O Holy God, when you scan the bodies and minds and souls of all who live upon the earth, who do you find to be weak? Is the weak one weak in body, lacking the muscle and training to move about freely? Or is the weak one weak in discipline, lacking the focus and fortitude to see a work to its completion? Or is the weak one weak in heart, lacking the motivation to walk another day down the difficult path of righteousness? Or is the weak one weak in influence, lacking the relationships and soft skills to connect and persuade? Surely, Lord, we are weak in one way or another, and surely none but Christ is truly strong, that is truly capable in all spheres of thought and motion and heart. May your people freely admit their weakness, their inabilities, especially those moral inabilities that prevent us from submitting to you in the most secret chambers of our hearts. And so may you be honored in the humility of your people.
We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
O Holy God, how conspicuously quiet is the crucified Christ! How wordless is the hanging Savior, he who whose voice from the burning mountain caused all of Israel to weep in terror, he whose very words caused light to break the chaos and formlessness In the Beginning! What glorious truths lay in the near-wordlessness of Christ as he endured the disdain and disregard of his accusers?Lord Christ, was it divine sorrow that held your tongue, sorrow for wayward humanity, sorrow at the baseness and jealously and unholy anger of those who you would have gathered together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but were not willing? Was it exhaustion that stopped your voice, weariness from sleepless nights and vile abuse and bodily pain that makes one long for the ease of death? Was it that there was nothing to say, no words that would comfort your few faithful friends, no words that would spark reverence in the hearts of your abusers, no words to describe the complete loneliness of being forsaken by the Father? Or was it simply that the time for words had past, that it was time for the Good Shepherd to act, time to lay down your life for your wandering flock, all of them equally lost, equally unfaithful, equally dissatisfied with the green pastures and still waters to which you lead them, all of them needing rescue? O Christ, thank you for your divine silence in your final few hours, for in them your acts of compassion are all the more vivid, needing no commentary, no side notes, and no verbal flourishes to enhance the glory of Creator hanging on a tree out of love for his creatures! And thank you, thank you for your mighty work of salvation, for when we, too, shove down our pride and say in our hearts, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom,” we hear you breaking your holy silence with those few, precious words, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”Glorious is the quiet Savior! Merciful is the mighty Christ! May ever-increasing, ever-truer, ever-purer praises be offered to you by your people, and may the hearts of our unbelieving neighbors soon submit to your light and easy yoke.
We pray this in the name of Jesus and for his gloryAmen.
Sunday Sermon - 1 Corinthians Message 15
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
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