Pastor Weise’s Sermon – We Are Dust

Pastor Weise's Sermon - We Shall See The Lord

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – We Are Dust

We Are Dust

Genesis 3.19/Joel 2.12-19/St. Matthew 6.1-6, 16-21
Ash Wednesday/March 6, 2019
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd/Good Shepherd Community Chapel, Sauk Rapids, MN
Rev. Keith R. Weise, pastor/chaplain

LISTEN TO SERMON

Invocation In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I We are here for one reason today.
We are here
because we are dust.
Dust you are
and to dust you shall return (Genesis 3.19)
God said to Adam after the first sin in the garden.
And that’s what he says to each of us today.
Dust you are
and to dust
YOU shall return. (Genesis 3.19)
God made us from the dust.
And
because we sin—
we die—
and
when we die—
just like our father Adam—
we will all return to the dust.
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II So today
we wear dust on our foreheads.
Ashes are really just dust—
palm branches burned
to speed up their natural return to the dust from which they were made.
And these ashes—
this dust we wear—
reminds us
and
the whole world—
that our bodies are destined for the same fate
as the palm branches from which these ashes were made.
We are all marching toward death. →
We are all headed for the grave.
We are all returning to dust.
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III Because we are all sinners
and
Because we are all dying—
God calls us to repentance.
St. Peter tells us that
The LORD is . . . not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3.9)
So today through the prophet Joel
God calls to us all—
Turn to me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.
. . . rend your heart, and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
An He relents from doing harm. (Joel 2.12-13)
IV Return to the God who made you from the dust.
Repent of your sin—
the sin you inherited from Adam
and
all the sins you’ve committed
in
thought
word
and
deed.
Repent
and return—
because the God who made you out of the dust
loves you
even though you don’t deserve it because of your sin—
and
he loves
you with an unending love.
Repent
and return—
because the LORD your God
is →
slow to anger
and
his kindness is great.
V God’s love for you is so great
that he sent his only-begotten Son—
(the king of heaven and earth—
and the means through which we were all made—)
God sent Jesus
to take up this dust we call our flesh
and rescue us from the everlasting death
we have earned for ourselves by our sin.
Christ’s mercy is so great
that he willingly took our sins away from us
and carried them all the way to the cross
and there he paid the price we owe—
and rescued us from the consequences of our sin.
God is slow to anger—
He’s not mad at you—
although he has perfectly good reason to be angry with us all.
And
God’s kindness is so great
that he invites us this very day
to give up our sin
to acknowledge our mortality
and
to return to him—
so we can live forever in the blessings of his love.
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VI You are dust.
I am dust.
It is true.
But this is also true.
Christ became dust, too—
that we might become like him—
perfect
eternal
and
filled with the blessings of God our heavenly Father.
Christ took on the dust of our flesh—
and after he suffered the agony and death of the cross—
he filled this dying dust with his divine glory.
And now—
that same glory
awaits all who put their faith in him.
You are dust—
but you are dust
destined for the glory of God!
VII So repent of your sins.
Repent today.
Repent throughout the season of Lent.
Repent of your sins
every day of your earthly life.
Return to the Lord your God—
through
prayer—
and
charity—
and
fasting.
Renew your self
at the cross of Christ.
Take your stand at the foot of the cross
and there—
Listen to every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD
and gladly hear and learn it.
Receive Christ’s gracious forgiveness in the Holy Absolution.
as he washes you clean in his precious blood.
Eat Christ’s body
and
Drink his blood
in certain faith
that by this great and holy gift
he forgives your sins
unites you to him
and
promises you life that never ends
in the light of heaven
and
in the presence of Almighty God.
VIII Repent—
and
Return to the Lord—
Because in his great kindness
he has promised
to deliver you from the dust—
to fill you with his glory
and
to welcome you into eternal life in the mansions of the Lord.
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IX We are dust
brothers and sisters.
But thanks be to God—
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ—
we are dust—
that is
purified by the blood of Jesus
glorified by his sacrifice
and
sanctified by his grace
for the eternal blessings of God
in the life of the world to come.
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X The ashes
placed on your forehead in the shape of the cross
say two things today.
First
They say—
You are dust and unto dust you shall return.
And
Second
They also say—
The Son of God
took up your dying dust
and
carried it all the way to the cross—
that there—
you could die with him
so that in the end
you will live with him.
You are dust.
To dust you shall return.
But thanks be to God—
Christ has
lifted you up out of the dust of death—
glorified the dust that is your flesh—
and
delivered you into everlasting life.
Praise God.
Amen.
Invocation In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Hymn of Response: Glory Be To Jesus.

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