In Nomine Iesu!
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit before Sermon:
Grant us, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Thy mercy, and a sincere love to Thee and to all our fellow-men; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is a pitiful thing to disdain the gifts of the Lord God. He gives them to us out of His grace and bountiful merciful. He gives them to us for our benefit; to lead us into eternal life with Him and all the angels and saints. Even though it is a pitiful thing to disdain the gifts of the Triune Lord God, there are many who still do. Certainly, it is true that many outside of the Church have no use for the gifts of the Lord God. They do not even want to confess that He exists. Or if they do admit exists, they expect Him to be something that He is not. They want Him to be impressed with their good works; with their being good people. They want the Triune Lord God to be like all the other false gods in this world, who expect their followers to observe a laundry list of works that prove their loyalty and obedience. So, many outside of the Church disdain the gifts of the Triune Lord God.
But there are, sadly, many who profess to be Christians who also disdain the gifts of the Lord God, and that is what this parable from the fourteenth chapter of the Evangelist St. Luke is about. This is what our Lord + Jesus is warning us about in His parable for today. He had come down from Heaven to be with His creation. He was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was of the house and lineage of King David, who was betrothed to a man, St. Joseph, who was also born of the house and lineage of King David. In other words, our Lord + Jesus came down from Heaven and was incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was born a Jew. He came to His own people. The people who He had called out of a foreign land to the land of Canaan, first through their ancestor Abraham, and then through Moses the prophet when the Lord God delivered them with mighty signs from the hand of Pharaoh and the Egyptian people.
He had led them into the promised land of Canaan, because they were His people. They were chosen by the Lord God to be His people; to be the people through whom He would come and be a part of His creation. He prepared a special place for them to live; their own country and land. But they continually rejected Him; choosing to worship the Baals and Ashtoreths instead of the Lord God Who had delivered them from the bonds of slavery. They were invited to come to the feast. The feast that the Lord God had prepared for them out of His great love and mercy. They were invited to be with the Lord God and commune with Him. Even as they did in their sacrifices when part of the offering would be shared by the priest and the one offering as a fellowship meal with the Triune Lord God. But many disdained the gifts of the Lord God and refused His banquet. They all made excuses and chased after all the false gods of the foreigners in whose land they possessed because the Lord God gifted them that land.
So then, what did our Triune Lord God do for these people who disdained His good gifts? He continued to invite them to the feast. He sent out His servant. Notice that this word is in the singular, not the plural. He sent out His servant, not servants. This servant that our Lord God sent was the Word of God. This Word was first sent through the prophets. The prophets of the Old Testament preached the coming of the Messiah. Through their preaching they continued to invite the perfidious Jews to come to the feast, even though they continue to make excuses and refuse the gift of the Lord’s banquet. On account our Lord God’s grace and mercy He continued to send out His servant—the Word of God— to invite the ones invited to His feast by the mouths of His prophets. But those who were invited, all made excuses and disdained the invitation of the Lord God.
Our Lord + Jesus—the Word of God incarnate—also was sent to them. He was born of their lineage. He was born of the lineage of King David. He was the fulfillment of all that the prophets had preached and proclaimed about the Messiah. He also came to His people, was born into their flesh, was incarnate of the Holy Ghost by the Blessed Virgin Mary. He came to His people also to call them and invite them to the Great Supper. All things were now ready for the Lord God to come to His people and share His Great Supper with them. He came in the Person of the Son of God—our Lord + Jesus. He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him. They all made excuses to be someplace else. They all disdained the gift of the Lord God; they disdained the One Who came to be their Lord and Savior Who would redeem them from all their sins and trespasses.
Then the Servant—the Word of God incarnate—was sent to those who would not reject Him. He was sent to those who would hear His Word; who would be glad to receive the invitation to the Great Supper of the certain man. He was sent to the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind. He was sent to invite all those who were beat down by this world with sin and the consequences of sin. He was sent to all those who would willingly hear, because they saw the corruption of this world and the corruption that existed in their flesh. The impenitent refused the invitation. The penitent gladly accepted the invitation to the Great Supper. They were glad that all things were now ready. They had been waiting for centuries. They had heard the preaching of the prophets, and were glad that the fulfillment of all that they had prophesied was fulfilled and He was dwelling with them in the flesh.
