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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

11242013 Sunday of the Fulfillment

Sermon Audio

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.

Michele and I were at home in the last few weeks and Sarah was in bed asleep.  And Michele said I want you to watch a video.  Unlike most of the video’s that are on Facebook or Youtube these days, that show funny pet tricks, someone showing their ‘dare-devil’ attitude by performing a feat of what some would call craziness or even dare I say, ‘stupidity’ there are still other videos that sometimes hit and pluck an emotional heart string or a nerve that resonates within each of us as we watch it, but also afterward that stays with us for quite a while.  That is what the video was that Michele shared with me that evening. 

The video began and showed two babies, twins that were only days old.  What unfolded in the next few minutes hit both Michele and I so deeply since we have personally lost children that we will not meet until we enter eternal glory.  But the video showed these two twins immersed in a warm bath of water intertwined just as they had been in the womb.  With constant movement they continuously caressed each other, comforted one another and held each other so close just as they had while in the womb only a few short days ago.  It is believed that this is a window into what actually occurs in the womb and the actual reactions of the children as they ‘remember their previous home of 9 months’.  Watching this video not only made both of us ache for another child, but also made us wonder how some proponents believe that life does not begin unless or until birth.  But the greater truth is that this video connects each of us today with the Apostle’s Creed First Article and Thanksgiving.

Let’s pull out our bulletin insert and join together and read together in unison the “What does this mean” sections as a congregation.  “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  What does this mean?  I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ear and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.  He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all that I have.  He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.  He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil.  All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.  For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.  This is most certainly true.”  While the connection of the image of the twins and how it relates to this article sinks into our hearts, let us ask God in prayer to bless His message for each and every one of us here today to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Let us pray, God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, before we saw the light of day with our own eyes, You not only knew us, but You formed us in the womb.  Out of Your fatherly divine goodness and mercy, You not only formed us, but have given us the greatest gift of life and salvation through what Your Son Jesus Christ did on the Cross of Calvary.  Not only are we thankful for the grace offered to and for us through Jesus Christ, but also for every blessing in our lives for all of mankind, but especially all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

Jeremiah the prophet, clearly speaks to us today about the First Article of the Apostle’s Creed.  Not only is there a clear connection and revelation of God Who is creator, His connection not only of the world, but a deeper connection of God with all of mankind.  Jeremiah says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you”.  This knowing and consecrating not only was specifically about Jeremiah the prophet, but it is about each and every one of us today.  We are not only the spiritual descendants of Jeremiah, but the creation of God for this world, consecrated for His service for our world, our nation, our state, our county, our town and even and especially our congregation of Emmanuel Lutheran Church.

We are consecrated for service, celebration and Thanksgiving, hence our having the cornucopia here up front this morning and that is exactly what we are here today to and for to celebrate what God has done for all of mankind, but also for each and every one of us gathered here this morning.  We come not only to eat turkey, talk about what God has done in the past year for us in our individual lives, but we especially come together corporately or as a congregation to celebrate the blessings that we shared and what God has done through His Son Jesus Christ.  With our celebration of life and remembering that we are created and known not only in the womb, but for God’s service, our thanksgiving and writing it down on paper and putting it up on a bulletin board takes on new meaning when we understand our role is not just receiving, but also giving in order for others to share and have the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is not only ironic, but also a great blessing that we have celebrated a great blessing earlier this morning.  With the baptism of Katerina we not only celebrate her entrance into the family of God, we affirm what God began in creation and each of our mother’s wombs.  With the oil and the sign of the Cross on her forehead and over her heart we are reminded that God formed, shaped and made us and consecrates us for His service.  We now as individuals and a congregation have not only the opportunity, but the obligation to teach Katerina and the other children of the congregation what the Christian faith is about, but also model the thanksgiving of the gifts of God.  For in our modeling for her and the other children we not only are reminded of God’s blessing to and for each of us, but also His grace offered through His Son Jesus Christ and the Great Thanksgiving.


Today in our receipt not only of Turkey and all the trimmings, but also the receipt of His precious Body and Blood in the Great Thanksgiving, we receive the gift of eternal life that prepares us for the greatest feast of Thanksgiving in our Lord’s house.  We are blessed and we share with fellow partakers of the gifts of grace offered to and for each of us and not only does the First Article of the Apostle’s Creed begin and remind us of this grace and blessing to and for us today, it is a clear reminder that we are blessed and created in God’s image, known in the womb, and invited to God’s table as His guest at the Great Thanksgiving Feast begun here at our altar and fully completed upon our entrance into heaven.  This offer is made for all of mankind, but especially including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel celebrating our Thanksgiving together.  AMEN.
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