Thursday, July 22, 2010

Worship for Pentecost 9

Thursday after Pentecost 8
Festival of St. Mary, Magdalene
July 22, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the Festival of St. James the Elder, Apostle. We will be using the first setting of the morning service (page 151) for our liturgy. We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. To prepare you can read 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. The appointed lessons are Genesis 18:20-33, Colossians 2:6-15, and Luke 11:1-13. For the sermon, we will continue our series based on Colossians. The text will be Colossians 2:6. The sermon title is: Powered By Christ.

This week we will begin learning a new hymn that was selected by the hymnal review committee. The hymn commemorates many of the biblical saints. When you think of how many people in the Bible are worth commemorating, it is not surprising that this hymn has many verses. In fact, it has so many verses (twenty-eight!) that the editors of Lutheran Service Book divided it into two hymns (517 and 518). The name of the hymn is “By All Your Saints in Warfare.” The way the hymn is used is that you always sing verse one as your first verse and verse three as your last verse. Then you select which saint(s) you wish to remember and put their verse(s) between verses one and three. If you wish to commemorate someone who doesn’t have a verse, or just those who have gone before us in general, you use verse four as the second verse. As this coming Sunday is also the Festival of St. James the Elder, Apostle, and as verse twenty-one is about him, we will use that verse as our second verse on Sunday.

The opening hymn for Sunday is “By All Your Saints in Warfare” (LSB 518). We will sing verses 1, 21, and 3. The sermon hymn is “Christ, the Word of God Incarnate” (LSB 540). The distribution hymns are: “Baptized into Your Name Most Holy” (LSB 590); “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord” (LSB 637); and “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” (LSB 702). The closing hymn is “The Church’s One Foundation” (LSB 644). Each tune is well known at Lamb of God except, of course, the one we are starting to learn this week.

The following video is of the Communion Hymn “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord.” It can be traced back to the 7th century, though tradition attributes it to St. Sechnall (5th century), a nephew of St. Patrick. The video, in my opinion, is excellent. The melody for each of the other hymns we will be singing Sunday can be heard at Better Noise (the link is on the right hand side of this page).

Preview of the Lessons

Genesis 18:20-33: This lesson follows immediately on the heels of last weeks Old Testament lesson, where Abraham and Sarah meet three “visitors.” One of these beings was a pre-incarnation appearance of Christ. In this lesson the Lord reveals to Abraham his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah due to their great iniquity. Abraham intercedes for the people in the cities and receives a pledge from God that if only ten believers are found the cities will not be destroyed. This pericope is often used to preach about prayer, and it is often thought that Abraham managed to talk God down to the number of ten. I think that God already would have spared the cities if only ten faithful were found and the text points to Abraham discovering just how merciful God is. Though we do not have it in this years appointed lessons, the story ends with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and yet God also spares the very few left in those cities who have faith. The story reminds me of the question Jesus once asked, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes [again], will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Colossians 2:6-15: As we continue our sermon series on Colossians, once again there is a gap in the lectionary between the readings appointed for this coming Sunday and the next Sunday. Omitted is Colossians 2:16-23. We will cover those verses Sunday as well as the appointed lesson. However the appointed reading is the heart and soul of the letter. Everything before leads up to them and everything after is based on them. The reading is very focused on Jesus and salvation. It has two peeks. The first peek deals with Christ in terms of his “fullness.” The second peek deals with our baptismal relationship with Jesus. On these two “peeks” Paul bases all he says in the remainder of the letter concerning Christian freedom (2:16-23) and his ethical instructions (3:1-4:6). To understand the rest of the letter you must remember it is built on the truths that in Christ all the fullness of Deity dwells bodily and Christians are buried and raised with Christ by means of their baptism.

Luke 11:1-13: In this pericope Jesus teaches concerning prayer. We have Luke’s form of the Lord’s Prayer. Those who use the words “debts” and “debtors” instead of “trespasses” and “trespass” are using Luke’s wording. (“Trespasses” and “trespass” is the wording in Mathew’s Gospel.) There is no question about which Gospel is right. Jesus taught in Aramaic. That was the common language of the people in Palestine. The Gospels are written in Greek. That was the common business language in the Roman Empire, and in many places also the common language of the people. So the Gospels are a translation of Jesus’ Aramaic words into Greek. The Holy Spirit, seeking to give us a greater depth of understanding, guided the writers to translate Jesus’ Aramaic words into different complementary Greek words.

Sunday’s Collect
O Lord, let Your merciful ears be attentive to the prayers of Your servants, and by Your Word and Spirit teach us how to pray that our petitions may be pleasing before You; 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 11:9)
Alleluia. I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Alleluia.

Introit (Psalm 119:145-149; antiphon - Psalm 50:15)
Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD!
I will keep your statutes.
I call to you; save me,
that I may observe your testimonies.
I rise before dawn and cry for help;
I hope in your words.
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
that I may meditate on your promise.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
O LORD, according to your justice give me life.
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.
Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Adult Bible Study
We continue our series “Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible.” This week’s topic really isn’t a question. The biblical reference James 5:14-16 was submitted. I’m assuming the desire is a close look at the text, so that is what we will do. The text deals with asking your pastor to pray for you in specific situations. The study is titled “A Pastor’s Prayer.”

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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