S-1203 8/15/10 10SAP/3C Hymns: (O) #15; S#496; (C) #507
Texts: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Colossians 1:21-31; Matthew 28:16-20
Theme: “We Proclaim Him” (Colossians 1:28-29)
Question: Are You Proclaiming Him?
Armour, SD SOLI DEO GLORIA
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleuia. The text for our meditation is from the Epistle lesson: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” (1:28-29).
IN NOMINE IESU,
People of God, CHOSEN and BELOVED, my beloved professor and spiritual father Louis Brighton told us a story while a student at the seminary and it stuck with me ever since. (Please hear my spiritual father tell the story) During WWII, 2 young men 18-19 were drafted into the American army. During Basic Training they became close buddies, close allies; because they realized when they would be sent overseas to France to fight against the German army, they needed to depend on each other, and hold on to each other. One of the young men was a dedicated Christian. He read his Bible every day. He prayed. The other buddy was an agnostic, didn’t believe in anything. The Christian buddy witnessed to his unbelieving buddy but to no avail. But still, despite this gulf they still remained close buddies.
They were shipped overseas. After about 6 months, they were on reconnaissance in No Man’s Land between the German army and the American army. They were crawling on their bellies, with the rifles on their shoulders. The unbelieving buddy was quite a bit ahead of his believing buddy. All of a sudden the Germans began to shell. The believing buddy started to holler, “He is going to be hit! He is going to be hit!” So he got up, runs and puts his own body over the unbeliever’s body. When the shelling finally ceased, the Christian buddy rolled over, mortally wounded. The unbelieving buddy with tears in his eyes said, “Why did you do that?” The believing buddy said, “I know Jesus, you don’t and you are not ready yet”. And he died. They took the wounded unbelieving buddy back to base hospital in France. And for the first time in his life he began to read his Bible and pray.
The French nurse who attended him was a wonderful Christian. They formed a good relationship and visited often about the Bible. He asked her many questions about Christianity. One day the unbeliever asked the nurse, “What day did they bring me from the battle field wounded?” “It was Good Friday” she said. “Oh, he said. That is the day my Lord died for me. And my buddy died for me to help me come to know Jesus.” PAUSE.
After the war was over, he was sent to a hospital in the States. 3 months went by; he recovered well enough to leave the hospital. He contacted the parents of his Christian buddy. “I would like to see you if you permit me, because I would like to tell you how your son died.” They readily agreed to the meeting.
At the appointed time, he limped into the house evidence of his wounds. He told them the story. “I have been encouraged by your son to commit my life to Jesus. For he not only died to save me physically but spiritually. I want to give my life to Jesus and do what he did even to die if necessary to help someone come to know Jesus.” That is a powerful transformation from unbelieving to committed, from death to life!
BELOVED in the Lord, If only every Pastor and lay person would have the same attitude like this Christian buddy—give his life for the sake of his friend so that he may know the Savior; we would be confessing and proclaiming Him to the World. PAUSE.
In John chapter 15, Jesus said: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you’” (15:12-13). If all of us have this attitude to be willing to die for the sake of others so that they may know Jesus, more people would come to know that they are not meant to live in this world with pain and grief, but rather in the presence of the One who gave His life for them—Jesus Christ the greatest buddy the world has ever known.
Jesus’ heroic act of sacrificing His life not only for His friends but for His enemies is the greatest act of love the world has ever witnessed. Jesus’ death brings life, Jesus’ suffering brings salvation, Jesus’ blood gives us boldness, and Jesus’ mercy gives us a message that changes the world one soul at a time.
Today, as we observe Seminary Sunday. I challenge you to proclaim Him. By virtue of your call as a baptized child of God, do the right thing—even to be willing to die for another so that they may know Jesus. Proclaim Him in word and deed saints in Christ. PAUSE.
As a Christian you have a great and noble purpose for your life. You are a messenger of Jesus. Through your sharing of the gospel, people will be saved forever. How amazing that Jesus would choose you! But that is what He did! Jesus gave us this command together with a promise: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes will be saved” (Mark 16:15-16) PAUSE.
It is my great privilege and honor, as your pastor, to proclaim this same Jesus, and the mystery of the riches of His glory to you, the BELOVED and CHOSEN people of Redeemer week after week, for a total of some 1150 sermons and 840 Bible studies. I have been blessed to have learned this great and glorious mystery of Christ from other pastors, both seminary professors I had and other pastors who taught me both before and after my seminary days. They proclaimed Jesus to me, warning and teaching me with all wisdom, just as they learned it from the generation before them, and those from the generation before them, all the way back to and dependent upon Paul and the other apostles and prophets our Lord chose to reveal Himself to.
Many of you first learned this wondrous and mysterious message about Christ from your parents, and from other pastors and teachers you’ve had through the years and when you were members at other congregations.
What a blessing to be with you today working together as pastor and people to proclaim Him. For 69 years this place has stood for one reason only—to get the message out. This place is not here to do weddings, funerals or social activities, though we do these as part and parcel of the ministry. But the main reason this place exist is to proclaim Him to a condemned world. For the past 16 years you have helped me get the message straight and out to the world. For all of these things, I can say along with Paul “for this I toil (a good and blessed toil), struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.” I know that I could never do these things on my own by my own energy or power, but I give thanks to God that His Holy Spirit continues to work among us powerfully, that “we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
We proclaim Him. I, like Paul, always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when I pray for you (1:3). I give thanks for the partnership in the Gospel (Philippians 1:5) we have together. I would not be able to proclaim Him with the authority of the pastoral office, warning and teaching with all the wisdom of God’s Word, were it not for the fact that you, yes you the BELOVED and CHOSEN people of God have entrusted me with the call to this office. Thank you for blessing me with such a privilege and honor to proclaim Him along with you. Amen.
Now the peace of God…