Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Remember the Sabbath, to Keep it Holy

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

Pastor Weise’s Sermon – Remember the Sabbath, to Keep it Holy

Proverbs 25.6-14/St. Luke 14.1-11

Trinity XVII/October 13, 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

Lord, we implore You, grant Your people grace to withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds to follow You, the only God; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

 

OLD TESTAMENT READING                             Proverbs 25.6-14

Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
And do not stand in the place of the great;
For it is better that he say to you,
“Come up here,”
Than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince,
Whom your eyes have seen.

Do not go hastily to court;
For what will you do in the end,
When your neighbor has put you to shame?
Debate your case with your neighbor,
And do not disclose the secret to another;
10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame,
And your reputation be ruined.

11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold
In settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold
Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.

13 Like the cold of snow in time of harvest
Is a faithful messenger to those who send him,
For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

14 Whoever falsely boasts of giving
Is like clouds and wind without rain.

 

HOLY GOSPEL                                                            St. Luke 14.1-11

1 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

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

 

Text

1 Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him regarding these things.                                                                                      (St. Luke 14.1-6)

 

I          The third commandment of the Lord our God is—

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.                     (Exodus 20.8;Deuteronomy 5.12)

 

            For God’s people—

especially during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry—

this was a very important commandment.

 

What you could do on the Sabbath—

and what you could not do on the Sabbath—

was very much regulated by the religious authorities.

 

On the Sabbath

You could not write.

You could not sew.

You could not cook.

 

You couldn’t put out a fire.

You could only walk so many steps.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activities_prohibited_on_Shabbat)

And according to some of the Pharisees—

you weren’t even supposed to heal a person on the Sabbath.

 

II         So some of these Pharisees put Jesus to the test.

 

They invite Jesus over to visit—

as well as a man who has dropsy—

(dropsy is what we now call edema—

a swelling of the limbs

due to congestive heart failure or some other ailment.)

 

So the Pharisees invite this sick man

AND Jesus to dinner on the Sabbath.

And then they watch Jesus like a hawk—

Will he heal the sick man—or will he not?

 

III       Jesus knows what they’re up to—

so he beats them to the punch—

Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? he asks.                                     (St. Luke 14.3)

 

But they kept silent.

 

And [Jesus] took [the man] and healed him, and let him go.

 

Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him regarding these things.                                                   (St. Luke 14.4-6)

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IV        By healing this man in their presence

Jesus shows the Pharisees—

and us today

what he says elsewhere in the gospel.

 

The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.  Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.                                                                     (St. Mark 2.27-28)

 

V         God made the Sabbath for us—for YOU—

to rest and spend time with him.

 

And Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.

 

When he heals that sick man on the Sabbath

Jesus frees him from the burden of his illness

and grants him rest with God.

This healing is the ultimate good use of the Sabbath.

 

So is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?

Absolutely it is—

especially when Jesus does it.

 

To be healed on the Sabbath

is to be set free

to worship God

and

to receive his heavenly gifts.

To be healed then

is to be welcomed in the Sabbath rest of Almighty God.

And that’s exactly what Jesus does

for the man with dropsy in the Gospel

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VI        Just like the third commandment was very important for God’s people

during Jesus’ earthly ministry—

it is still very important for us today.

God still says—

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.                             (Exodus 20.8;Deuteronomy 5.12)

 

So how should we keep this commandment of our God?

How should YOU use the Sabbath?

 

Well—

In the Small Catechism

Luther tells us.

We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.    (SC.  X Comm. III.  Exp)

 

VII      We keep the Sabbath

by cherishing God’s Word

as it is read and preached in our midst.

by enthroning God’s word in our heart

as the true and infallible Word of the Lord that it is—

the only source and norm

for leading our Christian life.

by gladly hearing and learning God’s word—

AND

by giving thanks

that by His word—

                                                Christ gives us

                                                the very same thing he gave that man with dropsy—

Healing from the hand of God!

 

That’s how Christ keeps the Sabbath—

by HEALING YOU!

 

By his word

Christ forgives your trespasses

and heals your sinful soul.

Christ gives you life

and heals you of the harmful effects of injury and disease

and even the power of death.

Christ saves your body and soul for everlasting life

and heals you from the evil that permeates your flesh—

and the world around you.

 

VIII    Christ heals YOU on the Sabbath—

because he is the Lord of the Sabbath.

 

Christ keeps the Sabbath—

by giving you what God created the Sabbath for—

rest and relief from all your burdens

and

healing of all your afflictions.  That’s how Christ keeps the Sabbath.

IX       So—

We, too, use the Sabbath for what God intended.

 

We listen to God’s word

and hold it sacred as we gladly hear and learn it.

 

We set aside (at least) one day each week

to receive God’s gifts

of

forgiveness

life

and

salvation

through the Word of the Lord.

 

We rest in the power of God’s word.

And we find our peace with God.

 

That’s what the Sabbath was made for—

for God to fill us with his blessing.

 

And when we use the Sabbath like that—

we remember

we keep

we observe

the Sabbath faithfully before the Lord—

and we obey the Third Commandment.

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X         So what if something happens that prevents you from keeping the Sabbath this way?

 

What if something happens that keeps you from receiving God’s gifts?

and

you can’t come to church one Sunday?

or

you don’t get your devotion done one day?

 

Well—

If you don’t come to worship

because you don’t want to

or you don’t like to

or you just don’t feel like it—

If you don’t do your devotions

because you don’t think you should have to—

If you avoid the Word and work of God for your salvation—

on a Sunday or any other day—

you are breaking the third commandment

and sinning against the Lord, your God.

 

If that’s the case, repent!

 

Turn away from that sin—

and set your heart to join God’s people

whenever and wherever God is giving out his gifts through his Word.

 

Heed the words of Hebrews, chapter 10—

and take them to heart—

. . . let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER, AS IS THE MANNER OF SOME, BUT EXHORTING ONE ANOTHER, AND SO MUCH MORE AS YOU SEE THE DAY APPROACHING. (!)

(Hebrews 10.24-25)

 

XI       But if you miss worship or devotions or Bible Study

because you’re helping someone in need—

that’s a different story.

 

If one of your brothers and sisters in the faith—

or one of your neighbors—regardless of their faithfulness—

if anyone you know

stands in urgent need of your help on the Sabbath—

then use the Sabbath to help them!

 

Listen to Jesus.

Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?                                           (St. Luke 14.5)

 

God has given us the Sabbath

so we can take part in his rest

and

receive his gifts!

So if someone you know needs your help

to make that even a possibility—

help them.

 

That’s exactly what Jesus did on the Sabbath in the gospel—

he healed the man with dropsy

and welcomed him into the rest of God.

So you—

do the same—

even if on the way to Church you run into someone who needs your help.

Help them!

And by your love welcome them into

the Sabbath rest

and the saving grace of God.                  à

Then come to Church.

Or if church is over—come the next time.

 

The Sabbath is not your God—

            Jesus is!

And if he leads you to someone who needs you help

on a Sunday morning—

then help them the best you can—

and do your best to welcome them into God’s Sabbath

rest in Christ.

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XI       When that happens—

When God gives you something other than church or devotions to do on your Sabbath—

don’t fret.

 

God has given us the Sabbath

not just once

or

even just once a week.

 

God has given us every day

as a holy day to receive his grace.

 

XII      By his grace

Christ makes every single day holy for us.

 

St. Paul says

One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike.  Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. 

(Romans 14.5-6)

 

What St, Paul is saying is—

Any day will do.

 

It doesn’t have to be Sunday.

It certainly can be

but any day will do.

 

Any day will do

for hearing the Word of the Lord.

for cherishing God’s Word and his gifts in your heart.

for receiving the healing and the sacred rest Christ gives us through his Word.

Any day will do.

à

 

So

Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy—

                        on Sunday, like you’re doing now—

as the Word of God

transforms your heart

and

glorifies your heart and soul

before the Lord.

on Wednesday

as other pastors come and share the grace of God with you

through his holy Word.

any time the saints gather to listen to God and receive his gifts.

 

at Worship

at Bible Study

at Hymn Sing

during your own private devotions

 

AND

when your neighbor needs your help.

 

XIII    Every day you observe the Sabbath in such faith in Christ—

know that Jesus is observing the Sabbath too.

In his sacred Sabbath observance

Jesus

gives you his grace.

helps you with his healing

relieves you with his rest

and

enlightens you with his everlasting blessing.

 

And he does it all—

ON THE SABBATH (!)—

for every day given us by the Lord

is the day of his Sabbath blessing.

 

This is the day that the Lord has made.

            We will rejoice and be glad in it.                                                                                (Psalm 118.24)

and we will always

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.

 

            God grant it for Jesus’ sake.

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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