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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sermon 02122012 Sexagesima Sunday

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Heavenly Father, the rain and snow come in their season and You shower us with Your Grace.  As we come and worship You we come to thank You for Your Grace which You pour out upon us.  For Your Grace feeds us physically, mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually through our receipt of Your Word.  For Your Word frees us and accomplishes Your task of our salvation.  May we continue to be blessed and prosper as we receive Your Word for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

This morning we continue our 3 part series entitled, “What is God’s Plan here at Emmanuel?”  In the movie “Soul Surfer” the main character Bethany Hamilton, has suffered a tragic attack from a shark, losing her left arm. At a point of desperation, she is talking with her youth leader Sarah.  In the conversation, Bethany faces a dilemma that is not uncommon for all of us, why did this happen to her, and what is God’s plan?  And Sarah with divinely inspired words of wisdom, says, “I don’t know why, but something good has to come out of this.”  Encapsulated in those words are a faith in God and what He can, does and will do for each and every one of us.

From our Old Testament passage this morning, Isaiah with a prayer of faith, says, “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;”.  God provides the rain and snow we receive for a divine purpose.  And not only does He provide the rain and snow, God also provides us His Word.  Isaiah says, “So will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth”.  God in infinite wisdom provides His Word for us to hear, read and digest.  But the Word is not only some written document, it especially includes the gift of the Word made flesh that has come and dwelt among us.  We not only have beheld His Glory, Jesus Christ, but we hear the Word on Sunday, and partake of the Meal of His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar.

For the Word, Jesus Christ came to fulfill God’s purpose here on earth.  It accomplishes the divine task the Word would fulfill.  Simply stated that task was to descend from heaven, become incarnate of the Virgin Mary, become truly Human, suffer on the Cross of Calvary for Your sins and mine and die an innocent death to set all of us free from sin, death and the devil.  And then on the third day, rise from the dead and ascend unto the Father.  This was God’s purpose and plan of salvation for all of mankind.  And God accomplished through Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh our salvation.

Since the Word made flesh in Jesus Christ has accomplished our salvation, Isaiah’s further statement is true, “It [that is the Word] will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.  For in accomplishing God’s task, we, the people of God have not only the benefit of God’s Divine Hand upon our lives, but God’s Word working through us that accomplishes His plan.  Yes, the divine plan is the ultimate plan of salvation that God accomplishes, but for we here today at Emmanuel, like Bethany who dealt with tragedy, asks, ‘what is God’s Plan?’, we to this morning come to God asking for ourselves, “What is God’s Plan for Emmanuel?”

As I have said previously, my goal and intention is not to ‘proclaim’, ‘thus sayeth the Lord’, but to allow God’s Word from scripture to guide us in our conversations.  From this mornings readings, God through the prophet Isaiah is very clear, “My Word will accomplish ‘what I desire’”.  We can take away when we use God’s church and His Word for His glory for His divine purpose of spreading the salvation message of Jesus Christ to and for each of us gathered here today and for all the people in Goodland, North Western Kansas and the United States and World, God will bless us.  This is a large responsibility, but the promise is clear, God will use His Word to accomplish the plan of salvation.  But of the other things in our church and world that we worry over, argue over, discuss and debate, God will inspire and use us for His Glory and will bless us.  What does this look like here at Emmanuel?  I don’t know, but God does and I believe God will bless us, because of the promise that “It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
This is the promise God makes to us through the Work of the Word, His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  For He feeds us daily with His Word and has accomplished for all of us our salvation, may He continue to guide us as we discern where and what God wants us saints at Emmanuel to do to fulfill His Plan for all of Emmanuel.  AMEN.
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