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

22 March 2020

Lent 4A Sermon: Out of Prison

Preached on Psalm 142
Fourth Sunday in Lent
With an Abbreviated Service of the Word
22 March AD 2020

Title: Click to view the YouTube video of Out of Prison. Sermon begins after stanzas 5–7 of the Hymn Christ the Life of All the Living, Collect of the Day, Scripture Readings, and Creed at the 11:15 mark. Service concludes with the Litany, Lord’s Prayer, Collect in Time of Disaster, and Benediction.

Alternatively, choose MP3 audio of the sermon only: Out of Prison.

Psalm 142:7 Summary: Just as David felt imprisoned by Saul as he hid in a cave, so we feel when seemingly unavoidable troubles press us. These days, with mandatory isolation imposed on people to combat coronavirus, countless millions find themselves under some form of house arrest, imprisoned in their own homes.

While we chafe at these restrictions, we need God’s reminder that temporal, earthly restraints come and go. They may be inconvenient, nettlesome, even damaging to our psyches but they don’t last. In His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus has already broken us out of the great prison — death cannot hold us captive and Satan cannot order us to return.

David anticipated being freed from the cave and Saul’s persecution. He trusted that at just the right time, the Lord would provide release and would surround him with the righteous of the land. Even more we, freed from death and grave, anticipate being surrounded by a righteous crowd, the sum total of the redeemed who trusted in God’s promise and Christ’s fulfillment of our redemption.

Until then — whether confined by circumstances or free to move, speak, and act as we will in this life — the Gospel frees us to live lives of faith toward God and fervent love toward one another.

Text: With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!

In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.

I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!

The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me. Psalm 142

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 view the YouTube video of Out of Prison Sermon begins at the 11:15 mark. Or choose MP3 audio of Out of Prison.

Other Readings: Isaiah 42:14-21; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

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