Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Previews from God

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

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Previews from God

I Kings 17.17-24/St. Luke 7.11-17

Trinity XVI/October 6, 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, we pray that Your grace may always go before and follow after us, that we may continually be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

 

I Kings 17.17-24

17 Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. 18 So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?”

19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” 21 And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” 22 Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.

23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!”

24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.”  (NKJV)

 

St. Luke 7.11-17

11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.” 17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.  (NKJV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

I          When you go to the movies—

before the movie starts

there’s always at least one preview—

 

Little snippets of a movie

that will soon come in out—

to show you

who’s in it

and

what it’s about.

 

The preview is meant

to prepare you for the movie

so you will come to the theatre and experience it

when it hits the big screen.

 

II         Today—

The prophet Elijah

and

Jesus himself

give us TWO previews.

 

These aren’t movie previews, though—

These are previews of the day of resurrection.

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III       In I Kings—the prophet Elijah

is staying the house of a widow in Zarephath.

 

For many days—

God has miraculously provided

this widow

her son

and

Elijah

enough food to live off

from just a little oil and a handful of flour.

 

By his mercy

God has sustained them

during a drought that plagues the whole land.

 

But that’s not the greatest miracle that happens here.

 

 

IV        One day—

the widow’s son becomes sick and dies.

. . . his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him 

we read in I Kings.                                                                        (I Kings 17.17)

 

The woman accuses Elijah

of making God remember her sins

and killing her only boy.                                                                         (I Kings 17.18)

 

So Elijah takes the boy—

carries him upstairs—

and then prays over him.

O Lord my God, [he prays,] let this child’s soul come back to him. 

(I Kings 17.21)

 

And that’s exactly what happens.

. . . the Lord heard the voice of Elijah;

                        and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived.                    (I Kings 17.23)

 

            See, your son lives!

                        Elijah tells the woman.                                                                                      (I Kings 17.23)

And because of this great miracle

the woman confesses her faith in Elijah’s prophetic word.

Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth—                                                       (I Kings 17.24)

                                                she says.

 

V         That little boy was dead—

but now he is alive!

 

And that’s the preview Elijah shows us today.

It’s a preview of what’s to come

for YOU

and

for ME!

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

VI        In the gospel—

Jesus himself shows us another preview of the resurrection of the dead.

 

Another widow—

this time in the town of Nain—

is following her son’s funeral procession to the cemetery.

 

The dead man was the woman’s only son.

 

Her husband is already dead.

She has no other children.

From now on—

to eat—

to live—

to exist—

she will have to beg—

and depend entirely on the charity of others.

 

But when Jesus comes—

he approaches her and says—

Do not weep!                                                                                             (St. Luke 7.13)

 

            Then he touches the coffin

and tells the dead man—

Young man, I say to you, arise!                                                           (St. Luke 7.14)

 

            And that’s exactly what happens.

The man who was dead

sits up in the coffin

and starts to talk to his pall bearers.                                        (St. Luke 7.15)

 

So Jesus gives him back to his mother—

whole

healthy

and

most importantly—

very much alive.                                                                                       (St. Luke 7.16)

 

That’s the preview Jesus shows us today.

It too—is a preview of what’s to come

for YOU

and

for ME!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

 

VII      On the Last Day—

the great and glorious Day of the Lord—

the time of previews will be over—

and we will see the whole show.

 

On that great day—

Jesus will come—

TO US.

 

And it won’t matter if we’ve been in our graves

for 10 minutes

or for 10 million years.

On that great day—

Jesus will come to the place where your body rests—

and

he will pray over you

like the prophet Elijah prayed in Zarephath.

he will speak to you

like he spoke to the dead man in Nain.

 

O Lord, I pray—

Jesus will say to our heavenly Father—

let the souls of the saints come back to them!

 

Young man

            Young woman—

                        Old man-

                        Old woman—

                                    I say to YOU—

                                                ARISE!

 

And that’s exactly what will happen.

 

VIII    At the sound of Jesus’ voice—

YOU—

will rise up from your grave

and you will talk to those around you.

 

At that moment—

YOU will wake up from the dead

and Jesus will return YOU

to God the Father Almighty—

whole

healthy

and

very much alive.

