Summary: The nature of ongoing discipleship and evangelism
Concordia Lutheran Church
Pentecost 13, August 30, 2009
Make them Known….
Deut 4:1-2, 6-9
† In the Name of Jesus, the Messiah †
May the grace, the mercy and the peace of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ fill your life, your children’s lives, their children’s lives….
It wasn’t quite a miracle, but it indeed it was a remarkable occurrence. Men, from age forty-four to fifti-ish, gathered on a softball field in Buena Park yesterday, coming from all over Southern California. They played three complete slow-pitch softball games, plus ate a healthy meal of carne asada, before the third game. What makes it a miracle was that, at least through the second inning of their third game, no ambulances were needed.
OK pastor – what does that have to do with today’s readings, and with our dedicating our teachers to what our Old Testament passage describes as
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children…
While I didn’t play, I did show up for the lunch, and got to watch a classmate blast a home-run. Rick is one of the small group pastors at the largest church in southern California. Doug, who was the catcher, is the senior pastor of a church in Duarte, and there were other pastors there as well. Another guy, Gordon from Riverside, was a guest here a few months back. What the men had in common – we all came from the same high school youth group. Some were in high school in the late seventies, and were later volunteers when Rick and I were there in the eighties.
As we ate lunch, we laughed over some of our past – and the fact that if our youth and youth workers pull some of the stunts we attempted…well, better to not go there. But we also talked about what had worked, and how some of our training in the scriptures and in ministry in high school and after was some of the best training we have ever had.
Why it worked? Even with all our idiosyncricies, those who worked with us, did exactly that…. The made it known to us…
As I look at my past, and realize how Jon and Scotty, Doug and Gordon, the Spriggs brothers and so many others made it known to me, I urge you Tammie, and all the teachers, and everyone here…. Make them known to your children and your children’s children…
Make what known…
The things written in stone
The things you have seen?
The question is what do we make known ? If you read some commentators, they focus in the words statutes, the things of God, written in stone, and the rules, or actually, the rulings and judgments. They talk about the fact that the Lord has the Law – the very description of the way in which we are to behave. And people, when they hear the law – hear the “Thou shall not’s”. If that is all there is to the law, then it will forever condemn us, for no one is able to keep it – completely.
But the law is more than just doing or not doing certain behaviors or doing certain others. What is written in stone is not just the behaviors – hear the beginning, Exodus 20:1 I am YHWH, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, the place of your slavery. It all starts with God, and the relationship He chose to have, with the people He would save, and call His.
It is of vital importance to realize that this is one of those places, where LORD is spelled all in capitals, and is written because the Hebrew isn’t the word for Lord, but is the very sacred name of God. The Israelites would not write the name of God, nor pronounce, but simply know – L-O-R-D – there it is! It is the same there in verse 2 and verse 4, where you see the word LORD.
In context, it is not just the statutes and rules that are to be made known – look at verse 9, it is the things that the Israelites had seen – the very hand of God at work, delivering them from their captivity, and providing for them.
What needs to be made known – the very care of God in establishing us as His people, delivering us from sin. The work He has done, not just in rescuing 2 million people from Egypt; but also His work, rescuing us, from our being caught up by sin and the power of satan, and the fear of death.