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A Reformation of "S" and "F" Words!

October 28, 2012

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Reformation Sunday                                    Peace Lutheran Church

28 October 2012                                         Hastings, NE


St. John 8:31-36

Reformation Festival


Did you catch the sermon Jesus preached today?  And of all days this one!  It’s really quite disgusting!  Outrageously audacious!  Who does Jesus think He is?  How dare He!  Seriously! 


Haven’t you had enough?  Will He ever learn?  We’ve warned Him not to preach that like!  You can’t talk like that in the church these days!  Someone call the district president!  Someone call the authorities!  He can’t get away with this anymore!     


After all, Preacher Jesus had the gall once again to get up in the pulpit and insult you to your face!  In fact, He rudely ratcheted up His preaching today!  You came to get something out of church today but Preacher man Jesus slipped in some of the most vulgar, nastiest language you’ve ever heard! Your ears are bleeding!  Your teeth are grinding!  Your hands are clenched!  Your feet are stomping!


Why?  Because Preacher man Jesus spewed the most poisonous and venomous words that begin with an “s”!  “S” words that make you want to retch!  “S” words that hack you off and make you want to run out of here screaming at the top of your lungs!  Preacher Jesus had the nerve to call you … SLAVES!  And not just any kind of slaves but:  “slaves to sin!”  As if you live on a plantation and are enslaved to a master called SIN!


Are you ready to revoke Preacher Jesus’ call to serve as your pastor?    


Of course you are!  You don’t want to hear that you’re a “slave” let alone a “slave to sin!”  SLAVES?  We’re Americans!  We’re slaves to no one!  Enslaved to nothing! 


Let’s take a vote right now!  Let’s put this Preacher in His place! 


Is there a motion to forbid Preacher Jesus from ever using those naughty “s” words in our midst again?  So moved!  Is there a second?  Thank you! 


It’s been moved and seconded that we will no longer allow Preacher Jesus to use “sin” and “slaves to sin” in His preaching because they’re just too toxic.  That we refuse to abide by those words!  We will not let such words remain!   


Any discussion? 


Hearing none — all those in favor of the motion please signify by raising your right hand and saying, “Yes!”  All those opposed … the “ayes” have it!


What’s that?  You want to make another motion?  All right!  What is it? 


Very well!  It has been moved to strike the previous adopted motion and replace it with another! 


What was this new motion again?  Oh yes, that’s right!  Thank you!  The motion is to get rid of this Preacher who thinks He’s better than all of us!  Not just to revoke His divine call, but hand Him over to the authorities as a criminal – a federal and state hate crimes criminal – who deserves capital punishment for using the banned “s” words from the pulpit!


Is there a second?  Thank you!  Any discussion?  Yes sir, please!  Come to the microphone and speak up. 


“Thank you Mr. Chairman, I speak in favor of this motion!  I was so offended by what Preacher Jesus said today.  I’m not a sinner and I’m certainly not a slave to sin!  That’s just outrageous!  It is so irresponsible for any preacher to say!  I came here to be uplifted and affirmed!  After all, we’re all good people!”


“If I had my way, Mr. Chairman, I wouldn’t give this Preacher the electric chair or a lethal injection!  He deserves something worse!  Something crueler!  Something more unusual!  Let’s incessantly beat the living tar out of Him and then hammer Him to a pole, hang Him there, and leave Him to die!  That’ll teach Him!  And it will serve as a clear warning to any other preachers who entertain any thoughts about calling us (I can hardly bring myself to vocalize the malicious words) sinners or slaves to sin!  Thank you Mr. Chairman!” 


All those in favor of the new motion?  It’s unanimous!  The “Ayes” have it!  Wonderful!  Whew!  I thought for a brief moment that you’d let this scandalous “s” word Preacher skate!


Mr. Secretary, please call the religious and secular authorities.  Oh!  You already have?  Great!  Make sure that a warrant is put out for the Preacher’s arrest.  Set up the trial.  Let’s get the judicial wheels moving as quickly as possible!  We can’t be having any more preachers like Him!  Ever! 


May I have a motion to adjourn?  So moved!  We stand adjourned.   


+ + +


Well, you’ve had your way!  Jesus was given over to the authorities.  He was sent to the gallows!  Suffered under Pontius Pilate the Governor.  The bloody and brutal crucifixion was carried out!  But right before He died it was reported that He preached another sermon!  He couldn’t help Himself!  If you thought His preaching was scandalous before, your ears won’t believe what He preached from the cross!  It’s been fact checked!  It’s true!  


Here’s what He proclaimed from His parched, swollen, blood-spattered lips!  An “f” word of all things!  The most powerful “f” word the world has ever heard!  Listen! “Forgive them Father!  They don’t know what they’re doing!” He absolved you all!  He forgave you!  His forgiveness is God’s forgiveness! 


Lo and behold His absolution exposes you for who you really are!  When Jesus prays:  “Father forgive them,” it means that you are exactly what He said you are:  “SLAVES!  SLAVES TO SIN!”  Living in a penitentiary!  A prison house of death! 


Do you get it?  He wouldn’t forgive you unless you are … that’s right … A SINNER!  A sinner enslaved to Master Sin living on the plantation called The Kingdom of Darkness! 


You were so sure that Jesus didn’t have a clue!  That He was the heretic!  That He was the troublemaker!  The fact of the matter is this:  you and I didn’t have a clue!  About ourselves and our sinful condition! 


And that’s precisely why Jesus came!  To forgive sinners!  Of whom you and I qualify and are the worst!  Jesus came to free sinners!        


Here is the Good News!  Jesus doesn’t hold any of your sin against you!  He refuses to! 


Why?  Because He carried it all in His body on the cross!  There He answered for it all!  All of its punishment!  All of its damnation!  Jesus became MAXIMUM SINNER as He insisted on taking all your sin on His shoulders! 


What is your sin?  Name it!  Big?  Little?  Is it chronic?  Is it once in a while?  What sin do you love to do?  What sin do you hate the most?  There’s the sin you know quite well.  There’s the sin you don’t even realize you do!  There’s the sin that won’t let you sleep at night!  There’s the sin that has ruined your life and that has hurt so many in your life!  Including the Preacher that you self-righteously sent to the gallows! 


And Jesus dares to pray:  “Father, forgive them!”  And after His resurrection He mandates that pastors in the church forgive sinners:  “Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven!” (Matthew 16; 18)  “As the Father has sent me so I send you.  If you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven!” (John 20) 


And you are!  You are forgiven!  Because Jesus is the blood stained mercy seat where God Himself meets with sinners to proclaim:  “I absolve you!  I forgive you!   I don’t count any of your sin against you!”    


Here’s the truth!  All your sin belongs to Jesus!  Your sin doesn’t belong to you anymore!  Seriously!  Jesus is not joking!  This is no farce!  He has answered for all your sin!  Every bit of it!  Every last bit of it!  He’s left no sin or any sinner out of His Good Friday dying!  He gave His life into death for you! 


How does faith talk then?  Faith gives its hearty “Amen” to what Jesus says, namely, His outrageous, extravagant, and reckless Word of forgiveness!  “You are forgiven” is what Jesus gives you to believe!  To abide in!  To remain in!  To rest in! 


“If you abide in my word, [my word of absolution] you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”   


Jesus will dare to preach again in just a few minutes.  He will flood you and free you with even more forgiveness!  It just overflows!  He has more forgiveness than you’ve got sin!   With His words He gives you what He promises:  “My Good Friday Body!  My Good Friday Blood!  Eat and drink it!  I promise that it is for the forgiveness of your sin!”  


There’s that “s” word again!  Where there’s an “s” word there’s an “f” word.  Where there’s a sinner – a slave to sin there’s the forgiveness of sins.  And with the forgiveness word there’s another “s” word going on!  The Capital “S” word!  “Savior!”  Savior Jesus!  Savior Jesus who reigns among sinners! With His divine word! Setting you free!  From the prison house of sin and death!  Putting you into the family or kingdom of His forgiveness, life and salvation!  


What’s that?  Do I hear a motion that we celebrate this Reformation Sunday, every Sunday, and every day of our life by abiding, remaining, resting, and living in Jesus’ word?  His word of forgiveness for sinners?  Of whom you and I qualify? 


All those in favor please give your “Amen.”  It’s unanimous!  Capital “S” Savior Jesus has had His say over the other “s” words.  Good thing!  For, “when the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  Or:  when the Son forgives you, you are forgiven indeed! 


In the Name of Jesus!

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