February 1, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany. It is also the commemoration of Jacob (Israel), Patriarch. For our liturgy we will be using the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260 in the hymnal). The appointed lessons for the day are Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-27, and Mark 1:29-39. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 147:1-11, and the antiphon is verse 5. Our hymns will be “Within the Father’s House” (LSB 410), “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus” (LSB 729), and “All Depends on Our Possessing” (LSB 732). The sermon text will be Isaiah 40:21 and the sermon is titled “Ignorance is Bliss?”
In our prayers Sunday we will remember the Japan Lutheran Church (JLC) and their President, Rev. Yutaka Kumei. We will remember Jack and Cathy Carlos, missionaries in Guinea West Africa. We will remember the persecuted believers in China and our sister congregations: St. John, York, PA; Abiding Savior, Anderson, SC; Greenwood, Greenwood, SC; Emmanuel, Rock Hill, SC; Risen Christ, Myrtle Beach, SC. We remember the orphans in Haiti that our youth are seeking to help. We also will continue to remember 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 our sermon hymn, “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,” sung by the “Lutheran Warbler.”
Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. This Sunday we will pick up at Matthew 13:24. As always, everyone is invited to come.
Preview of the Lessons
Isaiah 40:21-31: God is great, the creator of all things. Don’t be a dumb bunny and ignore this basic reality. Instead, trust in the Lord and you will find he provides amazing resources of life, both here and hereafter. Trust me, Isaiah says it much better! This reading is the text for Sunday’s sermon, so I say no more.
1 Corinthians 9:16-27: This reading follows right on the heals of Paul writing about how ministers have a right to be paid for their services. He then shares that he has not exercised that right. His reason is to be more effective in reaching others with the Gospel. He explains then how he is always judging his actions by that one goal, seeing people converted. Paul knows that we all have “rights” as well. We have the “right” to eat meat. We have the “right” to drink a glass of wine. We have the “right” to work on Sunday. We call this Christian Liberty. However there are many who do not know about such things. So Paul is always looking at others, asking if his behavior might be a stumbling block to them. The very Gospel is a stumbling block, and he will not give that up. But why should the way we dress or some other trivial thing stand in the way of hearing the Gospel? It certainly can be a fine line to walk. However, what a blessed reward, a share in the blessings of the Gospel. This is an imperishable treasure. The things we run after in this life are all fleeting. What we receive at the resurrection on the Last Day will be eternal. Paul wants that to motivate us.
Mark 1:29-39: In his typical breakneck speed, Mark quickly covers Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law, then a multitude of people, casting out demons, and preaching. Jesus then slips out of town for private prayer. When his disciples fine him, telling him that the whole town was looking for him, Jesus responds by telling the disciples it was time to move on to other towns. The big point is to look at Jesus. Who is it that can do such wondrous things? It is none other than the Son of God, which Mark told us he was writing about in verse one.
• The Super Bowl will be this coming Sunday. It is such a big deal in the USA that they even put it in my appointment book I get from the denomination. In recognition of this American obsession, nothing is scheduled tomorrow after the worship service. However …
• Our Elders meet Monday;
• Our Cub Scout Pack meets Tuesday;
• Our Junior Confirmation Class meets Wednesday;
• and our Women’s Bible Fellowship meets Wednesday as well.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert