Tell Future Generations About the Lord! (February 4, 2019)

Sermon Text:  Psalm 22:30-31

Pastor Daniel Schmidt

In our “Large Group” Bible Study between services, we are studying the book of Psalms. Specifically, we are looking at how the Psalms proclaim the Good News of the Gospel. Last week, we began a study of 28 verses taken from different Psalms that proclaim the Good News that Jesus is the promised Messiah; that is, the one chosen to be your Savior and mine.

One of the Psalms we looked at was Psalm 22.  Two verses of Psalm 22 are fitting for us to focus on today as we celebrate “Lutheran Education Sunday.”  I invite you to listen as I read verses 30-31 of Psalm 22 where you and I hear the encouragement to TELL FUTURE GENERATIONS ABOUT THE LORD!

Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 

They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn – for he has done it!

What will you and I tell “future generations” about the Lord?  What will you and I proclaim about him “to a people yet unborn?”  God’s Word before us says that we “will proclaim his righteousness…for he has done it!”  Because of your sins and mine, you and I are not able to make ourselves right with God.  As we confess in the words of Psalm 51, “Surely I was sinful from birth; sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”  That sin makes you and me guilty.  And the result of your sin and mine is death. In Psalm 49 sinners like you and me are described “like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd…Their forms will decay in the grave.”

Because of your sins and mine, you and I needed a Savior who could make us right with the one true God. He needed to do it for us.  Jesus, as our Messiah, as our one and only Savior, is the One who made you and me righteous in the eyes of the one true God. Jesus won for you and me the forgiveness of all of our sins.  How did our Savior do this?  It was on the cross where Jesus carried your sins and mine as he suffered and died in your place and mine.  Several of the verses found in Psalm 22 where fulfilled on Good Friday:

Those who crucified our Savior fulfilled verses 16 and 18 of Psalm 22, “Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet…They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”

As he hung on the cross, Jesus’ enemies made fun of him, fulfilling the words of verses 6-8, “I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. ‘He trusts in the LORD,’ they say, ‘let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.’”

As our perfect Substitute suffered the full wrath and anger of God over sin, he cried out in the words of verse 1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?”

But death and the grave could not hold our Messiah, and he rose again in great victory over sin and death. God the Father accepted the prefect life, the suffering and the death of his Son as the full the payment price for your sins and mine.  As we read in verse 24, “For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” This is what you and I will tell future generations about the Lord.

From the time it was started back in 1922, to tell the future generations about the Lord has been a priority of our congregation’s ministry. You may have heard me share this quote from St. Matthew’s very first pastor, Pastor W. P. Hass, but it is so fitting on this “Lutheran Education Sunday”:

“On September 3, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, dedicated its school building to be a workshop of our gracious God for its children and for the children of others entrusted to the care of the church…May the Master-Teacher be with St. Matthew’s Church school that it may never fall prey to the fads and fancies of the educationists on the outside, that it may never lose sight of the aim for which it was established, to wit: To make children wise unto salvation, to produce salt of the earth…May the Master bless abundantly St. Matthew’s members, who in the face of many obstacles rallied ungrudgingly to the erection of this new building to put into effect the unanimous resolution: SCHOOL FIRST.”

To tell future generations about the Lord is a priority of our congregation’s ministry still today. According to records in our church office, we have over 200 students who are blessed with the opportunity to be in “full-time” Lutheran Education.  A closer look at the numbers shows 167 students in grades 3K-8th attending our Lutheran elementary school on the Brown Street campus; 24 students who attend Lakeside Lutheran High School and another 4 students who attend Wisconsin Lutheran College; then there are the 21 students of our congregation who attend one of our Wisconsin Synod’s Ministerial Education schools: 7 at Luther Prep, 9 at Martin Luther College and 5 at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

There is more.  To tell future generations about the Lord we opened First Steps Childcare Center last fall, where we currently have 59 children enrolled. On Sunday mornings we have our Adult Bible studies, teen Bible study, and Sunday Bible Adventures.  During the week, different Bible studies are held for our teens and adults.  Together we as a congregation combine our resources of our time, talents and money in order to tell the future generations about the Lord

On a weekend such as this, you and I take time to give all thanks and praise to the Lord of the Church for the blessing of Lutheran education.  And we pray that he will continue to bless all our faithful efforts to TELL FURTURE GENERATIONS ABOUT THE LORD.  Amen