Thursday, July 15, 2010

Worship for Pentecost 8

Thursday after Pentecost 7
July 15, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost. We will be using Matins (page 219) for our liturgy. The appointed lessons are Genesis 18:1-10a, Colossians 1:21-29, and Luke 10:38-42. We will continue or sermon series, based on Colossians. The text will be Colossians 1:28, but we will treat Colossians 1:21-2:5. The sermon is titled “Sweet Words or the Sweet Gospel”. The opening hymn is “O Jesus So Sweet, O Jesus So Mild” (LSB 546). This will be the last week we will use this hymn for a while for now it is firmly in the “known” category. The sermon hymn will be “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (LSB 528). Our closing hymn is “O Word of God Incarnate” (LSB 523). Each of these hymns have tunes that are well known at Lamb of God.

The following video is of “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” played on the piano. It is a very nice arrangement of the tune Azmon. If you are unsure which tune we use at Lamb of God (and there are several tunes associated with this hymn by Charles Wesley) you can listen to this video and know which one we use. To hear the music of some of the other hymns go to Better Noise; the link is on the right hand side of this page.

Preview of the Lessons
Genesis 18:1-10a: This reading recounts a time when three visitors came to Abraham at the “oaks of Mamre.” Very early in the theology of the Church this was seen as a type of the Trinity and in the Church’s iconography this was so depicted. In fact the icon posted with these notes is the historic representation of this event as is called the “Old Testament Trinity.” Our reading is only a portion of the story, and we will read another portion of it on Pentecost 9. In this reading the Three Visitors suddenly arrive and Abraham prepares them a grand feast (which was not really unusually in that age and in that culture). In verse 10 the speaker is identified as Yahweh (LORD) (hence the identification with the Trinity). God promises the miraculous birth of Isaac (both Abraham and Sarah were physically beyond the point where they could produce children). This child, Isaac, would be the child of promise, the ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:2-29: We continue our series on Colossians. The gap between last week’s reading and this week’s reading was covered in last week’s sermon. There is a similar gap between this week’s reading and next week’s reading, and I will cover it Sunday. In this week’s reading Paul delves into the main body of the letter. Even as the introduction to the letter (last weeks reading and sermon) ended on a note of cosmic reconciliation as a corollary to the reconciliation of mankind, so the main argument begins in this reading with a description of the reconciliation of the readers. The main themes of ministry, salvation now, at the Second Coming, and for all eternity, and the person and work of Christ (all which were introduced in last weeks reading) are here brought together. Paul first sets forth in a positive manner the work of Christ, the significance of the ministry of the Word, and the resulting life of faith (and faithfulness), before refuting the heresy in terms of three broad categories in which the false teachers felt they were superior to Paul and Paul’s Gospel: knowledge (2:1-5), fullness (2:6-15), and freedom (2:16-23).

Luke 10:38-42: This is the well know story about a visit Jesus pays to two sisters who were dear friends of his, Mary and Martha. During the evening Martha is very busy cooking, serving dinner, making the guests comfortable, and in short trying to make the party a success. Mary, on the other hand, joined the group that was listening to Jesus teach. Martha asks Jesus to tell Mary to help, but Jesus tells Martha she should sit down herself and listen to the word. Cooking, cleaning, and so on, are not even close to being as important as the word. Mary, then, becomes our model because she chose “the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” May we always be found as ones who place the word of Christ above all the “distraction” of this world. This reading is reflected in the Collect we will pray on Sunday.

Sunday’s Collect
O Lord, grant us the Spirit to hear Your Word and know the one thing needful that by Your Word and Spirit we may live according to Your will; 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 (Colossians 2:6b-7a)
Alleluia. As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him. Alleluia.

Because we are using the service of Matins this Sunday we will use the appointed Psalm for the day instead of the Introit. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 27. The antiphon is verse 4.

Adult Bible Study
We continue our series “Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible.” This week’s question is: “Does a Christian have to believe the literal story of creation? The triune God? The virgin birth? The Miracles of the Old Testament? The ones (miracles) of the New Testament? Consubstantiation during communion? In short, is it not enough to simply accept Christ as our Savior and our only hope of salvation—with the rest just being doctrinal differences which are unimportant in regard to eternal life?” I’ve titled the study: “A Minimalist Faith?”

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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