Preached to the saints at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah.
Dear loved ones of God,
Happy Valentine's Day!
To listen to the sermon preached for Quinquagesima Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah, click on the MP3 link provded above.
Have a blessed week abiding in the obedient, sacrificial love of Christ Jesus.
Rev. Kurt Hering, Pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church
Here is the preaching manuscript.
Dear loved ones of God,
Happy Valentine Day!
Love is in the air--at least the world's idea of love.
In one of those interesting coincidences, we even have an Epistle reading about love from the great love chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13.
And then we have the Gospel lesson that reminds us Lent is upon us as Ash Wednesday looms. Better enjoy all this love and joy while you can, because in three days that all ends, right? I mean, as far as Ash Wednesday and Lent is concerned, in the words of the dusty old song from back in the day, "What's love got to do with it?"
31Taking the twelve, [Jesus] said to them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise." 34But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said. Luke 18:31-34
But think about it, is this not the most amazing love ever?
that this would be the very will of God for His one and only Son?
And that Jesus the Christ would submit to and accomplish this will of the Father for us?
What, then does that say about God's willand His love for us!?
[that the Father] will deliver [His Son] over to the Gentiles [to] be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.
And that the Son would not insist on His own way, but for the joy set before Him endure all this, even the cross for stubborn, ungrateful, impatient folk like us?
It puts a whole no spin on the Lord's Prayer, doesn't it
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer; but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.
How is this done? When God breaks and hinders every evil counsel and will which would not let us hallow the name of God nor let His kingdom come, such as the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh; but strengthens and keeps us steadfast in His Word and in faith unto our end. This is His gracious and good will.
And it was accomplished, "It is finished," as God the Father's beloved Son was "delivered over to the Gentiles,
mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging [killed], and on the third day He [did rise].
So love has everything to do with Lent, and Lent has everything to do with love, because Lent is all about looking at the suffering and death of our Lord for us. And it is that for us part, that is so important because love is about being and doing for others rather than self. As we have heard, Jesus suffered and died not for His own good, not because evil men didn't recognize who He was, but in loving obedience to His Father's will and as a loving sacrifice for you and me.
3This is good, and(C) it is pleasing in the sight of(D) God our Savior, 4who desires(E) all people to be saved and(F) to come to(G) the knowledge of the truth. 5For(H) there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, 6(I) who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is(J) the testimony given(K) at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:3-6
for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising(B) the shame, and(C) is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Christ's life was not taken from Him, but He offered it up as a fragrant offering to His Father on our behalf. Now that's love!
As the apostle, John wrote:
God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that(U) God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love,(V) not that we have loved God(W) but that he loved us and sent his Son to be(X) the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:8b-11
So now you can understand, and grasp, and live that love of which Paul speaks in our Epistle lesson. Love is all about Jesus, the Son of the living God.
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [Jesus], I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not [Jesus], I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not [Jesus], I gain nothing.
[Jesus] is patient and kind; [Jesus] does not envy or boast; [Jesus] is not arrogant 5or rude. [Jesus] does not insist on [His] own way; [Jesus] is not irritable or resentful; [Jesus] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. [Jesus] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
[Jesus] never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes [i.e. Jesus], the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see [Jesus] in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13So now faith, hope, and [Jesus] abide, these three; but the greatest of these is [Jesus].
Faith and hope abide in us because Jesus, who is love and in love suffered and died for us, also rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father to distribute His love throughout the world in order that we can live in faith and hope even amidst all the adversity and suffering we face in this world. Jesus abides in His Church to love us in and send us out with the preached Word, the absolution, the body and blood of Christ, and the Baptism that forgive our sins and give us eternal life--in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
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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