Searching for....

Monday, April 24, 2017

04232017 - 1st Sunday After Easter - "We can believe in God's testimony!"

April 23, 2017
“We can believe in God's testimony!”

What joy to behold as last Sunday we heard and proclaimed the triumphant proclamation, “He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia!”  Here at Emmanuel we had 171 people joining us in our proclamation of the Easter message.  Many people near and far have personally commented to me about how great that was for our church.  After church the kids engaged in the annual, joyful and energetic Easter Egg Tradition, with the joyful squeals of the children and the adults reconnecting with one another and sharing and making memories with one another.  All of this comes simply because one Man was willing to die in order that we might live and have eternal life.  This is the fulfilled promise of God that we have heard clearly from Holy Scripture.  This truth we can hold dearly simply because, “We can believe in God's testimony!
Holy Scripture, the Bible, we here at Emmanuel give to our children as part of our promise and responsibility when they are baptized.  Holy Scripture we as individuals affirm at our Confirmation and we as a congregation reaffirmed our belief in the Promise of the Gospel at my ordination.  And we Emmanuel Lutheran read and hear from Holy Scripture and the Gospel weekly in worship.  Holy Scripture points us to the simple fact that “We can believe in God's testimony!”  For God is not a liar and God does not mislead us, for God’s testimony is true, because God’s testimony in Holy Scripture points to God’s Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ and His Sacrifice on Golgotha is the centrality of the Gospel message and is the one event looked for from the Garden of Eden and that we look back to even today.
With our pointing to Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection, Jesus Christ clearly not only sacrificed Himself, but we remember yearly, monthly, weekly and should daily think upon and thank God for His Son’s payment on the Cross of Calvary for the sin of all of mankind.  This is why ‘God’s testimony’ not only is central, but treasured, solely, because it is with an eternal perspective in mind.  Our being with God for all eternity.  And we are promised our entrance into eternity, simply because of Jesus Christ willingness to go to the Cross of Calvary and die so we can live eternally.  And this reality becomes ours because “We can believe in God's testimony!
In and of ourselves we are incapable of belief in the promises of God, but by grace and through the work of the Holy Spirit as Martin Luther reminds us in the Explanation of the Third Article, God ‘calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies and keeps us in the one true faith’.  This work that the Holy Spirit does for us is a direct result of the grace that God offers us freely and without our own merit from Jesus going to the Cross for us.  These reminders for us are in order that we can as one of our themes from Pre-School VBS a few years ago reminds us, we can ‘Fully Rely On God’!  And “We can believe in God's testimony!
In the latest installment of the Marvel movies of the Avengers arc, “Captain America: Civil War” Steve Rogers, Captain America is reminded clearly what truth really means and what and why he was willing as a young man during World War II to fight for his country and his God.  At the funeral of Peggy Carter, his first love of his life, Peggy’s niece reminisced with the following advice she was given from her aunt.  “Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say, 'No. You move.” 
We to as children of our heavenly Father through our Baptism into Jesus Christ, life, death, but especially His resurrection are similarly called to plant ourselves ‘like a tree’.  For just as the tree on Calvary was planted and Jesus refused to be removed, but was willing to die to set us free.  We to are called, to be planted like a tree and refuse to allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Grace to be soiled because of self-interest and self-serving goals.  This is why Jesus Christ died for truth to set us free from bondage.

Since “We can believe in God's testimony” as truth and God is faithful, we are empowered to stand and be faithful to what God’s testimony is and has been from Creation to today.  We look back to the truth of Jesus willingness to die on the Cross of Calvary and we are emboldened to be the Church and stand up and testify of God’s faithfulness on the Cross and His death to set mankind free from sin, death and especially the devil.  These are the promises of God for us and clearly, firmly and faithfully we, Emmanuel Lutheran Church are called as the Body of Christ, gathered as a community of faith and enabled to be the Church of Jesus Christ, by the grace of God so “We can believe in God's testimony!”  AMEN.

Check out Pastor on the Prairie (ProtP)
Subscribe to ProtP

//trial script