The Sermon for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost August 14, 2022
Text: Luke 12:49-53 CW-21 Series C 22:2338
Theme: Lord Jesus, Set Me On Fire.
Just after Christmas our family went to Silver Dollar City. It was the first time I had been there in a number of years. I enjoy the rides. Even in my “old” age, I will ride all the roller coasters. You know, if you go back far enough, there was a time when there was only one roller coaster ride. Do you know which ride I mean? Fire in the hole!
The town is ablaze; cabins are burning; Baldknobbers’ guns are ablazing; a train almost runs you down. You drop quickly into a “cave” and a voice calls out, “Fire in the hole!” If you’ve been on the ride, you know what is coming. But even though you know it’s coming, the phrase “Fire in the hole!” makes your pulse race a bit.
“Fire!” That cry has potential to frighten. Who doesn’t respond in some way when fire trucks scream down the street? Yell “Fire!” in a crowd and see what happens. Panic.
Does the cry “Fire in the hole!” catch your attention? How about the cry: “Fire from heaven!”? It’s what Jesus calls out in our text. Maybe the way He cries is not as dramatic, but He wants to capture your attention. What does He have in mind with such words?
Jesus came from heaven to set our world ablaze, not with lightening or fire and brimstone but in a very real way. There’s a destructive sense to fire but also a beneficial one. He calls to us today so that we might quickly respond: Lord Jesus, Set Me on Fire.
I. Burning with Your love and a desire for Your purifying Gospel.
Fire! Although Jesus does not yell it that way in our text, He puts the word in the most emphatic position in the sentence: “Fire I have come to throw upon the earth! And how I wish it were already ignited.” That does not make for very good English word order, but in saying it that way He was telling something very, very important. He wants you to sit up and take notice of His words because what He tells you about fire is the reality of the Christian life. So, what did He mean when He said, “Fire! I came to hurl on the earth!”?
The first thing you might think about is the fire of Judgment Day. It’s where our world is headed. Christians know that we are on a collision course towards the end when fire will consume our world. Peter writes, “That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat” (2:3:12).
That’s a fearful thought. But even more fearful is that which Jesus said would happen to those who on that day are caught unprepared without faith in Him. On that day He will say to those who failed to trust in Him as the Savior: “Depart from me, you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels….Then they will go away to eternal punishment” (Mt.25:41). Setting the world on fire is one thing. Setting people ablaze is quite another and is most terrifying. What if you or I, through unbelief, were set ablaze on the last day in a fire that never ends?
I’ve suffered burns before, mostly through my carelessness with things that are hot. I’ve burned myself on a stove, burned my fingers when I held a match too long, burned myself stirring a campfire; that hurts. But thank God, I haven’t suffered severe burns. I can’t imagine the pain involved when fire consumes one’s flesh and sets nerves ablaze. Yet, even those burns are minor in comparison to the sorrows that unbelief on the Last Day will bring upon those who did not receive the Lord Jesus in faith. Often the Bible points to Judgment Day and punishment for unbelief when it talks about fire.
But in our text Jesus is not fast-forwarding us to Judgment Day as much as He is explaining that which took place when He was on earth and continues in our lives in the present. He came from heaven to start a fire that will burn in our lives up to the time of the Last Day.
It’s not a fire with flames to it. Nevertheless, it hurts. Call it the fire of discord, division, or disunity that separates believer and unbeliever. Such discord is the opposite of peace. You certainly see the turmoil that division is having in our country and the world today. How much division there is among people. That is the context here when He says, “Do you think I came to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” And He goes on to describe division in the most intimate way in life – in relationships within the family. Families will be divided: 2 against 3, 3 against 2, fathers against sons, mothers against daughters, and so on. It’s the inevitable result whenever the Gospel of Christ our Savior is proclaimed.
The Bible puts it simply when it says that some will be for Christ and others will be against Him. That’s not Jesus’ desire. His desire is for all to be with Him and to be saved (1Tm.2:4). He once said, “I did not come to destroy men’s lives (souls), but to save them” (Lk.9:56). Division ending in eternal destruction is not Jesus’ desire. But sadly, division is the reality. Some reject the Gospel message; others receive it with joy. I pray that we are all in that second camp, of faith, that
receives the Lord Jesus and the Gospel truth of His Word with joy.
We’ve got a Savior who brings us forgiveness, life, and heaven! He brings peace between us sinners and a holy God, and many other blessings. We may not have peace in the world around us where many despise what God says for the sake of their own selfish and sinful desires. Then they attack Christians and the Word of God. We’re not at peace with them because Jesus didn’t come to bring peace to such hard-hearted people, although He desires it for all. He came to bring us peace with God that will go with us all the way to heaven. Paul writes, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus…. And the God of peace will be with you” (Phlp.4:7f).
That news burns in believers’ hearts in a good way, with desire, passion, and love towards God who saved us eternally. In Christ He purified us like gold in the fire, ridding us of the dregs of sin. That’s a good fire. As Christians we want to say, Lord, Set Our Hearts on Fire, burning with love and a desire for Your purifying Gospel
Sadly, that’s not the way it is for everyone. Some oppose Christ. That also happens in families. It did with Jesus. His brothers at first did not accept Him as Christ. How distressed He must have been! His own family did not believe in Him (Jn.7:5). They called Him out of His mind (Mk.3:21). The people of His hometown tried to stone Him to death (Lk.4). One of His closest friends betrayed Him. Jesus knows what it is like to suffer upheaval and division in a family and among friends who don’t believe in Him. It’s reality. Some oppose Him. That causes distress and division instead of peace.
But never give up should that be the case for you. Continue to gently, kindly live and proclaim the purifying Gospel. Divisions can be healed. They don’t have to last forever. Jesus’ family, though once divided, became staunch defenders of the faith because He burned with a love and desire to bring the purifying Gospel to all.
May each of us be quick to say, Lord Jesus, Set Me on Fire burning with Your love and a desire for Your purifying Gospel.
II. Burning with steadfast endurance to stand with You.
The Apostle Paul wrote about such love and burning desire for the Gospel and how it affected his life when he said, “For Christ’s love compels us….He died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Co.5:14). Paul burned with desire to stand with Christ and to endure in the faith.
In our text Jesus described His great, determined love for sinners by saying, “I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished!”
Here baptism does not refer to water, but to the cross that would totally consume Jesus. And the word “distressed” is the same Greek word that Paul uses when he says, “the love of Christ compels us.”
Literally, that word means “hold together” or “shut in place” as when the doors of heaven are shut so that it doesn’t rain. The idea is that of tension. If the doors of heaven are shut, the waters press hard against them. The water wants to impel things forward.
Jesus wanted to push on. He is a determined Savior. In His love He wanted to impel Himself forward to the cross so that He could win salvation for us. But not all would accept Him. The cross would become the great dividing point in history. Either people believe in Him as the only way to heaven, or they don’t. The cross is the great dividing point of society, and Jesus was consumed with desire to press forward to make it happen. That’s what He meant when He said, “I have a baptism to undergo, and how it presses (consumes) me hard until it’s done, brought to its goal, finished.” It’s the same word He used on the cross. He wouldn’t let anything keep Him from it.
That becomes the pattern of our lives in Him. Even if there is division within families or among friends and they stand opposite us in faith, endure with Christ. Stand like He did. To that end we all should pray, Lord, Set Me on Fire burning with a steadfast endurance to stand with You.
When I was in school, our coach taught us to press forward to victory saying, “You’ve got to have a fire in your belly.” Nothing harms a team more than athletes with no drive, no inner compulsion striving to give their all. And nothing hurts the Church more than members who do not burn with desire to endure in faith and work for Christ.
Think of Jesus. He gave His all for us. Nothing would deter Him from what He calls the baptism of the cross. A fire burned within Him to complete it for us. He endured and stood steadfast.
In love for Him, let that same determination burn within you. Divisions may separate. But they can be overcome through the Gospel. Some will be converted, souls will be saved, and through it all God will be glorified. God grant it to us in faith for Jesus’ sake.
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
You can also find us on Facebook
The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost August 14, 2022
“I came to throw fire on the earth. How I wish it were already ignited.” Lk.12:49
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“Answer me when I call, my God; you alone keep my life secure. Give me relief from distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. In peace I will lie down and sleep. You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4).
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
Persevere in Faith. How important the Gospel is to us who believe! Where would we be without its comfort and assurances? It brings joy, peace, and contentment to our lives in a world torn and divided by sin.
But the proclamation of the Gospel often runs into difficulty in the world. It does not always bring peace. It often arouses opposition. Jesus indicated that would happen when He said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Opposition will come against those who stand in Christ. But the Lord will uphold His people.
So, fix your eyes on Christ. Persevere in faith. As you do you glorify God and help others. Be faithful until death and a crown of life awaits.
To that end we pray: Almighty and merciful God, it is only by Your gift of grace that we come into Your presence and offer true and faithful service. Grant that we may persevere in faith and that our worship on earth may always be pleasing to You. In the life to come, give us the
fulfillment of what You have promised, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– T h e W o r d o f G o d f o r T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 23:23-29
Doesn’t the omnipresent God know what’s going on? He knows everything, whether nearby or from a distance, and sees those who oppose Him by lying about His Word. His anger burns against false prophets. So, He calls us to be faithful in proclaiming His Word. Persevere in the faith!
The Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 12:1-13
The Christian life is an endurance race, run with remembrance of those saints who have gone before us and have already crossed the finish line. But most of all we look to Jesus and His cross. In Him our race is already run because Christ was not afraid to redeem us, despite the humiliation He experienced in His suffering and death.
The Gospel Lesson: Luke 12:49-53
In a fallen world opposition to the Lord is inevitable. It even tears families apart as some believe and others reject His Word. As long as this world remains in sin, there will not be earthly peace. But all who persevere in faith will be saved and have peace with God now and forever.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Today’s Organist: Jane Rips
The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Points to Ponder: “The Lord says, ‘I have come to light a fire on earth.’ Not that houses fall down; they stay. But there will be dissension in a house….One will have a faith that differs from that of the other….Christ rules by the Gospel, which creates an upheaval….We who differ from others in the faith kill no one but teach that everybody should be obedient in his station in life; and the hearts are estranged from one another so far as faith is concerned. I would that this upheaval were found in all homes, for in this way the Gospel increases and grows strong.”
— Martin Luther on A Man’s Enemies of His Own Household
“You are not forbidden to love your parents or your neighbor, but you are forbidden to prefer them to God.”
— church father Ambrose on Luke 12:51-23
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #479
Order of Worship: The Service: Setting One page 154-160
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
Gospel Acclamation: pg.161
Sermon: Luke 12:49-53 Lord Jesus, Set Me on Fire in You
The Apostles’ Creed pg.163
Our Response to the Word
Prayer of the Church: pg.164
The Lord Blesses Us
The Closing Prayer and Blessing Hymnal page 171
Closing Hymn: #869
The Tenth Sunday After Pentecost – Series C
Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 23:23-29 God’s Word Is Like Fire
23Am I a God who is only nearby, declares the Lord,
and not a God far away?
24Can anyone hide in secret places
so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord.
Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.
25I have heard what the prophets who prophesy lies in my name have said. They say, “I have had a dream! I have had a dream!” 26How long will this be in the hearts of these lying prophets? These prophets proclaim the fantasies of their own hearts. 27They think they can make my people forget my name with the dreams each one tells his neighbor, the way their fathers forgot my name because of Baal. 28Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream. But let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully.
