Monday, October 3, 2016

Sermon -- Octoberfest Vespers (October 2, 2016)



In the name + of Jesus.

      While the Lord supplies us with many blessings in this life, most do not have any enduring value.  Even though we value our possessions, we are reminded: You can't take it with you.  That is true of every blessing we get, even our children.  You will not take your children with you when you die, but your children are the one thing that God gives you in this world which you hope to see in heaven.  If you truly want to see them there, then you will make it your highest priority to bring them to Jesus and declare the wonders of God to them.
     What is why Moses told the Israelites to make God's word a regular part of their daily conversations.  The word of the Lord is not like the fine china.  The fine china is special and precious, but it only gets used two or three times a year on the most special occasions.  God's word is like the every day place setting.  It serves what we need day after day.  And we are right to feel comfortable with it.  God's word is precious in that it reveals our Savior, Jesus Christ, who was crucified to redeem sinners.  But God's word is not reserved for rare occasions.  Just as we sin daily, so we also daily need the Lord's mercy and salvation.  That does not come by mere reflection or meditation.  Faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)  If the message is going to be heard—and more, if the message is going to be familiar—it needs to be spoken.  Talk about these things.
     What do you say?  You say what God reveals.  Who is God?  What is he like?  What does he want?  What does he do for us?  You don't have to guess at these answers, and you surely don't want your children to be ignorant of them—not if you want to see them in heaven.  God tells us in his word, and if you need it simplified any more than that, turn to your catechism.
Who is God?  I believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, and in the Holy Spirit.
What is God like?  Maker of heaven and earth.  He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature.  He daily and fully forgives all sins to me and all believers in Jesus Christ.
What does he want?  You shall have no other gods.  Honor your father and mother.  You shall not murder, commit adultery, steal, or covet.
What does he do for us?  Our Father, your will be done.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us, for we forgive others.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Talk about these things.  Make them familiar and comfortable.  In fact, commit them to memory.  They are, indeed, most precious because they save.  But they are necessary for daily use, for we daily need this mercy and direction.  Talk about them in your homes and on the road.  Keep them in your mind and in front of your eyes.  Let them guide your hands, your feet, and your mouth.  While God's many gifts are good for a while, these are good for eternity.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

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