S-1410 4SAE/3A 2/02/2014 Hymns: (O) #336; (S) #506; (C) #49
Texts: 1 Samuel 1:21-28; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-32
Theme: “Appointed, Anointed and Sent” (1 Samuel 1:26-28)
Question: “Have you been selected to represent a group?” Armour, SD Lutheran Hour Sunday Observance
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! Alleluia! The text for the LH Sunday is from the O.T. lesson “And she said, ‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord’” (1 Samuel 1:26-28).
INTRODUCTION: In Nomine Iesu.
Most precious people of God, every week I begin my sermon saying, “Christ is Risen!”, and you respond saying, “He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!” Today as we observe LHM Sunday is no different. And thus, I repeat Christ is Risen because in HIM is the power, the purpose and the privilege of Living Eternal Lives for others as ones sent out in His name! Amen! Pause.
You know the fact well. Our world has changed, right? We live in a messed up and confused world…right? Now, if I were to tell you that people need Jesus Christ as their Savior, more than ever….that’s a no brainer, right? BUT…what if I were also to tell you that you and I, as Christian people are truly appointed, anointed and sent out into this world to tell those very same people about Jesus. What would you say? Pause.
Well, if we are like most believers, looking at all the “forces that seem to be set against the message of Jesus Christ,” and the challenges of being God’s messengers, it seems like this would not only be a difficult task, it would seem to be downright impossible. And we wouldn’t want to touch this topic with a 10’ pole. Pause.
Yet today, as we listen to the inspired Word in the book of Samuel, we see the appointing, anointing and sending of Samuel to be God’s mouth-piece all the days of his life. Today we see Hanna the once barren woman, now by the grace of God given birth to a son whom she called Samuel, meaning God heard me. Yes, God heard her pleas and petitions. God heard the cries of a woman who wanted a child desperately. He heard the ache and pain of her empty womb and bosom and fulfilled her desires. For this reason she dedicate this child to God’s service.
What a heartwarming story of a woman who loved God so much that she was willing to dedicate her son to spend the rest of his life sharing the love of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What a woman of faith, who prayed for a child so that she could give him up for the sole purpose of his life’s mission is serving the King of glory. What a woman with a vision to see the needs of faithful servants in God’s kingdom. PAUSE.
Certainly, Samuel was appointed, anointed and sent to preach and teach the Israelites about the gracious God who is mighty in power, whose mercy is freely given, and whose knows no limits. In the next chapter, the author tells us that every year his mother went up to see him and made him a new robe to minister in the presence of God Almighty. (1 Samuel 2:18-19).
Did you know that same practice is carried out today in my old country? As a matter of fact my older brother Saeed and his wife (Salwa) were unable to conceive. For many years they prayed to God to give them a child. After 12 years of marriage the Lord heard their prayers, my sister-in-law dressed my nephew Sharbel (whose name means good news) with a priestly garment (for 5 years), indicating to all who saw him, this child is dedicated to the Lord because He is a gift from the Lord.
Likewise, we are dressed with the garment that tells the world that we are dedicated in the service of the Lord to the world. No, you don’t see us parading with a priestly garment. But we have been dressed with the garments of salvation through the gift of baptism. We have the garment of Christ’s holiness. We are, after all, just like Samuel, appointed, anointed and sent to a world that desperately needs to hear the message of the cross and the empty tomb.
This is not simply the work of few people, pastors, missionaries, evangelists and teachers. No, this is our great privilege as His redeemed people. This is our great honor to be Christ-like to the world. This is our joy to be sent and tell the world what the Savior has done for us.
But why is so difficult for us to do? Why don’t we take it to heart? Why are we not involved more in spreading the good news of Christ saving us? Why? Because we think of our time as mine alone to do with it as I please. We think I don’t have time for this nonsense. I am busy working, raising a family and putting food on the table. This is not what God called me to be. He truly has called us to be His light in this dark world of ours that is confused about who He is and what He has done for them.
Therefore hear the story of another mother who had a Son who was appointed, anointed and sent. He was not born to a barren woman but a virgin. Her name was Mary. Her long-promised Son is Jesus. He was appointed to this task of ministry already in the fall into Sin in the Garden. It was there that the Lord promised that a Savior would come. Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Mary was to be that Savior. He was anointed for that priestly office in the waters of the Jordan by His cousin John. There under the testimony of the Father and Spirit, Jesus the Son of God was anointed for this work. He would be both a prophet declaring God’s Word and also the Priest who would make the ultimate sacrifice. It was for this sacrifice Jesus was sent. He was sent to die. The cross is where the work is done. Jesus, the very Son of God and Son of Man, appointed Savoir, Anointed Prophet and Priest and sent to sacrifice all of this for us and more! He is like us so that we may be like Him. This is more than a cute story of a young girl and a baby. It is the story of our Salvation! Of A virgin and a Son who would do exactly what the Father commands for the sake of all Humanity! PAUSE.
Saints in Christ, I pray that you would be among those appointed, anointed and sent. What if each person in this house of worship remembered the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus that they hear about weekly, His loving sacrifice on the cross, His resurrection from the grave, and His blessing of new life for each of us through His Word and the blessing of baptism. And if each of us believer share that blessed Gospel story with five people in his or her life this week. What if each of these people who heard the story of salvation was changed by that powerful message? And what if those five people share the Gospel with five other people? Love others as Christ has indeed loved them! Share His compassion as He gave it for them. Go to others as Jesus had come for them! PAUSE.
You, who have been appointed, anointed and sent to be a voice to the world. I like to ask you few questions: Have you ever been selected to represent a group? Perhaps you were the top scholar in your high school class and received the honor to speak at your graduation. Maybe you were chosen to represent your congregation at a District function. Maybe you were selected to be on a committee at your church to study and plan the ministry of your congregation. Maybe it was something as simple as being told by your mom when you were little to tell your family that dinner was ready. No matter how big or small, being selected to speak for a group or an individual is an honor.
When you are chosen to speak for someone, it happens because you are trusted. And that trust carries with it a great responsibility. You receive a message, and you speak with the authority of whoever sent you. It's a job you take seriously. That sort of honor and responsibility was given to us as the redeemed and blood-bought children of God to serve Him all the days of our lives, just like Samuel was. As members of Christ’s family, we have responsibilities too. These are our privileges. They are efforts we put forward in willing, grateful response to what the Savior has done for our salvation. Of course, such actions cover our whole lives. We want everything in word and deed to be done to His glory. But one privilege stands out above all others. That’s the work the risen Savior has given us—to be His witnesses. We who have seen His cross and empty tomb tell others. We share with the needy the good news of the forgiveness of sins.
Perhaps you can’t become a pastor or a teacher. Perhaps you can’t fly to distant continents or move to expanding areas of our country. But you can still witness. You can tell the child on your lap, the neighbor down the street, the coworker on the job about the Jesus who loves them. You can speak your prayers and bring your offerings for the gospel-spreading efforts of this body of believers. PAUSE.
I know it is a challenge for us. Yes, I know that it is difficult at times. But that is what our Savior has called us to be. And it is the greatest honor and privilege bestowed upon us. Anointed with His gracious Word, appointed to His mission, we are sent into this world as His agents of grace….and He can get the job done with people just like you and me.
That’s what we’re celebrating today on this Lutheran Hour Sunday….we love being partners in this grand mission, being your public voice of grace, in the US, Canada and in over 33 countries around the world. Christ to the nations, the nations to the church, through appointed, anointed and sent messengers of His eternal good news, now and forever! Amen!
Now the peace of God…
SOLI DEO GLORIA