What has chaff to do with grain? declares the Lord. 29Is not my word like a fire? declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 12:1-13 Run the Race, Enduring Suffering
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us get rid of every burden and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let us run with patient endurance the race that is laid out for us. 2Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author of our faith and the one who brings it to its goal. In view of the joy set before him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of God’s throne. 3Carefully consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinful people, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.
4You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood in your fight against sin. 5Have you also forgotten the encouragement that addresses you as sons?
My son, do not regard the Lord’s discipline lightly,
and do not become weary of his correction.
6For the Lord disciplines the one whom he loves,
and he corrects every son he accepts.
7Endure suffering as discipline. God is dealing with you as sons. Is there a son whose father does not discipline him? 8If you are not disciplined (and all of us have received it), then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9In addition, we have earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Should we not submit even more to the Father of the spirits and live? 10They disciplined us for a little while, according to what seemed best to them, but God disciplines us for our good, so that we may have a share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant when it is happening, but painful, yet later it yields a peaceful harvest of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore strengthen your weak hands and feeble knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but rather healed.
Gospel Lesson: Luke 12:49-53 – Christ Brings Division
49“I came to throw fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ignited. 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished! 51Do you think that I came to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52Yes, from now on there will be five divided in one household: three against two, and two against three. 53They will be divided: father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019 The Wartburg Project.
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service
Fellowship & Bible Study
Elders and Trustees
Church Council Meeting
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion
online – Facebook
Fellowship & Bible Study
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
“Can’t we all just get along?” That’s the sentiment of many when it comes to religious matters. Sadly, that sentiment is usually combined with the idea that “no one has a monopoly on the truth.” People argue: “Truth is relative. What might be true for you is not necessarily true for me.” Jesus says otherwise. He boldly claims that there is no truth apart from Him and His Word. As followers of Jesus, we stand firmly with Him in our faith. But, such a stance will certainly bring division in a world of falsehood.
The Gospel Lesson: Luke 12:49-53 (answers are found on the back side)
- What misperception do many people have about Jesus and his work?
- But isn’t Jesus called the “Prince of Peace” in Isaiah 9?
- Why are Jesus and his teaching so divisive in our world?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (the Long’s son-in-law); Libya, Jodi Milam’s granddaughter, diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis; Elizabeth Lisenby; Barbara Long; Lois Wiese.
Slavery Does the Bible say anything about it? How should I react to someone who has wronged and deserted me? Join us for Bible Class after worship as we study Paul’s Epistle to Philemon in our present study on short chapters of the Bible
Forward in Christ’s latest edition for August can be found in the narthex. Pick up a copy before leaving. Also, the next series of Meditations daily devotions has arrived. They will begin at the end of this month. There are plenty of copies for family and friends in the narthex.
Tuesday, August 16 – Elders/Trustees Meet Individually at 6:30 pm, Church Council at 7 pm
The Week in Review
Last Sunday Worship: 21; Communed: 21; Bible Class: 14; Midweek Bible Class: 7; Offering: $2,131.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Pentecost 11: Isaiah 66:18-24; Hebrews 12:18-24; Luke 13:22-30 (CW-21, Series C)
Answers to Today’s Gospel Lesson Brief Study:
- Many people think that Jesus came to bring worldly peace and social justice. Instead, Jesus points out in these verses that he and his teaching are divisive.
- Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and he did come to bring peace, just not worldly peace. Instead, Jesus came to bring peace between sinful human beings and his holy heavenly Father, and through his life, death and resurrection he has done just that (Romans 5:1).
- Jesus and his teaching are divisive because he proclaims absolute truth. In fact, he is the absolute Truth (John 14:6). In a world filled with false ideas about “relative truth,” Jesus boldly states that we must either be for him or against him (Luke 11:23). Neutrality is not an option. Such absolute commitment will naturally bring division in this world, even within families, as Christians are compelled to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and to reject all falsehood (2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1).
This week I am praying for……