Friday after Pentecost 15
Holy Cross Day
September 14, 2012
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is the 16th Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the Commemoration of Cyprian of Carthage, Pastor and Martyr. I will post something about Cyprian Sunday. If you have a Jewish friend, you might want to wish him a happy Rosh Hashanah, which is also Sunday. Rosh Hashanah is one of modern Jews high holy days (the other is Yom Kippur), and is the Jewish New Years. It is a time of repentance. Traditional Rosh Hashanah Greetings are:
1. L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year." This traditional Rosh HaShanah greeting wishes others a good year and is often shorted to "Shanah Tovah" (Good Year).
2. Gemar Chatimah Tovah
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: "May your final sealing (in the Book of Life) be good." This greeting is traditionally used between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. It wishes others well in the new year.
3. Yom Tov
Literal Hebrew to English Translation: "Good Day." This phrase is often used in place of the English word "holiday" during the High Holy Days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Somes Jews will also use the Yiddish Phrase "Gut Yuntiff," which means "Good Yom Tov" or "Good Holiday."
But back to what we will be doing Sunday. Our assigned readings are: Isaiah 50:4-10; James 3:1-12; and Mark 9:14-29. The appointed Psalm is Psalm 116:1-9 (antiphon v 5). For our liturgy we will be using Matins (page 219). The opening hymn will be “Lord of Our Life” (LSB 659). The sermon hymn will be “‘Away from Us!’ the Demon Cried” (LSB 541). The closing hymn will be “Almighty Father, Bless the Word” (LSB 923). Our sermon will be titled “Sustained by a Word” and the text is Isaiah 50:4.
We will continue to lift up other Christian denominations and their leaders in our public prayers. This Sunday we will remember The Episcopal Church of the United States of America and their Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori. We continue to pray for our LC-MS missionaries around the world. This month we remember Ginger Taff-Lagergren, who is in South Africa. She specifically asks us to petition the Lord to use her to spread His love and that she would be a help to others with challenges in their day-to-day lives. We ask the Lord to protect Ginger and keep her in good health, so that she may serve to her fullest capacity. Finally, we also thank the Lord that Ginger has answered His call to serve in South Africa.
We will remember the persecuted believers in Syria. We are all well aware of the civil war being waged in Syria at this time. You may not be aware that about 10% of the country is Christian (about 2 million). The civil war is not generally supported by the believers, as they fear their future will be similar to the Christians in Iraq. While Assad rule is ruthless, he never declared war on the people of God. The Sunnie Muslim majority, if in power as the civil war will result in if successful, and if they follow the patter of such victories, very likely will.
We will also remember, in our prayers, our sister SED congregations: Matrini, Baltimore, MD; Nazareth, Baltimore, MD; Our Saviour, Baltimore, MD; Pilgrim, Baltimore, MD; and Holy Lamb, Myrtle Beach, SC. We will continue to remember those who have been misled by our cultures acceptance of abortion and advocacy of 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. We will also remember the Lutheran Malaria Initiative’s effort to end malaria in Africa by 2015.
Below is a video of “Almighty Father, Bless the Word,” our closing hymn. It uses the familiar tune commonly associated with the Doxology, which actually shows up the last verse.
Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. We are currently in Matthew 27. The chapter has the death of Judas, Jesus before Pilate, soldiers mocking Jesus, our Lord’s crucifixion, death and burial. Because we usually read these accounts in light of the other Gospel records, it is sometimes difficult to hear “Matthew’s voice.” Why did he leave this or that out? Why did he include this or that? What is Matthew telling us? Such are the questions we will consider Sunday.
Preview of the Lessons
Isaiah 50:4-10: This passage is first and foremost about Jesus and his passion. The final verse is a call to all who are in darkness to come to him. We notice the strength the word of the Gospel has, and rejoice that we have that same word.
James 3:1-12: James warns us that not many people should become teachers (pastors) because the Lord judges them at a higher standard. He points out how much trouble false doctrine causes. For those who think Christians become perfect, and therefore do not need to confess their sinfulness and receive forgiveness daily, I point to the words of James in verse 2, “For we all stumble in many ways.” James is not even excluding himself. We must live in the forgiveness of God found in Jesus, or we stray from the Christian Faith.
Mark 9:14-29: Jesus casts out an evil spirit. The boy had symptoms that seem like grand mal seizures. This does not mean that everyone with such symptoms is demon possessed. It means that demons can mimic real medical conditions. When the disciples ask Jesus why they were unable to cast the demon out, Jesus responds that “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” It is interesting that Mark does not record Jesus as praying. This might reflect the same theology in Luke 18:1, “And [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Our life should be a life of prayer in all we do. As St. Paul puts it in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
- Church Council will meet after the worship service, Sunday
- Our Greek Club will meet Monday.
- We are sponsoring a Pancake Breakfast, Saturday, October 27, at the Fats restaurant (http://www.superpages.com/bp/Boiling-Springs-SC/FATZ-Cafe-L0006431720.htm) in Boiling Springs, to support the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI). Members are asked to sell tickets for $7.00 (of which $4.00 will go to LMI and $3.00 will go to Fats to cover their costs) for this event. Tickets will be available Sunday. Additional help will be needed in the form of greeters who will also sell tickets at the door and/or accept donations. You can expect more information over the next two months on this blog about our Pancake Breakfast and LMI.
Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Ricker