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Trinity

May 18, 2008

Feast of The Holy Trinity           Trinity Lutheran Church
18 May 2008                               Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

Matthew 28:16-20

God is astonishly for you in the most astonishing ways.  The Word is made flesh.  In the person of Jesus all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form.  Where’s God?  There’s the Baby Jesus.  God nurses and sleeps in Mary’s lap.  And then there’s the man Jesus who hangs – crucified between two criminals.  God dies.  He is buried. 

For you!  To answer for every sin you’ve done.  Even the ones you’ve forgotten.  The ones you don’t even care about.  The ones you love to keep on doing.  He forgives you of everything.  For the eleven.  For the world. Salvation achieved.  For us men and for our salvation.     
 
Now He’s freshly risen from the grave.  Now the scars-are-showing-Jesus sees to it that the salvation He won for the world and for you on Good Friday gets delivered and bestowed:  TO YOU! 

For that He’ll use the eleven.  Eleven’s one short of the twelve – Judas isn’t there you remember – hung himself.  Poor sap.  Just wouldn’t trust that Jesus would forgive his treacherous betrayal.  Matthias will later make it twelve again.  But for now it’s the eleven. 

The Lord Jesus meets them.  On the mountain just as He promised.    Among the eleven are some worshipers and some doubters:  “but when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted.”   We’d have no use for such men.  We’d look for someone better.  But with whom would we come up?  But Jesus doesn’t mind.  He has use for them.  Even if they doubt.  Who doesn’t doubt sometimes?  Everything doesn’t depend on the eleven.  The eleven aren’t the super stars.  Jesus runs the show on the mountain.  He’s the one to whom “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given.”

Jesus authorizes the eleven with an office in His church.  Puts them into the office of the holy ministry.  And He gives the apostolic ministry certain tasks.  More on that in a minute.  But it’s all for your benefit.  Through the holy means of grace office Jesus Himself distributes and bestows the benefits and gifts of His Good Friday dying to you.  His promise is to work through the office He institutes:  “And lo I am with you to the end of the age.”   

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.  Therefore, make disciples of all nations.”  All nations.  No one’s to be left out.  He died for all.  So make disciples of all.

How?  I’ll only reference the first task today for the sake of time.  Disciples are made by “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”   A disciple of Jesus is one who is baptized in the Triune Name. 

Jesus died for you.  Jesus puts the Name of God Himself on you in Baptism. 

What a gift!  For with His Name comes God Himself.  Name and God go together.  And not just any God.  But the one and only Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The Father who creates you.  The Son who redeems you.  The Spirit who holies you.  One God.  Three Persons.  The Holy Trinity.  To be baptized in God’s Name is to be baptized by God Himself.  He does it.  That’s why the baptismal formula is:  “I baptize you . . .”  The pastor is only the hand and mouth of the Lord who’s really doing the baptizing with His Word.  

We know who God is by what He gives in and through His Son.  He gives us His Triune Name in Holy Baptism.  And with His Name He gives all of Himself. 

He is your Father that uses all creation for your benefit.  From the Father and Mother that He used to created you to the undertaker who will embalm you.  From the food you eat to the clean sheets on your bed.  From the car you drive to the doctors and medicines that help you.  From teachers that teach you to the orthodontists that straighten your teeth.  From the police that protect you to the banker that takes care of your money.  He is your Father.   And all this He does out of fatherly divine mercy and goodness.  Without any merit or worthiness in you.   

He is your Brother and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.  In His Body He takes all your sin and answers for it.  Endures the Father’s wrath on the Cross on account of your sin put on Him.  Even though He never sinned, on the Tree He takes your place as the sinner that receives the paycheck of your death and damnation.  Yes, God Jesus becomes your sin and He suffers the curse of hell.  For you!  For your salvation!

He is the Holy Spirit.  Sent by the Father and the Son to holy you with the Word and water of Holy Baptism in which the Triune Name was put on you.  Calls you by the Gospel.  Enlightens you with His gifts.  Sanctifies and keeps you in the faith that Jesus died and rose for you. 

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The divine Name.  With all the authority given to Him, Jesus mandates that the apostolic office disciple all nations by baptizing in the Triune Name. 

And with His Name, the Triune God is always for you.  Always with you too.  So that no matter what task or what time of life you’re in, you can always begin or end it this way:  “In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  Into His hands you commend your body and soul and all things.  For with His Name is His promise that He will always watch over you and care for you.  In the morning or in the evening.  In the beginning of your life.  And at the end of your earthly life.  You’re always “under the care” [“Das Walte”– is the German of the Small Catechism] of the Triune God who put His Name on you and made you His disciple in Holy Baptism.

In the Name of Jesus.  Amen.    

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