In Nomine Iesu!
In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit before Sermon:
Awaken us, Lord God, that we may be ready when Thy Son cometh to receive Him with gladness and serve Thee with a pure heart; through the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior + Jesus Christ. Amen.
When our Lord + Jesus Christ came to at first, He was born for us out of the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lord God chose to come to us first by taking upon Himself our flesh. He chose to be one of us; to dwell with us in our flesh. He did this all so that He could remain with us forever and ever. Our Lord + Jesus came to us in our flesh so that without sin He might sacrifice Himself on the tree of the holy cross. He came to us in our flesh, born of the Virgin Mary to suffer and die our punishment on the tree of the holy cross. We who are baptized into His Name—in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost—are buried with Him in His death. Even as He rose again from the dead, we too, will rise again from the dead on the Last Day.
By taking upon Himself our flesh, He has purified the flesh, so that on the Last Day we will receive new and pure and glorious bodies. We will receive this purified flesh and dwell with Him forever. Our Lord + Jesus went to prepare a place for us on that day when He ascended to the right hand of the heavenly Father to intercede for us poor sinners, and to come again to judge the quick and the dead. Our Lord had come to us in our flesh born of the Virgin Mary humble, and lowly. Born in a manger stall used for cattle because there was no room for them in the inn. On the Last Day our Lord will come to us in all His power and glory and might. He will be heralded by the cry of the archangel. The sound of the trumpet blast will ring loud and long to call all of us out of our graves and into our eternal heavenly home.
Our Lord + Jesus came for us, and He will come again for us. He came and will come to give us an eternal home in Heaven with us. He came and will come again because out of His great love for us He desires to dwell with us in our flesh forever and ever.
When our Lord + Jesus ascended into Heaven, He did not leave us alone until we are called to our eternal home. He continues to be with us until we enter into our graves. He has promised that He will come to us whenever two or three are gathered together in His Name. He comes to us today, to us few who gather in His Name, to dwell with us and be with us. He comes to wipe away our tears, and forgive us of all our sins. He comes to us today in His very flesh and blood. He is here with us through the preaching of the pure Gospel, which proclaims and promises that He is here with us today. He comes to all of us who bear His Name, who have been baptized into His death. He comes to us today to dwell with us for the same reason He came born of a virgin. He desires to dwell with us, His people.
Even though we are unworthy of His love and mercy on account of our manifold transgressions, He still loves His creation; He still desires to be with us and dwell with us.
This is why we gather here today. We gather to be with our Lord + Jesus. We come here to be with our Lord, Who wishes to be with us and give us His gifts. He comes to us in the lowly means of Word, water, and bread and wine. He comes to forgive the sins of the penitent; all of us who on our knees humbly confessed that we were poor, miserable sinners, that justly deserve His temporal and eternal punishment. He comes to us in the same way that He came to the city of Jerusalem: lowly and humble. He comes to us lowly and humble, because we are lowly and humble. We do not deserve to be exalted on account of our manifold transgressions. He humbles Himself; He lowers Himself to us, because that is the only way a perfect and sinless God could come to His people.
He meets us where we are at. We also meet Him where He is to be found. He is found here in this place in His blessed means of grace. The people who were Jerusalem also gather together to meet the Lord + Jesus; to sing praises to the Son of David. He came to them as their Savior. He came to them to lowly offer up His life as a ransom for them, and us—for the whole world. He came into Jerusalem to the sound of praises of the very great multitude weeping over the city that would reject Him and crucify Him. He did it because He desired to dwell with us forever and ever.
Therefore, He continues to come to us poor sinners. He continues to be in the world through His means of grace, even though mankind rejects Him by rejecting the Word, and rejecting the Sacraments. We reject the Word and Sacraments whenever we do not take them seriously. We do not take them seriously whenever we neglect their use, or use them by rote or habit, not considering the profound purpose that these means offer and give. They give to us our Lord + Jesus. We use these means to meet our Lord + Jesus who has graciously come to us to give us His gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation. All this has been promised to us and all believers in Christ since the prophets first began to preach it. All this has happened so that what they preached might be fulfilled.
The very great multitude had heard these prophecies of the prophets; they had heard the prophecy of Zechariah that their King would come to them lowly, meek, and riding upon a donkey, the colt a foal of a donkey. They heard and believed that this + Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of David, the heir to the eternal throne that the Lord God promised would be established from the seed of King David. His throne would never lack a man of his lineage to sit upon his throne. Our Lord + Jesus took His seat upon the throne of the holy cross—the throne of His mercy; His gnadenthron. For us poor sinners could not dwell with Him if He did not cleanse us of all sin by His sacrificial death.
The people of Jerusalem who heard the promise of a Savior and saw that it was fulfilled in the Lord + Jesus went before the Lord and cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And they went before Him and after Him singing, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!” This is the same song we sing when we meet our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Our Lord and Savior—our King prophesied of old—comes to us lowly, meek in bread and wine to offer us forgiveness of our sins. We come to Him also, to gladly receive this gift of forgiveness, and sing His praise.
For we know that our Lord + Jesus had come to us in the flesh born of the Virgin Mary, and that He will come again on the Last Day to give us an eternal home, and He comes to us today to keep us pure and steadfast in this promise until we enter into the grave, and He calls us forth from the grave by the blast of the trumpet and the shout of the archangel to give us the eternal home which He prepares for us now in Heaven.
All this we pray for daily when we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come.” For we desire that our Lord + Jesus would come to us. He came to us lowly and humble in our flesh born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And we pray in this petition that our Lord would continue to come to us through His blessed means of grace; that His Kingdom would come to us today to give us forgiveness, life and salvation. In this petition of “Thy Kingdom come” we also pray that our Lord would not count our sins against us but remember that through the waters of Holy Baptism He has covered us with His righteousness. He has clothed us with the pure and holy works that He did in His life with us and all mankind. Therefore, we pray that our Lord would bring His Kingdom to us not only every time we gather in His Name, but also that He would come to us on the Last Day to take us to our eternal home in Heaven.
My dear Friends, our Lord desires to dwell with us; to be with us; to be among us. Let us go and meet our Lord in His blessed means of grace whenever they are offered to us. For as the very great multitude met Him as He entered Jerusalem lowly, meek, and riding on a donkey, so we meet Him when He comes to us lowly and meek in the means of grace. Give thanks, my dear friends! Our Lord has come to be with us, and give us forgiveness of our sins, eternal life with Him in Heaven, and salvation from all our enemies. Thanks be to God! In the Name of our Lord + Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayer in Pulpit after Sermon:
Almighty God, be pleased to accompany Thy Word with Thy Holy Spirit and grant that Thy Word would increase faith in us; bring into the Way of Truth all such as have erred; turn the hearts of the unrepentant; and for sake of Thy Name grant succor to all heavy hearts and those who are heavy-laden, that they may through the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ be relieved and preserved so that they succumb not to the temptation of despair but rather that they gain the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with the 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!