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It’s All About What God Gives!

February 4, 2018

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Epiphany 5                                                 Trinity Lutheran Church

4 February 2018                                        Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Mark 1:29-39

Baptism of Everett Paul Perrigo

 

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention or didn’t get the memo — learn what Christianity is all about on this Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany! It’s going to epiphany-ally blow your mind. It’s going to bring the greatest epiphany-al joy ever to your heart and perhaps an epiphany tear or two to your eyes. It’s better than you could have imagined. Seriously! After all, you’re tempted to believe that Christianity is all about you. Who you are and what you do or do not do. What you have to give God — like your heart or your life. And you’ve been trying really hard to do that. But that’s not Christianity. Not even close! Good grief. Get over that and get over it PDQ! God doesn’t need your life let alone your heart.

 

What you need is God giving His life. God giving His heart. You need God giving Himself TO YOU. With all that He is and all that He has! You need an out-side-yourself-salvation. You need the Savior. And that’s Jesus! Christianity is all about Jesus. Who He is, what He has done as well as what He continues to do FOR YOU! He does a Good Friday and an Easter Sunday FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR SALVATION.

 

Start there and then you’ll begin to understand that all the preaching, teaching and miracles He does during His earthly ministry are the previews of the coming big attraction: Passion Week, a horrific cruciform death and then a glorious resurrection very early in the morning. And all that He does FOR YOU in the Sunday divine service in Word and sacraments flow from that Friday afternoon we all call “good.”

 

In Mark 1 Son of God Messiah Jesus is there with all that He is and all that He has. He serves the least and most unlikely. Outcast and loser sinners. Oppressed by demons people. Afflicted with the collateral damage of sin. Check it out.   He drops into the house of Simon and Andrew. They’ve brought some friends, James and John, with them. “Jesus, we know you’re a rock star all throughout Capernaum and Galilee. Everyone is begging for your time and attention. But do you have time to look in on mother-in-law? She’s got it bad. Really bad. A deadly fiery fever. Deathbed fever. Please, will you help her?”

 

“He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her.” He saves her from the deadly fire of the fever. His Good Friday dying and His Easter Sunday Resurrection save her from the hellacious fire of damnation. Mother-in-law put the kettle on and “began to serve” only because she had first been salvationally served by Jesus. She didn’t serve to be saved but because Jesus saved her! Got it? Good!

 

Let’s go on. Then He heals the sick, exorcises demons and preaches the gospel because He’s all about doing a Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Therefore, Son of God Messiah Jesus is undoing all sin and all of sin’s negative consequences in His ministry. He is the Savior! Did you hear that? Jesus is the Savior! You and I are not. So He’s “come out,” busy dishing out heaping portions of His Good Friday salvific deeds ahead of time – to those that need it and believe it.

 

To repeat then: Christianity is all about SERVICE! Not yours. But Christ’s! Jesus came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. That’s Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The healings, the exorcisms and the preaching are bestowing and giving ahead of time the divine and salvific benefits of His upcoming cross and empty tomb. Or to put it another way, Good Friday’s and Easter Sunday’s benefits are leaking out all over the place in advance at mother-in-law’s house, the surrounding towns and synagogues.

 

Savior Son of God Jesus is still among us as one who serves. With His holy, divine, saving Name hooked with the water of baptism Jesus came to Everett Paul with all of His Good Friday and Easter Sunday might and mercy. At the font Jesus preached. He proclaimed: “Everett Paul Perrigo, I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The same was preached to all of you at your baptism.

 

Let’s not forget: to be baptized in God’s Name is to be baptized by God Himself! (Large Catechism) And with His giving of His divine and saving Name to Everett Paul the unclean spirits had to make room for the Holy Spirit! Baptism is an exorcism. It really is! Because God gives His Name in, with and under the water He is there promising to be God FOR YOU – FOR YOUR SALVATION! No wonder that Jesus promises: “Whoever believes and is baptized with be saved,” (Mark 16:16). No wonder that St. Paul writes about the gift of baptism: God “saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)

 

Christianity is all about Jesus. Giving Himself into death to win your salvation by bearing all your sin on the cross. Giving His Name and all it’s Good Friday benefits in baptism. When He’s doing the giving your salvation is certain and sure. Not even Satan can undo what Jesus does and gives. He must depart. He must be silent. Because Jesus reigns. Jesus preaches. Jesus gives. What joy!

 

Happy Baptism Day Everett Paul! Happy living in and from your baptism! Dittos to the rest of you baptized in Jesus’ divine and salvific Name!

 

In the name of Jesus.

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