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Yet, You Do

Matthew 25:1-13

Rev. Kurt Hering

Last Sunday of the Church Year
Trinity Lutheran Church  
Layton, Utah

Play MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Nov 24, 2013 

Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.

You Know Neither the day nor the hour, Yet, You Do. For the day and the hour is at hand. It has been at hand for you ever since you first heard the precious Word of God that your sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus.

The day and hour has certainly been at hand ever since the water was poured over your head in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit however many years ago. For in that hour God opened the kingdom of heaven to you as He gave you His name and declared you to be His forgiven child.

To hear the entire sermon preached for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, "Yet, You Do," click on the MP3 audio link provided above. The audio begins with the Old Testament reading from Isaiah 65:17-25. The sermon begins at the 16:25 point of the mp3 file.

A servant of the Word and His folk,

Pastor Hering

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

Nota bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Some points from the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need to listen to the audio file to get the full message.

TEXT: 10And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” -- Matthew 25:10-13

Dear Baptized Children of God,

You Know Neither the day nor the hour, Yet, You Do. For the day and the hour is at hand. It has been at hand for you ever since you first heard the precious Word of God that your sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus.

The day and hour has certainly been at hand ever since the water was poured over your head in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit however many years ago. For in that hour God opened the kingdom of heaven to you as He gave you His name and declared you to be His forgiven child.

The day and hour is at hand now, as you heard the same Word and His name that marked you as a beloved child of God and citizen and heir of heaven in the Invocation at the beginning of today’s Divine Service; as you have continued and will continue to hear that Word and His name in all its glory throughout the service in the liturgy, Scripture readings, hymns, sermons, and Sacrament; and as you will hear that Word and His name to send you back on your way home.

“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Mark 13:32-36

But how? We must sleep, right? God gives us the Sabbath Day because we need to sleep, to rest. So how can we stay awake and be ready on that day when He suddenly comes, unannounced?

Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:24-27

So is it also with staying awake. Baptized into Christ death’s and resurrection, carrying the name of the Father, + Son, and Holy Spirit both upon your brow and upon your breast—not marked for the world to see, but to mark you for God to see you always “as one redeemed by Christ the crucified” [LSB Baptismal Rite]. And for you to remember that He has so marked you, thus making you His child and heir and citizen of heaven—even now.

You may have heard the saying, or used it of someone—maybe even of your pastor—“he is so heavenly minded he is of no earthly good.” The only begotten Son of God was concerned about that as well. Here it is helpful to keep the Ascension of our Lord in mind.

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11

And how was that?

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8

In Luther’s Day that staring up into heaven took the form of monasticism. The clergy stared into heaven for the masses, and the masses stared at the clergy for a glimpse of heaven.

For us it today it often takes the form of a theology of glory that

1. worships as if we have to show God and each other—and even ourselves, for that matter--how much we love Him and how we really feel about Him;

2. is neither content with nor satisfied by living an ordinary life in the vocations and situations we have been placed by God.

A true understanding of Baptism, along with the faith to lo live content and satisfied that God has taken care of our forever in Baptism, frees us to go about our daily lives and rest at night in peace. Baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection we are always awake and alive and ready for His return—because we are always with Him and he with us.

Thus having heard and received that heavenly, Fatherly, + Brotherly, Spiritual benediction of Baptism once again today; and being refreshed and nourished by the very body and blood of our Lord—all for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation—you can go forth and face whatever that unholy Trinity of the evil one, the world, and your sinful flesh throws at you in the coming week.

Morning Prayer.

1] In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

2] Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

3] Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.

Evening Prayer.

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Dear Baptized Children of God,

You Know Neither the day nor the hour, Yet, You Do. For the day and the hour is at hand. You have already been judged—in your Baptism—with the same judgment that you will hear at the right hand of Christ with the five wise virgins and all who have been kept in the faith. This Baptism and judgment continues to fill your lamps of faith and to be poured over you by the Holy Spirit whenever you hear and remember and feed on the Word of our Father in heaven and His name that forgives you all of your sins, marks as one redeemed by Christ the crucified, and keeps you with Him now and until your Last Day—in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.



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