Thursday, July 14, 2011

Worship for Pentecost 5 - 2011

Thursday after Pentecost 4
June 14, 2011

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost. Our lessons will be Exodus 19:2-8, Romans 5:6-15, and Matthew 9:35-10:8-20. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 100. The antiphon is verse 5. The sermon is titled “General Truths,” and the text is Romans 5:15. For our liturgy we will be using the service of Morning Prayer (page 235 in the hymnal). This is a non-communion service that has only three hymns. Those hymns for Sunday are: “Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest” (LSB 498), “If Your Beloved Son, O God” (LSB 568), and “O God of Love, O King of Peace” (LSB 751).

You would think finding our opening hymn on line would be easy as it is over 1000 years old. I found plenty of copies of it in Latin but nothing I wanted to post in English. Our other two hymns don’t appear with the same tunes we have in our hymnal. So this edition of our worship notes will have no videos.

Our Sunday morning adult Bible study is continuing its study of the Gospel of Matthew. We will be starting chapter 6 (the Sermon on the Mount). Our Education Hour begins at 9:00 AM and everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons

Exodus 19:2-8: The Israelites had been delivered from their Egyptian slavery three months earlier when the events recorded in this lesson take place. They are gathered at Mt Sinai. Moses goes up the mountain to speak with God. The Lord basically says, “I’m the One who delivered Israel, and they know it. This really wasn’t a difficult thing for me because everything is mine. If they will be loyal to me and follow my will, they will be my treasured possession among all that is mine.” The people respond with a “you betcha.” One thing I really like about this passage is that it is clear that God initiates salvation, not fallen humanity. Whether it is the Old Testament or the New, God is the Savior and we are the ones being saved. Our “you betcha” is a response to what God has done, never the event on which salvation is based. In chapter 20 God gives the Israelites the Ten Commandments, but they should always be understood in this response to God’s mercy light.

Romans 5:6-15: In what ways are all people alike? Well we all have hearts and brains, most have two legs and two arms, and so on. These are physical parallels, but they hardly cut to the core of who we are as people. In fact I could have been describing a chimpanzee. There are also some general spiritual truths about humanity, and Paul discusses them in this reading. We will hear about them in Sunday’s sermon, so I’m not going to say more here.

Matthew 9:35-10:20: The big message in this long reading is the mercy of God in Christ Jesus. The opening verse sets the tone, “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.” We notice that the message of the kingdom is coupled with acts of the kingdom, and we see that throughout the reading. “Kingdom,” by the way, is not some fanciful 1,000 year rule of Jesus from Jerusalem, but the rule of Christ right now in our hearts and life. Because of his compassion for the people Jesus sends out his Apostles and they engage in the same works of compassion that Jesus does (preaching and helping the afflicted). As with Jesus, some accept the Apostles and some reject them. This leads into the final segment of the lesson. There will always be those who reject and persecute Christ and his followers. However we have the promise of the Holy Spirit, who will direct us in such trials. This is not a promise of deliverance from temporal persecution. All but the Apostle John died a martyrs death. However, even in death, they remained faithful witnesses and were victorious, inheriting their crown of life.

• There will be a voter’s meeting Sunday. Mostly it will be reports. However we do need to select a lay representative to our Circuit Forum.

Well, I pray I will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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