Thursday, September 23, 2010

Worship for Pentecost 18 - 2010

Thursday after Pentecost 17
September 23, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost. We will be using the first setting of the morning service (page 151) for our liturgy. We will be sharing the Lord’s Supper. The appointed lessons are Amos 6:1-7, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, and Luke 16:19-31. The sermon, titled “What’s A Pastor To Do?,” is based on the Epistle lesson. The text will be 1 Timothy 3:1. Our opening hymn will be the one we are learning, “How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord” (LSB 853). The sermon hymn will be “God of the Prophets, Bless the Prophets’ Sons” (LSB 682). The distributions hymns will be “Faith and Truth and Life Bestowing” (LSB 584), “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (LSB 617), and “Speak, O Lord, Your Servant Listens” (LSB 589). The closing hymn will be “Almighty Father, Bless the Word” (LSB 923).

The following vide is of one of our distribution hymns, “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (LSB 617). It is actually being sung during the distribution of the Lord’s Supper at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN.

Preview of the Lessons

Amos 6:1-7: Amos warns the Jews of the impending destruction of their kingdom and deportation. He gives reasons for this upcoming destruction. They have confused temporal success with spiritual success. They thought, “If I am rich, have all that I want to eat, sleep in the finest of homes and most comfortable of beds, then surely I am blessed by God, surely I lead a life that is pleasing to God.” They were wrong, and such thoughts led the nation away from God. “Spirituality” was not defined by God in their minds, and such thinking led to the “ruin of Joseph.” “Joseph” means the Northern Tribes.

1 Timothy 3:1-13: This is a text that should be known by all pastors, for Paul is telling us about the qualifications for the ministry. However, in this day and age when there is so much confusion about the ministry, this lesson is also important for the non-clerical members of the Church to be familiar with. When people don’t know what God expects of his pastors, they can be fooled into accepting any charismatic person as legitimate. Therefore Sunday’s message is based on this lesson and I’ll not write any more about it now.

Luke 16:19-31: This is the famous story told by Jesus about the poor man Lazarus and the rich man tradition names Dives (which simply means rich). This story gives us a picture of what happens after we die. It is worth noting that Jesus never gives a name to the rich man who was not a believer and ends up in Hell. While everyone in his town probably knew his name and few may have known the name of Lazarus, in the realm of eternity the exact opposite was the case. It is also worth noting that ‘Dives’ never repented, not even in Hell. He continues to think his way is best. People in Hell are not repentant. They continue to think in ways opposed to God. It is also worth noting that God points us to Scripture as the source of salvation. Fallen human nature always wants exciting displays to entice them and reject the humble Means of Grace (Word and Sacrament) by which God has promised to work. In doing so, they reject God in favor of their own devices. These are just a few of the lessons that can be gleaned from this story.

Sunday’s Collect
O God, You are the strength of all who trust in You, and without Your aid we can do no good thing. Grant us the help of Your grace that we may please You in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gradual (Psalm 91:11; 103:1)
He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

Verse (Luke 16:31)
Alleluia. If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead. Alleluia.

Introit (Psalm 119:73-75; antiphon: Psalm 119:76)
Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O LORD, that your just decrees are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
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.
Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.

Adult Bible Study
We continue our series “Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible.” The next submission deals with the test of Abraham, when he was asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. The question is: Genesis 22 – Abraham’s heart – He (God) knows all things – maybe He wanted to show Abraham what was in his heart (Maybe God wanted to show the “great cloud of witnesses” around him – and the spirit world of evil – even Satan himself – that his servant would be faithful.)

The heart of this question is comparing this story with a received doctrine, the omniscience of God. There is no reference to the omniscience of God in Genesis 22. The only reference to God’s knowledge in the story is that after God stops Abraham God says he now knows that Abraham “fears” God. So I am understanding the question as twofold: 1) “Why would God say he now knows something (as if previously he didn’t know it) when he is omniscient?” and 2) “What was the purpose of the test in Genesis 22?”

The study is named “Why Test Abraham?” Class begins at 9:00 AM. Everyone is invited.

Well, I hope to see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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