Second Lesson: Ephesians 5:15-20:
15Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 1 on Page 64 in Christian Worship
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in Season
and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Gospel Lesson: John 6:51-58:
51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
First Lesson/Sermon Text: Proverbs 9:1-6:
1Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4“Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”
If you’ve ever traveled through South Dakota, you’ve seen signs for Wall Drug. They all promise you an amazing time if you visit this fantastical emporium. The more you see the signs, the more you want to stop in and see all the marvels that await you. Finally, after driving for what seems like days (the great plains are boring), you come to the exit for Wall, South Dakota and you find… just a big store and restaurant. Sure, you can get your picture taken on the back of a Jackalope, but it’s pretty much a letdown. In contrast, you will also pass very simple signs put up by the National Parks System pointing you in the direction of national parks, memorials, and monuments. If you’ve got the time, follow those signs. Their message is simple, but the scenic wonders and historically important locations they will point you to are amazing. We have two advertisers in our text for today and we have to ask the question…
Whose Advertising Will You Listen To?
I. It all sounds great
II. Look at what is behind it
III. Think about the end result
I. It all sounds great
- King Solomon, in the first few chapters of Proverbs, personifies wisdom and folly
- This is the conclusion to that section and he presents a picture of contrasts here
- Wisdom is not just smarts, but knowledge put to practical use informed by God
- Folly is the ignorance of the world that goes against conscience and belief in God
- Here, both entice us to partake of their wares and make the best case they can
- Wisdom’s banquet is presented as the best food she could possibly prepare
- Folly offers a meal made up of stolen food and water that is fun to partake in
- Both are meant to sound as enticing as they possibly can be, but only one is good
- Look at what is behind it
- Let’s back up in the text a little bit to see what is behind the two offerings
- Wisdom has spent a lot of time preparing the place of the feast and the meal itself
- It is set in a magnificent house with seven pillars holding it up: a substantial place
- We also see that she has spent time making the meal: slaughtered and prepared
- She’s also taken care to make sure that as many as possible can come to the meal
- Folly simply opens up the door of her house and shouts to passersby to come in
- This points to the eternal planning that God put into the wisdom of salvation
- It also points out how he is diligent in working at inviting as many as possible
- Folly is just all around us. There is nothing special about temptation into sin
III. Think about the end result
- There are a couple of wonderful results that come with listening to Lady Wisdom
- She, first of all, promises life. This points us to how only God can give eternal life
- She also promises and delivers the path of insight to those who listen to her
- This is borne out by the rest of the book of Proverbs. Scan it to see for yourself
- The end result of the folly of rejecting God is death. Physical and eternal death
- It leads to a dead and meaningless way of living and eternal separation from God
- As we listen to the two invitations, it is clear which one we should listen to
- That is why we keep coming back to the banquet of the Word and Sacraments.