, the mute,
   The palsied and the lame,
   The lepers in their misery,
   The sick with fevered frame.

But what about today? What has God done for us recently?

We easily forget the “everyday miracles” effected by our divinely created bodies as bones knit or as wounds close and heal. We tend to downplay advances in medical science and the amazing skills and training of those in the healing arts — even though these are also gifts from God.

Above all, we ignore the most splendid exercise of the Lord’s hand saving hand. In effecting our salvation, it is every bit as active as it was in Bible times. The hand of the Lord continues to forgive sinners, find the lost sheep, and shepherd His flock to the green pastures of eternal life. The healing hand of the Lord against sin’s cancerous sickness is evidenced as His pastors baptize, absolve, and commune. We see His loving hand in action as Christians reach out to comfort the hurting, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and otherwise love their neighbors as themselves.

Luke 17:17 Text: On the way to Jerusalem [Jesus] was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.

And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”

And as they went they were cleansed.

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19

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 Saving Hand of the Lord

Hymn Text: “Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old” is public domain. Stanza One quoted from Lutheran Service Book

NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media 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 111; Ruth 1:1-19a; 2 Timothy 2:1-13

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