Monday, May 16, 2011

Worship for Easter 5 - 2011

Thursday after Easter 4
May 19, 2011

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday will be the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Easter 5). We will be using the first setting of the worship service (page 151) for our liturgy. This will be a communion service. The Latin name for Easter 5 is Cantate. Once again it is drawn from the first word of the Introit, and means “sing ye.” These opening words are from Psalm 98:1, which in English is “Sing to the LORD a new song.” The new Introit for series A in the three-year lectionary is taken from Psalm 30:1-5 and the antiphon is Psalm 149:1. The opening line (taken from Psalm 149:1) is, “Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song”. Therefore, in this case, then old name still reflects the Introit for the Day.

It seems I am always explaining how things have changed from The Lutheran Hymnal to the Lutheran Service Book. I have decided to just put the information about the names in the Easter season down here for easy reference. TLH means The Lutheran Hymnal. LSB means the Lutheran Service Book. I will start with translations of the Latin names.

Quasimodogeniti (also spelled Quasi modo geniti and Quasimodo geniti) – “as newborn babies”
Misericordias Domini – “goodness of the Lord”
Jubilate – “rejoice”
Cantate – “Sing ye”
Rogate – “pray ye”
Exaudi – “hear”
Whitsunday – either “white Sunday” referring to the white garments worn by those being baptized on Pentecost, or “wisdom” Sunday referring to the gift of wisdom by the Holy Spirit. Either way, this is not a Latin word, but a very old English word.

Easter Day – The Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord; Introit: Psalm 139:18b, 5b, 6, 1, 2a
Quasimodogeniti – First Sunday after Easter; Introit: 1 Peter 2:a; Psalm 81:8, 1
Misericordias Domini – Second Sunday after Easter; Introit: Psalm 33:5b, 6a, 1
Jubilate – Third Sunday after Easter; Introit: Psalm 66:1-3
Cantate – Fourth Sunday after Easter; Introit: Psalm 98:1a, 2, 1b
Rogate – Fifth Sunday after Easter; Introit: Isaiah 48:20b, Psalm 66:1-2
The Ascension of Our Lord (always a Thursday); Introit: Mark 16:14-20, Acts 1:11, Psalm 47:1
Exaudi – The Sunday after the Ascension; Psalm 27:7a, 8-9a, 1a
Whitsunday – The Feast of Pentecost; Book of Wisdom 1:7a, Psalm 68:3, 1

LSB (One-year lectionary)
The Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day; Introit: Psalm 8:1, 5-6, Luke 24:5b-6b
Second Sunday of Easter – Quasimodo Geniti: Introit: Psalm 81:1, 7a, 10, 16b, 1 Peter 2:2a
Third Sunday of Easter – Misericordias Domini: Introit: Psalm 33:1, 18-20, Psalm 33:5b, 6a
Fourth Sunday of Easter – Jubilate; Introit: Psalm 66:3, 5, 8-9, Psalm 66:1-2
Fifth Sunday of Easter – Cantate; Introit: Psalm 98:1b, 3-4, Psalm 98:1a, 2b
Sixth Sunday of Easter – Rogate; Introit: Psalm 66:1-2a, 17, 19-20, Isaiah 48:20b
The Ascension of Our Lord; Introit: Psalm 47:1-2, 5, 8, Acts 1:11
Seventh Sunday of Easter – Sunday after the Ascension – Exaudi; Introit: Psalm 27:1, 11a, 12, 7a, 8b, 9a
Pentecost – The Day of Pentecost; Introit Psalm 68:1, 4a, c, 11a, 33b, 35a, 3

LSB (Three-year lectionary)
The Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day
Second Sunday of Easter
Third Sunday of Easter
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Sixth Sunday of Easter
The Ascension of Our Lord
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Pentecost – The Day of Pentecost
(The Introits vary from year to year in the three-year lectionary and clearly the names for the Sundays are drawn from their relationship to Easter and not the words used in the Introits.)

As you can see, while the numbering has changed from TLH to LSB’s one-year lectionary, the Latin names remain the same relative to the time distant from Easter. The name Whitsunday has been dropped, perhaps because the meaning is not completely certain.

Now, back to our worshp service for this coming Suday. Our appointed lessons are: Acts 6:1-9; 7:2a, 51-60; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14. The text for the sermon is Acts 6:2-3 and is titled, “What Is Your Job Description?” Our opening hymn will be “Lord, Help Us Walk Your Servant Way” (LSB 857). The sermon hymn will be “How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord” (LSB 853). Our closing hymn will be “We Are Called to Stand Together” (LSB 828). Our distribution hymns will be: “This Is the Spirit’s Entry Now” (LSB 591) , “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (LSB 461), AND “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior” (LSB 627).

The video below is of the Lutheranwarbler playing and singing “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” You can hear the melody line of most, but not all, of the other hymns at Better Noise. The link is in the left hand sidebar on this page.

Our Sunday morning adult Bible study is continuing its study of the Gospel of Matthew. We will pick-up in chapter 4 with verse 18. Our Education Hour begins at 9:00 AM and everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons

Acts 6:1-9; 7a, 51-60: With this passage we get another look at the Apostolic Church. Acts 6:1-9 is widely used to support the establishment of auxiliary offices in the church. There were problems developing in the distribution of food to the needy. The problem was presented to the Apostles. The Apostles decided they needed men whose main task was to oversee this effort. Seven men were chosen by the congregation and they took charge of the work and were called deacons. Stephen was one of these seven. Stephen was “full of grace and power … doing great wonders and signs among the people” (6:8). As a powerful witness to the resurrection, he was a problem to those who opposed God. They gathered a group to falsely accuse him and stir up trouble. In chapter 7 Steven appears before the Sanhedrin to defend himself. The tale end of the assigned reading has Stephen’s closing words and the response of his accusers. They were so enraged they grab Steven, take him outside, and stone him to death. The fact that Steven’s death gets so much space in the book of Acts is an indication of just what an impact the death of this first martyr had on the Church. There was a definite turn in the approach to the Church by the Jewish authorities. This is also the first mention of Saint Paul (here still using the name Saul as he was an enemy of Christ) in the New Testament. One item often overlooked in this reading is in verse 7. Not only do we read “the number of the disciples multiplied greatly” (which is no big surprise) but also “a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” Perhaps this is the reason the High Priest decided to take a more aggressive approach to the Church. It also seems likely to me that some of these priests helped form the group that insisted Gentiles become Jews before they could become Christians, including being circumcised. These, though, are issues that will not develop for a number of years. In this reading we see the Gospel bridging every social, economic, and even religious gap. The Gospel is for all.

1 Peter 2:2-10: Peter is writing this general letter to Gentile congregations with lots of recent converts. This is reflected in verse 2 where he says, “like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation …” Many scholars think the letter is basically a baptismal sermon. In this reading Peter cites several Old Testament passages indicating how they are about Jesus, specifically about our Lord’s rejection by the Jewish leaders and his exaltation. This points to a very important principle for understanding the Old Testament that all the Apostles used, they read the Old Testament through the lens of the Gospels. In other words, they used the story of Jesus to understand the Old Testament. The phrase in verse 2, “that by it you may grow up into salvation,” might strike many today as odd. Aren’t we already saved? Haven’t we already acquired our salvation when we came to faith in Jesus? The answer to this riddle is that the word “salvation” is being used in two different ways, one way by Peter and a different way in the questions. It is comparing apples and oranges. Peter is speaking of the Second Coming, when our Salvation is fully manifested, when we will be raised from the dead with our glorified bodies to die no more. The questions are actually about the down payment on that ultimate fulfillment of our salvation. As believers in Christ we now have a “foretaste of the feast to come” (to quote the liturgy). Then we will “know as we have been known” (to quote St. Paul). Those who disobey the word stumble (verse 8). Those who continue to grow in Christ, continue to grow in the word, are already a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession” (verse 9) and yet also “sojourners and exiles” (verse 10). There is an “already” and “not yet” aspect to our lives as believers in Jesus. Quite literally we can say, “we are saved,” “we are being saved” and “we will be saved.”

John 14:1-14: This reading is the same Gospel lesson used for the Festival of St. Philip and St. James. This is probably so because in it Philip asks a question. Thomas also asks a question in this lesson. In the King James translation, Jesus says in verse 2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions”. In the English Standard translation, and every other modern translation I know of, Jesus is reported as saying, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” The Greek word in question is monai, a plural from of mona (long a). The word means “rooms,” not “mansions.” The KJV is simply a poor translation here, as the context should indicate. Jesus says, in the KJV, and all other translations, “In my Father’s house …” Just how many mansions do you think you can fit into one house? This difference in translations gives us a different idea about eternity. Mansions are lone homes, sequestered away from the rest of humanity on large pieces of land. Community is not in the picture. A large home with many rooms with many people living in those rooms gives a strong feeling of community, of fellowship, of friendship, etc. Heaven is a friendly place, not a place where we never see our neighbors. There is a great deal of other treasures in this lesson. Jesus says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (verse 6). Here we have a deception exposed that is common today, which is that all religions actually worship the same God. If Jesus is correct, and no one can come to the Father except through him, then those religions that do not recognize Jesus as the incarnate God, do not worship the Father. Indeed Jesus goes on to say that to know him is to know the Father. How can he say this? In responding to Philips question, “Show us the Father,” Jesus says “I am in the Father and the Father is in me”. Jesus also says, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Some consider verses 12-14 as support for all sorts of spectacular things. Jesus says “whoever believes in me will do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do”. What is overlooked are the words “in my name” when Jesus says “whatever you ask in my name, this I will do …” “In my name” means, in part, according to my will. We discover that will in the Bible, not in our wild imaginations. We may think this or that "work" is greater then what Jesus did. Perhaps it might be raising all the people in a graveyard back to life, or maybe building a temple without hands, or whatever. Such things are not promised in Scripture. We have no sure word that they are in accord with the will of Jesus. What we do know is that such things are not all that great, as far as God is concerned. The salvation of a person, a person going from death to life, is the greatest thing we can see and be a part of. Jesus even tells us that this is so spectacular that heaven literally rejoices every time it happens (Luke 15:7). How backward our thinking is from God’s when we consider a person being healed from some physical ailment as more impressive than a baptism! Heaven doesn’t make that mistake.


• Information for the June newsletter is due Sunday. .
• The office will be closed Monday and Tuesday, May 23-24, as pastor will be attend a Circuit Counselors meeting in Richmond, VA.
• Our Women’s Bible Fellowship will begin their new study Wednesday, May 25. The meeting begins at 6:30 PM. The ladies meet at church.

Well, I pray I will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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