Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sermon for Lent 2 March 4 - 5, 2012

March 4-5, 2012
Matthew 15:21-28
“Remember O Lord”

In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your loving kindnesses for they have been ever of old.

Truth, Lord. We are dogs. We are not the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We deserve worse than simply being ignored. Our ancestors according to blood were pagans and heathen. They did not wrestle with You in the desert. They did not keep Your Law. Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the Master´s table. Remember, O Lord, Your mother and Your brothers are those who keep Your Word. Truth, Lord. The dogs eat and are satisfied. They are held and scratched and loved. Let us be doorkeepers in Your House and dogs at Your table. For without You we cease. Without You we go the lord below who seeks to dominate and destroy, who rules a kingdom of perfect equity and punishment, who would give us all that we deserve. Spare us, O Lord, or there is no hope!

Truth, Lord. The lord below (The Devil) has been our lord for too long. He has sorely abused us. His flattery and promises evaporate like cobwebs in the sun. He never delivers or satisfies. He always hurts us. The only thing he feeds is our addictions. We are dying, humiliated, dirty from his touch. And we are afraid. Remember, O Lord, You defeated him in the desert for us. You stopped his accusations on the cross.

Truth, Lord. We have brought much of this misery upon ourselves. We have complicated our sad lives with lies and vain plotting. We have risked everything that You have given us for a moment´s pleasure. We have become such crass story tellers, weavers of half-truths and practitioners of deception. We´ve even tried to fool ourselves but we lie awake at night and know the truth. Even though we´ve learned to wipe our hard drives, eliminate evidence, pretend forgetfulness, we are still haunted by our guilt. We have manipulated and bullied, stolen and coveted, gossiped and slandered, seeking always to steal what we did not need or truly desire. And no matter how much we are honored and respected by men, we know that You know the truth. We have been so stupid, so selfish, and so vain! We have committed adultery with more than our hearts, and against more than our wives. We have been deceitful and betraying. Our friends, our children, and our wives have borne the brunt.

Truth, Lord. We are afraid. We are weary. We cannot take much more. We have nearly ruined almost everything You ever gave, and now, even our children, our darling, laughing, running little children, the greatest trust You ever bestowed, they are afflicted with our demons. We invited demons in for the party and they never left. They defile our children. They drag them down with us and shatter all our dreams for the television and Hollywood only produce what we buy. Despair and depravity, loneliness and regret, are all we know on our own. But we are not on our own. Remember, O Lord, for You have promised: I am with you always.

We ask not for justice. We ask only for mercy. We do not ask for another chance. We ask for restoration, for redemption, for intervention. We ask that You keep Your Word. Be our God. Crush the serpent´s head. Be merciful. Be gracious. Love us and forgive our sins. Wash us clean. Make us Your people again. We are not worthy and we cannot make demands. We are but beggars, afraid, and in danger. So we beg. We plead. Keep Your Word. Be merciful. Be gracious. Be our God. O Lord, Son of David, have mercy upon us. Relieve us of these demons. Send us limping away if you must, but give us a blessing according to Your Word. We are not better than our fathers, but You are. Remember, O Lord, that our people are not defined by blood and genealogies but by faith. We are the sons of Abraham. We beseech You on behalf of his inheritance.

For this death You died, alone and without comfort, You died for all. You died even for us dogs and beggars and traitors ruled by our stomachs, even for us sleepy disciples who cannot stay awake, even for us sex feigns, murderers, cheaters, and scoundrels. You died for us! You rose for us! You satisfied all that Justice asked. You quenched the Father´s Wrath. You paid the devil´s ransom. You defeated death and Hell and pronounced us to be Your own. You have declared us righteous and promised that no one can snatch us away from You. You woke Lazarus up from his sleep in the earth. You pronounced peace in the upper room. You bought back Eve from the serpent. You made her not just Your daughter, but also now Your Bride along with Adam! You will do the same for us. Your Word cannot lie. Give us faith. Give us hope. Have mercy, O Lord, Son of David. Teach us to number our days. Deliver us from evil. Cause us to ever remember You, to proclaim Your death, in the eating and the drinking of Your Body and Your Blood, for it is our comfort, our Life, and our future, and has been from of old. Let us be dogs at Your table eating the crumbs of grace. Truth, Lord.

In + Jesus' Name. Amen.

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