Thursday, July 5, 2012

Worship for Pentecost 6 - 2012

Thursday after Pentecost 5
July 5, 2012

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday will be the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The appointed lesions are: Ezekiel 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Mark 6:1-13. We will be using the third setting of the Diving Service for our liturgy (page 184 of LSB). This is a communion service. If you have a copy of one of our hymnals (past or present), you may prepare by reading/singing/praying the hymn “I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table (LSB 618/619; LW 242; TLH 315). If you don’t have a copy of a hymnal, then you can read what Luther has to say about the Lord’s Supper in the Small Catechism.

Our opening hymn will be “Listen, God Is Calling” (LSB 833). Our sermon hymn will be “On Galilee’s High Mountain” (LSB 835). Our closing hymn will be “On What Has Now Been Sown” (LSB 921). Our distribution hymns will be “The Death of Jesus Christ, Our Lord” (LSB 634), “O Christ, Our Hope, Our Hearts’ Desire” (LSB 553), and “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (LSB 555). “The Death of Jesus Christ, Our Lord” is the hymn we are currently learning. Our final hymn, “On What Has Now Been Sown,” was written, sort of, by John Newton. Newton’s most famous hymn is “Amazing Grace.” This hymn is really a compilation made from selected verses taken from two of his hymns. Newton, as you may recall, is the former slave trader, turned minister and became a key voice for the abolition of slavery in the English Empire.

Below is a recording made last year during evening chapel service at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, of our final distribution hymn, “Salvation unto Us Has Come.” They are certainly singing is slower than we will. The hymn was written by Paul Speratus, probably in 1532, and included in the first Protestant (Lutheran) hymnal.

The text for Sunday’s sermon is Mark 6:1. The sermon is titled “Blindness Doesn’t Make the World Dark”.

In our prayers on Sunday we will remember the Lutheran Church - Canada (LC-C) and their President, Rev. Robert Bugbee. We will remember our missionaries, George and Shary Frahm, who serve in Cambodia. We will remember the persecuted believers in Nepal. Nepal is about the size and shape of Tennessee and lies between China and India. The majority of people in Nepal are Hindus (81%) and Buddhists (11%). Until recently, the government was Communist. Today they have a democracy. In the 1950s, with efforts towards democracy starting, Nepalese who had become Christians returned home, bring their faith with them. Persecution comes from the majority religions and the government when Christians cannot obey certain laws and remain faithful to Jesus. We will also remember our sister SED congregations: Peace, King George, VA; Our Savior, Lynchburg, VA; Hope, Manassas, VA; St. Paul, Mechanicsville, VA; Risen Christ, Myrtle Beach, 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.

Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. This Sunday we will in Matthew 22, walking with our Lord through Holy Week. As always, everyone is invited to come.

Preview of the Lessons

Ezekiel 2:1-5: This lesson is part of the call of Ezekiel to the prophetic ministry. He was a member of the priestly line and part of the first group to be deported by the Babylonians. His ministry was to the Jews in Babylon. His contemporary, Jeremiah, was working in Judea with much the same message. That message was to repent and accept Babylonian suzerainty as God’s just punishment for their sins. If they didn’t, the Babylonians would destroy Judea, including the Temple. However they would be returned. God knows the Jews will not repent, but that doesn’t stop God from sending his prophets and warning the people. The same is true in every generation. God calls us to repentance and faith. It is a sad fact of human nature that so many of us are prone to reject God, interpreting his patience as either proof that he doesn’t follow through or that he doesn’t exist.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10:           Paul didn’t have an easy life. Many in the Church questioned his credentials. I guess that was only natural. He didn’t become a Christian until after the first Pentecost. He first was a persecutor of the Church. However he was converted by Jesus through a personal appearance while he was traveling to Damascus, to persecute Christians of all things. He quickly became a powerful speaker, sharing Christ with one and all. Still, the questions continued. In this lesson Paul speaks of his credentials. He is seeking to do so in a way that doesn’t seem like boasting. He speaks of a certain “thorn in the flesh.” Personally, I think it was poor eyesight, but that is only an educated guess. No one really knows for sure. Whatever it was, it handicapped him. It is notable that Paul pleaded with God to take away his “thorn,” but God didn’t. Those who contend that God must give us whatever we desire, as long as we pray correctly and in faith, must contend with this passage (verse 8). Paul came to understand this “thorn” as God’s way of keeping him dependent on the grace of God in Christ Jesus (verse 9). As Paul wrote, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong: (verse 10). When Paul speaks of the “third heaven” he is talking of what we might just call heaven. The “first” heaven is the air, where birds and airplanes fly. The “second” heaven is where the stars, moon, and so forth, are found. The “third” heaven” is the dwelling place of God.

Mark 6:1-13:  This reading comes from the first year of Jesus’ ministry. He returns to his home town of Nazareth, where the people have a hard time accepting him. So, just like Ezekiel and Paul, Jesus is also rejected by those he came to serve. So Jesus moves on, sending out the twelve to places he intends to visit, where they preach and prepare the way for Jesus. Just like Jesus, Paul, and Ezekiel, their reception is mixed. Jesus prepares them for this.

  • We have no meetings on Sunday. However, both our Greek Club and our Elders will meet this coming week.

Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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