S-1365-2SAP/C 6/2/2013 Hymns: (O) #400; (S) #333; (C) #338
Texts: 1 Kings 8:22-24, 27-29, 41-43; Galatians 1:1-12; Luke 7:1-10
Theme: “Teach Me!” (Psalm 86:11)
Question: “Who has taught you the most?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for this confirmation day is from the Introit: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Children of the heavenly Father, today is a very special day for November as she will soon confess the faith planted in her heart by the power of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. It is a special day for Jarret and Shana (her parents), having watched her grow, mature, learn and now ready to receive the Life-Giving Sacrament of the Lord. It is a special day for her teachers and Pastor who have invested many hours training and TEACHING her the ways of the Lord; and it is a special day for this family of Redeemer, as another child of faith, receives what Christ has offered through His death and resurrection, in, with and under the bread and wine.
A long time ago, I came across one of the best known Chinese proverbs and have put it to memory. This is the proverb: “Give a man a fish; and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you will feed him for a lifetime.” This proverb has a wonderful correlation with our Christian faith, our Christian walk and our Christian relationship with our ONLY Savior, Jesus Christ.
For this reason, our Church body has set forth the privilege of teaching young and old the greatest story ever told—the story of our salvation and redemption through Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. This kind of teaching comes in all types and forms—Sunday School, Bible Classes, VBS and in Sermons. Teaching is part and parcel of the Great Commission the Savior asked His disciples to carry on after His resurrection and Ascension to His rightful place.
St. Matthew describes the Great Commission with these words: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (28:20). Through the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit the Disciples did just that! The Church continues to carry out the blessed task of making disciples. They baptize, they teach, and all the while the Kingdom grows! As the Kingdom grows, the name of Christ is exalted! PAUSE.
David, the once shepherd boy and great King of Israel for 40 years, wrote many Psalms. Psalms are hymns to be sung and memorized. In Psalm 86 David pours out his heart to His God and asks for specific instructions from Him. This is what David is asking the Lord: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”
David is pleading, begging and asking the Teacher of all teachers, Jesus Christ to teach Him His Word. David is not content to simply hear the Word; he wants this Word to be an instrument in his life that will teach him more about His maker. David wants this Word to be part and parcel of who he is, so that he may walk in the truth and cause his heart to be united with His gracious and loving God.
David, even as king, realized he doesn’t know it all. He needed to be taught. He needed God’s Word to guide and guard him. He needs the Holy Spirit to teach him the precious truth that is found in Holy Scripture. He needs to reflect on this Word daily and live by it so that He may fear the Lord. Fearing God would bring him to a closer relationship with His Lord.
Even Dr. Martin Luther, the great theologian who wrote the Small and Large Catechisms stated, “Though he is a doctor of theology, he still studies the Catechism daily.” He studies the Catechism, so that he can learn what the Word of God says and live by it. As you have studied the Catechism November, a book of questions and answers, you will see two main themes: 1. what does this mean? And 2, the answer always begins with; “We should fear, love and trust in God…”
To fear God is to trust Him completely so that you may walk in His ways that leads to eternal life. For the past two years November, you have been taught this truth. Now, I pray that which you have been taught will be part of your daily life to guide you and direct your path so that you make a difference in your life and others.
I exhort you to continue to be taught by coming to the Lord’s house, hear, meditate and study this Word. Let this Word, be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. David, in another psalm stated: “Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies” (Psalm 27:11).
Yes, teach me O Lord, for without You I have no life. You are the Teacher and Master of my life. Let every day be an opportunity for me to grow in Your grace, love and compassion. Let every day be a privilege for me to study Your Word and hide it in my heart. I pray that the Holy Spirit will teach you as you are brought here to learn who this God is and what He has done to save YOU. PAUSE.
Study the life of Jesus and you will see Him at a very young age, being in the Synagogue learning and studying the Word. He found pleasure in being in His Father’s house. And when He began His earthly ministry He always taught the disciples. He always showed them the truth—Himself. He always demonstrated to them, what it means to be a humble servant relying only on God for everything in life and in death.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught us the truth of being a servant-a servant to the point of death. He was willing to serve all people, even those who choose not to be taught, that He would love them and give His life for them, so that they may know His teachings, live according to them and be His followers.
Today, in this place, we thank God for all of the faithful Pastors, teachers, parents, godparents, and grandparents who have invested in our lives to teach us the sweet, precious and pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for this congregation that for over 73 years have taught this message and will continue to teach it for years to come, until the Teacher returns to earth to take us with Him to heaven.
November, here, you will continue to grow, learn and see the love of Jesus as you gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ. November, here, you will be fed, nurtured, nourished and equipped to serve in humility and love. November, in this place you will give of yourself as Christ gave us His all to save us from the power of hell, death and the grave. PAUSE.
I am so thankful for David’s words of asking the Lord to teach him. So thankful that he was moved by the Holy Spirit to write this Psalm down for our benefits. So thankful that you have been taught the truth that sets you free and draws you closer to Him who suffered, was crucified, died and rose for you to give you life eternal.
The next few verses of this Psalm are these: “I give thanks to You, O Lord My God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. For great is Your steadfast love toward me; You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol” (Ps. 86:12-13). David’s prayer is to be taught to bring glory and honor to the Lord because he has been delivered from the hand of the enemy.
You, too, all of you, have been delivered from your greatest enemies—sin, death and the devil. Therefore, like David, we cry let us by the power of the Holy Spirit honor You dear Savior in our words and in our actions. PAUSE.
November, I want you to come up here and take this cross I made for you. Place it in your room as a constant reminder of Your Teacher Jesus Christ. This is called “The Cross of nails.” Notice everything is in sets of threes for the Trinity that created, redeemed and sanctified you—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are 6 sets of 3 nails, they are woven with 3 strand wires, and have 3 golden markings on it. And right in the center, you will see the gold circle to remind you of the crown that awaits those who remain faithful to the end. This cross is a teaching tool, to teach you who you are and whose you are. YOU BELONG TO Him who died and rose for you. He is Your Teacher for life. Hear, study and live by His Word and your life will be blessed beyond measure.
May the Lord continue to teach us all His Word that leads to eternal life, now and forever. Amen.
Now the peace of God...
SOLE DEO GLORIA