Thursday, September 2, 2010

Worship for Pentecost 15 - 2010

Thursday after Pentecost 14
Commemoration of Hannah
September 2, 2010

The Lord be with you

This Sunday is the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the Commemoration of Zacharias and Elizabeth. I will remember this commemoration in my childrens' message.

We will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260) for our liturgy Sunday. The appointed lessons will be Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Philemon 1-21, and Luke 14:25-35. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 1. The antiphon is verse 6. Our opening hymn will be the one we are learning this month, “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” (LSB 793). The Sermon hymn will be “Son of God, Eternal Savior” (LSB 842). Our closing hymn will be “God of Grace and God of Glory” (LSB 850). The sermon will be based on our reading from Philemon and is titled “The Bible & Slavery.”

The following video is of a Methodist congregation singing “God of Grace and God of Glory. This hymn was written by Harry Emerson Fosdick, a man whose theology has been questioned by many, but whose hymns have blessed even more. His hymns often reflect a social concern which is mistakenly overlooked by many in the Church. While Fosdick may well have been wrong about many things, he was dead-on when he felt that being a Christian should impact how we live. The fact that this hymn is in our hymnal indicates that our Synod agrees.

Preview of the Lessons

Deuteronomy 30:15-20: This reading is a selection from Moses’ final sermon to the people of Israel. They are powerful words encouraging the Israelites to remain faithful to God. Faithfulness constitutes not only a right confession, but also a life lived in harmony with that right confession. The Israelites did remain pretty much faithful during the lifetime of Joshua, the man who succeeded Moses, but after that it was an up and down history for the next four-hundred years.

Philemon 1-21: Philemon was a “beloved fellow worker” of Saint Paul’s. Paul was in prison. While there he met Onesimus, a runaway slave, who became a Christian. The owner Onesimus had run away from was Philemon. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, with this letter. This brings up the whole question of slavery. It is a question we will look at in Sunday’s sermon. It is important, not only from an historical perspective, but also from a contemporary point-of-view because there are more slaves in the world today than ever before. One country you can find slaves in is the United States of America. This lesson relates to our other readings in that Paul clearly expects that Philemon's faith will impact how he receives Onesimus.

Luke 14:25-35: Jesus’ message in this reading is an echo of Moses’ message in our Old Testament lesson. Following Christ is more than a right confession. It is also living in harmony with that confession. Following Jesus is more than just saying the words, “I follow Jesus.” It is putting Christ and his will first. So we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Sunday’s Collect
O merciful Lord, You did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all. Grant us courage and strength to take up the cross and follow Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gradual (Psalm 34:9, 19, alt.)
Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Verse (Galatians 6:14)
Alleluia. Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Alleluia.

We will be using Psalm 1 for our Introit this coming Sunday. This is a beautiful Psalm about the blessings of being in the Word of God.

Adult Bible Study
We continue our series “Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible.” Last week we began our look at the question “Mark 16:18 & Luke 10:19 – What is the intent of these verses? What is the meaning of ‘evil spirits’?” by considering the evidence for and against Mark 16:9ff as being part of Mark’s original Gospel. This Sunday we will actually do the exegetical work the question asks us to do. If you read the passages cited it is clear why someone submitted this question.

“… they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:18)

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:19

The name of our study is “A Deadly Battle - II.”

Well, I hope to see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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