Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Worship for Pentecost 16 - 2011 (LWML Sunday)

Wednesday after Pentecost 15
September 28, 2011

The Lord be with you

Those who come to the blog regularly probably notice that there was no post before last Sunday’s worship service describing what would take place. Rest assured, we did gather together and worship the Lord. My schedule was such that I simply didn’t have time to produce the post. Sorry.

This coming Sunday is the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost. It is also LWML Sunday. LWML stands for the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. This is the national organization of women in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Organized in 1942, they have helped countless missions around the world, produced faith affirming material for their members, and in general been a blessing from the Lord to all who somehow are touched by these ladies. Shoot, this year alone, the ladies of the LWML are giving over a $1,000,000.00 to 19 different missions around the world, And that doesn’t count all the gifts from local chapters and district groups.

As part of our recognition of the wonderful work these ladies are doing, not only in our local chapter at Lamb of God, but also the Carolinas District which they are part of, and the International LWML, our ladies will be front and center in our worship. At the sanctuary door greeting people and handing out bulletins will be Hazel Paul & Dorothy Koob. Martha Gibson & Pat Pike will be our ushers, receiving the offerings. Reading our assigned lessons from the word of God will be Connie Melton & Lynn Higgins. Kitty Rickert has prepared a special message for our youth. Carolyn Mullinax will deliver a special message which will give the congregation an update on the work the LWML is currently doing. Assisting Karen Hampton with their musical skills will be Dixie Chastain, Tina and Sarah Mullinax.

For our liturgy we will be using the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260). This is a non-communion service and uses the appointed Psalm instead of the appointed Introit. That Psalm is Psalm 26 (antiphon verse 8). Our other appointed lessons are: Jeremiah 15:15-21, Romans 12:9-21, and Matthew 16:21-28. The sermon again uses our lesson from Romans as its foundation and is titled “What Should I Do?” Our hymns will be “All the Earth with Joy Is Sounding” (LSB 462), “May We Thy Precepts, Lord, Fulfill” (LSB 698), and “Lutheran Women, One and All.” “All the Earth with Joy Is Sounding” is the hymn we are learning this month. “Lutheran Women, One and All” is the LWML hymn. The hymn is not in our hymnal so the words will be printed on an insert. The tune is the same tune used for the hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” (LSB 892). The tune is named St. George’s Windsor. This song is sung with great enthusiasm at ILWML gatherings. If you look at the words printed below, you might feel odd singing it if you are a man. I suggest the men think in terms of encouraging our ladies when they sing the hymn.

1. Lutheran women, one and all
We have heard the gospel call
We by faith have seen our Lord
Crucified and then restored
We have seen Him pay the price,
For our sins, a sacrifice
Him we Lord and Christ acclaim
And unite to praise His Name.

2. Lutheran women, young and old
Well we know His challenge bold;
"Help to take the gospel light
To a world in darkest night,
by example in the home,
by inviting those who roam,
by your prayers for sinners lost
by your gifts for missions' cost."

3. Lutheran women, coast to coast,
in the Lord Almighty Host
Let us all united be
In the Holy Trinity,
One in faith, in hope, and love,
Working for the Lord above,
Till, our earthly labors done,
We in heaven shall all be one.

The video below is of someone playing St. George’s Windsor on the organ (the tune used for “Lutheran Women, One and All”).

Sunday we will continue our trip through Matthew in our adult Bible class. Sunday we will pick up at the beginning of chapter 9. Class begins at 9:00 AM. As always, everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons

