Thursday, November 18, 2010

Worship for the Last Sunday of the Church Year - 2010

Thursday after Pentecost 25
November 18, 2010

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday will be the Last Sunday of the Church Year. On other liturgical calendars it is also known as Christ the King Sunday.

The appointed lessons for the day are: Malachi 3:13-18; Colossians 1:13-20, and Luke 23:27-43. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 46 and the antiphon is verse 7. The sermon will draw on each of the main lessons, but I need only one text, so I’ve chosen Luke 23:43. The sermon is titled “Saved Four Times.”

We will be using Matins for our liturgy Sunday (page 219). Our hymns will be “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (LSB 555), “My Faith Looks Up to Thee” (LSB 702), and “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” (LSB 515). .

Below is a video of a graduation ceremony where a choir is singing “Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers.” The words are almost identical to the ones in our hymnal, and the tune is the same. Because it is a real occasion, the organist gets fancy, especially at the beginning and between verses. They do a real fine job. (By-the-way, we will not be singing the little fanfare the choir does at the end.)

Preview of the Lessons
Malachi 3:13-18: Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament and probably the last one written. Scholars date it to 440 through 430 BC. The book was written after Nehemiah returned to Babylon, and the people had quickly fallen back into sinful ways. In this reading the people are depicted as complaining against God, claiming that God’s ways are of no value and that the ways of the world are to be preferred. Those who remain faithful suffer at the hands of those who have abandoned God’s ways. The Lord, though, pays attention to the faithful and will, on the Last Day, distinguish them by bringing them into eternal fellowship with him.

Colossians 1:13-20: Paul begins this section by reminding us that we were saved when we came to faith in Jesus, transferring us to the kingdom of God. Paul then expounds on who Jesus is. This is a powerful Christological section. In the final verse Paul points to the moment Christ died on the cross, reconciling to himself al things whether on earth or in heaven.

Luke 23:27-43: This reading is from Luke’s Passion account. Jesus is carrying his cross and being led to Calvary. Multitudes follow, weeping, clearly indicating that many, many Jews did not support the decision of their leaders to kill Jesus. This reading includes two of our Lord’s words from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” This last ‘word’ has brought comfort to countless multitudes who have stood at a grave and known that their loved one is not really dead. Christ saved them from that. Their loved one is in Paradise with their Lord.

Gradual (Rev. 7:14b; Ps. 84:5)
These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation.
They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

Verse (Luke 23:43)
Alleluia. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. Alleluia.

Collect for the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, You reign among us by the preaching of Your cross. Forgive Your people their offenses that we, being governed by Your bountiful goodness, may enter at last you’re your eternal paradise; for You live and reign with the Fahter and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Psalm for the Day: Psalm 46, antiphon v. 7
Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
God has gone up with a shout,
the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm!
God reigns over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!
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.
Clap your hands, all peoples!
Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Adult Bible Study
We continue our series “Puzzlers and Questions about the Bible.” The next question is, “We studied Romans 6:6. What is the (“body of sin”) and if we have no sin in our body (or does “that the body of sin might be destroyed” – not mean that we have no sin in our body? Then what does 6:7 mean if we are free from sin – does that mean we don’t sin & 6:9 – death has no dominion – it doesn’t say spiritual death – could it mean physical death? Matthew 16:28 and there in the Old Testament it says “death is the enemy” can’t recall where but if death is the enemy what enemy (Satan)? If Satan is the enemy then can’t he be destroyed?” These questions all revolve around sanctification. I’m sure this will take more than one Sunday. 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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