Thursday, October 7, 2010

Worship for Pentecost 20

Commemoration of Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg, Pastor
Thursday after Pentecost 19
October 7, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. We will be using the third setting of the morning service (page 184) for our liturgy. We will be sharing the Lord’s Supper. The appointed lessons are Ruth 1:1-19a; 2 Timothy 2:1-13; and Luke 17:11-19. The sermon, titled “The Story of Ruth,” is based on the Old Testament lesson. The text will be Ruth 1:16. Our opening hymn will be the one we are learning, “How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord” (LSB 853). The sermon hymn will be “For All the Faithful Women” (LSB 855). The distributions hymns will be “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (LSB 617), “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (LSB 790), and “Come unto Me, Ye Weary’ (LSB 684). The closing hymn will be “Thine Forever, God of Love” (LSB 687).

This Sunday will also be recognized as District Ablaze Sunday. As far as the actual worship service goes, everything will be normal. However we will have visiting with us Deaconess Sally Hiller from the District office. You can see her profile and a picture of her I posted Monday, October 4, titled District Ablaze Sunday. Sally will be with us to share some of the exciting things that are happening around the District as we, together, reach out with the love of Jesus Christ. She will be given the Bible study hour (9:00 – 10 AM), and about five minutes at the end of the service. Then we will have a pot-luck luncheon, where people can get to know Sally in a casual setting, and maybe ask some more specific questions. I must say that Sally is a wonderful lady and it will be a pleasure for each of us to get to know her better.

The following video is of one of our distribution hymns, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (LSB 790). As far as visuals go, it is a static picture of Adam and God from the Sistine Chapel. There is no singing, only a pipe organ playing.

Preview of the Lessons

Ruth 1:1-19a: This is basically the prologue for the book of Ruth and sets the stage for all the action. The sermon will cover the entire book and so I don’t want to say much here. However verses 16-17 are often used at weddings. While the words are appropriate, it is worth remembers that these words are not about the relationship between a husband and wife in the contest of Ruth. Instead they are an expression of Ruth’s loyalty and commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi.

2 Timothy 2:1-13: This is Paul’s second letter of advice to the young pastor and close personal friend, Timothy. In verse 1 he reminds Timothy that his strength (and ours) flows from the grace of God that is in Christ Jesus. We are not self-powered, but Christ-powered. In verse 2 Paul reminds Timothy of his responsibility to train future pastors in the Gospel. Clearly Paul is planning for the long haul, indicating that those who thing the First-Century Church was expecting Christ to return any-old-day are mistaken. In verses 3-7 Paul reminds Timothy that being a pastor is no easy job. In verse 8 Paul returns to the heart and soul of the Christian Faith, “Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.” This is Paul’s Gospel, and it is the Gospel we still share. The crucified and risen Christ is the reason the Church is persecuted. People are willing to call Jesus many wonderful things, teacher, prophet, moral example, etc., but reject what he truly is, the crucified and risen Lord of all. Though this happens, the word of the Gospel is not bound (verse 9). He concludes this short section with a strong reminder that whatever we endure for the Lord, it will be worth it.

Luke 17:11-19: This is the story about how Jesus healed ten Lepers. Only one of them returned to Jesus to give him thanks, and that person was a “Samaritan.” Samaritans were typically despised by Jews, and vice versa. Jesus ends the section by commending the Samaritan’s faith. This is a foretaste of how the Gospel spread beyond the Jewish context. It also shows how missions of mercy can serve the spread of the Kingdom of God. The text has also often been used to underscore the place of gratitude to the Lord for our blessings. It is interesting that an animal will recognize and show gratitude to the person who feeds it, but we sophisticated people do not.

Sunday’s Collect
Almighty God, You show mercy to Your people in all their troubles. Grant us always to recognize Your goodness, give thanks for Your compassion, and praise Your holy name; 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 5:15)
Alleluia. Now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. Alleluia.

Introit (Psalm 34:2-4, 17; antiphon: Psalm 48:1)
Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
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.
Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!

Adult Bible Study
As already indicated, we will be taking a break from our series "Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible." Sally Hiller will be sharing with us what is happening around the District as we all seek to reach out with the Gospel. Everyone is welcome.

Well, I hope to see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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