09022018 15 Aft Pent 14 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“We are Traditionally Grounded!”

09022018 15 Aft Pent 14 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

September 2, 2018

“We are Traditionally Grounded!”

Sermon Audio

If you walk into the church via the door by office in the old church.  You can either go up the stairs to Heritage Hall or enter the downstairs with the choir room, secretaries office, kitchen, Christian Ed office or my office.  Yet, have you ever noticed just outside the outer door there are some large cables behind the garden hose? These cables have one purpose, to protect the church built in 1964 from a lightning strike to the steeple.

One of the churches I served in North Carolina, St. Paul’s in Dallas had cables like this, but was tragically hit by lightning and the sanctuary of the church was still destroyed.  As tragic a loss as it was, they rebuilt the church better than the older structure and did so because of one fact. Their roots were clearly and firmly grounded in the Word of God and their mission to proclaim Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation for the people of the area reigned supreme.

We who gather here today are grounded by these same values and this is why we firmly believe as a part of the North American Lutheran Church, “We are Traditionally Grounded”!  Two weeks ago we laid claim to the foundation and center of our beliefs that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, proclaiming “We are Christ Centered”.  Last week we were reminded by a World War II pilot that for us the mission is of paramount importance when we laid claim to the truth that “Jesus Christ calls us to be Mission Driven”.  And this week we turn the corner on the four core values of the NALC by boldly witnessing to the world around us that “We are Traditionally Grounded”!

Our ‘traditional grounding’ comes because of our daily and weekly use of Holy Scripture since it is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, given unto us so we can have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  We weekly root and remind ourselves of our belief in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit when we proclaim the Apostle’s, Nicene and Athanasian Creed, the three Ecumenical Creeds of Christendom. Our roots show again with our liturgical worship utilizing the One Holy catholic and Apostolic faith.  And we unite our voices in song and especially demonstrate our ‘traditional grounding’ around the table with the Lord’s Supper. For it is around the table, we with the people of all time and place join together showing “We are Traditionally Grounded”!  For this is exactly what the Apostle’s were taught by Jesus Christ and what we share with one another today.

A great way to connect with this third value of the NALC comes from our Old Testament Lesson this morning.  This story of Moses is 400 years after the time of Abraham and 1400 years before the Messiah, Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem.  Moses leader of the people of Israel who stood before Pharaoh in Egypt and proclaimed, “Let my people go” clearly and emphatically reminds the people of the importance of and connection to the covenant that God made with His people before their leaving Egypt.

So firm is the connection that Moses though he does not utter the words or phrase, “We are Traditionally Grounded” does point to the covenant made and its importance for the people and their children.  Hear again Moses words. Moses said, “9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children”!

This grounding, this connection to what is seen, that it be kept in their soul so they do not forget and it does not depart from their heart ‘all the days of your life’ is clearly and specifically the value we lay claim to today.  It is why we read the Word of God, pray prayers that Worship God and hold to the traditions of gathering around the altar of God to receive His gifts that have been handed down from generation to generation.

This third value of the NALC, “We are Traditionally Grounded” is not just a reminder, but a clear calling for we who gather here to lay claim to our ‘traditional grounding.’   For we are God’s children, redeemed by the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, Who takes away the sin of the world and are empowered to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is the tradition we not only lay claim to, but share with others in order that they and all of the world are reminded of God’s free offer of the gift of eternal life.  A gift grounded in having a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And inviting all people to join us in our mission to proclaim the Gospel by joining us with our worship of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Let’s lay claim to this by teaching our children the truths Moses reminds us of that are found in Holy Scripture and demonstrate weekly that Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Export, PA believes clearly, in Jesus Christ and His offer of grace, mercy and love that is the foundation of our value that “We are Traditionally Grounded”!  AMEN.