January 26, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. For our liturgy we will be using Morning Prayer, which begins on page 235 of the hymnal. Morning Prayer is a non-communion service. This service uses the appointed Psalm instead of the appointed Introit for the Day. It will be Psalm 111. The antiphon will be verse 3. The appointed lessons for the day are: Deuteronomy 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28. Our opening hymn will be “Within the Father’s House” (LSB 410). The sermon hymn will be “O Bless the Lord, My Soul” (LSB 814). Our closing hymn will be “Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” (LSB 528).The text for the sermon is Mark 1:22, taken from our Gospel lesson. The title is “Greater Than Moses.”
In our Prayers we will be remembering the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) and their president, Rev. J. Samuel, President. We will also be remembering the missionaries Jack and Cathy Carlos, who are serving in Guinea West Africa. They have specifically asked that we pray: that Jack and Cathy will learn the necessary health care education skills to benefit the Maninka people, that they will be able to learn the French and Maninka languages, and that the relationships they build with the Maninka will result in the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. We are also asked to remember their children, Raymond and Hannah, who will remain in the United States attending school. We will remember the persecuted Church in Chiapas, Mexico. We will remember the following congregations: Concordia, Wilmington, DE; St. Paul’s, Columbia, PA; St. John, York, PA; Good Shepherd, York, PA; Holy Lamb, Myrtle Beach, SC. As is our practice, we will again remember the orphans in Haiti that our youth are seeking to help; those who are trapped by the modern practice of slavery; and those who have fallen victim to our cultures acceptance of abortion and advocacy of sexual immorality.
The video below is of someone playing “O Bless the Lord, My Soul.” No singing or lyrics. This will be our sermon hymn.
Our adult Bible class this coming Sunday should finish Matthew 11, and maybe even make it into Matthew 12. Class begins at 9:00 AM. As always, everyone is invited to come.
Preview of the Lessons
Deuteronomy 18:15-20: In trying to give the Junior Confirmation Class a handle on the different book in the Bible I tell them that Deuteronomy is “five long sermons.” A reading like this one points up just how inadequate a description that is. Here Moses reminds the people of an incident that happened while the people were at Mount Horeb. There the people expressed a desire to have a mediator, a prophet, so they would not have to face God directly. God recognized this as a reasonable request. God promised to send a prophet like Moses, that is to say, a descendant of Abraham. To that prophet the people should listen to as if they were listening to God himself. Throughout the centuries the Israelites/Jews speculated as to who this “prophet” might be. As it turns out, those who identified the “prophet” as the Messiah were correct. Jesus is the fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy. All the prophets that came between Moses and Jesus were a foreshadowing of Jesus, the Prophet who was like Moses, but greater than he.
1 Corinthians 8:1-13: It has been said, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” When it comes to our Christian lives, that is certainly true. For the believer, all must be tempered with Christian love. In this reading, Paul shows how something that is perfectly all right can, given the right circumstances, be sinful. How do we know what to do? The way to answer that question is to ask, “What is the loving thing to do.” Will my actions build a fellow believer up, or might it cause them to stumble in the Faith? It is better to give up your liberty than to cause someone to stumble in the faith.
Mark 1:21-28: Mark is such a fun Gospel to read. Everything happens so fast. In this short reading the English Standard Version of the Bible has the word “immediately” twice and also the phrase “and at once,” meaning the same thing as “immediately.” In this lesson, 1) Jesus goes to church and becomes the guest teacher; 2) the people are astonished at his teaching; 3) Jesus drives out a demon from some poor man; 4) the people are even more amazed and really begin to ask who Jesus is; 5) “and at once” his fame spread everywhere. Who is Jesus? Even the demons know. He is the “Holy One of God.” By the end of Mark’s Gospel, all his readers should know this as well. However we will not have the same fear of the demons, eternal damnation, for Mark wants our knowledge to be the knowledge of faith, which grants eternal life.
• Our prayers are with King Moore, whose wife went to be with the Lord this morning.
• Saturday Kitty and I will be in Irmo representing Lamb of God at our Circuit Forum.
• As usual, our Cub Scout pack will meet on Tuesday and our Junior Confirmation class will meet on Wednesday
• The office will be closed this coming Thursday as Pastor will be at his supervision group meeting for Gardner-Webb.
• On Friday our Cub Scout pack will be visiting a local radio station.
• Thursday, February 2, is The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord. Sunday, February 5 is the commemoration of Jacob (Israel), Patriarch.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert