Thursday after Trinity Sunday (aka Pentecost 1)
June 7, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is recognized at Lamb of God as the Second Sunday after Pentecost. (The First Sunday after Pentecost was Festival of the Holy Trinity.) Some LCMS congregations will use the name “The First Sunday after Trinity.” I plan to put a post on the blog, probably tomorrow, explaining the difference. Therefore, I’m not including general information about the origin and emphasis of the Pentecost/Trinity season here.
Following our regular rotation of services, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper Sunday. For our liturgy we will use the third setting of the Divine Service, which begins on page 184 of the Lutheran Service Book. The appointed lessons are: Genesis 3:8-15; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35. The text for the sermon will be 2 Corinthians 4:16. The sermon will be titled “Hang in There!” Our opening hymn will be “Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken” (LSB 521). This is a new hymn for us and we will be singing it over then next four weeks as we learn it. The sermon hymn will be “Lord Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word” (LSB 655). The closing hymn will be “Abide, O Dearest Jesus” (LSB 919). Our distribution hymns will be “Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise” (LSB 680), “O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee” (LSB 632), and “There Is a Balm in Gilead” (LSB 749).
In our prayers we will remember the Lutheran Church of Guatemala (ILG) (Iglesia Luterana en Guatemala) and their President, Rev. Ignacio Juan Chan cux. 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 Maldives. The Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 250 miles south-west of India. Islam is the official religion of the Maldives and open practice of any other religion is forbidden by law. The Maldives are among the countries with the least tolerance towards Christians. We will also remember our sister SED congregations: Our Savior’s Way, Ashburn, VA; Holy Cross, Ashland, VA; Holy Trinity, Bristol, VA; Good Shepherd, Callao, VA; Good Shepherd, Greenville, SC. 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 someone singing “Lord Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” our sermon hymn. He is singing a little slower than I think Karen will play the hymn, and a few of the words are different from the Lutheran Service Book, but it is “nice.”
Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. This Sunday we will continue in Matthew 21. As always, everyone is invited to come.
Preview of the Lessons
Genesis 3:8-15: This is the story of what happened in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. When God comes to visit, Adam and Eve hid. When God finds them, they are full of excuses. Then God announces, first the consequences of their sins and then the promise of the Messiah. One of the interesting things in the story is that Adam and Eve are unrepentant. God comes for his visit and they hide. That is not the act of a repentant person. God confronts them and they make excuses. That is not the act of a repentant person. So when do they repent? They repent only after they are given hope. That is to say, the Law crushed them and left them no hope. However, when the hope of the Gospel is presented, when they are given something positive to grab onto, they can acknowledge their sin, receive forgiveness, and believe in the promise. The Law never saves. Only the Gospel saves. The Law shows us as sinners, falling short of God’s standard. The Gospel brings grace and salvation.
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1: Paul unpacks more the hope of the Gospel and the difference it makes both now and for all eternity. In other words, he is giving us a commentary that applies directly to the hope Adam and Eve found in Genesis 3:15.
Mark 3:20-35: You might give this lesson the title, “How people misunderstood Jesus.” Jesus’ family thought he was crazy. Some of the Scribes and Pharisees thought Jesus was demon possessed. People might be confused by the “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,” which is described by our Lord as being unforgivable. However the text explains what is meant: for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” This is nothing less than the work of God in Christ Jesus the work of the devil. To put this another way, it is rejecting what God is doing in Christ “for us men and for our salvation.” Therefore the “unforgivable sin” is rejecting the Spirit’s effort to bring us to faith in Jesus, that is, going to your grave without faith in Jesus. In order to be part of the family of God, one must be a follower of Jesus.
- Our Church Council will meet Sunday after the worship service.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert