Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

10 July 2005
  Storm Warning from Saint Paul
Ill Wind or Fair?

Hurricane WarningMy sermon was based on today's epistle, Romans 8:18-25.

With Hurricane Dennis in the Gulf of Mexico and bearing down on the US shore, the "sufferings of the present time" certainly present themselves to us. Along with the ills of body and the evil of our fellow man, the forces of nature certainly don't seem "futile" in their subjection. Winds in excess of 140 mph, torrential rains, and tidal surges bespeak a wild and free fury aimed at human safety and security.

Yet as the apostle says, "The creation waits with eager longing" — not for our destruction, but for its own fulfullment. Storms, earthquakes, human weakness and decay — all anticipate "the revealing of the sons of God." In and of itself, Creation is neither benevolent nor malevolent — it merely is. Bound by God and marred by sin, Creation's natural forces bring growth and destruction, rain and drought, life and death. Through it all, they testify to Him who bound Creation and who will free it in the Day of "revealing of the sons of God."

Called to do God's alien work of Law, wrath, and judgment, the clouds pile and swirl, gulping water from the Gulf and vomiting it out on the land, driving it in sun-fueled rage. The hymn Abide with Me reminds us, "Change and decay in all around I see." Beach erosion, snapped trees, and smashed homes point to this decay.

Yet, as Paul noted, "This present time [is] not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." In the Resurrection, all will (finally!) be changed for the better — indeed, for the best. However, as we wait, we need stability — one sure and solid Rock. Thus we also sing, "O Thou, who changest not, Abide with me!" Paul wrote, "We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (1 Cor 15:51-52 ESV)"

Until then, in life's storms and safe harbors, whether for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, the constant love of God in Christ remains with us as He graciously shepherds us to our Promised Land, when dawns our revealing in our Resurrection bodies as the "sons of God."

Hurricane Dennis
Eternal Father, Strong to Save
  1. Eternal Father, strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

  2. O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
    And hushed their raging at Thy Word,
    Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
    And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

  3. Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
    Upon the chaos dark and rude,
    And bid its angry tumult cease,
    And give, for wild confusion, peace;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

  4. O Trinity of love and power!
    Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
    From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
    Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
    Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
    Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

MIDI available from the Lutheran Hymnal Project
 
Comments:
I'll just leave a general comment here about your whole blog: It's wonderful!

Blessings.
 
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