Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sermon for 5/10/2020: Fifth Sunday of Easter

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A New Song

ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

The Lord has done marvelous things. They are greater in number than our feeble minds might comprehend. He has called the galaxies to be. He has set the planets on their course. He has formed our bodies, wonderful in their complexity. Then again, according to those who imagined Zeus, Islam’s Allah, Ba’al, the Earth goddess, and all the other deities, those beings have done the same work. And the devil says, “See? All gods are the same. Any name will do. Call him or her what you want. It does not matter to him or to me. We have more in common than that which is distinct. Unity is the highest goal. We should all be nice.”
But the devil always lies. Those so-called divine beings might be marvelous, but they are not gracious. And morality is good. Where the pagans agree with God, thanks be to God; but there is no grace in morality. A false god’s idea of creation and morality reflect what a man imagines in his own heart, and it does not reflect what the True God demands. Repent.
The God of Abraham in the Flesh from Mary’s womb is not imagined, nor is He like us. He has remembered His mercy. His right arm has gotten Him the victory. He submitted to defeat in humility to break death’s teeth. He died and He rose again. He lives. Unlike Zeus or Allah or any imaginary god designed in human fantasy or demonic impulse, our God died to pay for the sins of men who rejected Him. Our God died for us; and He rose for us. No other god has died for His creation. No other god has the power to rise fro the dead; only the true God in Flesh, Jesus Christ, has done this. This is the Truth. He has sent the Comforter to comfort us with that Truth, and that Truth sets men free. His love is perfect and forgiving. It reconciles sinners to the Father. It gives us a song to sing—not of idle fancies, but of history and of the future we have in Him.
Though our God was angry with us for our vile and selfish deeds, His wrath has been turned to the cross. It has been spent upon the Son. Our God sent His Son to die for us and to rise again! We could not have guessed what God would do to make us His, to buy us back again. We could not have expected or imagined such love. He has become our salvation, our strength, and our song. He has taken the sins of the world into His Body. The accuser has been robbed of his accusations. Jesus died for us and crushed the liar’s head. He let us kill Him rather than send us to Hell where we belonged. He is not fair. He is just and He is merciful. He is gracious and forgiving.
Death has no more claim upon us because He took our place. He died our death. It is finished. Death is now empty. There is nothing left. He rose up out of the grave, alive in His body on the third day, reunited with His soul, the Victor over hell. The grave did not hold Him. It cannot hold us. Like unto His glorious body, our bodies will be raised and perfected. This is the most marvelous thing. It defines our God and gives us a song. Our Lord and the Holy Apostles call it the Gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation. It is the content of our song.
This is our song: He has ascended to the right hand of His Father. He rules with perfect grace in the hearts of those who believe in Him. They call Him Lord and King. Once He was mocked; now is He worshiped. He has sent the Helper, that Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, who inspired the apostles and prophets to write His words, who delivers Jesus to us. And where there is Jesus, there is also life and salvation.
And where there is life and salvation, there is singing. We cannot help ourselves. It springs up from the depths of our souls, for we are forgiven. We are loved. Our lives have purpose and meaning. The Spirit inspires us and puts His words upon our lips, and we sing the new song of redemption. So “sing unto the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things.” ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

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