Worship materials for the weekend of July 11:
Worship materials for the weekend of July 11:
Pentecost 6 (Proper 9), July 4, 2021
God and a Rebellious People Text: Ezekiel 2:1–5
As Rebels, Lord, Who Foolishly Have Wandered LSB 612
As rebels, Lord, who foolishly have wandered far from Your love—unfed, unclean, unclothed—Dare we recall Your wealth so rashly squandered, dare hope to glean that bounty which we loathed?
Still we return, our contrite words rehearsing, speech, that within Your warm embrace soon dies; All of our guilt, our shame, our pain reversing as tears of joy and welcome fill Your eyes.
A feast of love for us You are preparing; We who were lost, You give an honored place! “Come, eat; come, drink, and be no more despairing—Here taste again the treasures of My grace.” © 1992 Stephen P. Starke. Used by permission: CCLI, no. 692716.
I. In his grace, mercy, and love, God speaks to a rebellious people.
A. God spoke to the rebellious Israelites (vv 3–4) in exile in Babylonia through the prophet Ezekiel.
B. God speaks to rebellious people of all times and places through his Word, Scripture.
C. Scripture—Law and Gospel—is presented and proclaimed throughout the world by the Christian Church, which is used by God as his instrument for the preaching and teaching of his Word and Sacraments.
II. In his grace, mercy, and love, God changes a rebellious people.
A. God changed many of the rebellious Israelites in exile in Babylonia through the Word proclaimed by Ezekiel and through his written Word as it existed at that time (36:22–36; 37:1–28).
B. God changes rebellious people of all times and places through his Word. He changed you and me.
b. Paul writes in Titus (2:11–14), “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
As God dealt with the Israelites in exile in Babylonia, so he has dealt with us. God spoke to us through his Word and changed us from a rebellious people into his loving children who will live with him forever. We have everlasting life through faith in Christ. Let us, then, keep on living for the Lord, in thanks and praise to him! Amen.
Pentecost 5, June 27, 2021
Wait Quietly - Great Is God’s Faithfulness
Text: Lamentations 3:22–33
I. God speaks three declarations to us as we wait quietly.
A. God’s nature is loving-kindness, and he is always true to his nature.
B. God’s compassions, though they never stop, seem as though they come anew every morning.
C. God is the portion, the life, and the meaning for my existence, that which makes me valuable in his eyes.
II. As we wait quietly, Jeremiah encourages us with three things that are good.
A. God is good to the waiting ones—ones who belong to him but wait on his coming to them.
B. Good it is that one waits and waits in quietness.
1. It is in accord with the attitude of humility that is appropriate for one who belongs to God through his mercy and grace.
2. The very thing for which one waits is salvation, whether it be for rescue in this life or for the final resurrection into heaven.
C. Good it is that one learns very early in life that waiting quietly is good.
1. One is rather pliable in one’s youth.
2. One learns lessons that stay with one.
III. The text suggest three exhortations—which come only to those who belong to God—as to how to live out the faith God has given us as we wait quietly.
A. Since the reason for waiting in quietness is that God brings the suffering, let us wait as God brings health and healing in his way and in his time.
B. Let us silence our mouths as a way of waiting in quietness.
1. Illustrated here by filling the mouth with dust from the ground as one bows so low to the ground that dust comes into the mouth.
2. The bowing is an indication that there is stark contrast between the sinner and the Sinless One.
C. As we wait quietly in suffering, let us identify ourselves with the coming Messiah (coming from Jeremiah’s perspective of living six hundred years before Jesus).
1. Christ Jesus would give his cheek to those who struck him.
2. Christ would bear the reproaches we deserved.
3. Thus to suffer as Christians reminds us that we have the salvation Christ won by his sufferings.
IV. God gives us three promises as we wait quietly.
A. God promises that the infliction of suffering and pain will not go on forever—it is only for a time, a time that we need.
B. God promises that he will always act according to his steadfast love and give out compassion upon compassion.
C. God promises to remember his nature, only meeting out agony on his people as something alien to him.
1. God’s nature is to act kindly in forgiveness.
2. Though Jeremiah only knew of the promise, we know that God’s alien task was dispensed when the Father showered his wrath on his Son, all for us.