Those who rejected Him, who disdained His invitation and made excuses to be where the Lord God was handing out His gifts, were rejected. Those who felt the weight of this world and the sin that clung to them were glad to receive the invitation and come to the Great Supper. All the repentant Jews who heard the invitation of the Servant—our Lord + Jesus Christ—accepted the invitation that they heard through the preaching of the Word of God. But there was still more room for people to come to the Great Supper. Therefore, the certain man who was giving the Great Supper again sent out His servant—the Word of God—to all those in the highways and hedges to invite them to the Great Supper. The servant—the Word of God—was sent out to the strangers and foreigners; those outside of the Jewish nation. The Word of God was sent to the Gentiles to call them and invite them to the Great Supper.
The Gentiles were invited through the Apostles and preachers of the New Testament. We who are Gentiles still receive the invitation today. We continue to be sent the servant—the Word of God— to call and invite us to the Great Supper of our Triune Lord God. Many Christians today still make excuses to not be here where our Lord God gives us His gifts. Many Christians today disdain the gifts of the Lord God. It is a pitiful thing to disdain the gifts of the Triune Lord God. For in His gifts are found life and salvation. In His gifts we are granted forgiveness of all of our sins, even the sin of making excuses to be where the gifts of the Lord God are given to us. In our Lord’s grace and mercy, He continues to invite us by His servant. He still sends us His preacher to preach forgiveness into our ears. He still sends us His servant—the Word of God—to call us to come to the Great Supper. For all things are now ready.
The Great Supper is prepared. The Lord’s Body and Blood have been offered as a once and for all time sacrifice on the tree of the holy cross for the atonement of the sins of the whole world, so that all those who cling to Him in faith may be justified by the heavenly Father. This sacrifice that our Lord + Jesus made on our behalf and on behalf of all people we share in this meal in which we remember our Lord’s once and for all time sacrifice as we eat His Body and drink His Blood in bread and wine. The Jews shared in a fellowship meal when they offered their peace offerings to the Lord God. They would eat with the priest and commune with the Lord God in thanksgiving for granting them forgiveness and peace. We also come and share in communion and fellowship with one another in thanksgiving for the forgiveness that our Lord + Jesus won for us by His suffering and death.
We have peace with Him and with one another because He has invited us to share with one another and with Him this Great Supper which He has prepared by His suffering and death. Through this meal we are promised a place in His Kingdom. Just as He led the Jews into the promised land of Canaan, He leads us into the eternal Promised Land of Heaven. He does this for us out of His great love and mercy He has for us poor, miserable sinners. He does this for us because He created us and desires to be with and dwell with His creation. In our Lord + Jesus we have a Lord and Savior Who is one of us. He dwells with us in His flesh. He dwells with us today by His gifts that He gives to us here in this place. The invitation is being sent out to all of us here today to come to the Great Supper for all things are now ready.
It is a pitiful thing to disdain the gifts of the Triune Lord God. Therefore, let us rejoice, my dear friends, that we have not made excuses and disdained the invitation to come to the Great Supper, but have gladly come to receive the gifts of the Lord God here in this place. We have come and He gives us His gifts. He fills our ears with the promise that all of our sins have been forgiven by His suffering and death. We cling in faith to this sacrifice of His, for in it we find life and salvation. My dear friends, let us continue to hear the Lord God’s Word and come to this holy house to receive from Him all of His good gifts that He would give to us. For in Him alone is salvation to be found. This salvation is for us poor sinners. Thanks be to God! In the Name of our Lord + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit after Sermon:
Almighty and Everlasting God, the Source of all life and joy, Who, by the glad sound of the Gospel, hast called us to have part in Thy Kingdom and glory: shine into our hearts, we beseech Thee, by Thy Word and Spirit, and draw us with the cords of Thy constraining grace, that we may heartily choose that good part which shall not be taken away from us, and give us all diligence to make our calling and election sure; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!