Trinity News and Sermons

2015/8/16 Sermon

Sermon for 2015/8/16

12th Sunday after Pentecost

Ephesians 5:18b-20

be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NRSV)

Sermon hymn for this day was also the foundation of the sermon.

ELW #861

When Long before Time

The Singer and the Song

1    When long before time and the worlds were begun,

when there was no earth and no sky and no sun,

and all was deep silence and night reigned supreme,

and even our Maker had only a dream–


2    The silence was broken when God sang the Song,

and light pierced the darkness and rhythm began,

and with its first birth-cries creation was born,

and creaturely voices sang praise to the morn.


3    The sounds of the creatures were one with their Lord’s,

their harmonies sweet and befitting the Word;

the Singer was pleased as the earth sang the Song,

the choir of the creatures reechoed it long.


4    Though down through the ages the Song disappeared,

its harmonies broken and almost unheard,

the Singer comes to us to sing it again,

our God-is-with-us in the world now as then.


5    The Light has returned as it came once before,

the Song of the Lord is our own song once more,

so let us all sing with one heart and one voice

the Song of the Singer in whom we rejoice.


6    To you, God the Singer, our voices we raise,

to you, Song Incarnate, we give all our praise,

to you, Holy Spirit, our life and our breath,

be glory for ever, through life and through death.


Text: Peter W. A. Davison, b. 1936

Text © Peter W. A. Davison, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
We are called to sing, as an act of worship and praise to God, and music is a gift from God to lift our spirits, even when times are tough.


Everyone was encouraged to sing through the week.

I told the old joke/story of the two boys that sang in the Children’s Choir in church.  One had a wonderful voice and admirers were always hoping he would get a solo, his voice sounded like the angels.

The second was joyful, but the sound he made was more like a “joyful noise” than anything else.  He sounded like a frog croaking.

But there was a problem.  The one with the stupendous voice here on earth was rather self-centered and really didn’t believe what he was singing.  He was not so interested in praising God as showing off.

The second, who “couldn’t carry a tune” sang from his heart.

God is heaven has filters on his ears and hears the songs of the heart.  So the one boy who sounded so great here on earth sounded rather monotone and not so great to our Father in heaven.  The other boy?  His voice was as melodious as that of the angels!


Sing from your heart to praise an honor God.


Also told a true story that we learned in our Grow My Church Strategic Planning time, about a pastor that was greeting the worship attenders after service one Sunday, and along time member stood in the corner with a scowl on his face and his hands crossed, refusing to greet that pastor.  After the others had left, the pastor went over to him and said, “Mr. Johnson, what is wrong?”  Mr. Johnson replied, “I didn’t like that last hymn!”  That pastor, gently responded, “I’m sorry.  We didn’t sing it for you.  We sang it for God.”


Sing from your heart to praise and honor God.


Also reminded the congregation of my favorite hymn – that I want sung at my funeral, whenever and wherever that shall be.

It is ELW #763 “My Life Flows On in Endless Song”.


Some of the words are:  Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing.  It finds an echo in  my soul.  How can I keep from singing?

No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I’m clinging.

Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?



Sing from your heart to praise an honor God.