S-1383-19SAP/C 9/29/2013 Hymns: (O) #254 vv1-5; (S) #506; L.S. #255; 257; (C) # 254 vv 6-7
Texts: Daniel 10:10-14; 12:1-3; Revelation 12:7-12; Matthew 18:1-11
Theme: “The Messengers Carry the Message” (Daniel 10:10-11) St. Michael and All Angels
Question: “What message do you have for the world?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text is from the O.T. lesson: “And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.’ And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling” (Daniel 10:10-11).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I would like to say that I have not spoken to you the truth in love. As a messenger of the Gospel I have hurt you by what I have said and done. For that I pray that you would forgive me all of my sins and continue to join me in getting the true message of God’s grace to the world.
On this St. Michael and all angels day, there is only ONE message worthy of being proclaimed. It is the message that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! We have been saved from our enemies—satan, sin and death! We have been marked as belonging to God through the gift of Baptism! That our sins have been forgiven through the brutal event of the cross and the empty tomb! This message has been proclaimed throughout generations by angels, prophets, apostles and evangelists. The message is the same, but the messengers change from age to age. The messengers’ concern is only with the message. It is the message that is important. By the grace of God we too, have heard the message, and are called upon to continue proclaiming this blessed message.
Throughout all of Scripture we see God’s messengers carrying this message. Moses had a message to Pharaoh, “Let my people go” (Exodus 5:1). Joshua had a message to the people of Israel, “Choose you this day whom you shall serve” (Joshua 24:15). Nathan had a message to David, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). Isaiah had a message to the exiled, “Comfort my people says Your God” (Isaiah 40:1). The angel Michael had a message to Daniel “To stay firm” (Daniel 10:10-14). The angel Gabriel had a message to a young woman in Nazareth, “You shall conceive and bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save the people from their sins.” (Luke 1:31). Another angel appeared to Zacharias in the temple and told him, “Your wife Elizabeth will conceive and bring forth a son,” (Luke 1:13). The 7 angels spoke the message to the seven churches in Revelation (2-3). And the Apostles and Evangelists carried the massage to every corner of the earth. PAUSE.
Certainly, there are other messengers out there. We hear of wars and rumors of wars. We hear good news someone just had a baby, your brother or sister is getting married. Your aunt is celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss. You hear the message the crops are going to be good this year. All of these are good and wonderful messages, but they don’t compare with the ONLY true message of life and salvation. There is nothing like hearing the angels who shared the message with the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, “Fear not, for we bring you Good News of Great joy, today in the city of David a Savior has been born.” (Luke 10-11). Yes indeed the Savior of mankind has come. He lived among us. He suffered for us. He died for us. But the greatest news of all, also carried on the voices of angels at the empty tomb, “He is not here. He is risen, just as He said!” This is the greatest message that needs to be proclaimed in the loudest voice from the highest rooftops and moutaintops, from every pulpit to every person in the pews and on the streets!
This message will not be broadcast across the screen from Scott Pelly, Brian Williams, or Diane Sawyer. You will not hear it on CNN or Fox news, but you will read it in God’s holy book. God’s eternal message of love, forgiveness and salvation is stated clearly in it. You will hear it as you come to God’s Holy house to nurture your soul with the heavenly manna. You will benefit from it as you gather Bible study. And you will greatly rejoice as you pick up this precious message in the palm of your hands, read, learn and inwardly digest its comforting and life-changing message.
Isaiah said it well, when he spoke, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion. “Your God is Your King!” PAUSE.
Though we are called in baptism to live our lives as the messengers of Christ, yet at times we feel inadequate to share this good news with others. Satan even tells us we are NOT equipped to spread the message. Besides, you got a pastor that is his job let him do it. But brothers and sisters in Christ hear me well; the message can’t wait, it needs to be proclaimed, it needs to be shared, it needs to be uttered. How many people are dying daily without hearing the greatest message in the world? Think of the terrorists who are killing in the deceitful and evil name of Allah thinking they are doing his work. How many people are dying trying to get to heaven by their own righteous work, power and position in life? But none of these things will do, except the message of the Good News, that Jesus Christ is our ONLY savior. And He alone can open heaven’s doors for us.
Sadly, at times you and I get in the way of the message. We think, if only we can be less stringent, not teaching all of its truth, or calling sin for what it is—damming, then, we will reach others. We hear from many pulpits that sin doesn’t matter, as long as you have good intentions. Sin still kills damns and separates us from our holy God.
At other times we compromise what we stand for as Christians. We turn our faces away from the sins we are committing, or a brother is involved in. We say we don’t have to do what the Bible teaches. We don’t have to be faithful stewards of His good gifts. We don’t need to be in church or in Bible study. It is enough to give an hour in Church, but don’t you dare ask me to do anything else. I want to live my life without any restrictions.
On this Saint Michael and all angels day, you and I are indeed blessed, because God calls us to honor Him with our lives of service. Yes, the honor and privilege is for us as the redeemed of God to share the good news of our salvation.
To be sure God has called you in baptism to be a message carrier. You and I by the grace of God are the means and vehicle to share the great and most awesome news in the world with those around us. Just like a smile is contagious, so you and I ought to be carriers of this message of grace, love, hope and peace.
Unlike the dread of certain disease that can be contagious and deadly; you and I have a message to relate to others. We are simply messengers of the Message. And what is that message? That we have been saved by the mighty and precious arms of Christ from our sins. You and I have been bought back. You and I are guaranteed the eternal mansion in heaven that our Lord is preparing for us.
Yes, we are called to go out of our way and share the blessed news with all the world. Then begin by the Spirit’s power here in this place, in your home and your community and what the Lord will do through you. Don’t rely upon your own efforts to accomplish this blessed task, but look to the Savior who has equipped you in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. As children of God we can do no less, except joyfully share this message with the rest of the world.
Think, what would have happened if the apostles and evangelists didn’t do what the Lord asked them to proclaim. Where would we be? Lost, like many others who don’t know or believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior; on our way to hell. You and I have a great and blessed opportunity of sharing a message that will change the world. A message that will comfort any troubled soul. A message that will give hope to the hurting; help to the lost.
Indeed, brothers and sisters in Christ. There is only ONE MESSAGE to be shared, spoken and proclaimed. It is the message that Jesus Christ is the Only Savior from sin, death and the power of the devil. The angels of God could not wait to proclaim that a Savior was born to save mankind. And neither can we! I have a message for you today from God who said, “I have given my Son for you because I love you so much!” Jesus has a message for you, “I love you with every ounce of blood in me!” He loved you so much that He was willing to go to hell for you, rather than go to heaven without you. He loved you so much that (open arms) He died on the cross telling you, that He will not spare anything to have you with Him in heaven. What a wonderful Good News we have today. A Message of hope and peace! Calvary’s message is this: “Son, be of Good sheer, your sins are forgiven you!” Wow! What a message God gives us. Go home empowered by the Spirit’s power to be “messengers who carry the message.” What a message. A message that opened heavens doors for us. A message that has blotted all our sins from the Holy God of Israel. A message that tells us Satan has no power over us. To Him alone be all glory for now and throughout all eternity. AMEN.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA