Invocavit Wednesday Sermon

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.  —Romans 8:16-17

God would with the opening words of the Lord’s prayer (Our Father who art in heaven) invite us to believe that we are his true children.  Even the Holy Spirit testifies to the case – God has made us his own.  So that we may with all boldness and confidence use his holy name to ask him as dear children ask their dear Father.  But rather — what do we use his holy name for??  We call upon it in every unimportant moment and joke and curse with it upon our lips.  It was by this name that you were brought out of your old life and made a new.  It was by this name that you are marked and targeted by the devil.

True, God’s name is indeed holy by itself.  Without you or me – it is holy and it will remain holy despite our sinful nature.  But that it may be holy among us… holy upon our lips… holy in our use, that is what we pray here.  God has come to you and me when we did not want him in our lives, when we ignored him and ran the other way.  In our sin he stopped us in our tracks and showered his Spirit upon our hearts to make Christians out of the heathen.  This holy name he placed upon us and we were begotten in that baptism.  Begotten and birthed by our mother, the church.  A man must be born of the Spirit.  And born of the Holy Spirit you were.  He testifies with your spirit that God has made you an heir to the heavenly kingdom.  You are holy heirs.

Our Father gives us the kingdom.  We call him Father and he is ours because of that which he done to us.  The Blood of Jesus has washed you and made you a new Adam.  We have been transformed by the glory of Christ and by his blood we are made alive.  Not only alive, but forgiven.  And so the Father continues to give you these gifts of heaven.  He calls out your name and doles out the goods.  He looks out and sees his beloved and is delighted that he has picked you.

And so that name that is above every name has forced fruit to come forth from your branches.  Good works cannot be helped.  They are a natural result of the name that God has placed upon your head and that he wants you to use with your lips.  You are his witnesses and you will suffer because of it… but he has provisions.  There is nourishment for the war, and consolation for the weak of heart.  Jesus has won the victory.  Upon Calvary’s cross, he emptied his body of its life and died.  The Godman died.  You are bound to that death.  It is yours.  The water that was poured over your head and the blood that is poured down your throat have made that death yours.  And the life he lives in his resurrection is yours made real in your baptism.

Sin no longer has mastery over you, but rather it is defeated in the bread and wine here offered.  The body and blood of the King of kings has undone the power of the devil and has elevated you to the right hand of God.  Sons and Daughters of the Almighty Father.  It is real.  He is true to his Word, you are his and he is Our Father.  In +Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Reverend Steven Thomas Cholak