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Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

July 12, 2020 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Pentecost

Passage: Isaiah 55:10–55:13

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Isaiah 55:10-13
Date: July 12, 2020; Pentecost 6; Series A
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • In the midst of all of the changes and uncertainty of our time, we heard some very comforting words from the prophet Isaiah, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
  • Just as rain comes down and waters the earth, so does God’s Word always succeed in the thing for which he sent it.
  • Nothing can change that.  
  • No disease, or natural disaster, or human caused disaster, or persecution of the church, or anything else in all of creation will prevent God’s Word from succeeding.
  • Nothing that is happening in your life - no matter how difficult - will prevent God’s Word from succeeding.
  • Your short-comings and failures and your sin (no matter how terrible) will not prevent God’s Word from succeeding.
  • It sure might not seem like it at times.  
  • When we look at what’s going on in the world, what’s going on personally in our lives, it might seem like all is lost and hopeless.  
  • It might seem like God has abandoned us or lost control.
  • But God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, promises and assures us - that is not so.  
  • His Word always succeeds in the thing for which he sent it.
  • What is that “thing”?  What is the purpose of God’s Word?
  • The salvation of the world.  Your salvation.
  • The purpose of God’s Word is to save you from the suffering and evil and death of sin.
  • The purpose of God’s Word is to give you new life now and forever - and his Word will not return to him empty.
  • Isaiah gives this promise to us in the image of rain and snow so that we understand and trust in the power and efficacy of the Word of God.
  • Life on earth requires water to survive and thrive - without it life dries up and dies. 
  • So God lovingly provides the precipitation we need to live.  This is what is being accomplished every time it rains and snows and we can count on it.
  • Likewise, we sinful beings need God to survive and thrive.  Without him we are dead in our trespasses.
  • So God graciously provides what we need to live.
  • He sent his Son, the Word made flesh, to give us life.
  • In the Gospel of St. John we learn that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
  • Christ Jesus was not conceived in sin - but by the Holy Spirit, so that he might bring life and immortality to the world.
  • He came down from heaven, was incarnate of the virgin Mary, and was made man. 
  • He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate and died on a cross to pay for our sins.
  • He has redeemed the world from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil with his holy, precious blood and with his innocent suffering and death.
  • Sure, as the Word of God hung on that cross, it didn’t look like he was powerful.  It looked like he was helpless and defeated. 
  • It appeared like the Son of God failed and the Word was powerless.
  • But Christ’s resurrection changed that.
  • In Easter victory, Jesus rose from the dead showing that sin and death have been conquered!  Showing that the Word of God did not return empty, but did in fact accomplish the world’s salvation and that Jesus succeeded in the salvation for which he was sent.
  • Yes, Jesus ascended back to heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father, but the Word of God continues to be active and at work in our lives today.  
  • It continues to accomplish God’s purpose of saving and giving life.
  • We, who cannot by our own reason or strength, believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to him - are called, gathered, enlightened and sanctified by the Holy Spirit as we hear God’s Word and receive his Holy Sacraments.
  • For as surely as the rain and snow come down from heaven and water the earth, as surely as Jesus came down from heaven in the flesh to die and rise for our salvation - so surely does God continue to deliver his life and salvation to us today.
  • God has not abandoned us and he has not lost control.
  • No matter how difficult and uncertain things might seem in this world and personally in our lives right now - the death and resurrection of Jesus shows that the Word has accomplished God’s purposes and it will succeed in bringing us life and salvation.
  • Take comfort knowing that God will succeed in keeping you strong in your faith, He will nurture you and care for you – until life everlasting.
  • Dear friends, go out in joy and be led forth in peace.  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

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July 26, 2020

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

July 19, 2020

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost