Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

A Congregation of Lutheran Church-Canada

Scripture & Sermons

THE 4TH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY AD 2022 2022-01-30

THE 4TH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY AD 2022
TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
KURTZVILLE, ONTARIO
REV. KURT E. REINHARDT

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

[5] "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

[6] Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." [7] But the Lord said to me,

"Do not say, 'I am only a youth';
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
[8] Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,

declares the Lord."


[9] Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

"Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
[10] See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant."

1 Cor. 12:31-13:13
But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
[13:1] If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. [2] And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. [3] If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
[4] Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant [5] or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; [6] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. [7] Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
[8] Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. [9] For we know in part and we prophesy in part, [10] but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. [11] When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. [12] For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
[13] So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Luke 4:31-44
And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, [32] and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. [33] And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, [34] "Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are— the Holy One of God." [35] But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. [36] And they were all amazed and said to one another, "What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!" [37] And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
[38] And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. [39] And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.
[40] Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. [41] And demons also came out of many, crying, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.
[42] And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, [43] but he said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose." [44] And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.  
A mess. Yes, it sure feels like we are in a bit of a mess, to put it rather mildly. Everything is just so absolutely messed up these days. Over the past two years of wrestling with Covid 19 and its ever arising new variants of concern, along with all the health restrictions that have come with it, I thought that all that we needed was a war to put this whole mess over the edge. And voila! Russia and Ukraine. What more could there be?! I daren’t even think, let alone say anything about a giant meteor hitting the earth or the long threatened earthquake dropping California and the BC coast into the sea.

A mess. Yes, it's all just one big nasty mess, that just seems to get messier and more messed up with each passing day. And that’s true no matter what side you may stand on of whatever debate we’ve got going on these days - whether you're pro or anti vaccine or pro or anti trucker protest or not. It’s messed up in so many different ways for all of us, as each of us also faces our own struggles and burdens and cares and griefs and sorrows in the quiet of our lives, underneath all these other messed up things, even as these other messed up things make our own troubles and trials all the harder to bear.

A mess. Yes, it sure feels like we are in a bit of a mess, to put it rather mildly, especially when you think about what life was like 10 or 5 or even 2 years ago. No, everything wasn’t perfect then either, but no, for many of us, it wasn’t as messed up as it is right now. No, everything wasn’t perfect, because it never has been, ever since Adam and Eve messed up everything in this world, when they messed up by listening to Satan and messed up with God’s command not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A mess. Yes, it’s a mess. It’s always been a mess and it will always be a mess, until God makes all things new again. I know when you’re in the middle of the mess, it can be hard to believe that that day will ever come, just as it’s getting harder to believe that Covid will come to an end or at least settle down enough to let things get back to what they were before it started. Yes, when you’re in the middle of the mess, it can be really hard to see, how that mess could ever end or at least get better. It’s hard to believe it with a pandemic that has only lasted two years now, how much harder it is to believe it with the mess of sin that’s been on the go since the dawn of time.

But the mess of sin will come to an end, beloved, there can be no question about that as we see the beginning of its end starting in Capernaum today, as the Word made flesh wades into the mess of sin and begins His almighty Divine clean-up of it all. As the mess of sin all began in one little corner of the world and spread out to overcome it all, so too the Son of God starts in this little city of Galilee the clean up that will one day spread out to renew the whole world. On the last day of the old world’s creation, the seventh or sabbath day, the Word through whom all things are made begins the making of all things new, that flow out from His birth, death and resurrection.

As one man was deceived and fell under Satan’s power in Eden, the Word made flesh sets one man free from Satan’s power in the synagogue with His Word of truth. As one woman ate death from the tree in Eden and so brought the fever of sin and death to all the living who would come from her, the Lord of life rebukes this fever in a woman and delivers her from death, setting her free to serve those who came from her with the gifts of life. From there the Son of God made flesh goes on to heal every one of the many that are brought to Him as the sun sets on the last day of the old world’s creation. He undoes the effects of sin and death in them, healing their diseases with the touch of His Divine hand and releasing them from Satan’s power with His Word of command.

He then rises on the next day, the first day of the week, the eighth day, the resurrection day and goes out into the rest of the world to proclaim the good news of the kingdom in the other towns, that the fullness of what He has come to do might spread around the whole world and into all of creation. I know that it doesn’t feel or seem like it, as we languish under the second year of this pandemic, as we struggle along with all our other troubles, trials and griefs and sorrows, but the mess of sin is coming to an end, beloved. The Son of God was made flesh and suffered and died on the cross so that He could finish it and rise in victory over it all for us all.

A mess, yes, it sure feels like we are in a bit of a mess to put it mildly, but the Son of God is here today in His Word and in His flesh and blood, to give you hope and deliver you from the lie that it is an unending mess that will go on forever. He speaks out to deliver you from Satan’s power today as He forgives you all your sins. He stretches out His almighty hand at the altar to touch you with His flesh and blood, to release you from the power of death and nourish and carry on your recreation that He began in your baptism. Yes, we are in a bit of a mess, but the divine clean up of that mess has begun, beloved, it is ongoing, and one day when Christ stands on the earth again and makes all things new, it will be finished and done forever.

A mess, yes, it sure feels like we are in a bit of a mess to put it mildly, but the Son of God, is here with you in the midst of that mess in this little town today, and He is calling out to you, “Do not fear, it is I, your God who was made flesh to take on this mess for you and overcome it all with my bitter sufferings and death on the cross and my victorious resurrection. Turn your eyes from the mess and set them on me, the One who has overcome, the One who overcomes and the One who will overcome it all for you forever.” Amen.