161204 Romans 15:5-6

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 December 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Romans 15:5-6
Sermon Theme: Given A Spirit of Unity, We Celebrate!

As I was looking forward to this celebration Sunday, there were certain hymns that came to mind such as "We All Are One in Mission" (which we will sing in just a little while) as well as words of praise found in certain Psalms such as "O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!" But there was this one other song that kept coming to mind. It is not a hymn found in our hymnal. It is not one of the hymns of praise found in the Psalms. Rather, the song that came to mind is one that is played many times after a home team wins their game. The song is "Celebration" that was released by the group Kool & The Gang back in 1980. Now, please don't go running for the doors at this point. I know that "Celebration" it is not a song we would use in our worship services. If you haven't heard the song before, and you are curious, there is a youtube video available. But, there is a verse in that song that I think we can make fit for our "Celebration Sunday" this weekend. It goes like this:

There's a party goin' on right here
(we would say a worship service)
A dedication to last throughout the years
(we could say that this is what we have been asking for from our members the past month or so; you have been asked for a dedication to last throughout the years; to be more specific, to consider a 3 year commitment to our FORWARD capital campaign)
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate and party with you!
(with joy in our hearts, with smiles on our faces, you and I gather together this morning and celebrate)

Let's turn our attention back to the Word of our God. The portion of the Bible that I would like us to focus on at this time is two verses taken from the Second Lesson that Pastor Pagels read for us earlier. On this special Sunday, thanking the Lord of the Church that we have been GIVEN A SPIRIT OF UNITY, WE CELEBRATE! I invite you to listen as I read from Romans chapter 15, verses 5 and 6:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You and I have so many reasons to celebrate today. First and foremost is that because of Jesus, our Savior, you and I enjoy unity with him and our Father in heaven. Your sins and mine had separated you and me from our Father in heaven. But, as we celebrate during this Advent Season of the Church Year, Jesus Christ humbly came to earth to restore our relationship with our Savior-God. Because of the forgiveness of sins that Jesus won for you and me, we know that when he comes again in all his glory we will be united with him and live forever as children of our Father in heaven.

Not only do you and I enjoy unity with our Savior-God, but because of Jesus we also enjoy unity with one another. United together we support and encourage one another. As we read from God's Word before us here in Romans 15, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus..." Following the example of our Savior, who encourages you and me through his Word, you and I encourage one another. The writer to the Hebrews tells us this is one of the blessings we enjoy each time we gather together: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)

Given a spirit of unity, today we celebrate! Or, as we read from God Word, we gather today "so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Each time we gather in a worship service such as this one, with "one heart and mouth", you and I celebrate. Each time you and I use our God-given gifts to serve our Lord and others, "we glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." As together we carry out the ministry of our congregation today, as together we look FORWARD to the future, we do so, not for our praise and glory, but rather, being united, our prayer is that "with one heart and mouth [we] may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

In just a few moments, Mr. Kyle Koltz will spend some time giving all of us an update on our FORWARD campaign. I don't want to steel too much of his thunder, but let me share this final thought with you. Now that I have returned the Call to serve as an Associate Pastor at Peace in Sun Prairie, some have asked about my reasons for returning that Call. One of the main reasons why I returned that Call, is because I am excited! I am excited to be serving you, the members of St. Matthew's, as one of your Pastors, at this point in the history of our congregation! I am excited to see so many of you getting behind this effort with your joy-filled commitments!

One of the reasons for all of us to celebrate this morning is because the Lord of the Church has blessed us with a spirit of unity here at St. Matthew's. I think that one of the videos that we produced as part of our FORWARD campaign brings out this unity. Many of you may have already seen this video. Perhaps there are some here today who haven't seen it yet. (By the way, all the videos that were produced may be viewed simply by going to our web site) Now, as we watch this particular video, keep in mind what today's service is about: GIVEN A SPIRIT OF UNITY, WE CELEBRATE! Amen.

 

 

Our Mission Statement:

Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Sunday
8:00 A.M. & 10:30 A.M.

9:15 A.M. Bible Study for All Ages

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818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-912-6060

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