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

21 July 2019

Pentecost 6 Sermon: No Laughing Matter

Preached on Genesis 18:1-15
6th Sunday After Pentecost — Proper 11C
21 July AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of No Laughing Matter.

Genesis 18:1-15 Summary: “The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah,” so when the Lord promised a son to her and Abraham, she laughed. God got the last laugh, though. Sarah did conceive, and she bore a child whom the joyous parents named “Isaac” — “he laughs.”

Rather than laughing at the Lord’s promises, He invites us to laugh with Him in the face of death and destruction, in spite of sorrow and suffering, of sin, death, and devil. He invites us to know the joy of forgiveness, life, and salvation that is ours through the merits of Jesus Christ. For while faith is no laughing matter, faithful Christians cannot but join their God in His holy humor as He keeps His promises and preserves and protects His people.

Text: And the Lord appeared to [Abraham] by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on — since you have come to your servant.”

So they said, “Do as you have said.”

And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”

And he said, “She is in the tent.”

The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid.

He said, “No, but you did laugh.” Genesis 18:1-15

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 No Laughing Matter.

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 27:(1-6) 7-14; Colossians 1:21-29; Luke 10:38-42

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