Summary: A Father’s Day message about our Heavenly Father.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
For those of you who came this morning thinking you were going to hear a sermon about dear ol’ dad, well…..not quite.
I do want to wish all of those of you who are father’s a Happy Father’s Day and to those of you who are sons and daughters, my hope for you is that you have a father as loving as mine.
My dad would have been 99 years old on June 13th. I still think of him often and my fondest memories of him are of times on a baseball diamond, fishing in boat, and sitting in church.
When we attended church, as I was growing up, which was every Sunday, we attended as a family. Like most Lutherans, we had our own special pew, one that comfortably fit the four of us, mom, dad, my brother and me. Very seldom did my brother and I actually sit next to each other. Usually, for the sake of the pastor and those around us, my brother would be at one end, I at the other…..not that we were bad, it was just one of those “lead us not into temptation” things that my parents took very seriously.
My dad didn’t want to have to discipline us during church, because he was there for a reason. He was there to give thanks to God and to listen to the sermon, listen to the Word of God.
Now, can I admit something here that I don’t thing a lot of pastors admit?
A lot of times, I couldn’t understand why my dad wanted to listen so closely, so intently.
It was the same old story. Week after week, month after month, year after year.
Now, all I can say is, “Thank God!”
Thank God that the story never changes. Thank God that His love for us continues, even when we lose sight of Him. Thank God that His faith remains strong, even when we are faith weakens.
Today’s lessons, all of them, are wonderful resources for the telling of the love of God.
Paul, in his letter to the Romans sums up the depth of God’s love for us in theses words; “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I could literally stand here for hours and talk about just this one sentence. These words take all of the mystery away. These words take all of the us having anything to do with our salvation away.
God didn’t look down at us and say, “once you’ve changed your ways, once you’ve made up your mind, once you’ve decided to follow me, then I’ll do something about it.”
No! What these wonderful words of the Apostle say to each of us is that:
· Even though we are mired in sin.
· Even though we were born in a sinful, disgusting state.
· Even though, because we live in a sinful world and we are human beings, more intent on running from God than to Him,
He loves us. He loved us enough that through His grace and mercy He was willing to have His Son die for us on the cross.
We should all think of that. We should think about it every day, every hour, every minute. But we don’t.
And that’s one of the reasons we gather together for worship. So we can hear that Word spoken to us and have it imbedded in our hearts and minds.
For the next few minutes, I would like us to look at the OT lesson and the Gospel appointed for this day.
These two stories are the same story, told to different people at different times, but with the same meaning.
Our OT lesson is from the Book of Exodus, and takes place at the foot of Mt. Sinai. The Israelites had been on the march for about 3 months since their deliverance from the Pharaoh.
Now they have gathered at the foot of the mountain of God. Moses ascends the mountain to speak with God and comes back with a wonderful message.
God tells Moses to remind the people that He brought them to where they are.
God is trying to tell the people to take a new look at themselves. To take a look at who they are.
They are no longer a lost wandering mass.
They are no longer slaves subject to the whims of the Pharaoh.
They are no longer subjected to the worship of false gods.
It’s as if the Israelites had been, for the past 400+ years, walking around in one of those fun houses that you go to …. or at least use to go to at amusement parks.
Remember, where you would walk in and there would be all different types of mirrors hanging in a darkened room. You would walk in front of the mirrors and in one you would look wide and short, and in the next one you would be skinny and tall. I use to love to put my face up close and see how it would distort my eyes and my mouth.