Monday, June 17, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of June 16, 2019

Sermon: “The Father’s Day”
Text: Psalm 8

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24)

These words from the 118th Psalm are a fitting way to begin today.  And in reality they are fitting for every day, but today we rejoice and are glad in this day, made by the hand of the Lord himself.

You see, in many ways today is The Father’s Day.  Yes, I know that it is Father’s Day, but I’m talking about THE Father.  The Author of Creation, by whose word all creation sprang forth, all life began and His love was made manifest in all that was created. 

The Small Catechism describes the work of the Father this way, I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, 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 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.

Today is also Trinity Sunday and while in many ways we had the Holy Spirit’s Day last week as we celebrated Pentecost, and we had the Son’s Day in April as we once again witnessed the Savior springing forth in life to defeat sin, death and the devil.

Today we look to the work of the Father coeternal with the Son and the Spirit. 

When we start talking about the holy Trinity we can easily confuse the persons or combine the substance of their glory. To help us we turn our attention to Psalm 8 written by David:

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name
               throughout the earth!
Your glory is sung above the heavens
From the mouth of little children and infants,
you have built a fortress against your opponents
                              to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens,
                              the creation of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have set in place
                              what is a mortal that you take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than yourself.
You have crowned him with glory and honor.
You have made him rule what your hands created.
You have put everything under his control:         
                              all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals,
                              the birds, the fish
                              whatever swims in the currents of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name
                              throughout the earth! (Psalm 8)

This Psalm gives insight to the creative work of God the Father and His plan of salvation.  From the outset we see how the Lord is praised by His creation.

The name of the Lord is praise and proclaimed by huge galaxies and by tiny babies.

When you consider the creation done by the fingers of God, what do you imagine? 

I start to imagine how through His mighty word He fixed the stars in their places, how at a wave of His hand He fashioned the universe and the planets.  How by His powerful breath all life sprang into being. 

It would be easy to think that the creation of humanity was a trivial event, for we are nothing but a microscopic speck compared to just one of the stars, let alone the galaxies. Yet in creation we find the heart of God Himself. 

We have been made in the Father’s image.  In the image of the Triune God we were created, just those things in the heavens.

We have been crowned with glory and honor and have been given the task to rule over the earth.

Just imagine this, while in physical stature we may seem insignificant, yet we are more precious to our heavenly Father than anything else in all of creation.

And after creating humanity God said it was very good! This, the Father’s Day was good and perfect and filled with peace.

The church throughout the centuries has ascribed the work of creation to the Father but we must remember that we cannot separate the persons of the Trinity. 

Centuries ago, Christians confessed faith in the words we still hold onto today that come the closest to describing the trinity without denying it.  This is what they wrote:

For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Holy Spirit is another.

But the Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit: the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Spirit uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Spirit eternal.

And yet there are not three Eternals, but one Eternal, just as there are not three Uncreated or three Infinites, but one Uncreated and one Infinite.

In the same way, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; And yet there are not three Gods, but one God.

So the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Holy Spirit is Lord.

Are you confused yet?  If you grew up in the Church you may recognize some of the words of the Athanasian Creed.  And as that creed does, it’s sometimes better to just proclaim what Scripture says than try to explain it all. 

We all know very well that when we try to fit God into our understanding we soon see that it’s not about the Father, or the Son, or the Spirit, but about ourselves. 

When Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord perfection was ruined, tarnished, and destroyed. 

Each and every day since the days continue to be about what we humans can get and can get away with not about God; most days are not about our heavenly Father but about our own earthly existence.

Lord, You want us to rule what Your hands have created?  OK, great but not Thy will be done, by my will be done.

In this great fall our relationship with our Heavenly Father was broken, and our dominion diminished. 

Yes, we still use the intelligence God has given us, but we no longer have uncontested dominion over the earth.  The peace of the Father’s Day found in Eden is gone and in its place…chaos. 

In spite of our best efforts we cannot control the chaos.  Viruses and bacteria wreak havoc in our bodies; cells grow uncontrolled and unchecked and bring death.  

We battle against weeds, pests, and disease, against floods and droughts just to produce food from the earth.  We are killed by our own machines and poisoned by our own pollution. 

Inevitably humanity’s day ends when each of us must return to the ground from which we were created.

But another Father’s Day was yet to come.  It would be a day when chaos would be crushed underfoot, when the avenger and the enemy would be silenced once and for all and the will of the Father would be made known to the world. 

Jesus, begotten of the Father from the beginning, the uncreated, infinite, and eternal Son of God, co-equal with the Father and the Spirit said this as recorded in John’s Gospel, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)

That day on Calvary we were provided a fortress against the enemy.  That day on Calvary, Jesus, perfect God and perfect man suffered for our salvation descended into hell and then rose again on the third day so that we might be restored to the Father. 

Because of that day, every day is The Father’s Day.  Every day is made new by the transforming power of the Triune God made manifest in Christ.  It is in Christ that we find forgiveness and mercy.

It was the Father’s will to send His Son to die, so you would live!  The Father’s Day on Calvary is the act of a loving God, who desires to be with you and in Christ he provides the way.  In Christ alone you are forgiven and free. 
Now we are freed to praise a God who desires to give good gifts. 

As we heard last week the Spirit of God is alive and well and empowers us to make every day The Father’s Day.

As the Spirit of God flows through us, we can give good gifts to our families, our neighbors and the world.  As the redeemed children of God we can bring the love of the Father to a hurting world.

So, on this Father’s Day, I encourage you to pick up the phone to call your dad, if you are able.  Or perhaps tell a story or two about how he has impacted your life as you remember his, but as you do remember your heavenly Father and may every day be a day we can proclaim,

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth! (Psalm 8:1)
-Pr. Seth Moorman


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