Note: This is the sermon for Advent Midweek 1, 2017 Text: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 For these three midweek Advent services, we’ll be considering the commemorations of three saints of God – a brother and two sisters in Christ – who now rest from their labors but have left us notable examples of the faithful Christian life.…
The thing to celebrate about the Reformation is that Luther rediscovered, and he and his fellow workers reintroduced through writing, preaching, and teaching, the emancipating fact that Jesus doesn’t leave you in your bondage to sin. Jesus doesn’t leave you despairing that you’re lost forever. Jesus doesn’t leave you thinking that you have to make amends with God.
So even as we pray this prayer, we know that the Lord has already answered it for us. By His power and might He has conquered death and the grave. He has helped us by dying for us. He has poured His Holy Spirit into our hearts so that we would believe that our sins are forgiven and therefore receive the promised eternal life. And He gave all that to you in the Font.
The surprise of Easter is that Jesus doesn’t have to make a big show of it. He just tells us how things are. But what those things are, that is amazing. The death and resurrection of Jesus, now your very own: given in plain words spoken to each other; given in plain words spoken while water is poured; given in plains words spoken over bread and wine that are then consumed by Christ’s Church.
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
Jesus certainly unites us one to another. But as I said at the beginning, He also unites us to Himself. Or perhaps it’s even better said that He unites Himself to us. For Jesus comes in His glorified and risen Body and Blood and feeds you Himself, by my unworthy hand. Jesus comes and gives you the complete forgiveness of your sin. Take, eat. Take, drink. The true Body and Blood of Jesus is here for forgiveness, for you.