 

You will

stand up—

brush yourself off—

and as you look around

you will see

Christ in all his glory—

and

all the saints filled with glory—

and you will be filled with heavenly glory, too.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

IX       These two resurrections in our readings for today

are a preview—

a great and wonderful preview from God—

of what will happen

to YOU

and

to ME

and

to all the saints of God

when Christ comes again in glory.

________________________________________________________________

 

X         These resurrections in the Bible—

YOUR resurrection on the Last Day—

They are not some Hollywood special effect.

This is no movie magic make-believe.

 

The resurrection

is God’s greatest promise

and

God’s honest truth—

You will rise from the dead and live forever with our

God!

 

And to increase your faith in that promise

God doesn’t just give you a preview

He shows you the whole thing.

 

Today God makes YOU a witness to a resurrection

just like he made those two women in the Bible witnesses to resurrection—

Only this time it’s not the resurrection of a widow’s son—

This time it’s the resurrection of his OWN Son

to which God makes you a witness—

and he does it all through his Word.

 

XI       Listen.

Watch.

and

See the resurrection of our Lord.

 

In Romans, St. Paul says

Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.  Death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.                                                         (Romans 6.9-10)

 

In Acts, St. Peter says—

Christ, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God . . [was] crucified, and put to death; [but] God raised Him up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 

(Acts 2.23-24)

And Christ Jesus himself

reveals his own resurrection to YOU—

as he reveals himself after his resurrection

1)         to the disciples on the road to Emmaus.               (St. Luke 24.30-31)

                                                and

2)        to Peter in Jerusalem.                                                    (St. Luke 24.34)

                                                and

3)        to the disciples gathered in the upper room.      (St. John 20.19-29)

 

 

XII      And here’s the kicker.

God doesn’t just SHOW you Jesus’ resurrection.

He actually gives us a part IN IT!

 

St. Paul says—

. . . do you not know that as many of us as were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of his death, certainly we also shall be [united to him] in the likeness of his resurrection.                                                       (Romans 6.3-5)

 

You’ve got more than a preview—

You’ve got the whole movie—

and you know exactly how it ends—

with YOU rising from the dead.

 

In Baptism—

it’s already happened.

God has united you with Christ—

both

in his death on the cross

and

in his resurrection from the grave.

 

You have died with Christ.

You have risen with Christ.

And

When Christ comes again

he will raise you up to share in his eternal glory.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

XIII    Here and now—

I know things are not always good.

 

Yes,

we are blessed—

we are forgiven—

we are redeemed and beloved children of God—

But we still struggle.

 

All of us—

me included—

we struggle.

We struggle

with our health

with our finances

with our flesh

with temptation

with the devil

with sin

and with so many things.

 

Day by day—

Hour by hour—

Minute by minute—

we do spiritual

and sometimes physical

battle—

with the devil

with the world

and

with our sinful flesh.

 

The life we live here and now

can at times

be harder than any of us ever expected.

 

XIV     So today—

In the midst of all our

struggles and battles

                        right in the middle of all our

trials and tribulations

In the midst of all that—

The Holy Spirit holds these two resurrections before us

to strengthen us in our faith

and

to increase our hope

and

to give us a preview of what awaits us on the Last Day.

 

God shows us these two resurrections today

to build us up in our most holy faith

and in our sacred conviction

that Christ is coming—

and that when he comes

he will do for us

what he did

for that dead boy in Zarephath

and

what he did

for that dead young man in Nain.

He will raise us up from the dead

and

welcome us into eternal life.

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XV      Hold on to that promise.

 

Hold on to Christ’s promise of

resurrection to everlasting life.

 

Watch God’s previews over and over again

as you read through these passages of Scripture before us today.

 

Re-live and receive his promises new every single day

as you return to your baptism in faith and hope—

and find there your eternal connection

to Christ and his resurrection

in the promise God has put in that sacred bath.

 

And when Christ comes again in all his glory—

just like these previews have revealed—

He will raise you up.

 

THAT

is

EXACTLY

what will happen.

 

So come, Lord Jesus.

Come quickly.

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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