"The Voice from Heaven", Sermon / Matthew 3:14-17; Romans 6:1-11 / Pr. Lucas A. Albrecht / Sunday January 12th 2020 / First Sunday in Epiphany
Matthew 3:13-17; Romans 6:1-11
Theme: “The Voice from Heaven "
Intr – In our days it is a very common thing for you to hear your own voice. You can record it and then play it back. But sound recording systems have been part of humanity for less than 200 years so, before that, a person had never had the experience of listening to himself speaking - something that in our time is absolutely common.
Something that is a miracle in terms of technology and communication, is terrible in terms of life. Many times we delude ourselves into thinking that because we are good people, because we try to be good and do good, listening to our own internal voice will naturally get us to the right spot.
We need more than that. We need a clear and coherent voice. We need precision. And in the Gospel today we see the one we should always perk our ears to: the Voice from Heaven.
The Voice from Heaven
_It is precise. It points clearly to him.
_Jesus, the Son of God. / _In Him God is pleased
_He is the Messiah, starting off His precious mission.
_Baptism – Jesus didn’t come to Baptism because He was a sinner, but because He wanted to make of that a special moment of the beginning of His mission. The Voice from Heaven confirms it. “This is my beloved Son”. Also, to connects John’s forerunning work to His Messianic Ministry.
_It is a good opportunity also to remember our Baptism, when God said to you and me: “You are now my beloved Child.”
In our life, we need that clear, coherent and precise voice. It is the Voice from Heaven. Now, should we now wait for the Heavens to open so that we can hear it? Well, the Heavens are already open. We can hear God’s voice:
_In His Word;
_In His Sacrament;
_At Church. For example: Confession and Absolution.
_In our daily life.
As we perk our ears to the clear and correct teaching of the Scriptures we are assured that we are hearing God’s Voice.
Readings for today:
2 “I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.” / 6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you;
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” / 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
_Newness of life – compared to what? To the oldness of life. Even when it appears to be a super new modern woke type of thing. Sin is the old life, Christ is the new one. We are dead for sin and alive for Christ. Paul talks about it in the context of Sin and Grace. Since God’s Grace is unending, and He his pleased to forgive us, let us then sin a lot so that He can forgive us a lot? By no means. We are dead to sin. We live now for Christ.We will still sin, because we are imperfect, but we live in newness of life, doing God’s works by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, sometimes it is hard for us to hear His voice in different moments of our life, especially the harder ones. Why does that happen? Here’s an illustration: “A young man once lost his job and started to get somewhat worried about his situation. So he went to talk to an experienced pastor he knew. As he talked with the reverend he stated with some anger, “I asked God repeatedly, so many times I begged Him to tell me something to help me, pastor. Why doesn't God answer? ”… The old pastor, who was sitting across the room, spoke so softly that he could not understand. The young man then walked closer to him and asked, “What did you say? “The preacher repeated the answer, again in a soft tone. The man moved closer until he was practically leaning against the pastor's chair. "Sorry, but I still don't hear you." With his clasped hands and a calm, soft voice, the pastor spoke once more: "Sometimes we think we can’t hear God," he said, 'just because we are not close to Him.” He is always close to you. The voice from Heaven talks, teaches and comforts you in His Word, in His Sacrament, straight to your heart by faith.
Dead to sin, alive to Christ.Our newness of life is carried on constantly listening to the Voice from Heaven. This voice changes everything. It makes me remember a fact that those of you who have had children may have relate to: when you have a baby at home for the first time, you also start to hear different things. Suddenly, several noises start to sound like your baby's crying, or her laughter, or some sound that she makes. Noises like street sounds, cracks in the house, sounds that you had heard before but now they simply sound differently; and all because your life has become different.
This is what life is like for those born to faith in Jesus. Everything becomes different. We live in newness of life. Sounds, colors, environments that were there all the time suddenly look differently. Now that we hear the Voice from Heaven, the sounds, and the impressions of the Father are there wherever we go. And we are heard by Him, who never leaves His children alone. In Christ we are made new. We hear the Father’s voice in everything that we do.
Cc – Listening to what Jesus Christ speaks to your heart through faith enables you to hear your conscience without exaggerated pessimism and unrealistic optimism. Rather, a real voice from Heaven talking about real life, for now your voice is connected to His. This way we may also be able to help others hear that clear Voice and live in this newness of life.
In order to hear The Voice from Heaven, you don’t need a tape recorder. All you Need is Jesus, all you need is Grace through faith. Then it is there, speaking to your ears and recording His love in your heart.