Posted by: St. Mark Lutheran Church | October 11, 2009

Sermon on Matthew 6:13b

This sermon continues our series on the Lord’s Prayer following the outline of Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  It also was a sermon celebrating the Baptism of Samuel Joseph Tomczak.

The Most Obvious Petition

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.  Amen.

But deliver us from the evil one.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Once again, I’m amazed by the Lord’s timing.  Months ago, I prepared the theme, lessons, and hymns for this week.  And now, the week we’re welcoming Samuel Joseph into God’s kingdom through Baptism, we’re also meditating upon the seventh petition, Deliver us from the evil one. Or, as we also pray, Deliver us from evil.

It could be argued that this is the most obvious petition.  Of course we pray this, because the devil’s evil is everywhere.  As for Daniel’s friends, so for us, evil surrounds.  It’s the peer pressure to sin, to give in, to compromise, to capitulate.  It’s the rules that seem to bind our hands so that we can’t do what God wants.  It’s indoctrinated at school, drilled by TV, even preached from pulpits.  It’s the flu we can’t escape.  It’s the cancer that everyone seems to get.  It’s knots in umbilical cords that sometimes remain undiscovered until it’s too late.  It’s evil dictators and immoral legislators.  It’s pervasive crime and tear-jerking poverty.  It’s death without end – death by accident, death by murder, death by neglect, death by disease, death by abortion.  It’s the death of the greatest and the least.  It’s the death of those we love the most.  We can’t escape.  The devil truly is the prince of this world and everything seems to be under his control.

Of course we pray this, because we need deliverance.  Like Daniel’s friends, we aren’t just surrounded, we’re attacked.  We’re threatened with various dangers.  Like Paul, we’re opposed by those who don’t like what we think, say, believe, and do.  But evil isn’t just outside of us, something we lament and lock our doors against and say, “Lord, take it away!”  Like Gatorade, it’s in us.  Samuel, from the moment of conception, was in need of deliverance, because he was born in the image and likeness of his Mom and Dad, a corrupt image and sinful likeness.  So were you.  And it’s not just that you were in need at some vague past time, a need that was eliminated when the waters of Baptism were poured upon you.  You are in need.  You bow to the peer pressure.  You give in.  You compromise.  You capitulate.  You go along with the rules that run counter to God’s Word.  You listen in school, you agree with the TV, and you’re drawn by the preachers who scratch your itch.  You have fallen from your Baptism, just as Samuel will, just as Katherine has, just as Mom and Dad do.  You’ve abandoned ship – not just slipped and fallen off, not just been pushed, but purposefully jumped off!  Surrounded by evil, courted by the prince of this world, you’ve joined up.

And left unchecked, the evil grows.  The longer we live, the more the vice and evil and sin we take part of. The sinful nature with which you’re saddled, if it’s not stopped grows with unrestrained power until finally it overwhelms you and kills you.  You’ve seen it in your own life, the slow take-over of sin.  You’ve seen it in the lives of those around you, family and friends, where the fight has ended, unconditional surrender has occurred, and the prince of this world has won.  You’ve seen those who don’t fear this and hate this.  But so long as we pray this petition, so long as we are reaching and grasping for help and deliverance, there is yet hope.  Though we have so often jumped off the ship, though we’ve fallen from our Baptism’s and run from our Father’s house, our Father’s love abides forever.  Your Baptism is an eternal covenant between your Father and you.  His help is ever near.  Of course we pray Deliver us from the evil one and from evil, because we have a God who has delivered us

We bring Samuel here, just as we did Katherine, and your parents brought you and you brought your children, not out of superstitious fear, or desiring some magical enchantment.  We bring him here with the same confidence that filled Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before the fiery furnace: If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods. We bring Samuel, because Paul’s words ring true in our hearts: The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. We bring our son, we anoint Him in the divine water, because God spoke.  He said, Go…baptize! He said, Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. He said, Baptism now saves you also! He says it brings forth rebirth and renewal.  And God does not lie.  He says, “I will deliver you from evil!”  And the angels announced the fulfillment of those words:  You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.

The God who speaks the truth is the God who assumed a human nature 2,000 years ago, who, like Samuel, spent nine months in His mother’s womb, was born and circumcised and baptized, who lived under God’s requirements, but, unlike Samuel, kept God’s requirements.  God in the flesh did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing.  He became fully human, though He was the fullness of the Deity.  He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.  He delivered Himself over to evil.  He delivered Himself over to sin.  He delivered Himself over to death.  So that we need not be.  So that in these glorious waters, we have the comfort of God’s promise and God’s salvation, of God’s deliverance from the Evil One and his evil.  This morning God delivered Samuel from evil:  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Just as He delivered you.  And so Paul’s words apply equally to Samuel, to Katherine, to Mom and Dad, and to all those baptized:  Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Deliver us from the evil one. This is not a pie-in-the-sky hope.  This is a Calvary-won, Empty-Tomb assured guarantee.  Your Father does deliver you because He has delivered you.  It’s so obvious.  The God whose name is holy, whose Kingdom has and will come, whose will is done on earth as it is in heaven, does not stop at the giving of daily bread, the granting of forgiveness, or the relief of temptation.  It’s not too good to be true.  It’s just true.  Amen.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Amen


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: