Thursday, November 12, 2009

Worship for Pentecost 24

Thursday after Pentecost 23
September 12, 2009

The Lord be with you

At Lamb of God Lutheran Church (LCMS) we will be using the Service of Prayer and Preaching this coming Sunday, November 15, which is the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost. There is only one more Sunday after this one in the Church Year as November 29 marks the beginning of the Advent Season and the beginning of a new Church Year. Traditionally the Propers in these final Sunday’s focus on End Times themes. This does not mean that I will have charts and maps with circles and arrows trying to explain how Russia, China, and so on, are going to attack Israel, or how we need to watch out for the one-world-government that wants to tattoo numbers on you. Such speculations are not biblical. But if these highly publicized false doctrines are not what the Bible reveals about the End, what does it reveal? That is what the sermon will be about, which is titled “Final Things.” The text will be Mark 13:13. The appointed lessons are Daniel 12:1-3, Hebrews 10:11-25, Mark 13:1-13 and Psalm 16 (antiphon verse 11). Our hymns will be “The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” (LSB 508), “Christ Is Surely Coming” (LSB 509), and “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” (LSB 516). This final hymn was written in German by Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608) and was translated into English by Catherine Winkworth (1827-78). Winkworth is not commemorated in our Church Year Calendars, but if I selected the saints we would so honor, she would be one of them. More than any other single person, she helped bring the German chorale tradition to the English speaking world. Her translations continue to be used more than the translations of any other person.

Better Noise has every hymn for Sunday. The link can be found on the right hand sidebar of this webpage. I found a wonderful vided of “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying” by the PMEA District 9 Chorus. Now we will not sound like this in church Sunday, but you should enjoy and recognize the hymn. It is at the end of these notes.
Preview of the Lessons
Daniel 12:1-3: The Archangel Michael (whose name means “Who is like God?”) appears in verse one and is designated the “great prince who has charge of your people.” In chapter 10 he overcame the evil angel who guided the kingdom of Persia. Here he again aids the people of God in the final days. While the Church of Christ is always opposed by the World and Satan, as the end of all things approaches such persecution increases. Without such support as that given by Michael, the Church would not stand. But Christ has promised that the Church will stand (Matthew 16:18) and to fulfill his promise Christ does indeed give us his aid. These verses take us to the very Final Day, when Christ returns and raises the dead. Those who have rejected Christ are raised to “shame and everlasting contempt.” Those who have received Christ “shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Thus we are reminded that the final state of all believers is greater than we can now imagine, but the final state of those who are active in sharing Christ is exponentially greater.

Hebrews 10:11-25: We continue our continuous reading from the book of Hebrews. The book continues to accent the superior nature of Christianity over the Jewish Faith. As is the writers practice, he makes his argument based on the Old Testament. Here he points out that the sacrifices made by the priests have to be repeated over and over again. Clearly, then, they are not getting the job done. Christ was offered as a sacrifice only once. He got the job done (v. 11). After completing his holy task Jesus ascended to heaven and resumed the full use of his divine power (v. 12). His rule is now hidden, but will one day be manifest to all (v. 13). That Day, of course, is the Day of Judgment. Hebrews then returns to the point of Jesus as the superior sacrifice (v 14) by which the Old Covenant is supplanted by the New Covenant (vs 15-16). The New Covenant provides us with a new way to live, which is by grace, by the forgiveness of sins earned by Jesus and freely given by faith (v 17). Because of the grace earned by Christ on the Cross, we can now boldly come to God with our prayers, not worried if we are worthy, for Christ has made us worthy (vs 19-21). Our baptism brought us this faith and new relationship (v. 23). Therefore we are to encourage each other to remain faithful (v. 23), in love and good works (v. 24), and in worshiping together (v. 25). The closer we come to the Last Day the more important this is (v. 25).

Mark 13:1-13: This account takes place in the final week of the earthly life of Jesus. He and his disciples are leaving the Temple in Jerusalem. This was a magnificent building. A portion of one wall remains today and is commonly called the “Wailing Wall.” [The Temple Mound today has the Dome of the Rock built on it, a deliberate effort of the Moslem conquerors to claim this Jewish holy site as their own. However the Moslems did not destroy the Temple; that was done by the Romans in 70 AD. The Romans also expelled the Jews from Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock was completed in 691, after the Moslems conquered this area of the Byzantine Empire, making the Dome of the Rock the oldest extant Islamic building in the world.] Christ’s disciples were impressed with the Temple and made comments about this to Jesus. Jesus responded by telling them it would be destroyed. Later they ask Jesus when the temple would be destroyed, and what would be the sign that these things would be accomplished. Little did they know, but they were asking two questions. The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans was a “type” of the final days of our fallen world. So the following words of our Lord apply, not only to the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans, but also to the life of the Church in these Latter Days. As we will be examining these very things in Sunday’s sermon, I’ll say no more now.

Sunday’s Collect
O Lord, by Your bountiful goodness release us from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon ourselves, that we may stand firm until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gradual (Rev. 7:14b; Ps 84:5)
These are ones coming out of the great tribulation.
They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion.

Verse (2 Cor. 8:9)
Alleluia. The one who endures to the end will be saved. Alleluia.

Psalm 16 (antiphon verse 11)
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Preserve me, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land,
they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel,
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or le your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
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.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

No comments:

Post a Comment