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.
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I had the privilege of offering the Invocation and Prayer at the swearing-in ceremony of the mayor and two council members elected his past year.
If you would like to hear it, click the MP3 link provided.
Here is he text.
Dear Mayor, Council members, fellow citizens and servants of the city of Layton in Davis County, Utah:
Let us in deep humility recognize, and in all boldness call upon the name of the One True God as you take the oath of office and begin your service of the people entrusted to your care.
In the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Hear the Word of our Lord from His servant and apostle, Paul in Romans 13:1-4:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
What this means simply, is this, [Mayor Steve Curtis, Councilmember Mike Bouwhuis, Councilmember Barry Flitton], the oath you take today is to be God's servant in the civil realm He has created so that there may be at least some measure of peace and civility among people that inevitably have competing interests, unique desires, and personal agendas. You have been elected to put all of your own personal interests, desires, and agendas aside and lead this community called Layton according to a commonly negotiated and agreed upon set of rules and regulations. Most importantly, according to God's express will, you are to oversee the protection of the most vulnerable among us from those who would take advantage of them and do them harm.
This is how God works here on earth—through people He has chosen and placed in His unseen way to be His hands and feet to serve, supply, nurture, and protect the people He has lovingly created.
I saw this in action this weekend at Primary Children's Hospital in the case of my own granddaughter. Thanks be to God for the surgeons and medical staff and technology He employed to relieve a helpless little girl from the ravages of a massive tumor on her brain. You are no less God's servants, blessed and placed to help those that need it most.
God grant that you accept the responsibilities placed upon you this day in all humility toward the people you serve, and execute them with all boldness in the authority God Himself bestows upon you as His servants.
Let us pray:
Our most gracious and merciful Father in heaven, from you comes all rule and authority over the nations and communities of the world for the punishment of evil doers, the protection of the helpless, and the praise of those who benefit the community and their neighbors. Graciously regard these your servants, Steve, Mike, and Barry, as they accept and execute the responsibility to make and administer the laws of this City of Layton. Grant them and all who receive the sword as Your servants in the earthly realm to bear it according to Your command, for the welfare of the community they have been elected to serve. Enlighten and defend them, and grant them wisdom and understanding that under their peaceable governance the people You have seen fit to gather in the city of Layton may be guarded and directed in righteousness, quietness, and unity. Protect and prolong their lives that we with them may show forth the praise of Your holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
God bless you and keep you and defend you from all harm. 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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