Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 11, 2011 sermon for the soldiers of the 206th RSG

September 11th Anniversary Remembrance
September 11, 2011
For The Troops of the 206th RSG

There are certain events in our lives that shake us to the very depths of our beings. Watching what happened to the world trade centers and the pentagon, seeing it live as many of us did, considering all of the human carnage and suffering that was involved in those attacks and the other crashed aircraft-all of that can make us question what we once took for granted. Suddenly our lives don't feel quite so sure and solid.
If you're anything like me you probably are on this tenth anniversary, experiencing everything from shock to anger. This was an attack clearly directed not just at a couple specific targets, but at our country and our government. This was an evil and ungodly assault on the sanctity of human life. Thousands upon thousands have lost their lives or were seriously injured or are once again mourning the loss of friends and family.

We gather here to come to the One who is our only source of comfort and help in times such as these, the Blessed Holy Trinity, to call upon His name, to draw strength from His sure Word, and to pray for those affected by this tragedy.

Events such as the September 11th terror attack, remind us not to seek our help in the things of this world. For the things of this world always fail us in the long run. War and violence, decay and death always make their claim in the end. The very grandest of our human accomplishments and structures remain vulnerable. Therefore, God would remind us today to set our hearts on Him who is eternal, to trust in His promises which never fail, to seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father. It is written in Hebrews, "Here we have no continuing city; but we look for that city which is to come, whose architect and Builder is the Lord."

In the Gospel Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid." The peace which the world gives never lasts. It only holds out for a while. People and nations are always fighting; peace treaties often only put off the inevitable. But Jesus brings real peace. For His peace is not worldly and temporary but divine and eternal.

The peace of Christ is eternal because it heals the division not only between people but especially between God and man. It restores and reconciles us to our Creator. For on the cross Jesus suffered for the sin which had separated and cut us off from God. From His wounds now flows to us true peace, the forgiveness of our sins. Because He died in our place as true God and true man, we are freed from the death and the punishment we deserved. By the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we are given a new life, one that never ends, for it is the very life of Christ Himself. On the Last Day Jesus will come again to raise our mortal bodies to share in His immortality. And all the baptized who trust in Christ will dwell in His glorious presence forever, all because of what He has done for us, all because of His goodness and mercy, given to us as a pure gift.

That Gospel alone can bring real calm and rest and peace to our hearts, especially in the face of evil and destruction and chaos like we've seen today. While sin and Satan make their last desperate attacks on this fallen world, we know and believe that Jesus has conquered the devil by His holy cross, that Jesus is the risen Lord of all, and that at His Second Coming we will triumph with Him. The terrorists don't win. We who believe in Christ are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Nothing in all creation, not even death, can separate us from God's love in Christ, who works all things together for the good of those who love Him.

So let us not give way to fear, but rather let us, both as a nation and as individuals, relent and return to the Lord. Let us trust boldly in Christ our Savior and seek the Lord while He may be found. For as we hear in the prophet Hosea, “though the Lord has torn, He will heal us; though He has stricken, He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”
In the name of + Jesus. Amen.

Daily Readings for September 11-17, 2011

The Law cannot help us or give us life. Rather, it confines everyone under sin as wounded and naked before God (Galatians 3:15–22). So it is that two figures of the Law, the priest and the Levite, passed by the injured man on the side of the road (Luke 10:23–37). Only the promised Seed of Abraham can rescue us and make us righteous before God. Only the Samaritan, our Lord Jesus, had compassion. He came down to us in our lost and dying condition, pouring on the oil and wine of the sacraments. He placed us on His own animal, bearing our sin and brokenness in His body on the cross to restore us. Jesus brought us to the Inn, that is, the Church, and gave the innkeeper two denarii, that His double forgiveness might continue to be ministered to us. In this way the Lord, by whose Law we are torn and stricken, heals us and revives us by His Gospel and raises us up with Himself on the third day, that we may live in His sight (Hosea 6:1–6).

Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity, and as we do obtain that which You promise, make us to love that which You command; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord . Amen.

Old Testament: Hosea 6:1–6
Epistle: Galatians 3:15–22
Holy Gospel: Luke 10:23–37

Readings for the Week of 12th Sunday after Trinity
September 11                 The Healing of the Deaf Mute—Mark 7:31-37
                                        1 Kings 8:22-30, 46-63, 2 Corinthians 4:1-18
September 12    First Day of School—Sunday’s Gospel—Mark 7:31-37
                                         1 Kings 9:1-9; 10:1-13, 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
September 13  Three Men in the Fiery Furnace—Daniel 3:1-28 (29-30)
                                                    1 Kings 11:1-26, 2 Corinthians 6:1-18
September 14                Daniel and the Lions’ Den—Daniel 6:1-23 (24)
                                            1 Kings 11:42–12:19, 2 Corinthians 7:1-16
September 15 Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane—Mt. 26:36-46
                                    1 Kings 12:20-13:5,33-34, 2 Corinthians 8:1-24
September 16                       Peter Denies His Lord—Matthew 26:69-75
                                            1 Kings 16:29–17:24, 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
September 17                                      Look ahead to Sunday’s readings
                                   Hosea 6:1–6, Galatians 3:15–22, Luke 10:23–37