Sermon / Pr. Ted Giese / Sunday July 17th 2016 - / Psalm 27 & Luke 10:38-42 / Wait For The Lord
Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Sunday July 17th 2016: The Season of Pentecost, Psalm 27 & Luke 10:38-42. "Wait For The Lord"
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in His temple.
For He will hide me in His shelter
in the day of trouble;
He will conceal me under the cover of His tent;
He will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in His tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, “Seek my face.”
My heart says to You,
“Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Hide not Your face from me.
Turn not Your servant away in anger,
O You who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.
Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.
Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. With Martha clanging around in the kitchen she sees to the work of serving and feeding Jesus and His twelve disciples and whoever else Jesus had along with Him at that time, as Mary (Martha's sister) looks up and sees Jesus' face, as Mary hears Jesus' teaching (His Word), as Mary sits at Jesus' feet: And then we hear Martha chime in, " “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
King David was anxious and troubled about many things too. In Psalm 27 we hear about the things that trouble him: With enemies all around him David prays to God saying, "evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh," "an army encamp against me," "war arise against me," "my father and my mother have forsaken me," "false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence," and yet in the midst of all of this David's anxieties and troubles melt away and he prays, "[With] The LORD [as] my light and my salvation; [of] whom shall I fear? [With] The LORD [as] the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" It is "they who stumble and fall," "my heart shall not fear; ... I will be confident."
When we hear this today we might think of self confidence but this is not the source of King David's confidence. The source of his confidence is The LORD. When The LORD says to David, “Seek my face.” David in Psalm 27 responds from his heart saying, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” David prays "Hide not Your face from me. Turn not Your servant away in anger, O You who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!" David knows that The LORD is his redeemer, The LORD redeems David from the hand of his enemies. David trusts this and when David says "I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!" This sounds a lot like the words that the troubled man Job says when He says in the midst of his hardships, "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!"
David truly does want to see the Face of The LORD, but that doesn't happen during David's natural life, as he lived his life David simply held fast to the words that end Psalm 27, David took his own advice to, "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" David waited his whole life for The LORD to come that first time and David died before it happened; we now wait for Jesus to return and we like David might die before Jesus finally returns and yet we like David are asked to wait for the Lord, to wait for the return of our King, the return of our Good Shepherd. We wait for the one who Mary looked up to, who Mary listened to as her sister Martha busied herself with much work, and lived a life of distraction.
Today you have put down everything, you have put down all the work you might be doing, and come to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word. We say together, "how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news," we sing Beautiful Saviour, we recognize that our place is at the feet of Jesus and that it's ok to stop and set everything down, to put aside our anxiousness, and to lift up our troubles to Jesus. What does the Third Commandment say: "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." and the small catechism asks: What does this mean? '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.' Martha in our gospel lesson today, "made the mistake of thinking that she was the host and Jesus was the guest." That her work was more important than stopping and hearing Jesus as He preached, as He taught. There are many in this world who think their personal work is more important than God's Word and the preaching of God's Word.
Everywhere that Jesus went His Sabbath rest went with Him and the one necessary thing was to stop and receive all that Jesus had to offer when He arrived. Mary unlike her sister Martha realized that the Lord for whom David waited had arrived in their home, all distractions were set aside for Mary and she stopped, she found herself at Jesus' feet listening to Him. Martha too is called to set aside her troubles, her anxieties, and distractions.
In the day of David's trouble David trusted that The LORD would hide David in the shelter of The LORD, that The LORD would conceal David under the cover of The LORD's tent; That The LORD would lift David high upon a rock. How would this happen? David received a foretaste of this in all the times that God rescued David from death, from disaster, from defeat, but all of David's victories - by the grace of God - were pointing to a the physical arrival of The LORD and Jesus' ultimate victory at the cross. Mary and Martha met The LORD face to Face not long before His public crucifixion where on the rock of Golgotha Jesus, The LORD, was lifted up high upon a Roman Cross. And at the crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus didn't die alone, no, you died there with Him, as did Mary and Martha and David, in fact the whole world died with Jesus there as He swallowed up death, and for you and I for Mary and Martha and David our death there with Christ has a promise attached to it, St. Paul in Colossians says, "For you have died [with Christ], and your life [now] is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." This is the future for you. Your life is hidden away in Christ Jesus, knowing this, trusting this, believing this firmly, gives you the very courage David shows in Psalm 27, the very courage you need to "Wait For the LORD," to "Seek His Face," to put down all your anxieties and troubles and come here to this place in order to receive all the good gifts that your LORD Jesus lays before you at His nail pierced feet; All the good gifts that His outstretched and nail pierced hand provides; Every word that drops like honey from His resurrected and ascended lips. Here you receive the Word of God read to you - preached to you; Here you receive forgiveness applied to you in your baptism through the absolution of your sins, and in the reception of The LORD's very Body and Blood in His Supper.
The physicist Albert Einstein once said, "I never think about the future. It comes soon enough." And so it will be when Christ Jesus comes again, it will come soon enough, He will come just as the remaining disciples saw Him leave on the day of His Ascension, and if we like David and Mary and Martha and Jesus' disciples and apostles die before That Day comes we need not worry one bit, for we - like they - are hidden away in Christ, and where Jesus goes we will go. When we pass from this world to the next Jesus says we will be with Him in paradise and that will not be a place of hard labour, of toilsome work or danger, it will not be a place of anxiety or trouble it will be the good portion - it will be like Mary listening at Jesus' feet, it will be like Martha putting down her pots and utensils, it will be like David wakening into the Tabernacle tent before the Ark of the Covenant with shouts of joy, with songs of praise, and with melody to the LORD. In the mean time, "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" And as the writer of the book of Hebrews says, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He [our LORD Jesus] who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but [rather let us] encouraging one another, all the more as [we] see The [Last] Day drawing near."
Until That Day, “Seek The LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near;" Come to the LORD's House and under its roof find The LORD's forgiveness, His love and kindness. But what about those who forsake The LORD's way, what about those who forsake Jesus, who spurn Jesus' thoughts? What about them? The LORD through the prophet Isaiah says, "let [them] do so" ... but also let them return to the LORD, that The LORD may have compassion on them, let such men and women and children return to our God and don't put stumbling blocks before them, for The LORD will abundantly pardon them for the sake of Jesus and His shed blood. The LORD will say to them, 'you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Come have The Good Portion, which will not be taken away from you.' The LORD will say to them, 'Come to me. Seek My Face, find your shelter in Me not in yourself or in your own actions, and you like King David and Mary and Martha all the faithful will look upon the goodness of The LORD in the land of the living!" Amen.
Let us pray:
Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
 Luke 10:40-42
 Job 19:25-27
 Fred Danker
 Isaiah 25:8, "He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken."
 Colossians 3:3-4
 "Quotations For The Fast Lane" Compiled by Richard W. Pound, McGill-Queen's University Press, pg 214.
 Acts 1:11, "This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”
 Hebrews 10:23-25
 Isaiah 55:6-7