Pastor Weise’s Sermon – There’s No Place Like Home

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

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – There’s No Place Like Home

Ephesians 2.13-22/St. Luke 14.15-24

Trinity II/June 20, 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, since You never fail to help and govern those whom You nurture in Your steadfast fear and love, work in us a perpetual fear and love of Your holy name; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

Epistle Reading                                                                                                                         Ephesians 2.13-22

13 But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

 

The Holy Gospel                                                                                                     St. Luke 14.15-24

15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

I          At the end of the movie

The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy clicks her ruby-slippered heels together and says—

There’s no place like home.

                                                There’s no place like home.

                                                There’s no place like home.

 

            And then she wakes up back in Kansas—

and all is well.

 

Today—

we’re no actors in any movie—

much less a classic like The Wizard of Oz

but what was true for Dorothy in that movie

is even more true for us as Christians.

 

There really  IS

NO PLACE LIKE HOME.

 

II         St. Paul tells us

that we are

no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints—

                                                and MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD!           (Ephesians 2.19)

 

            In Jesus’ parable in the Gospel—

the Master—

who stands in for God the Father—

says—

Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that MY HOUSE MAY BE FILLED.           (St. Luke 14.23)

 

God wants YOU

in his house—

because his house

is your home.

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III       And we all know how important home is.

 

I bet if you closed your eyes right now—

you can see the home in which you grew up—

Your bedroom.

The table where you ate with your parents and brothers and sisters.

The whole thing.

 

And I also bet

you can see the home where you lived before you moved here.

Where everything was.

The special meanings certain places and objects held.

 

Home gets in your blood.

It gets in your heart.

It becomes part of who you are—

because it’s the one place on earth

that’s yours

that’s special—

                                    where nobody else has a say over how things are or what goes on.

 

There’s no place like home.

 

IV        But unfortunately—

we all know

way to well—

that our earthly homes are temporary.

 

The memories may last—

but the buildings don’t.

 

We move.

We give up things that are special to us.

 

We get sick.

We get old.

And somehow—

we’ve all ended up here.

 

Yes—

it’s home NOW

but it’s not home HOME.

 

I doubt there are very many of you who would say of Good Shepherd—

wonderful  as it is—

and necessary as it is—

I doubt there are few of you who say about this place—

There’s no place like home.

 

V         But there is place you can say that about.

 

You can say

There’s no place like home

about your eternal home.

You can say it

about your place in the household of God.

about your mansion in the house of the Lord.

Listen to Jesus as he promises YOU

that home—today.

 

He says—

In My Father’s house are many mansions.  If it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place FOR YOU (!)—

And if I go an prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO!         (St. John 14.2-3)

 

            Jesus went

all the way to the cross

to prepare a home for you.

all the way to the grave

to prepare a home for you.

all the way down to hell

to defeat the devil

and prepare a home for you.

 

And now he has gone

all the way to the right hand of the Father

into the heavenly mansions of God

to prepare a home for you.

 

VI        And that home

our heavenly home—

is a home like no other.

 

In our heavenly home—

God lives with us and we live with God.

We are his people and he is our God.

 

In our heavenly home—

God wipes away our tears

God takes away our suffering

God wipes out death altogether.

 

He takes away

our sorrow

our crying

our pain

and

our yearning for a home to call our own.

 

In our heavenly home

Jesus takes us by the hand

and introduces us

to all the saints and fellow members of the household of God

who have gone into glory before us.

In our heavenly home

Jesus changes

our earthly poverty into heavenly riches

our wretched illness into perfect health

our fallen weakness into resurrection strength

and

our damnable sinfulness into divine and holy perfection.

 

In our heavenly  home

we will see Jesus face to face forever—

and by his grace

we will know the peace of God that passes all understanding

all the way down to our bones.

 

In our heavenly home

we will truly say from the depths of our souls—

There is

no place

like home.

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VII      So listen to God today.

 

Answer his invitation—

when he invites YOU—

to come home.

 

Don’t be like those people in Jesus’ parable

who all had better things to do.

 

I don’t care how nice

how nice your “land” is

or

how wonderful your “oxen” are

or

how lovely your “spouse” is—

nothing on this earth—absolutely nothing—

can compare to

the glories

and

the wonder

and

the beauty

and

the blessing

0f the home Christ has made ready for you in heaven.

 

VIII    So come home when God calls you.

Come home.

 

Come home right now—

by joining with all your fellow citizens and saints

in worshipping God and receiving his gifts

every chance you get.

 

Come home—

by repenting of your sins

and putting away every earthly love

that draws you away from the love of the Lord your God.

 

Come home—

by listening to God’s word

and holding it sacred in your heart.

 

Come home—

by eating Christ’s body and drinking his blood—

as he comes to you in his holy supper.

 

Come home—

by joining with all the saints in heaven and on earth

in saying your prayers

and offering up

your

hymns

and

psalms

and

spiritual songs

to the Lord your God.

 

Answer your Lord’s invitation—

and come home!

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IX       And when your last hour comes—

when you breathe your last upon this earth—

Jesus will have just two special words for you—

The two most precious words you will ever hear

When you die—

Jesus will say—

Welcome home.

 

And then you will say with an understanding beyond everything we know now—

There is      —         no place     —         like home.              //////////

X         Sing:              Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling;

Calling for you and for me
See on the portals He’s waiting and watching;
Watching for you and for me.

 

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, “O sinner come home.”

 

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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