Thursday, October 1, 2009

Worship Notes for Pentecost 18

Thursday after Pentecost 17
October 1, 2009

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday will be the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. Lamb of God Lutheran Church (LCMS), like many of our sister congregations around the country, will be recognizing the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League in our service. This will be done by featuring our ladies as ushers, readers, and giving the children’s message, having an all ladies choir, and a special liturgy which uses the LWML Pledge (don’t worry guys, it is gender neutral). Our opening hymn will be the one we are currently learning, “Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying” (LSB 597). We will use the hymn “Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive” (LSB 843) for our corporate confession. This hymn is known, but not well known, meaning about half of us known it and half do not know it. Our hymn of praise will be verses 4 and 5 of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (LSB 790). Our special “Alleluia Verse” is set to the tune Ode to Joy, written by Beethoven. Our sermon hymn will be “Jesus Shall Reign” (LSB 832). The closing hymn will be “Lutheran Women, One and All,” which is set to the same tune as “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (LSB 892) and is well known. For our Gradual we will be using Psalm 121. We will be using the regularly appointed lessons for the day, Genesis 2:18-25, Hebrews 2:1-13, and Mark 10:2-16. The sermon is titled “Jesus Reigns!” and the text is Hebrews 2:7-8.

As readers of these worship notes know by now, I can not find a video or recording of “Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying.” Better Noise has the tune, but not the lyrics for “Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive.” They have the hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” so you can hear the tune for “Lutheran Women, One and All.” They have the words and music for “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and “Jesus Shall Reign.” I don’t know why it took me so long to think of it, but I’ve added “Better Noise” to my links so you can go right from this blog to Better Noise to listen to the hymns. I found a video for “Jesus Shall Reign” which is at the end of these notes. Musically it is kind of schmaltzy, but it does have the words so you can sing along. If you have a copy of Lutheran Service Book so you don’t need the words, I’ve included a better video with good pictures but no words.

Preview of the Lessons

Genesis 2:18-25: This is Moses’ account of the creation of woman. Before Eve is created Adam gives names to all the animals. In the process he discovered that none of the animals were truly fit to be his companion. Then God created Eve and established marriage. This order establishes for Adam just how precious a gift Eve is. The absence of sin in the Garden is accented by the lack of shame they feel in the presence of each other, even though they are naked. I don’t know who wrote the following, but I’ve always liked it: “When God created man and placed him in the Garden of Eden he saw that it was not good for man to live alone. So God prepared a helper and a companion for man - woman. In this act of creation, God didn't take the woman from man's head, lest she should rule over him; nor from his feet, lest he should trample upon her- but from his side, that she should be equal with him, and from close to his heart, that he should love, cherish, and honor her. Then God presented woman to man that each might be the other's helper and companion. Marriage is God's gift to deliver us from our isolation and loneliness. It is our opportunity to give each other the gifts of God and to receive the gifts of God from each other.”

Hebrews 2:1-13: Verses 1-4 accents the importance of remaining faithful to the Word of God as delivered to us from the beginning, and how it has been validated by God. It also teaches us that Christ is the center of the Word of God. To neglect the once-delivered message of Christ is to lose your salvation. In verse 5 and following the writer moves to a hymn about Christ, who is ruler of all. This rule is not seen now, we hold to it in faith, but one day it will be manifest to all. The path of Jesus to the cross is accented. Verses 10 and following continues the focus on Christ as the God who became a man, died for us, and rose, as the foundation of salvation and life as Christians.

Mark 10:2-16: The Pharisees test Jesus with a question about divorce. How typical of us to seek a way to get out of our God given responsibilities with our hands clean. Jesus turns the question around and gives an answer about marriage. The disciples, later, don’t want to let the divorce question go. Jesus responds again by accenting how important it is to remain faithful and work on your marriage. Then, still later, people are bringing children to Jesus so he can bless them. The disciples, no doubt thinking Jesus has much better things to do with his time then play with children and bless infants, rebuked the “silly” parents who were bringing the children. Jesus turns the tables on the disciples. In fact the text says Jesus was “indignant.” To this day people try to keep children at arms-length when it comes to Jesus, refusing infant baptism, distaining the innovation of Children’s messages, getting upset when children make too much noise in a worship service, creating nurseries so children won’t even be brought into the worship service, and the like. We should remember our Lord’s words, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Not only does Jesus teach that small children can have faith with these words (for only by faith can anyone be in the “kingdom of God”) but he reminds us that faith, wherever we find it, is precious. I’ve never know a small child to like a sourpuss. It says a lot about the nature of Jesus that children wanted to be with him. I love the picture on Sunday’s bulletin which depicts this portion of the Gospel lesson. Jesus is smiling and reaching out to the children. A smilling child is offering Jesus a piece of fruit (apple?).

Sunday’s Collect

Merciful Father, Your patience and loving-kindness toward us have no end. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may always think and do those things that are pleasing in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


We will be using Psalm 121 as our Gradual, with verse 8 as the antiphon


I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings,
Who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

“Jesus Shall Reign” with words but a lame arrangement

“Jesus Shall Reign” without words but good pictures and arrangement

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