Alleluia! He is Risen, therefore… We Praise Him!
Alleluia! He is Risen! Therefore
We Praise Him for He Keeps His Promises!
In Jesus Name
May you praise God our Father as you realize the richness of the grace, the depth of the mercy, and the overwhelming love given to you in through the work of Jesus Christ.
He is Risen….response…and therefore!
Once upon a time there was a pastor who tired of his work, and that people never seemed to hear the message that he labored to create. As the story goes, he decided to do an experiment, and started to preach the same sermon, week after week. Eight weeks or so later, one of his elders asked him if he had used one of the stories in the sermon before, because it sure sounded familiar.
Now, I’ve never done that, probably never will, but I have to admit I’ve been tempted a time or two.
I do imagine that some of the series we do get repetitive. It’s not just me, it’s the readings and the focus of scripture. Though it may say the same thing many different ways there is but one message we preach – Christ Jesus who is the hope our glory.
Since Easter, we’ve used a familiar cry, getting more familiar it, perhaps even tiring of it. (though I hope not!)
Alleluia – He is Risen!
(He Is Risen Indeed, alleluia!)
and therefore –
(We are risen indeed, alleluia!)
Because of the resurrection, we have a new life, a holy life set apart to God, Because of our resurrection with Jesus we have peace, and we persevere.
Today we realize we live a life that is lived in praise of God, because He has kept His promises to us, to those who call upon His name.
LORD versus YHWH
They’ve got to hear this… but so do we!
Luther’s explanation of the 2nd!
As we look at Psalm 146, which is the passage we focus on this morning, we see one word repeated over and over. LORD – is all capital letters.
The word LORD is there, because the translators didn’t quite know what to do with God’s name. It is the name he revealed to the Moses, to reveal to the people He would save. It is the name we are commanded to never use in vain, but to call upon in times of need, and as we see today, to use to praise God.
Does it make a difference, whether we use Lord, which is a title, or the personal name of God? Imagine a man call his wife, Mrs. X, or saying, “wife, come here!”. As I asked people such questions this week, there was a consensus that using a title puts distance between two people, it acts as an insulator, moving the relationship from personal and intimate to more distant, more uncaring.
Luther, in talking about the 2nd commandment, talked of it, not just using the name of God improperly, but by using it in vain, because we don’t use it when we should, to praise Him, to praise Him by laying before Him our lives, our problems, our struggles. That’s what we are supposed to do, that’s how we are supposed to use His name.
God gave us His name to use, to help us realize how committed He was to keeping His promises, the actions that He would take and complete. That’s is why we have hope in YHWH, in God.
Hear the actions He takes again,
He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry! The LORD frees the prisoners! The LORD opens the eyes of the blind! The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down! The LORD loves the godly! The LORD protects the foreigners among us! He cares for the orphans and widows! But he frustrates the plans of the wicked!
Where others fail us, God doesn’t. We aren’t going to get that kind of response from anyone else. We shouldn’t expect it from powerful people, yet we so often do, and complain when they let us down. Their plans don’t last past the time they leave office, never mind until they breathe their last. If our faith, if our trust is in God, then we have something, in them, not so much.
That is why we praise Him.
The Incarnational life – but not quite the way we think
That’s why we praise and glorify Him.
Just a few months ago, during the Christmas season, we praised God because, as the Gospel of John put it, “He came and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
We call that, using church words, the incarnation.
But we praise Him now for a different incarnation, that He has gathered us and given us a new birth Himself. We were born again, linked with His death, so that we could be raised with Him, so that we could relate to God the Father as our Father, so that we could use His name. He who dwelt among us, calls us to dwell in Him.
That is what Christianity is all about, the relationship we have with our Creator. With the God who loves each of us, and pulls us into Him. It is seen throughout our church service, from allowing Him to cleanse us from sin, to our leaving our burdens, the things that cause us anxiety in His hands in prayer, to communion, the most intimate meal’
He gives us His name to call upon, in prayer and praise. Knowing He is here, knowing He loves us,
That’s were find comfort, and the strength to do amazing things, as we reach out to those around us, loving those who do not know love, or the power of God to fix and heal relationships.
Incarnate, dwelling with God, or to use the old phrase, abiding in Him, we find something the world cannot give…..
The peace of God, which passes all understanding, and we are kept there, secured in that peace by Jesus Christ. AMEN.