October 19, 2011
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost. For our liturgy we will be using the first setting of the morning service (page 151). This is a communion service. To prepare you may review what Luther’s Small Catechism teaches concerning this sacred meal.
Our appointed lessons are: Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13; Matthew 22:34-46. The sermon will be based on the Gospel lesson and the text will be Matthew 22:45. It is titled “The Conundrum of Jesus.” Our opening hymn will be “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” (LSB 549). Our sermon hymn will be “O Word of God Incarnate” (LSB 523). Our closing hymn will be “Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious” (LSB 548). Our distribution hymns will be “The Lamb” (LSB 547), “Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me” (LSB 756), and “Wide Open Stand the Gates” (LSB 639).
The video below is of “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” performed by the LutheranWarbler.
Sunday we will continue our trip through Matthew in our adult Bible class. Sunday we will pick up at the end of chapter 9. Class begins at 9:00 AM. As always, everyone is invited to come.
Preview of the Lessons
Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18: Leviticus is somewhat difficult for the modern reader. In this chapter the Lord speaks to Moses, and Moses speaks to the people. The phrase “I am the Lord” is scattered throughout the chapter, not only marking significant items and breaks, but clearly marking the chapter as a unit, to be considered together. In other words, the various parts relate to each other. God is addressing the Israelites as a worshiping community. Though much of what he tells them relates to everyday life, they are united before the altar of the Lord. Therefore verses 3-8, skipped in the appointed lesson, deals with keeping the Sabbath. Verses 9-14 treats with how we live with others, both neighbors and “foreigners” (i.e., not a direct descendant of Abraham). So these verses also deal with the Ten Commandments. Verses 15-18 continue with how we relate with our neighbors. Courts should be fair. We should not slander others. You shall not hate others, take vengeance, etc. Our relationship with others is summed up in verse 18 with the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” Some may wonder how to love others. In the Bible love is defined by action. If we live according to the Ten Commandments, we are loving our neighbor as ourselves. It all flows from us being the corporate worshiping community.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-13: This is a passage that all pastors should read and take to heart. Paul speaks of his time in Thessalonica and any member of the church could challenge his memory. Paul writes confident that no one will. It was not an easy ministry, but the labor produced the church at Thessalonica. Clearly a strong bond developed between Apostle and congregation. And where does Paul put the credit? Does he thing he has the magic touch? No! He caps it off with these words, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the world of God, which is at work in you believers.” There is a month of sermons in that one verse!
Matthew 22:34-46: This reading falls nicely into two parts. The first has a Pharisee testing Jesus by asking what is the greatest commandment. Jesus answers with a catechism lesson, quoting two Bible verses that every Jew had memorized as children (Deuteronomy 6:54; Leviticus 19:18). Like today, in Jesus days there were teachers that selected obscure Bible passages and exalted them as some special key to the scriptures (I’m reminded of the book The Prayer of Jabaz). A God pleasing life isn’t built on such esoteric passages, but on the clear and well know ones. I can’t help but feel the Pharisee was a little embarrassed. In the second half of the reading Jesus returns the favor and asks a question of his own. This one is based on the identity of the Christ. The “testers” were unable to give any answer to the meaning of the Bible passage Jesus asked about. I will not share any insights on it as it forms the foundation of Sunday’s sermon. You will just have to come to church and find out.
• The ladies of the LWML raised over $700.00 in their auction this past Sunday.
• We have a voters’ meeting scheduled for this coming Sunday, after the worship service.
• Information for the November newsletter is due Sunday. .
• Our Cubs will meet on Tuesday.
• Our Junior Confirmation Class will meet on Wednesday. Don’t forget your movie review.
• Remember Friday (October 29) the Lutheran Lecture Series is giving a presentationtitled “God’s Gift to Mankind—Marriage”. It will be at Augustana Lutheran in Hickory. Presenters include two of the Synod’s VPs and a professor from Concordia Theological Seminary. More information can be found in Sunday’s bulletin.
• November 6 (the first Sunday in November) will be celebrated as All Saints’ Sunday at Lamb of God. Names of those who have departed and gone to be with the Lord will be remembered in our prayers. A sign-up sheet is in the narthex for names of people you would like remembered.
• November 9 is also when Daylight Savings Time ends. (Fall back.)
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert