Thursday, August 13, 2009

Worship for Pentecost 11

Thursday in the week of Pentecost 10
August 13, 2009

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost. At Lamb of God Lutheran Church (LC-MS or LCMS) we will be using Matins for our liturgy (page 219). The assigned lessons are: Proverbs 9:1-10; Ephesians 5:6-21 and John 6:51-69. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 34:12-22, the antiphon is verse 11. The text for the sermon is John 6:69. The sermon is titled “Where is Christ?” The opening hymn is “O God, My Faithful God,” LSB 696. The sermon hymn is “You Are the Way; through You Alone,” LSB 526. The closing hymn is “Blessed Jesus, at Your Word” LSB 904. I could not find any YouTube videos for the hymns, but Better Noises has the sermon and closing hymns. As usual we will chant the Psalm.

Preview of the Lessons

Proverbs 9:1-10: The word translated “wisdom” is hokmah, which is the normal word translated “wisdom” in the OT. Standard Hebrew lexicons list five or six different meanings for hokmah with the first being “technical skill, aptitude.” According to Exodus 31:1-6 Bezalel, Oholiab, and other workers were filled with the “skill” (hokmah) to make everything that the LORD needed for the Tabernacle. A second, closely related meaning is “experience, good sense, shrewdness” (2 Samuel 20:22). Other meanings include “wisdom, as in administration” or “worldly wisdom” (1 Kings 4:30-32). Hokmah is also associated with the righteous people. In Proverbs it is intimately tied to the ethical and religious wisdom which comes from God and shows up in the lives of His people (9:10-12). Hokmah is never merely an abstract, philosophical idea. It is always practical since it supplies a spiritual “know-how” that springs from a reverent “fear of the LORD” (1:7; 9:10). Contrast that with being deceived with “empty words” in our Epistle lesson. Hokmah is one of God’s attributes (2:10-19; 3:13-18). This accents, not only that God knows what to do, but how to accomplish His will and actually engaging activity to accomplish His will. In Proverbs 8 Wisdom actually is the pre-incarnate Christ. He is the “Master Craftsman” through whom and by whom the Father creates the world. There are eight synonyms for wisdom in the OT, seven of which appear in 1:2-4. In Sunday's reading Wisdom is treated as a person inviting all to a banquet. Contrast this to Folly (9:13-18). This banquet idea can also be found in places like Isaiah 55:1-2 and Sunday’s Gospel lesson; see specially verses 51 & 55. In light of this we might well see Communion overtones in this reading.

Ephesians 5:6-21: This is from the practical section of Paul’s letter. He encourages the Ephesians to not be deceived by all that glitters in the world. I love verses 18-21 where Paul not only encourages us to be filled with the Spirit, but gives practical advice on how. We are to speak to each other in “psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all [our] hearts, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Notice how important the spoken and sung word is in being filled with the Holy Spirit. This ties in so well with what I’ve said before about the value of our hymns and liturgy. Not only are they great in sharing our faith, but they are great in helping to form our faith in God-pleasing ways, in ways that fill us with the Holy Spirit. Hymns and the Liturgy are not just intended as abstract concepts, but for practical guidance in our lives. This, then, accents the Lutheran teaching of God working through the Means of Grace, for the Word of God is the foundation and primary Means of Grace.

John 6:51-69: This reading takes us to the end of John 6 and Jesus’ Bread of Life sermon. It includes the reaction of those who heard him. Jesus introduces a new element in his sermon on faith. So far Jesus has called himself the “bread of Life” and bid his hearers to eat this bread (believe in him). Now he introduces the word “flesh,” saying we should eat his flesh, and the word “blood” saying we need to drink his blood. This really throws most of those hearing our Lord’s sermon, and still bothers many today. What does Jesus mean? Find out Sunday.

Sunday’s Collect

Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us to know Your Son, Jesus, to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow His steps in the way that leads to life eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gradual– Psalm 34:9, 19

Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing!
Many are the affliction of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.


The Introit is not used in Matins. Instead we use the appointed Psalm. .

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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