03272019 Wed of Lent 3 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain”

03272019 Wed of Lent 3 Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

March 27, 2019
“Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain”
Sermon Audio

Have you ever been on top of a mountain when the sun rises?  There are campgrounds in some mountain top parks that afford one to sleep near the peak of the mountain and if one awakes early enough, you can in darkness navigate your way up to the summit and see the first rays of sunlight as they stream and spill over the distant horizon.  In one sense this is a beautiful metaphor for our hymn we consider this evening. Let’s begin by singing the first stanza of “Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain”.

1 Come to Calvary's holy mountain, Sinners, ruined by the fall; Here a pure and healing fountain Flows to you, to me, to all, In a full perpetual tide, Opened when our Savior died.

It is clear that James Montgomery a Moravian minister would punctuate his sermons with word play that demonstrated a clear faith.  Although a failure as a young poet, it is clear Montgomery felt the message of the Gospel was about invitation for others when he wrote, ‘Come to Calvary’s holy mountain’.  For he helps us understand that all of us are ‘Sinners, ruined by the fall’.  Yet being ‘sinners’ is not a sentence of death or personal condemnation, but points all of us to a promise to be had, not for a select few, it is for all, but, where could this occur?  Montgomery answers for us it is ‘Calvary’s holy mountain’ where ‘Here a pure and healing fountain Flows’ that is ‘to you, to me, to all’ it is for all, because of God’s love for us.  

So as we stand on the summit of ‘Calvary’s holy mountain’ drinking in the first rays of golden sunshine feeling a ‘full perpetual tide’ of emotions overcoming us feeling we do not deserve God’s grace, we doubt in human fashion.  But God answers the doubt of our world and our self, when as Montgomery says, heaven is for us ‘Opened when our Savior died’.  And God forgives us so we can be with Him and not live in doubt, but be overcome ‘In a full perpetual tide’ of love for us from our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let’s find the invitation we receive from God where we find ‘remission’ as we sing the second stanza of “Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain”.

2 Come in sorrow and contrition, Wounded, impotent, and blind; Here the guilty, free remission, Here the troubled peace may find. Health this fountain will restore; Those who drink shall thirst no more.

Ludvig Mathias Lindeman captured numerous Norwegian folk tunes and also penned the tune we use this evening.  The pairing with Montgomery reveals that heritage of music and melody provide a powerful connection even with different cultures.  Though we may ‘Come in sorrow and contrition, Wounded, impotent, and blind’ the story is not complete for us and all of mankind.  We at this time and in this place not only receive a gift, ‘Here the guilty, free remission, Here the troubled peace may find’ God reaches down and forgives each of us as only He can and ‘Health this fountain will restore’ as the free gift of God.  For God in His Son, Jesus Christ, the ‘fountain’ that offers eternal life gives us the life giving water from Him so ‘Those who drink shall thirst no more.’  We receive from Jesus eternal life from Him and our hymn tonight reminds us of His gift to us and changes our perspective so we can in faith believe we have eternal life.  Sin no longer binds us because Jesus has freed us for all eternity.

Let’s conclude by singing the last stanza of “Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain!”

3 Those who drink shall live forever; 'Tis a soul-renewing flood. God is faithful; God will never Break his covenant of blood, Signed when our redeemer died, Sealed when he was glorified.

When we receive the Word of God in our ears and our hearts, the truth we sing states, ‘Those who drink shall live forever’.  Eternity is ours because of God’s gift to us and all of mankind.  God’s gift is clearly provided to us in order that we may feel the joy of the gift of salvation as we sing, ‘Tis a soul-renewing flood’.  God’s gift provides this truth of the Gospel that we cannot and should not doubt, because, ‘God is faithful; God will never Break his covenant of blood’ and this gift from God satan daily wants us to doubt.  This is why anger, disease, broken relationships and sin still exists in our world.  And why our world we live in believes we have to earn salvation, earn trust and earn what is intangible.  But what our world daily encounters and requires, God changes the perspective and offers us what we should freely offer one another.  God gives us a life giving answer as our hymn concluded, ‘God will never Break his covenant of blood, Signed when our redeemer died, Sealed when he was glorified.’

For God clearly and unmistakably ‘Signed’ for us and for all of mankind forgiveness through the ‘covenant of blood’ of His Son.  And through and by the ‘blood’ of Jesus ‘Sealed’ the fate of eternity for each and every one of us.  We only need to believe in this promise and trust in God’s Word, bring the lost and forsaken to hear the forgiveness He freely offers.  So that when others “Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain” they will be overcome by the love of God that streams over the distant horizon as the morning gift from God ‘when he was glorified’.  AMEN.