Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Give Thanks!

Pastor Weise's Sermon - Remember the Sabbath, to Keep it Holy

Give Thanks!

Galatians 5.15-23/St. Luke 17.11-19

Trinity XIV/September 22, 2019

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN

Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

TEXTS

PRAYER OF THE DAY

O Lord, keep Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; and because of our frailty we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

 

EPISTLE READING                                               Galatians 5.15-23

15  . . . if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 

HOLY GOSPEL                                                         St. Luke 17.11-19

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

I          St. Paul tells us

that the fruit of the Spirit is

                        love

                        joy

                        peace

                                    longsuffering

                                    kindness

                                    goodness

                                                faithfulness

                                                gentleness

                                                and

                                                self-control.                                                                (Galatians 5.22-23)

 

II         The Holy Spirit

gives ALL these gifts

to ALL of us.

 

In Holy Baptism—

and through the powerful working of the Word of God—

every Christian receives all of these gifts

IN THEIR FULLNESS.

They are part of our identity as children of God.

 

So we love one another with a godly, sacrificial love.

 

We rejoice with our brothers and sisters in the salvation of God.

 

We strive for peace in this world while we live in the peace of Christ.

 

We suffer long—

we put up with lots of junk from lots of people—knowing Jesus puts up with us.

 

We’re kind.

 

We try to BE good, and DO good, and MAKE THINGS good.

 

We strive to be faithful to God.

 

We’re gentle with one another and never harsh.

 

And

We control ourselves in every situation.

 

III       When we do those things—

it’s not because

we tried real hard              à

or

we’ve finally achieved some spiritual maturity other people haven’t.

 

When we do those things

it’s because

the Spirit

has given us these gifts—

has beaten down the sinful flesh that afflicts us all.

 

When we express the gifts of the Spirit in our lives

it’s not because of us—

it’s because

the Holy Spirit

has led us into the holy ways of God.

________________________________________________________________

 

IV        St. Paul’s list of Spiritual gifts from Galatians

is probably familiar to many of you.

 

But in one particular way

it is incomplete.

 

(St. Paul isn’t wrong—I’m not saying that—

there’s just more to say.)

 

In the gospel today

we see another gift of the Spirit—

a gift which brings us to the feet of Jesus—

the gift of

THANKFULNESS.

APPRECIATION.

GRATITUDE.

 

Whatever you call it—

giving thanks to the Lord our God

is also a Spiritual gift—

just like the nine St. Paul mentions in Galatians.

 

And just like those gifts—

the gift of gratitude is part of our Christian identity.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

 

V         In the Gospel

Jesus heals ten lepers.

 

He hears them crying out

Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.        à                                                      (St. Luke 17.13)

                                    So he says—

Go, show yourselves to the priests.

                                                And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 

                                   

And ONE of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at [Jesus’] feet, GIVING HIM THANKS.

 

And [Jesus] said to him, Arise, go your way.  Your faith has made you well.                                                                              (St. Luke 19.14-16, 19)

 

            What brought that man back to Jesus?

The Holy Spirit did!

 

What lead that man to worship Christ with thanksgiving in his heart?

Gratitude did!

 

What made that man well?

His faith did—

because in faith he received the gift of healing Jesus gave.

 

When the Holy Spirit gives you gifts—

he means for you to use them

in FAITHFULNESS to Christ

and

in THANKSGIVING to God—

and that’s exactly what this man did.

The Holy Spirit

moved him to faith.

poured gratitude into his heart.

and

led him to the feet of Jesus

to give expression to both.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

VI        So what gifts has God given you?

What gifts has the Holy Spirit poured down on you?

 

The gifts St. Paul talks about?

Yes.

 

Body and soul

Eyes, ears, and all your members

your reason and your senses?                        (Small Catechism.  Creed.  First Art. Exp.)

                                                Yes.

 

Redemption and rescue from sin?

Deliverance from death and the power of the devil

by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ?

Yes.                                                                 (Small Catechism.  Second Art.  Exp.)

 

The promise of healing

from all YOUR diseases—

just like those ten men in the gospel?                                                  (Psalm 103.3)

Yes.

 

A thankful heart filled with gratitude for all these gifts?                                           (Psalm 118)

YES!

 

VII      God has blessed you richly with His gifts—

so give thanks!

 

You don’t have be as dramatic as the man in the gospel.

 

You don’t have to throw yourself down on the floor in front of the altar here in

church.

(You can, but you don’t have to.)

 

You don’t have to stop what you’re doing, and turn around and run back here to church.

