Thursday, May 20, 2010

Worship for Pentecost Day

Thursday after Easter 7
May 20, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is Pentecost. This is one of the major festivals of the Church Year. To recognize this Lamb of God (LC-MS) will have a special liturgy. We will also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. (You may prepare for the Sacrament by reading the “Christian Questions with their Answers” out of Luther’s Small Catechism.) Our “Call to Worship” is taken from a 7th Century Latin Prayer. The Introit will be chanted responsively. Other familiar parts of the liturgy will be replaced with appropriate hymns. The Choir will sing. The sanctuary will be dressed in red. Following the worship service we will have a cook-out. All in all, it should be a wonderful day. I hope we have a good turnout.

Our hymns will be: "Holy Spirit, Light Devine" (LSB 496), "Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord" (LSB 497), “Create in Me” (LSB 956), “Holy, Holy, Holy” (LSB 507, vs 1-2), Lamb of God, Pure and Holy” (LSB 434), "Up through Endless Ranks of Angels" (LSB 491), "Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord" (LSB 637), "Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid" (LSB 500), and "Go, My Children, with My Blessing" (LSB 922). The appointed scripture lessons are: Genesis 11:1-11, Acts 2:1-21, and John 14:23-31. The sermon is titled “Welcome to the Last Days.” The text is Acts 2:11.

The following video is of the hymn “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord.” It was written in the 7th Century and is from Irish origins, though noone knows who wrote it. As we sing these words, we join with Christians over the last 1300 years in proclaiming the same faith in the same God and the same sacrament. You can hear the melody line of most of the other hymns at Better Noise. The link is on the right-hand side of this page.

Preview of the Lessons
Genesis 11:1-9: This is the traditional Pentecost Day Old Testament reading. It is about the Tower of Babel. In their pride humanity decided to build a tower that reached up to heaven. Once again humanity fell victim to the temptation of thinking they could be like God, be God’s equal. This was also in defiance to God’s direction that humanity should spread out over the entire globe, as their stated purpose was to prevent humanity from being dispersed over the face of the whole earth. God “comes down” from heaven (maybe a little biblical humor) and confuses the languages. This reading is selected for Pentecost because in the miracle of Pentecost Babel is reversed. The Apostles begin to speak in all kinds of foreign languages. The confusion caused by sin at Babel is reversed by the Gospel. We are again “one people” in the Church, the Body of Christ.

Acts 2:1-21: This is part of the story of the first Pentecost, also called the “birthday of the Church.” It includes the initial miracle and a portion of Peter’s sermon. It is clear in this reading that the “tongues” given by the Holy Spirit are other human languages, and that the purpose of this gift is for the spread of the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. As this lesson forms the basis of Sunday’s sermon, I’ll not say any more.

John 14:23-31: Most of this reading is Jesus teaching about the Holy Spirit. Verses 23-24 teach that loving Jesus means keeping his word. When you keep his word, you are keeping the Father’s word, for they are one and the same. In verses 25-26 Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit. Here we see that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit, working through the Word just spoke of by Jesus, teaches us “all things.” Jesus then promises peace. Not peace as the world knows it, but the peace which passes all human understanding. It is the peace between God and man, established by Jesus when he carried the penalty for our sins on the cross. Jesus ends with a passion prediction. He will not seek to avoid his arrest and crucifixion, but will do as the Father wills. This is evidence that Jesus loves the Father. This is the final message of Jesus’ before they leave the upper-room and go to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Sunday’s Collect
O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gradual (Acts 2:17b; Romans 10:10)
I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.
With the heart obne believes and is justified,
and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Verse (Liturgical Text)
Alleluia. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love. Alleluia.

Introit (Psalm 104:27-28; antiphon: Liturgical Text)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of your love, Alleluia.
O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
These all look to you,
to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
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.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of your love, Alleluia.

Adult Bible Study
We continue, in our adult Bible class, our series titled Puzzlers and Questions About the Bible. Every week we deal with a question submitted by someone. There are a number of questions that have been submitted that, no matter how hard I might try, simply will not take up an hour long Bible Study. For this coming week I’ve grouped four such questions together. There is no unifying theme, so I’ve continued the title “Shotgun” calling this one “Shotgun II.” I could have called it “Shotgun, the Sequel.” The four questions are:

1. Were the dinosaurs ever on the earth at the same time as human beings?

2. Can a person have more than one soul? (For example, a person who is a schizophrenic)

3. Who are the “sons of God” who mated with the “daughters of men” in Genesis 6?

4. Can a person be a Christian and an evolutionist?

These four questions may take us more than one hour. If so, I’ll just pick another short answer question to fill in the hour next week. Join us Sunday morning at 9:00 as we dig deeper into the Word of God.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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