Jeremiah 15:15-21: Manassah is identified as one of the worst kings Judah ever had. Nonetheless, he ruled for almost 50 years. The major world power during his years was Assyria, and Manassah toed the Assyrian line. This allowed a certain amount of economic prosperity. However it also meant that Manassah brought the Assyrian gods and goddess to Judah, and their worship practices, including child sacrifices. It was because of Manassah’s religious policies that the Bible describes him in such dismal terms. Jeremiah began his ministry during Manassah’s reign. After Manassah’s death his son, Josiah, became king. Josiah led a massive reordering of the religious life of Judah, calling the people back to the true God. He is considered one of the truly great kings of Judah by the writers of the Bible. However this reform movement seemed to not really change the hearts of the people. Once Josiah died the average person went back to the ways of Manassah, as did the subsequent kings (though maybe not as radically as Manassah). The days of Josiah were the “golden years” for Jeremiah. Much to the surprise of the world, a new power emerged in Mesopotamia, Babylon, taking control of all of Assyria’s territory. On behalf of God, Jeremiah constantly warned the people to repent and accept Babylonian over-lordship. They would do neither. The results were that Judah was conquered, Jerusalem destroyed, and most of the leaders deported to Babylon. Jeremiah was often abused because of his faithfulness. Chapter 15 seems to come from the dark days after the death of Josiah. (Because the book is not arranged chronically, it can be difficult to determine exactly when some of the passages are delivered.) In 15:1-9 the Lord delivers his indictment against Judah and prescribes their punishment, which is the fall of the state to the Babylonians. Starting in verse 10 Jeremiah and the Lord have a bit of back and forth dialogue. Jeremiah is distressed because of such a message and the Lord strengthens Jeremiah. In the end, Jeremiah’s salvation will come from the Lord, not by caving into the sinful ways of the people of Judah. There is a way of life and a way of death. There always is. The way of life is always the way of the Lord. The people of Judah reject the Lord’s way and so will be destroyed. For the sake of the way of life, a remnant will be saved (though that remnant is not referred to in this reading). In this chapter God is still holding open the door of repentance to Judah, though he knows they will not take it.

Romans 12:9-21: This reading picks up right where last weeks reading ended. Last week's lesson introduced the idea of our lives as “living sacrifices” for the Lord. This week Paul continues the same general them of our Christian life and the vitally important role Christian love has in it. For more, come to Lamb of God and listen to the sermon.

Matthew 16:21-28: This lesson begins with the words, “From that time Jesus began …”. This points back to what just happened to determine when the events of the lesson take place and to put them in the proper context. Verses 13-20 contain Peter’s great confession that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus identifies this faith as a gift from the Father and the foundation of the Church. It comes as a shock, from a story line perspective, that Jesus uses this point of time to begin telling the disciples that he would be traveling to Jerusalem, not to take over things as the Lord’s Anointed, but to be betrayed, crucified, and die. While Jesus also told his followers that he would be raised on the third day, they apparently didn’t get it. Dead is, after all, dead. Peter speaks up, utterly rejecting the Lord’s plan. After praising Peter in the verses just prior to our reading, Jesus delivers his sternest rebuke of Peter, telling him that he is a hindrance, that he is putting his mind on the things of man, and even calling Peter “Satan.” Now Peter wasn’t possessed or anything like that. However anytime you oppose the Lord you have joined Satan’s team. Jesus goes on to speak of discipleship in terms of denying self, taking up your cross, and losing one life for the sake of Jesus. Those who do so will find, at the Second Coming, that they lost nothing and gained everything.

• Sunday Pastor Jeffrey Van Osdol will be installed as the pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Charleston. The installation service will be at 4:00 in the afternoon. Pastor will participate in the service so he and Kitty will have to head right out after our worship service. The members of Lamb of God are invited.

• Pastor will be leaving before the sun rises Monday to head to Virginia for a gathering of Circuit Counselors. He will return late Tuesday night. This means the office will be closed Monday and Tuesday.

• Pastor’s Hermeneutics seminar will meet Thursday and Friday next week (the final two meetings). This means the office will be closed those two days. (As far as this seminar goes, it will also be in session tomorrow (Thursday) and the day following (Friday) so the office will be closed then as well.

• Our Cubs will be going to the Cottonwood Trail this Saturday. They will meet at Lamb of God at 10:00 AM.

• Junior Confirmation Class will meet Wednesday.

Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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