02172019 Epiphany 6/7 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

02172019 Epiphany 6/7 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

February 17, 2019
“We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

Sermon Audio

If you’ve listened to any of the Christian Music stations recently you probably have heard Carrie Underwood sing, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”.  Underwood rose to stardom in 2005 winning the fourth season of American Idol and is an unapologetic Christian.   This song clearly articulates a ‘trust’ in the ability for Jesus Christ to not only aid, but save one from the hard and harrowing road that an individual who is in trouble is on in their life.  It is clear from this song that the faith not only of the songwriter, but also the artist, Underwood expresses a belief that Jesus Christ can help anyone in their life no matter the circumstances.  Today we are made a promise by Jesus Christ as well, “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

When Jesus Christ stood on the hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee to the West and taught the disciples and all the people who had come from Tyre and Sidon, His teaching had a deep and profound purpose.  First it was to bless them and then to point them to the woes that would befall them if they did not hear and heed the guidance He was giving them. The Blessing was so they could understand and believe His Word was life giving and a gift to and for them in that day and time.  Jesus desire was to bless them and reorient their perspective so they could understand the blessings for being poor, hungry, weeping or even when people ‘insult you’ face to face or even behind your back. Jesus wants us to look with eternal, not earthly eyes and see that “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

The woes like the other end of a teeter-totter were meant to show the people that in their life, there would be consequences if we choose not change our personal and collective perspective.  Jesus in speaking of the ‘rich, well fed, those who laugh in malice or scorn or allow one’s pride to be over inflated’ unmistakably wants His hearers to turn and return by their own free will in order to be and feel the blessing Jesus is clearly wanting to offer them as they sat by the Sea of Galilee.  We the members of Emmanuel have heard Jesus Words as well. And, today “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

The same life giving Word Jesus spoke to the many on the Eastern slope and looking West to the Sea of Galilee we have heard today as well.  Jesus Words are timeless, they continue to have an impact upon each of us today. Jesus Christ’s Words bless us with guidance and can give us the greatest peace when we fully trust Him, His Will, and His way!  Last week we heard how we can delve deeper into the Word of God, whether, passage, paragraph or page and praying for God to open up how we can apply it to our lives. This dovetails so clearly with Jesus Words for us today.  Jesus blesses us with the Word of God we have heard, what we sing and especially in the meal we will receive from His table. It is clear for us today that, “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

Yet, we might ask,  is there more to this?  If we push further, is there more that Jesus guidance can help us to fulfill His mission, proclaim His message of salvation and enable others to hear the life giving Word of God?  Yes there is, but it is a choice we personally and individually make. It is our own free will to either come and hear and heed the life giving Word of God, participate in the blessing of the Sacraments we receive that are blessed for us and give us the guidance we need, or choose the other path.  This is why Jesus finished with the woes. Jesus wanted to point out the results in full disclosure to the people as well to us today. The woes are to help us to remain humble and understand God’s desire for us is for us to have life and especially that “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

In all of Holy Scripture there is no better example that demonstrates the truth that “We are blessed by Jesus guidance” than King David.  His life was full of blessing and woes.  It is clear that he could and did write a book that pointed to his personally understanding blessing and woe.  Jews and even Lutheran’s still use today, it is known as the Psalter, better known as the Book of Psalms.

King David experienced the blessing of being the chosen one.  He not only was a sheep herder, master soldier who went into battle and was victorious in every battle, he also was anointed King at a very young age.  Yet, David also sinned and felt great woe over the loss of his first child when he clearly sinned. The truth is, David understood the difference between woe and blessing because of his own life and choices he made.  Though he deserved a worse fate, God out of His love for David, forgave David and gave him a son, who would build the Temple in Jerusalem where God’s Glory would dwell and ultimately blessed him and his line with the greatest blessing our world has ever beheld, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  This is why our Psalm we proclaimed earlier is the perfect metaphor for us today and points us to the truth that “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

Just as Jesus Words of Blessing and Woe for the people overlooking the Sea of Galilee, David’s Psalm ties perfectly to and emphasizes clearly God’s desire to bless His people including us today.  The blessing comes from our following God’s counsel and law and will provide for us ‘fruit in its season’ and ultimately the understanding that “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”

This is why in our pericopes or lessons we are connected to some of the greatest stories and truths that God has to offer us.  Not only has God been faithful throughout the previous generations, He continues to be faithful for us today. This is why God through David reminds us when we ‘meditate’ on and hear and heed God’s Word through Jesus Who is the fulfillment of the law, we will be blessed by Him.  And the blessing we receive comes through the Word of God, the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and this will guide us to our ultimate end in heaven with the knowledge and especially faith in the promise from God of His Son Whom we follow and Who reminds us today that “We are blessed by Jesus guidance!”  AMEN!