Thursday, May 26, 2011

Worship for Easter 6 - 2011

Thursday after Easter 5
May 26, 2011

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday will be the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Easter 6). We will be using the service of Morning Prayer (page 235) for our liturgy. To be frank, we don’t know this service all that well. To help prepare for the service I therefore recommend you check out the following website.

At this site you will find the musical tracts for Morning Prayer along with the musical tracts for Matins, Vespers, Evening Prayer and Compline. The tracts not only have the music, but also singing, so you can sing along and strengthen your ability to participate in the worship service. If you have a copy of the Lutheran Service Book it is all that much easier. If you don’t have a copy of the Lutheran Service Book, I recommend you get a copy. You may order a pew edition from Concordia Publishing House for $23.00 (plus shipping and handling) at the following website:

There are other editions available, but the pew edition cost the least. A big part of the reasoning for these worship notes is to help people prepare for the worship service. This week we need to expand that preparation a bit to help us sing well on Sunday.

This coming Monday is Memorial Day. This three-day weekend is the traditional first day of Summer. As the price of gasoline has come down a few pennies, members may well be on the road thus decreasing attendance. Once again that accents the importance of being prepared for the worship service.

The appointed lessons for Sunday are Acts 17:16-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22; and John 14:15-21. In the service of Morning Prayer we also chant a Psalm The one appointed for Sunday is Psalm 66, verses 8 through 20. The antiphon is verse 8. The text for the sermon is Acts 17:22 and the sermon is titled “A Good Defense.”

The Latin name for this coming Sunday is Rogate. For information concerning the Latin names for each Sunday see last weeks worship notes by clicking here.

We will begin learning a new hymn Sunday, “O Day Full of Grace,” (LSB 503). It will be our opening hymn. The sermon hymn will be “Lift High the Cross” (LSB 837). Our closing hymn will be “Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won” (LSB 490).

“O Day Full of Grace” may be new to us at Lamb of God, but there is nothing new about the hymn. The hymn is based on a pre-Reformation vernacular folk hymn popular in Scandinavia. It first appeared in print in Hans Thomissön’s Danish language hymnal (1569), where it was revised for use in the cause of the Protestant Reformation. It first appeared in English in the 1932 Concordia Hymnal. This was the hymnal for one of those Lutheran denominations that was first swallowed up by the ALC and later by the ELCA. “O Day Full of Grace” was included in Lutheran Worship, but not The Lutheran Hymnal. There are any number of choral performances on YouTube, but the recording below is of Trinity Lutheran in Sheboygan, WI.

Our Sunday morning adult Bible study is continuing its study of the Gospel of Matthew. We will be starting the Sermon on the Mount Sunday. Our Education Hour begins at 9:00 AM and everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons

Acts 17:16-31: Paul had been driven from yet another town, Berea, for proclaiming Jesus and the resurrection. Supporters took him to Athens, where Paul sent for Silas and Timothy. This reading is what happened while Paul was in Athens. Needless to say, Paul didn’t remain silent about Jesus. We can learn a lot from Paul and how he shared the Gospel in a pagan context, and we will be hearing about that in Sunday’s sermon.

1 Peter 3:13-22: This is an especially rich text. You could preach a sermon on evangelism, suffering, the suffering of Christ, his descent into hell, his resurrection, his exaltation, the Second Coming and heaven, and baptism. That all these topics are presented together reflects the interrelatedness of them. We are to be prepared to make a defense to anyone (evangelism)… for the hope that is in us (the Second Coming and heaven). This can certainly lead to persecution (suffering). The reason for our hope is the suffering, death, descent into hell, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus. We are united with the victory of Jesus through our baptism by which we receive a “good conscience" (that is, our sins are forgiven by grace through faith received in baptism).

John 14:15-21: We pick up where we left off last week. Jesus is now speaking of the promise of the Holy Spirit. One thing I’d like to point out is that this promise is for all Christians, not just some. There are some today who think only a portion of believers receive the Holy Spirit. That is not what Jesus says. None of us are orphans. We also have the promise of eternal life in this reading, as Jesus says, “because I live, you also will live.” Notice the importance of Jesus living. If he remained dead and in the grave, then our hope of heaven is also in vain. But, praise God, He is Risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

• The June newsletter will be posted any day now. Paper copies will be available for those who do not have internet access.
• The office will be closed Monday, which is Memorial Day.
• Our Women’s Bible Fellowship is considering moving to a new day. If there is a better time for our ladies than Wednesday evenings, please let Kitty or Ramona know.

Well, I pray I will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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