Wednesday after Pentecost 2
June 13, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is recognized at Lamb of God as the Third Sunday after Pentecost. (For the reason why some use the name “Trinity Season,” instead of “Pentecost Season, see my post on June 5, “Is It Trinity orPentecost Season?”) It also happens to be Father’s Day.
The appointed lessons for the day are: Ezekiel 17:22-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-17; Mark 4:26-34; Psalm 1, antiphon v 6. We will be using Matins (page 219) for our liturgy. Our opening hymn will be “Our Father, by Whose Name” (LSB 863). Our sermon hymn will be “Awake, O Sleeper, Rise from Death” (LSB 697). Our closing hymn will be the one we are currently learning, “Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken” (LSB 521). The sermon will be based on our epistle lesson. The text will be 2 Corinthians 5:17. The working title for the sermon is “A Fresh Start”
In our prayers we will remember the Lutheran Synod of Mexico (SLM) (Sinodo Luterano de Mexico) and their President, Rev. Isaac Garcia. We will remember our missionaries, George and Shary Frahm, who serve in Cambodia. They ask specifically for prayers as they learn the Khmer language; that members of the Church would consider how they might be involved in God’s mission in Cambodia; for the Angels Dormitory—that it would be a successful ministry; that the Frahms would have courage and creativity and that the dormitory would serve as a model for similar ministries in the future; that their family, children, grandchildren and friends would accept and celebrate the sacrifices they’ve made for George and Shary to be able to serve in Cambodia. We will remember the persecuted believers in Mindanao, Philippines. While Christianity is the majority religion, a violent Moslem separatist movement has brought jihad to the area with its ensuing destruction and death. We will also remember our sister SED congregations: Immanuel, Charlottesville, VA; Grace, Chester, VA; Christ the King, Danville; VA; Living Savior, Fairfax Station, VA; Island, Hilton Head Island, SC. 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 that are pleasing in his sight to end this sinful practice.
I couldn’t find any videos for Sunday’s hymns. I did find one video for the Sermon Hymn that had the same words, but a different tune. So I have no video to post this week.
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
Ezekiel 17:22-24: Much of what the Old Testament prophets wrote was poetry. Poetry relies on symbolic language. This passage is no different. It is a messianic prophecy, spoken to a descendant of David, and amplifies the promise made by the prophet Nathan who promised an everlasting kingdom (2 Samuel 7). The promise will be fulfilled in ways the Old Testament people of God could not imagine. The cedar tree represents the Old Testament people of God. From this a “sprig” from the top of the tree is broken off. That “sprig” is Jesus. The “sprig” is planted, representing the birth of the Church, the New Testament people of God. As it grows and become a noble cedar, all kinds of birds come to nest in it. All the different birds represent the Church reaching all kinds of people around the world. Verse 24 is yet to be fulfilled. It points to the Last Day. “All the trees of the field” represents all the various non-Christian movements, religions, governments, ideologies, etc. On the Last Day, all will recognize Jesus as Lord. The dry tree that flourishes is a way of expressing the thought that, no matter how lowly the Church may be in the eyes of the mighty in the world, in the end, it is the Church that is blessed by God.
2 Corinthians 5:1-17: Paul also uses symbolic language. The “tent” he is referring to is our temporal bodies. The word translated “tent” could also be translated “tabernacle,” and carries with it the image of the Old Testament tabernacle, where God dwelled, met with his people, and where sacrifices were made. Even though out “tent” is temporal, we still have the Lord dwelling in us. The “house” that we have waiting for us at the resurrection is permanent. It is our glorified bodies. The idea of the present creation as temporary and our eternal destination as being permanent permeates the reading. Our life is a journey. Heaven is our home. It is from this eternal perspective that we view our current reality. We live by faith, not by sight.
Mark 4:26-34: This reading contains two of our Lord’s parables. Parables have been described as earthly stories with heavenly meanings. In other words, they are again symbolic. The first parable says the kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed on the grown. The seed grows, through the man does not really understand how. Finally the harvest comes. The harvest is the Last Day. The grain harvested is believers being taken to heaven. The ground is the world. The seed is the word of God. The man is Jesus (or if you prefer, the Church, which is the body of Christ). God’s word works, we don’t know how, bringing life to those who receive it. The second parable is another “kingdom” parable, this one about a mustard seed. In it the very small mustard seed is planted, producing a “tree” under which the birds of the air can find rest in in whose branches they build nests. This has the same meaning as our Old Testament lesson. Added points include the accent on the smallness of the mustard seed, indicating the humble beginnings of the Church. One might also note the surprise that such a small seed produces such a large tree.
- Don’t forget, it will be Father’s Day.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert