Wednesday after Pentecost
May 30, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday we celebrate the Festival of the Holy Trinity. This festival is unique in the Church Year. All other commemoration, feasts and festivals celebrate an even or person. This one recognizes the unique nature of the true God and as such focuses us on a teaching or doctrine of the Church. I plan post something about the Icon associated with this teaching, based on the Old Testament story of the Lord visiting Abraham and Sarah, Sunday.
We often have a special liturgy for Trinity Sunday. However, the SED convention will be taking me out of town tomorrow and I will not be back until late Saturday, therefore I do not have the time to craft such a service. (This is also the reason this post is early.) Therefore, for our liturgy, we will use the first setting of the Divine Service, which begins on page 151 of the hymnal. This is a communion service. To prepare for receiving the Lord’s Supper you may read Psalm 139, especially verses 1-16. As you read, reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit. We will use the Athanasian Creed (page 319) instead of the Nicene Creed, as is customary for this festival.
Our appointed lessons are Isaiah 6:1-8; Acts 2:14a, 22-36; and John 3:1-17. The sermon is titled “Pathway to the Divine.” The text is John 3:11. Our hymns will be:
Opening: “Holy, Holy, Holy,” LSB 507
Sermon: “O Sing to the Lord,” LSB 808
Distribution: “Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay,” LSB 505
“Your Table I Approach,” LSB 628
“Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow,” LSB 805
Closing: “Glory Be to God the Father,” LSB 506
In our prayers we will remember the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI) and their President, Rev. Egon Kopereck. 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 Malaysia. We will also remember our sister SED congregations: Immanuel, Alexandria, VA; St. John’s, Alexandria, VA; St. Paul, Amelia, VA; Our Savior, Arlington, VA; Incarnate Word, Florence, SC. We will give thanks for the Lord’s guidance of our Southeastern District Convention (which begins tomorrow and ends Saturday) and ask God’s blessings our recently elected officers (who have not been elected at the time this is being written).. Naturally we will continue to remember those who have been misled by our cultures acceptance of abortion and sexual immorality, asking God’s grace for their lives that they may be healed and restored by the Holy Spirit. We will also continue to remember those trapped in the modern practice of slavery and ask God to bless all efforts to end this sinful practice that are pleasing in his eyes.
Below is a video of the LutheranWarbler singing “Holy, Holy, Holy,” our opening hymn.
By the way, if you would like to go to Rachel’s YouTube site and listen to more of her videos, the address is: http://www.youtube.com/user/lutheranwarbler?feature=results_main
Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. This Sunday we will finish Matthew 20 and begin chapter 21. As always, everyone is invited to come.
Preview of the Lessons
Isaiah 6:1-8: Isaiah 6:3, along with Matthew 21:9, form the scriptural foundation for the Sanctus, used in many worship services. The word sanctus is Latin for “holy.” This is a vision of heaven and the call of Isaiah to be a prophet. Isaiah is overwhelmed by the vision and cries “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” The Lord has a comforting message, atonement is made for Isaiah. The grace of the offer is breathtaking. After Isaiah has been absolved, God asks for volunteers, and Isaiah says “Here am I, send me, send me!” Thus it is for us as well. First God’s grace absolves us, then we are fit to work in his kingdom.
Acts 2:14a, 22-36: This is a continuation of last weeks reading and is a part of Peter’s Pentecost sermon. Here Peter makes it clear that nothing that transpired in reference to the death and resurrection of Jesus was a surprise to God. All went according to God’s plan and Jesus is not exalted to “right hand” of the Father, being designated Lord and Christ. Much comfort can be derived from this portion of Peter’s message. When things seem out of control, remember God is in control. When sin strikes, remember Jesus is your Lord and Christ. When things seem to make no sense, remember God is working and it does make sense to him.
John 3:1-17: This is the famous passage where Nicodemus visits Jesus one evening. Our Lord speaks one of the best known passages to people who speak English (John 3:16). Many sound sermons could be based on this reading: concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit; concerning baptism; concerning fallen human nature and God’s grace; concerning the need for divine help for us to understand spiritual things, concerning the sacrifice of Jesus, and what our sermon will focus on Sunday (so I’m not going to tell you now), are just a few.
- Paper copies of our newsletter will be available Sunday.
- Please keep the Southeastern District, meeting in convention May 30-June 2, in your prayers.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert