Thursday, July 1, 2010

Worship for Pentecost 6

Thursday after Pentecost
July 1, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. It also happens to be Independence Day (Fourth of July). Independence Day is a strictly American national holiday and does not appear on liturgical calendars (which are used by Christians around the world). The appointed lessons in the liturgical year reflect the liturgical calendar and not any given nation’s special days. Consequently this Sunday’s service will not be a glorification of being American. That being said, government is a gift from God (Romans 13:1) to which we owe obedience and for which we should thank and praise God. This will be reflected in the sermon (“So Many Blessings!”) as well as our opening hymn, “Before You, Lord, We Bow” (LSB 966).

We will be using the service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260) for our liturgy. The appointed lessons are Isaiah 66:10-14; Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18; and Luke 10:1-20. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 66:1-7, the antiphon is verses 8 and 9. The sermon text is Luke 10:20. Aside from singing “Before You, Lord, We Bow” as our opening hymn, we will also be singing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” (LSB 425) and “O Jesus So Sweet, O Jesus So Mild” (LSB 546).

Following the worship service we will have an ice-cream social, a traditional way of celebrating our nation’s birth.

Preview of the Lessons
Isaiah 66:10-14: Some people say they take the Bible “literally,” by which they mean that they think the Bible has no symbolic use of language. While some people say this, no one really approaches the Bible this way. This passage is a perfect example of what I mean. Literally Jerusalem is a city. However in this passage Jerusalem is described as having breasts on which children nurse, bouncing her children on her knee and carrying her children on her hip. Clearly this is a symbolic description. Jerusalem is not to be thought of as a place with stone and mortar, but where you find true believers; in other words, the Church. The Church gives birth, so to speak, through the word and sacraments. Through those same means believers are nurtured and comforted.

Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18: Paul’s letters can generally be divided into two parts. Part A is the foundational theology of the letter. Part B is the application of that theology. If you don’t “get” part A you will never “get” part B. In fact you will probably draw conclusions that are the opposite of what Paul intended. In Galatians the key theological message and guiding principle in understanding the letter is found in 2:15-16. It is salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. So this reading from Galatians 6 is not so much a list of dos and don’ts, but application of salvation by grace through faith. How will we see it working out in the lives of people? We see compassion for those who are not saved, we see support for the spreading of the Gospel, we see humility, we see the exaltation of the cross of Christ, and we see a freedom from legalism and a life lived as a new creation.

Luke 10:1-20: Jesus sends seventy-two disciples ahead of him as he travels to Jerusalem. They are to proclaim the Gospel and minister to the people as they prepare the people for Jesus' arrival. Jesus assures them that they speak with his authority. Those who reject their message reject Christ. Jesus then laments over cities that have rejected him and therefore rejected eternal life. The seventy-two return, rejoicing because of all that has happened. Jesus, though, directs them to the real reason we rejoice.

Sunday’s Collect
Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name and nourish us with all goodness that we may love and serve our neighbor; through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gradual (Romans 10:15b; Isaiah 52:7b, alt.)
How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news,
who publish peace and bring good news of salvation.
Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Verse (Luke 9:51)
Alleluia. When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Alleluia.

We will be using the appointed Psalm instead of the appointed Introit this coming Sunday.

Adult Bible Study
We continue our series “Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible.” This week’s question was not really submitted as a question. It is: “Genesis 32:22 Jacob wrestle with God”. I assume what is desired is a careful treatment of the text/story. The whole story is found in Genesis 32:22-32, and we will examine it Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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