Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday in Pentecost, Proper 6: Seeking and saving love

Opening Sentence
Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:15,16

Commemoration: Onesimos Nesib
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Frumentius, by whom your Church was first planted in Ethiopia, and for your servant Onesimos Nesib, whom you called to minister to the Galla people of Ethiopia. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 85, 86

Lessons: Numbers 12Romans 2:12-24Matthew 18:10-20

What makes the sermon popular in the right sense is the seeking and saving love of Jesus, which the pastor himself has experienced and which therefore also moves his heart and fills his mouth. The pastor who sincerely loves his congregation for the sake of the Lord Jesus is not discouraged by their sins and shortcomings. He does not lose patience, nor does he become bitter when it seems that he has worked in vain. Love hopes all things, bears all things, and endures all things. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." The sins that appear in the congregation must really trouble him and grip his soul, and he must not overlook his own fault in not having warned, prayed, rebuked, watched, and cried to God enough. The prayer of the pastor drives away Satan when he visits the congregation as light in a house drives away thieves. But when the pastor sleeps and does not daily bring the congregation to the throne of the Lord, then the devil can destroy the sheep unmolested. People very soon feel and note whether the pastor has a heart that burns with love or whether he is merely filling his office in a legalistic way.

Karl Buchsel

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us