Preached at Calvary Lutheran Church, Thunder Bay, ON
In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today’s Scripture readings are about preaching! Specifically, what God’s definition of good preaching is. Did you hear any of things we humans look for in good preaching: eloquence, lovely turn of phrase, entertaining, holds your attention? No. All we heard today is that good preaching is fleshy. Bloody. It bares the holy arm of the Lord before the nations of the world in all its power. (Isaiah 52:10) Wounds and all. For that is Our Lord’s power. Therefore, good preaching is Jesus-y. It is about His cross. It is full of Him. For you. His death for you. His blood shed for you. His perfect life for you. His inheritance and His Father’s love secured for you through that cross shaped event around which all history either leads up to or flows out from.
This is what makes God good. Not His almighty power. Not His sovereignty and lordship over the universe. Not His wisdom to solve all your temporal problems but His power and lordship appointed and brought to bare in bloody death for you. In order to purchase you not with silver or gold but with His holy, precious blood and His innocent suffering and death. This solves your temporary problems by securing for you an eternal solution. For there are no 1st world problems, no real world problems that your dead and risen Shepherd who walks with you through the valley of the shadow of death can not lead you through safely. (Psalm 23:4)
But there is another thing that makes for good, Godly, god-ordained preaching. It may or may not seem all that impressive to the ears of unbelief, but it is salvation unto those who have been given the blessed hearing of faith! That second thing that makes for good preaching is God’s sending a man to preach. (Romans 10:14) God’s apostling of His preacher. His authorization to that man as His mouth piece. That’s what we are here for tonight: to mark the sending to preach that God has given Timothy Barone.
God used you to send to you a preacher. But how did God make this man a preacher before He sent Him to you? Remember the 12 disciples? Our Lord Jesus spent three years training them before He breathed on them and sent them to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in His name. And since Our Lord has returned to heaven in His wisdom He leaves behind His Body to do His work. And so just as Jesus raised up the first 12 Christian pastors and apostled them into the world. (Matthew 28:18-20) So now His Church calls, trains, and sends pastors. Which means it was Christians, members of the Church, who said to Tim along way, “You are young man of faith. Have you considered being a pastor?” It was Christian churches led by the Word of God who banded together to have a seminary in which men like Tim could go and receive three intense years of immersion in God’s Word. It was the Church and Her pastors who ordained Tim into this special ministry giving Him the authorization to preach. And you Calvary Lutheran Church who called him here to this place to preach to you. This is God’s work and it is glorious!
And now your Good Shepherd shepherds you. Through His sent messenger. So God’s work is being done this day. His glory is increasing because this man is deposited by Our Lord to preach the Good Shepherd’s laying down of His life for the life of the world. Which means Our Good Shepherd has done it for every single soul here. For every single body in Thunder Bay. For everyone who’s ever lived. Which means Our Lord has others to add to His flock who are not yet in the security of His sheepfold, the Church. But how does He gather His sheep into His flock? By His Word coming through those who are sent. So He’s going to use Pastor Tim. He’s going to use Pastor Tim and you, as you speak the word of forgiveness you have received from Pastor Tim to those God calls you to speak to where God has placed you in your life. For Our Lord will gather still more in to His flock to the praise of His glorious grace. (John 10:16)
In +Jesus’ name, Amen.
—Pastor David Haberstock
Epiphany Lutheran Church
Thunder Bay, ON