The following sermon was preached this morning at the International Center Chapel by the Rev. Dr. Dien Ashley Taylor of Redeemer, Bronx. 

Psalm 85:8-13

In the Name + of Jesus.

The folly of a “Facebook world” has people listening to the voices of others before decisions get made.

If people want to stay at a hotel, they not only look up the hotel but then look at what others say about it.

If they want to get a car, they get the opinions of everyone else first.

Although helpful, it can be paradigmatic of how we have been exiled, hearkening to the many disparaging voices of an ever-confused world.

Their voices have no authority.

They keep us crying hopelessly around Babylon’s sad waters reminiscing only about good ol’ days that were not actually all that good.

In rebellion with God and in disobedience to His Word, we have listened to the voice of the slithering serpent like our parents in Paradise instead of taking our cues from the One who has made us to be in perfect communion with Him.

We heard it this past weekend.

We seek the opinions of jealous mothers after we dance and gladly ask for the heads of prophets on a platter.

We imprison those whose words we wish to silence, hoping to mute their prophetic cry so that we can keep improper relationships in tact.

We care more about the people we invite to our parties and what they think instead of fulfilling our family vocations as the Lord intended.

It is the folly of a “Facebook world,” the “save face” world, where our identity is wrapped up in the opinions of the popular press.

But our Lord has called us to a different life by the power of the Holy Spirit—He has reached out to us in Christ Jesus to save us from a pitiful existence that seeks counsel from the wicked and instead gives us the chance as His sheep to hear our Shepherd’s saving voice.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak.  He is speaking peace to His people as the perfect righteous Son of God hung on the cross for our sin and rose from the dead to save us, forgiving us our sin and giving us new life as His strong Word bespeaks us righteous.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak.  He is speaking peace to His people at the waters of the baptismal font where He connects us with the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, putting us to death so that we may rise with Him.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak.  He is speaking peace to His people from the pulpit as His Holy Word is read and proclaimed, as Law and Gospel are properly distinguished, as sin is condemned and hope and comfort are offered in Jesus Christ.

This is the text message that is worth reading, hearing and sharing.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak.  He is speaking peace to His people as His called and ordained servant speaks to repentant sinners the word of freedom, release and forgiveness that cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

“I am forgiven in Christ Jesus.”

Now that’s a “tweet” that’s worth “tweeting!”

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak.  He is speaking peace to His people as His Spirit leads us to the Altar where the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthens us and keeps us in His grace.

At the altar where steadfast love and faithfulness meet and where righteousness and peace kiss each other, where faithfulness springs up from the ground and righteousness looks down from the sky, Christ Himself speaks and gives us what is good so that our land yields its true increase.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak.  He is speaking peace to His people as the saints encourage each other, in mutual consolation, comforting one another with the comfort that we ourselves have received from God.

With hundreds of channels and voices clamoring in the invisible airwaves, our Lord invites us to tune into the station of our salvation—to hear what the Lord God has to speak.

Let us not return to our folly—it leads not to life but to death.

The opinions of losers never got anyone anywhere anyway.

The “dearest friend to me” Christ Jesus has befriended us.

Let us listen to Him this day.

Let us hear what God the Lord will speak as His righteousness goes before us and leads us to the Day of His return when the world will hear Him speak, fall on their faces and cry out what we are privileged to cry out today: “Alleluia!  Salvation and Glory and Honor belong to our God and to the Lamb.”

For on that day, God the Lord will speak peace to His holy ones forever.

Let the Church cry out with the Psalmist in these last days and proclaim with faith: Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people, His saints.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Soli Deo Gloria