Jesus: Crucifying the Great Divide — A LampLight Conversation (Sermon helps)
In my last post, I briefly recounted why KNGN developed the show: LampLight Conversations. I, however, did not introduce you to the regular conversationalists. There’s Adam Spanier, the station manager of KNGN, who brings a layman’s point of view to the conversation. There’s Pastor Brad Rick, who serves at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Culbertson, NE, and also serves as vacancy pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oberlin, KS. And then there’s me, Pastor Derrick Brown, currently serving the saints who gather together at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Curtis, NE. As you might have noticed, we’re partial to St. John in this area. This past week we were joined by Pastor David Kahle. Pastor Kahle serves at Zion Lutheran Church in Imperial, NE. Now, because Pastor Kahle is a fellow brother in the circuit, I feel it necessary to inform our listeners outside our local listening area, that some of the conversation contains a few friendly jibes which are common among us brothers. So, if you don’t quite get all of our friendly banter, I would ask you to simply rejoice with us in that, as we serve together in the harvest fields our Lord has sent us to, we continue to build a camaraderie as we walk together in the high Office of the Holy Ministry.
With that preamble behind us, I would now like to touch upon some of the talking points that came up in the show for the Second Sunday in Advent.
As we prepared for the show, we decided to start off by looking at the Gospel lesson, Matthew 3:1–12. A point Pastor Kahle brought up at the beginning of our conversation was that there is a problem between God a man; there’s a divide between us. And this divide is sin. Most of the time, when we think of a divide, we think of a gap or space, but, in reality, this divide is full – blocked. There is always something wedged into this divide. Later, during our conversation of the Epistle lesson, Pastor Kahle also mentioned that this divide is not just between God and man, but also between individuals.
But back to our conversation on the Gospel lesson.
The people coming from all around Judea to see this crazy, wild–eyed prophet, who wears a garment of camel’s hair and eats locusts and wild honey, come to the muddy banks of the Jordan river, pouring their sins into those waters. And we see from the Forerunner of Christ a foretelling of how God, through His work in Holy Baptism, brings down the divide between Himself and man. John is given the most important message, and we see this come to light when he will, a little later, baptize the Gospel in the Jordan. God, through His Son, Christ Jesus, takes on all of our sins in that water; they flow off of us and onto Him, and He carries them to the Cross and, puts them to death.
But before the coming of the Christ to the Jordan, John is called to be the house-cleaner before the Passover. The Israelites were to clean out all the leaven before the celebrating the Passover meal. And John is sent to get the leaven out of the house of Israel, by calling them to repentance for, as we learn elsewhere, it is sin which leavens the whole lump.
Pastor Rick commented that John preaches the Law to both those who are repentant and to the Pharisees, who are not. And, dovetailing back on the theme of the divide, it was noted that, for the Pharisees, their church—their religion—was what was wedged between them and God
As the conversation turned towards the Pharisees and Saducees, it was commented that because they were public servants of the Church, so too, they are publicly called to repentance by John. Also, it was discussed whether or not there are Pharisees and Saducees today. Pastor Rick reminded us that there’s a little Pharisee in all of us, but the one who really lives by their works evidences themselves as a Pharisee.
Our conversation then moved to the Old Testament lesson, Isaiah 11:1–10. Here, we spent some time conversing on the strangeness of the phrase: a shoot from the stump of Jesse. For elsewhere in Scripture we find this phrase and concept to contain not Jesse, but David. Yet the depth of the Scriptures is amazing, for in the use of Jesse, David’s father, we see how Jesus is, as the Psalmist puts it: David’s son yet David’s lord.
We also spent a little time going over the appointed Psalm, Psalm 72:1–7, and how this psalm reflects alongside the beautiful promises we also heard in the Old Testament lesson.
Our show closed with a conversation on the Epistle lesson, Romans 15:4–13. Pastor Kahle remarked how St. Paul was a great catechist. For St. Paul brings to our attention that all of Scriptures were written for our instruction, and that Christ is the heart and center of the Scriptures.
Pastor Kahle, again speaking of the divide between man and God, notes that God comes and crucifies the divide with His Son. This is how God removes the divide between Himself and man. For it is Christ who creates the harmony of which St. Paul speaks of, not us.
There were many other facets that were brought out in our conversation, too many to give you a blow by blow account here. Rather, I encourage you to just either go to KNGN and listen online when the show is rebroadcast. Or, if you’re like me and a tad impatient, just listen to the episode on demand.
LampLight Conversations is brought to you by KNGN. Visit kngn.org to listen online every Tuesday @ 9am, Thursday @ 5pm, Saturday @ 10am or Sunday @ 9am or 2pm (all times CT).
Or listen On Demand by visiting kngn.org and clicking on the LampLight Conversations link.
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