Thursday, September 8, 2011

Worship for Pentecost 12 - 2011

Thursday after Pentecost 12
September 8, 2011

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost. It also is the ten year anniversary of the terrorist attack that crashed two airplanes into the twin towers in New York City, another plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, VA, and a fourth plane that crashed without reaching its intended target in DC, because the passengers organized an effective resistance bringing the plane down in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. While this anniversary will not be the major focus of our service, we will remember that day when nearly 3000 Americans died.

This coming Sunday is also Grandparent’s Day.

We will be using the third setting of the morning service for our liturgy (page 184). This will be a Communion Service. If you desire to attend you may prepare by reading Luther’s treatment of the Lord’s Supper in the Small Catechism. Our opening hymn will be “Thy Strong Word” (LSB 578). The sermon hymn will be “Have No Fear, Little Flock” (LSB 735). The closing hymn will be “Beautiful Savior” (LSB 537). Our distribution hymns will be “Forgive Us, Lord, for Shallow Thankfulness” (LSB 788); “O Lord, We Praise Thee” (LSB 617); “I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table” (LSB 618),

The appointed lessons for the day are: Job 38:4-18; Romans 10:5-17; Matthew 14:22-33. We continue our focus on the book of Romans. The sermon text will be Romans 10:17. The sermon title is “What Good Are Sermons?”

The video below is of the “Lutheranwarbler” playing and singing “Thy Strong Word.” She now 72 of the hymns in our hymnal recorded and posted on Youtube. “Thy Strong Word” was written by Martin H. Franzmann (1907-1976) in 1954. It first appeared in our worship books with the Worship Supplement (1969). It was also included in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and Lutheran Worship (1982). Though during his lifetime Franzmann was probably thought of more as a great theologian, I expect it will be his hymns for which he will be remembered in the long-run. Aside from “Thy Strong Word” he also penned the following hymns in our hymnal: “Our Paschal Lamb, That Sets Us Free” (473), “With High Delight Let Us Unite” (483), “Preach You the Word” (586), “All Christians Who Have Been Baptized” (596), and “O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth” (834).

Sunday we will continue our trip through Matthew in our adult Bible class. We have finished the Sermon on the Mount so we are picking up at the beginning of chapter 8. Matthew has indicated earlier that Jesus was healing people but this chapter has the first specific stories about Jesus doing that. I wonder why these are the first miracles Matthew specifically records in Jesus’ public ministry? Class begins at 9:00 AM. As always, everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons
Job 38:4-18: I expect most everyone knows the story of Job. He was a pious and wealthy man who, in very short order, lost everything. Several of his friends come to “comfort” him. Basically they say that Job deserved what happened and all he has to do is figure out what his sin was that brought about all his calamity, confess it, and then everything will turn out fine. (So far the story sounds very contemporary.) We know from the prologue that the friends are wrong. Job also knows they are wrong, but tends to agree with their general theology that material wealth corresponds with faithfulness to God and so he can’t figure out why calamity has befallen him. At the end of the book God appears to Job but doesn’t really tell Job why he has had all his troubles. In stead God maintains that we are to trust him even when we do not understand him and his ways. The main purpose of the book is to show that the Lord is our redeemer despite what we may suffer in this life. In the end, things do turn out well for Job as he regains his prosperity and then some. The book is poetry and so should be read as such. The time frame is during the age of the Patriarchs, so around 2000 BC. No one living knows who wrote the book. Sunday’s reading is from when God is confronting Job. The Lord demonstrates the limits of human knowledge. This is also a great passage for establishing God as the Creator of the material world.

Romans 10:5-17: This is the reading on which the sermon is based so I don’t want to say much. In short Paul distinguishes between Law and Gospel, outlining some of the uses for each, and indicating the vital place the Word of God has in life and salvation.

Matthew 14:22-33: This reading picks-up where last weeks reading left off. Jesus had just finished feeding over 5,000 people. Matthew tells us that Jesus “immediately” had the disciples get into a boat and travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee while he dismissed the crowds and went to the hills to pray. Matthew uses the word “immediately” far more sparingly than Mark. In fact, in Matthew, it seems to emphasize key events: Jesus Baptism (3:16), the call of the first disciples (4:20, 22), Palm Sunday (21:2) and some healings (8:3; 20:34). In this case it seems Matthew wants to draw our attention to what happens on the water. The disciples are heading across the sea when some bad weather hit. As many of the disciples were fishermen and knew these waters they knew how dangerous the conditions were. However they also continued to work, trusting in their skills to get them through. After his time in prayer Jesus actually walks across the water. The disciples see him and at first are afraid. Jesus comforts them. Peter says, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus does and Peter does. After making a good start Peter become afraid, losing his trust in Jesus, and begins to sink. Jesus saves him, but chides him for doubting. The get into the boat and the wind stops. The disciples recognize, if ever so imperfectly, that Jesus is the “Son of God.” This recognition of the disciples is, of course, the point Matthew is making. As with Job, so here; even when we don’t understand we are to trust the Lord.

• The Cub Council will meet after Sunday’s worship service in the library.

• Sunday is Grandparent’s Day

• Our Cub Scouts will meet Monday.

• The office will be closed Tuesday as pastor will be in Columbia at a Winkel meeting.

Women’s Bible Fellowship will meet on Wednesday.

Junior Confirmation Class will meet Wednesday.

• Pastor’s Hermeneutics class will have its first meeting on Thursday, meaning he will be in Boiling Springs, NC, all day Thursday and Friday.

Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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