Calm Quiet (Psalm 131)

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Service Notes

  • Order of Service: Divine Service 3
  • Hymns: LSB #613, 842, 636, 623, 937

Theme Verse

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 131:1-3)

Sermon Text

These words don't sound like you, do they? Isn't your heart lifted up? Aren't you proud? Aren't your eyes raised too high? Aren't you conceited? Don't you occupy yourself with things too great and too marvelous for you? Don't you seek after secret knowledge? Have you calmed and quieted your soul?

Of course you haven't. Your soul isn't quiet and calm. You're constantly crying out, seeking what has been violently taken away from you. Like a nursing child being weaned from his mother's breast. He cries out like he's being abused. Like Mom is violently keeping food from him. Starving him of what he needs to survive. Nothing calm or quiet within you.

These words beautifully describe your life in this world. Everything within you cries out in outrage because you are being starved. The world seeks to starve you. To give you reason to take pride in yourself. To become conceited. To look anywhere and everywhere for the sustenance you so desperately want. To look for what has been taken away and hidden from you.

But Solomon tells us, "It is the glory of God to conceal things" (Proverbs 25:2). God has concealed your calm and quiet soul inside the your feelings of spiritual starvation. Your soul is inflamed with the sin passed down from Adam and Eve. Further inflaming your soul to commit your own sins. But You have the calm and quiet soul. You have the sustenance your soul craves. You have Jesus. The pure Gospel of His salvation for you. The "pure spiritual milk" you need to survive (1 Peter 2:2).

It is there. HE is there. In the midst of everything opposite, Jesus stands firm. Your calm and quiet soul is hidden--concealed--within the opposite. Concealed by the opposite. Where you are proud, Jesus humbled Himself to die on the cross. Where you are conceited, the Son of God did not grasp equality with God the Father something to be grasped (Philippians 2:6). Where you search for secret knowledge, Jesus says, "No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him" (Luke 10:22). Jesus reveals everything you need to know for salvation. You need no higher knowledge. Although hidden under the opposite of sin, your calm and quiet soul is within you. Because Jesus has calmed and quieted your soul.

In this assurance, David says, "O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore" (v3). David struggled with his sin. He was an adulterer. A murderer. But he was also a saint. A man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). David hoped in the LORD. As the writer of a majority of the Psalms, he shows us the struggle of a child being weaned. How to search out the Church's consoling breast for all your soul's needs. That your prayer be answered, "Grant that justified I may go to my house at peace with Thee" (LSB #613.3). And on the Last Day to be God's "welcomed guest in Heaven's high and holy feast" (LSB #623.5).

In Jesus, we may honestly say with David, "O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me" (v1). Not by your own doing. But by your being clothed with Christ. Having Christ's heart within you. Looking through Christ's eyes of faith (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7). Occupying yourself with His words written in the Bible. Being content to sit humbly at His feet while He tells you there are things that you don't need to worry about. All that you need to worry about is Jesus' words, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Amen.

PSALM PRAYER

Lord Jesus, who humbled Yourself to bear our sins in Your own body, and to suffer the shameful death of the cross, grant us Your Spirit of meekness that we may walk in true humility. Take from us all haughtiness and pride, that we seek not great things, and create in us that mind by which we count Your grace sufficient unto us. Amen.