“Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:19-20)

November’ 25 & 26, 2017

2 Corinthians 1:19-20 “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you … was not “yes” and “no” but in Him it has always been “yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “yes” in Christ. And so through Him the Amen is spoken by us to the glory of God.”

Amen – It’s dangerous to begin a sermon with the word “amen”… it’s almost always the end: of a prayer, the Creed, sermon, the Benediction! We say “amen” all the time, we teach it to our children; but do we even think about what it means and why we say it? Many times don’t we treat “amen” sort of like a punctuation mark? We say our prayers; then say “amen,” and it just means “O.K. — the prayer’s over / time to eat, time to crawl in bed / the sermon is done / the church service is almost over…” But “amen” means a whole lot more than that!

In Jesus, God says His “yes” and “amen” to us through His promises; and in Jesus, we say our ‘yes and amen’ back to God in our worship and in all of our lives.

Ending a prayer with Amen is an act of faith. It means we believe what was said; we acknowledge that God’s truth must stand, and God’s will is most assuredly done. In public worship the Amen is regularly spoken by the congregation. For example, whenever the pastor prays a prayer on behalf of the congregation, the response of the people is Amen. The same is true of various points in the service where the pastor speaks words of blessing from God. Following the words of absolution, the congregation’s Amen indicates that these words of forgiveness spoken by the pastor are not mere words, but words of power and life. To say Amen means “Yes, this is true.” God’s gift is received.

A similar use of the Amen is our response to the Invocation, the Benediction and especially after the dismissal from communion. What could be a more powerful witness to our belief in the real presence of Christ’s body and blood through which he distributes forgiveness and life than for the communicants to respond with a hearty Amen following the eating and drinking of Christ’s body and blood? What else can be said as the pastor sends us off with such comforting and encouraging words: The body and blood of our Lord strengthen and preserve you steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting. Go in peace. Amen is the only word that will do.

Are you living in the fullest enjoyment of God’s YES to you in Christ Jesus? Is there any of God’s YES to you to which you are saying NO or MAYBE or NOT NOW? [Faithful and regular in Bible reading, prayers and devotions? Faithful and regular in worship and group Bible Study? Faithful and regular in the use of our time, abilities and resources?] Let our consecration to God at the end of another church year be this: the renewal of my YES to you, O God. I consecrate myself to forsake the NO and the MAYBE and the NOT NOW of my unbelief. And I say YES to everything in your YES to me.

Jesus spoke the “Amen” often at the beginning of His teachings: “Amen, Amen, (NIV “I tell you the truth”) heaven and earth will pass away, but My Word will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:34-35) Jesus was talking to Nicodemus: “Amen, amen, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” [78 times in Matthew – John and 25+ more times in the rest of the New Testament!] We must be careful not to lose the passion in God’s heart as He tries to get our attention. God wants us to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we must turn away from sin, and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.

In Jesus, God says His “yes” and “amen” to us through His promises; and in Jesus, we say our ‘yes and amen’ back to God in our worship and in all of our lives.

Perhaps the most powerful use of the word amen in all of Scripture is in Revelation 3, where our Lord is given the name and title of “Amen.” John shares the divine message: “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.’ ” Jesus is the beginning and the end, to Him belong our praise and our Amens. And so John also writes: Revelation 22:20-21 “He who testifies to these things [namely, Christ] says, “Yes [= Amen], I am coming quickly,” to which John (and we, believers) respond to Jesus’ “Yes” with our bold: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. (And all God’s people say…) Amen.”

See you this weekend as we begin the New Church Year of Advent, and as we welcome our brothers and sisters from Divine Savior Lutheran, Zacapa, Guatemala.

Pastor Myers

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