 

All you have to do is

say what that Samaritan said.

Say

Thank you.

Thank you, Jesus!

 

Thank you

for pouring out your Holy Spirit on me

with all the gifts that he gives.

 

Thank you

for making me

and preserving me

and getting me ready for eternity.

 

Thank you

for washing me in your blood

poured down from the holy cross.

 

Thank you

for

forgiving my sins

for making me holy

and                 à

for defeating death for me.

 

Thank you

for the healing I know is coming to me one day.

 

 

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

 

VIII    You can say, Thank You

right where you are—

wherever you are.

 

You can say Thank You

no matter what time of day it is.

 

You can be thankful

out loud

or in silence—

 

with your mouth

or with your heart—

 

in public

or in private

it doesn’t matter.

 

God has given you great and precious gifts.

You give him thanks.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

IX       That all sounds good pastor—

but really

what do I have to be thankful for?

 

I’m older than I ever wanted to be.

I’m sicker than anyone should ever have to be.

I can’t get around.

I don’t get to live in my own house.

Most of my friends are dead.

And

Pretty much everybody I know except my kids

are in just as bad a shape as I am?

 

Why should I give thanks?

 

X         Ok.  Fair enough.               à

But even when all those things are true about you—

even then—

God still gives you his gifts.

 

And way too often—

we take those precious gifts for granted

and we fail to give thanks.

 

The nine men in the gospel were like that.

They received Christ’s gift of healing—

and maybe—just maybe

they were still so worried about everything else

that was still wrong in their lives—

they didn’t fully realize

what they had just been given.

 

Oh, look!  I’m healed!

                                                            And that was that.

 

                                    Maybe they made it all the way to the priests.

Maybe they didn’t.

 

For whatever reason—

None of them recognized the gift they’d just been given.

None of them recognized the One who had just given them the gift.

None of them made it back to Jesus.

They took their gift of healing—

and didn’t give it a second thought.

 

XI       I’ve done that.

You’ve done it, too, I bet.

We all do it.

 

It happens

when we let

our troubles

and

our trials

and

our struggles

blind us to all the good gifts God gives us in Christ Jesus.

 

So today—

the Holy Spirit holds that thankful leper from the gospel before us

to lead us

to repentance—

and

into heartfelt thanksgiving  in the presence of Christ Jesus our Lord.

So follow his lead—

and repent.

 

Repent

of dwelling so much

on what’s

or

on what you don’t have

that you become blinded to the gifts God gives you.

 

Repent

of focusing on your struggles rather than the gifts of God.

 

Repent

of not valuing and cherishing all the gifts God gives you.

 

Repent

of ignoring the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life.

 

Repent

of not using the gifts Christ gives you by virtue of your baptism.

 

Repent

of failing to Thank God for everything he gives you!

 

XII      REPENT!—

And then—

GIVE THANKS.

 

Speak your thanks to Jesus out loud with your mouth.

Sing your thanks to Jesus with your voice and with your heart.

Think your thanks to Jesus in your mind and in your soul.

And

Live in thanksgiving to Jesus for all he has done

by living in the gifts the Holy Spirit gives you.

 

Nothing shows gratitude to Jesus

more than being a person

who lives their life

as a heartfelt expression of

love

joy

peace

longsuffering

kindness

goodness

gentleness

faithfulness              à

self-control—

AND GRATITUDE to God.

 

So give thanks.

 

Give thanks to the Lord your God

because he has done great things for you!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

XIII    Give thanks—

Because in the gospel today—

Jesus shows us what he will do for ALL of us on the Last Day.

 

You—

Me—

All the saints—

We will see Jesus coming to us

on the clouds

and

in all his glory

as he descends from heaven on the Day of the Lord.    (I Thessalonians 4)

 

Perhaps at that moment we will cry out—

Jesus, Master, have mercy on US!

 

And without a doubt—

Our Lord Jesus Christ will say—

Arise! 

                                    and

                                    Come with me!

                                    Your faith has made you well.

 

And then—in the beauty of eternity—

filled with God’s glory

filled with the Holy Spirit—

we will give thanks to Christ for all eternity

with that healed leper from the gospel—

and with all the saints of God.

 

XIV     So give thanks to God.

 

Give thanks NOW.

Give thanks ALWAYS.

 

Because with every gift God gives—

He gives you a preview of heaven

and

he give us all

a glimpse of eternal life.

 

Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good.

            And His mercy endures forever.                                                                                  (Psalm 118.1)

Amen.

 

Invocation    In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

Hymn of Response:  Create in Me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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