Thursday, August 27, 2009

Worship Notes for Pentecost 12

Thursday after Pentecost 12
August 27, 2009

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost. At Lamb of God Lutheran Church (LC-MS), Spartanburg, SC, we will have two worship services. This post is concerning the morning service.

Because this Sunday will be the 5th Sunday of the month we will be using Morning Prayer (page 235) for our liturgy. Our Bible readings will be Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9, Ephesians 6:10-20and Mark 7:14-23. We will chant Psalm 119:129-136. The antiphon will be verse 132. Our opening hymn will be “Thy Strong Word” (LSB 578). The sermon hymn will be “God Has Spoken by His Prophets” (LSB 583). Our closing hymn will be “I Know My Faith Is Founded” (LSB 587). The text for the sermon is Deuteronomy 4:1 and the sermon is titled “Scruples or Scripture.”

Better Noise has the music for “Thy Strong Word” but not the other hymns. I also found a rather high-powered rendition of the music of "Thy Strong Word" which can be found in a video at the end of these notes.

Preview of the Lessons
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9: The word “Deuteronomy” means the “Second giving of the Law.” The book is basically a collection of sermons given by Moses at the close of his life. He recounts many of the experiences of Israel that brought them to the boarders of the Promised Land. His special concern through all of this is that the people remain faithful to the Word of God and not be seduced by the false religions and ideas they will find among the people they are displacing. In this reading Moses indeed is urging the people to remain faithful to the Word of God for in them life is found. That “life” is, of course, eternal life. Also faithfulness to the Word of God results in a powerful witness to those who have not come to faith in Christ (verses 6-8).

Ephesians 6:10-20: Paul is wrapping up this letter. He urges the people to be “strong in the Lord.” This is done by putting on the “whole armor of God.” This armor enables us to stand up against all attacks. Such standing means that we will not lose our faith, not that we will experience economic or other temporal blessings. You would hardly say that Stephen was not standing strong when he was stoned to death for his faith (Acts 6-7). In short “truth” equals the Word of God, “righteousness” is the imputed righteousness of Christ (justification), “shoes “of the “gospel of peace” is sharing your faith that in Christ God is reconciled to us, “ the shield of faith” is trusting that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, the “helmet of salvation” is growing in our knowledge of God’s grace towards us, the “sword of the Spirit” is the word of God used to protect the faithful and expand the kingdom. We are also to pray, pray, pray. The “mystery of the gospel” spoken of in verse 19 is that salvation is offered to all, regardless of background.

Mark 7:14--23: In this reading Jesus tells us that the source of sin is not so much what is outside of us but what is inside of us. It is from our fallen human nature that comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. Regulations, as important as they may be, have no power of such inward sin, which burst forth in our lives in sinful actions. Therefore we need to make the Word of God our guide, as Moses urges in our first lesson, not our conscience, common sense, reason, inner-light, etc. Such guides-from-within will lead us astray.

Sunday’s Collect
O God, the source of all that is just and good, nourish in us every virtue and bring to completion every good intent that we may grow in grace and bring forth the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Gradual for the season is not used in the Service of Morning Prayer.

The appointed Introit is not used in the Service of Morning Prayer.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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