This is the sermon for The Fifth Sunday of Easter—Confirmation Sunday. The sermon text is: Psalm 25. The sermon theme is Remember Your compassion and faithful love Here is the Written Sermon.
Remember Your compassion and faithful love
What do you want to remember? Adam and Dakota, what do you want to remember about this day? As I look back to my confirmation years ago, there are bits and pieces of that day that I remember. I remember wearing brand new dress pants which didn’t fit right. I remember being asked question—questions that I should have known the answers to, but didn’t. And I remember receiving the Lord’s Supper for the first time and realizing that it was worth waiting for.
You will have memories of this day. But what is it exactly is it that your Lord would have you remember today? In Psalm 25 we read: (Psalms 25:6 HCSB) “Remember, Lord, Your compassion and Your faithful love, for they have existed from antiquity.”
If you were listening closely enough what is interesting is that in this psalm it is not the Lord who is reminding David. No, instead, it’s David who is reminding the Lord. Now, here is where we need to go back into what we’ve learned in catechism class. Do you remember when we were going through the book of Genesis and we got to Noah and the flood. The flood waters came. They covered the earth. And there Noah was with his family in the ark. And then Moses tells us that the Lord remembered Noah.
So let me ask you the same question that I asked you then. Did the Lord forget about Noah? Was he so busy filling and flooding the world with water that he forgot about Noah? No. As you remember, we call this an anthropomorphism. It’s Moses’ way of telling us that the Lord will now do something great and glorious.
It is useful for us to remember this today. For David is doing the same thing that Moses was. David knew that the Lord never forgets anything. David was asking, praying that the Lord would do something—that he would act.
And David’s prayer is now your prayer. What is it that David wants the Lord to remember and then do? He wants him to remember his (Psalms 25:6 HCSB) “compassion and Your faithful love”.1 In the New Testament we know these words as “grace and mercy.” David is asking the Lord to remember that he is gracious and compassionate and then do something in line with who he is.
Now here is where you might ask the question, “what does this mean?” What exactly does he want the Lord to do? In verse seven David tells us: (Psalms 25:7 HCSB) “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion”
David is asking the Lord to forgive and forget the sins he committed when he was young. I had a professor who once told me that you will commit sins between the ages of 15 and 25 that will keep you awake when you are 50. And he’s right. David uses two words to describe your sins:
- Mistakes:2 The picture here is aiming your bow and arrow at a target and horribly missing the target. In the next 10 years you will make horrible mistakes. You will say and do things which will be embarrassing and shameful mistakes. You will take your try and be wrong.
In the next 10 years there will be times when you will know what the right thing is. And instead of following it you will rebel. You will deliberately, stubbornly do what you know angers your parents in your home and your Lord above. And you will remember the pain you will bring on yourself.
Now, in that context we can understand what David is saying here, can’t we? If God remembers our sins, then he has to act on them. He has to punish them. He has to punish them now on this earth and forever in hell. So David prays: Don’t remember the sins of my youth. Instead, David prays: (Psalms 25:7 HCSB) “in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, Lord.”
David prays that God would act and forgive in line with and out of his goodness and mercy. And what David prays to the Lord, I pray for you. And what I pray for you, you also pray for yourselves. For there will be the day when your sinful mistakes will embarrass you. There will be the day when your rebellious acts will bring punishment on you. On that day, do not forget the Lord. On that day turn to him. On that day pray this prayer: (Psalms 25:7 HCSB) “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, Lord.”
Remember this prayer. Remember it and then continually receive the forgiveness Jesus offers you. Why do we come to church? Why is it that we come to bible study? Why is it that today you come forward to the Lord’s table? Is it because God needs us to sing to him and pray to him? Is it to do God a favor? No, as you have already learned, let me remind you: Come to bible study to learn of what Jesus did for you to take away your sin. Come to worship to receive the forgiveness Jesus has won for you. Amen.
1 זְכֹר־רַחֲמֶיךָ יְהוָה וַחֲסָדֶיךָ