Saturday after Easter 6
May 19, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is the Seventh Sunday of Easter. We will be using Matins (page 219) for our liturgy. The appointed lessons are Acts 1:12-26, 1 John 5:9-15, and John 17:11b-19. The Psalm for the Day is Psalm 1. The antiphon is verse 6. Our hymns will be “O Sing to the Lord” (LSB 808), “Lift High the Cross” (LSB 837), and “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (LSB 465).
In our prayers we will remember the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (IELA) (Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Argentina) and their President, Rev. Edgardo Elseser. We will also thank God for the new partner church status established between the LC-MS and the Lutheran Church of Liberia. We will remember our missionary, Megan Birney. Megan serves in Hong Kong. She desires that we pray that the Lord would pave the way and open hearts to the ministries of LCMS World Mission, Church of All Nations, and The Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod; that the Lord would grant her discernment and wisdom as she serves in this leadership role; that God will continue to bless the ministry in Hong Kong and that nothing would hinder the work of the Holy Spirit. We will remember the persecuted believers in Lebanon. We will also remember our sister SED congregations: Trinity, Tryon, NC; Hope, Wake Forest, NC; St. Paul, West End, NC; Messiah, Wilmington, NC; and Good Shepherd, Charleston, SC.
Below is a video of “Lift High the Cross,” our sermon hymn. It is sung and played by “Rachel” aka the LutheranWarbler.
Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. This Sunday we will continue in Matthew. As always, everyone is invited to come.
Preview of the Lessons
Acts 1:12-26: This is the account of the selection of Matthias to replace Judas as one of the Apostles. After the Ascension (this past Thursday), the disciples returned to the “upper room” in Jerusalem. There the men and women, “with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer.” There were about 120 people. Peter gives a “sermon.” Based on the Old Testament, Peter recognized several things. First, the betrayal of Jesus had been foretold. Second, the death of the betrayer had been foretold. Third, the office once allotted to Judas, needed to be filled by another. This they set out to do. After reviewing the qualifications for being an Apostle, it is discovered that only two men have the necessary qualifications. Of the two, Matthias is selected by lot. The way pray and scripture permeate the process is a lesson for us today. The importance of carrying on the work Christ has given the Church is also important for us to recognize. Finally, in our modern day when people like to stile themselves as modern “apostles,” it is worthwhile to see what the qualifications for a full-fledged apostle are. Of special note is that they are to have been with Jesus from the baptism of John through the resurrection. While the word “apostle” means “sent one,” and certainly we can and do send people so that they are “apostles” is a sense, nonetheless they are not apostles in the sense that Peter, James, Matthias and John were. Those who pretend to speak with such authority should be avoided as false teachers. When we say something is “apostolic,” we mean built on and reflecting the teachings and work of the Apostles of Christ, those first century saints called by God.
1 John 5:9-15: This lesson is packed! John begins by speaking of the “testimony of men,” and he calls it important. “Men” testify about many things, the economy, how to be a good citizen, work, and so much more. Just look at the self-help section in any book store. But the “testimony of God” is greater, because it is about Jesus. Through faith in him we have eternal life. The ‘testimony of God” is carried by the Church of God, you and me. When John says whoever does not believe “makes God a liar,” he means they are calling God a liar (not that God is somehow a liar). John wants us to have faith in Jesus. John also touches on prayer. Some look at John’s words and conclude that God has promised to grant us anything we ask for. Nothing could be further from what John wrote. John writes that God will grant anything we ask “according to his will.” We discover God’s will in the pages of the Bible, not in the selfish recesses of our hearts.
John 17:11b-19: This is part of Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” Jesus prayed this prayer on the night he was betrayed. He prays for the unity of his followers. The loss of Judas and how it was foretold in Scripture is prayed about. This illustrates how Scripture should inform our prayer life. One of the great aspects of the Churches historic prayers is how they are shaped by the Bible. If these prayers seem out of sync with your private prayers, perhaps you should examine what you are praying for. Jesus recognized that the “evil one” will persecute his followers, and so he prays for their safety. We reflect this each Sunday by praying for believers in area of the world where persecution of believers is common. He prays that we might be “sanctified,” which is done through the Bible. If regular Bible reading is not part of your devotional life, then you are ignoring the key element through which the Holy Spirit strengthens us and conforms us into the image of Jesus. Finally Christ also prays for the mission of the Church, to reach out with the truth of the Gospel. We reflect this concern each Sunday as we pray for one of the LC-MS missionaries.
- The Church Council will meet Sunday after the worship service.
- Remember, on the 27th (Pentecost Sunday) we will have a cook-out after the worship service.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert