Praying For Each Other!
Pentecost 8 (Proper 10) Trinity Lutheran Church
10 July 2016 Murdock, NE
+Jesu Juva +
What joy today! Joyce’s baptism. Joyce’s, Chuck’s and Jason’s professions of faith and promises to live in and from their baptisms. It really doesn’t get any better than this. The Lord Jesus keeps His promise. He has for Himself a church. He has His disciples. His hangers on. The Lord Jesus has His way. He has His say. His gifts enliven. His gifts deliver eternal benefits. So we like St. Paul and Timothy “always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you” Joyce, Chuck and Jason. After all you confessed “your faith in Christ Jesus” like the Christians in the early church.
When you believe in Jesus you can’t help but confess Him. He is the Savior. The one and only Savior of sinners. You, me and an entire world full! His doing a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday was FOR YOU. He is the Good Samaritan. Took pity on you left beaten to a pulp by you enemies on the road. Rescued you from certain death. Bandaged and dressed your wounds. Paid entirely for your recovery. He has “delivered you from the domain of darkness and transferred you” into His kingdom of redemption in which you have “the forgiveness of sins,” (Col 1:13-14). And where there is His Good Friday forgiveness, there is life and salvation. You are very precious to Him. He died and rose FOR YOU!
Now, when you confess Jesus like you did today, you make for yourselves a bitter and powerful enemy. You know about whom I’m talking. Yes, that’s right, Satan. You renounced Satan, his works and all his ways. That’s very dicey.
Satan and all his hellish demons will assault you. Attack you. Tempt you. With lies. And they will enlist the world and your sinful flesh as their allies in their lies. And the biggest of their lies goes like this: “The Lord’s words don’t matter. He’s a liar. You’re words are better than His!”
Again, that’s a lie. You’re words are not better than the Lord’s. So Jesus calls you to repentance and faith. To fear, love and trust in Him above all things! He calls you to remember the Sabbath Day by gladly hearing His Word and hold it sacred. So Jesus calls you to hear His absolution. He calls you to the Supper in which He commands and promises: “Eat. Drink. My body. My blood of the new testament. Given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins.” This is the life of holy baptism. It is what it means to be a baptized believer. It means being His hanger on. One of His moochers. Mooching off His Word and gifts. In other words, being a lifelong renouncer of Satan, his works and his ways but totally dependent on Lord Jesus and His very good — Good Friday works and ways FOR YOU.
So as St. Paul and St. Timothy did for the early Christians in Colossae, so we will do for you. We will pray FOR YOU. We’re here to help you. Aid you. Assist you.
“And so,” St. Paul writes, “we have not ceased to pray for you.” Did you hear that members of Trinity? I beseech you. You must pray for Joyce, Chuck and Jason every day in your prayers. They want and need your spiritual support as fellow baptized members of the holy and royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Yes, part of your priestly privilege as the baptized is to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the life of self-sacrificial love for each other. And Joyce, Chuck and Jason, you will then, in love, pray for all of us too!
And here is how we’ll all pray for each other. Taking our cue from the apostle Paul and Timothy. “Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” And: “To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Quite simply, that’s the life of faith and love. Faith toward Jesus who has redeemed you. Forgiven you of everything. Given you salvation. Heaven. And then the life for this world. The life of love. Living for others not yourself. Offering your body as a living sacrifice. Like Jesus the Good Samaritan. Not counting the cost. Not keeping score. Loving your neighbor because your neighbor needs your love. You live not to be served by others but to serve your neighbor. To give your life for the sake of other people. To live for their benefit. That’s what the Old Testament reading from Leviticus was all about today. This is the Lord’s good use of you in this life.
For faith and love among us here at Trinity we will pray. What joy! Thanks be to God!
Welcome again Joyce, Chuck and Jason!
In the Name of Jesus.