Worship materials for the weekend of June 27
Pentecost 4 June 20, 2021
Good News Out of a Storm Job 38:1–11
In the Pentecost season we seek to live out the fruit of the Spirit by the power of the Spirit rather than in our sinful nature (Gal 5:16–24).
Often the sea symbolizes chaos, but God rules both chaos and the sea (Job 26:10; Ps 77:16; Jesus’ stilling the storm in today’s Gospel).
Job becomes content not knowing all the answers to his questions and learns to rest in the majesty and power and grace of God.
A. To understand this passage, we need to understand a bit more of what’s going on in the Book of Job.
1. Job had it all: wealth, family, health, and, most important, a strong faith.
2. The evil one took it all away. Job’s flocks were stolen, his children all died in a freak storm, his body became covered with sores that were so bad that the only way he could find relief was scraping the sores with pottery shards (2:8).
a. A wind had killed Job’s children (1:19); God now speaks from a similar storm.
b. Job’s wife told him to curse God and die (2:9), to give up on the one who made him, and to blame the Lord for all his problems.
c. Three of Job’s friends came, not to console him, but rather to get him to admit that God was punishing him for a hidden sin of some kind or another.
3. For a while, Job kept a strong faith, not blaming God nor denying his provision and care.
4. Eventually, though, he began to waiver, pleading to confront God and defend himself (31:35–37).
B. Job lost control of his life. He interpreted his misfortunes as meaning that God no longer forgave him and was angry at him. He had no idea why God was allowing him to suffer.
1. In fact, he says Job is one who “darkens counsel by words without knowledge” (38:2).
a. In other words, Job is speaking of things he knows nothing about!
b. It’s almost as if God is saying to Job, “Who are you? You who know nothing—why do you tell me about my creation?”
2. “Who are you to question me?”
- means to tuck the skirt of your robe into the belt so that you can work unhindered, as in battle (Is 5:27) or hard running (1 Ki 18:46), to bring all your strength to bear on a difficult task.
b. Job thought he understood good and evil, life and death, but God reveals through his questions that Job really had no clue of what he was talking about.
C. Job’s problem was not a blatant sin against God’s commands, but a confusion about his relationship with God.
1. Job was basing his relationship with God on his own knowledge about who God is and what he has done.
2. We have a need to be in control of our lives. As long as we can call the shots we feel secure. We often think that our success is proof of our being right.
D. But the storms of life show we are not in control. Calamities happen to us, too. Does that mean God is angry with us?
E. Ultimately, our desire to defend ourselves may blind us from seeing our need for Jesus Christ. If we insist that we are always right, that we are better than others, or that we want to be in sole control of our lives, we will fail to receive the only true righteousness that comes from God through faith in Jesus Christ. Then certainly we will be in the wrong and lose the security God provides for this life and the next.
2. God allows misfortunes because when we lose control we have to depend on him.
As Job forgot, and as we may well be reminded this morning too,
God Is So Smart That We Can Trust Him Even When Life Seems Out of Control.
A. We, too, live more on our knowledge than by our faith. We place our trust in what we know, or think, is right, instead of on the one who is the source of all knowledge.
If God is in control of the clouds, the storm, and the rain, as our Gospel reminds when Jesus stills the storm, then God is in control of what happens in our lives as well.
God, as our Creator, knows how to “fix” our lives when they’re broken by sin. He may not do it the way we want or expect, but he does it.
We simply hold on to the promise that in our Baptism, we are his!
(1) We need to listen to God to learn our need for his grace. It is only through Jesus Christ that we are set right with God, forgiven, and declared righteous. God alone is able to mend broken relationships and make us right with others.
(2) We need to use the signs of our success to help others, not to prove that we are right. We should employ our prosperity to serve the proclamation of the Gospel.
(3) We need to listen to those who have opinions different than our own, or they will never listen to our points of view. Unlike Job’s friends, we should listen compassionately to others who suffer and provide the answer in Jesus Christ.
D. The storm that puts us out of control puts God in control of our lives.
Through life’s trials we learn to trust more in God’s grace. He is in control. We depend on him.
That is Good News from the Storm! Amen.