08252019 11th Sunday After Pent 10AT Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“They shall declare my glory among the nations! Is. 66:19”

08252019 11th Sunday After Pent 10AT Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA
August 25, 2019
“They shall declare my glory among the nations! Is. 66:19”
Sermon Audio

When the prophet Isaiah finished writing what we now know as the Book of Isaiah, his words prophesied this day we gather here at Emmanuel as both fear and joy.  The fear comes from the reality that Isaiah foretold of God’s eternal judgment of mankind, the joy was that the promise that had been foretold in Genesis in the Garden of Eden of a Savior, would be fulfilled.  We here today stand as the Body of Christ having heard again Isaiah’s prophecy and also as believers that Isaiah’s prophecy that looked back to Genesis has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ and His death on Calvary for us and all of mankind.  And we as believers in the Lord Who spoke through Isaiah that we as Brothers and Sisters in Christ affirm Isaiah’s declaration that “They shall declare my glory among the nations!”

In my reading and rereading this passage the tension faced by the hearers of Isaiah, I believe still applies today.  We live in a world that has unrest politically, socially and economically. We live in a world where judgment is speedy even when facts are sparse and the truth is not known or wanted to be revealed or heard due to mistrust.  There are numerous troubled spots throughout the world that seem to not have any rest or respite from calamity, whether environmentally or of human origin. And it is clear that our North American Lutheran Church is not only connected to places where violence, oppression or natural disaster continue, but our church body is consistently reaching out and ministering to the needs of many people around the world.  This month, while at the NALC Convocation, many reports spoke of the desperate needs of people in Haiti, Africa, South America and even in our own country. A prime example is the upcoming mission trip to Ohio that our Mission District is offering. The NALC, our national church and our local churches are having an impact like our own congregation is in Haiti with our mission efforts. And at the forefront of this effort is the connection back to Isaiah this morning where we “shall declare my glory among the nations.”

We who gather here today not only have the opportunity, but have joyfully through our Lenten Offerings continued to reach out and minister to the needs of our world.  Through the support of the Haiti Mission, we by our prayers and our stewardship of our gifts both internationally with Haiti and locally with Loaves and Fishes continue to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy that “They shall declare my glory among the nations!”

The ‘glory we declare’ not only finds its roots in Isaiah, but also in one of the Core Values of the NALC.  We are a Christ Centered church that lifts Jesus Christ and Him crucified for us and for our salvation. The Gospel message of God’s Glory is how we after providing for people’s needs, like food, clothing, water and shelter, continue to build our relationship with those who have not heard of Jesus Christ.  It is an intentionality that reminds us that God’s message of salvation of what Jesus Christ came to provide us and all of mankind on the Cross of Calvary is something we do not hide under a bushel basket, but we ‘let it shine all the time’. The Gospel we proclaim is the opportunity for us to connect to, with and through Isaiah, back to Genesis and tell others of the Good News that Isaiah prophesies that “They shall declare my glory among the nations!”

There are many figures in Biblical History, yet, one particular one that beheld God’s Glory, was Moses.  In the Book of Exodus, we have the lengthy exposition and explanation of when God descended to the mountain after the people had built the Golden Calf and made a god of gold.  Moses had been bringing down the first set of stone tablets inscribed with God’s Law and because of the sin of man, Moses broke the tablets. So when Moses goes back up the mountain, confesses to God the sin of the people and seeks God’s forgiveness, God inscribes a second set of tablets of stone.  And by Moses being with God for forty days and forty nights Moses beheld God’s Glory unlike any other man. And today we who gather here today will again as we weekly do, behold God’s Glory.

When we began our service, we started with Confession and Forgiveness like Moses did and God declared unto us the forgiveness of our sins.  And in a few minutes when we come forward to receive Jesus Christ Body and Blood, we will see God’s Glory revealed to us in, with and under the elements of Bread and Wine that we believe are the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Real Presence in the Lord’s Supper feeds our souls and inspires us to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are then empowered as God’s Children so we as Isaiah prophesied, “They shall declare my glory among the nations!”  And through our declaration, we point to the gift of the Gospel that God offers us and all of mankind.

This is how God works through us today as His children and we can declare not only His love, but how God’s Glory is manifest among us today and every week in the Lord’s Supper.  For in living this out here at Emmanuel we show our community and our world that we understand Jesus point in the Gospel we heard today of the ‘narrow door’, but as well point to how God speaks through us proclaiming the Gospel and abundantly works through us as His children who with Isaiah proclaim “They shall declare my glory among the nations!”  AMEN!