Friday, November 16, 2012

Worship for Pentecost 25 - 2012

Friday after Pentecost 24
November, 16, 2012

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the 25th Sunday after Pentecost. Our assigned lessons are Daniel 12:1-3, Hebrews 10:11-25, and Mark 13:1-13. We will be using Matins for our liturgy. The assigned Psalm is Psalm 16. The text for the sermon is Daniel 12:3 and the sermon is titled “A Look Forward.” Our opening hymn is “Prepare the Royal Highway” (LSB 343). The sermon hymn is “Oh, How Blest Are They” (LSB 679). Our closing hymn is “Jerusalem, My Happy Home” (LSB 673).

In our public prayers we will remember Apple of His Eye, an outreach to Jews, the believers in Yemen, our sister SED congregations St. Paul’s, Mechanicsville, MD; St. Mark – Deaf, Middle River, MD; Trinity, Mount Rainier, MD; First, Odenton, MD; and Island, Hilton Head Island, SC. We will also 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 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 remember the Lutheran Malaria Initiative’s effort to end malaria in Africa by 2015. We will remember those seeking to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Below is a video of the children’s choir of Christ Lutheran Academy singing our sermon hymn, “Oh, How Blest Are They.”

Our adult Bible class meets at 9:00 Sunday morning. We're doing a study titled The Intersection of Church and State, produced by the Men’s Network of the LLL. It is a four-part video-based study. Due to the lively discussion, we are not finishing a session per Sunday. Currently we are in the second part. If you have missed the study so far, you can easily join as we show the video again at the beginning of class concerning the section we are dealing with.

Preview of the Lessons

Daniel 12:1-3:        Babylon was a city that became an empire (like Rome later would). It then lost that status, being conquered by the Assyrians, but was never completely pacified. Between 620 and 600 bc, Babylon, and other Assyrian territories, successfully revolted and Babylon became the new great world power after a 1000 year absence. As this was the second time Babylon was in such a position, this time it is called the “Neo” Babylonian Empire by historians. The Bible often calls them “Chaldeans” because that was the ethnic origin of the rulers. During the 70 years period of this empire being on the top of the world power hill, they conquered the Mesopotamia region, west and south to the Sinai Peninsula, half of Arabia, and a large portion of the Anatolia Peninsula. This area includes Jerusalem. Part of the Babylonian policy was to deport conquered people, and that is what they did with the Jews. The more promising people were actually promoted to positions of prominence. This is what happened in the case of Daniel. These Jews carried with them their scriptures, and thus, through this method, God spread his words far and wide. It is most likely that this is how the “wise” men in the Christmas story found in Luke’s Gospel were able to acquire their information about the prophecy of Christ some 600 years later. Babylon was conquered by the Persians, who allowed all the deported people, including the Jews, to return home if they desired. Many, but by no means all, took advantage of the offer. The Jews who remained in their new home became known as the Jews of the Diaspora. Over the centuries, Jews could be found all over the known world. Daniel (605-530 bc) was a prophet and his words are found in the book he wrote and is included in the Bible. Chapter 12 is wholly about the final age in which we have lived since Christ. Our particular reading points to the Last Day, when all humanity will be physically raised and judged. It will serve as the text for Sunday’s sermon.

Hebrews 10:11-25:          The writer of Hebrews continues to unpack the meaning of various Old Testament types. Here he covers the meaning of the animal sacrifices, the Holy of Holies, the curtain in the Temple, the sprinkling of people with water, and so forth. The very presence of the fulfillment of such Old Testament types indicates that we are living in the Last Days, and recognition of that should underscore how we live. Therefore, we are to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (23-25).

Mark 13:1-13:       In this lesson Jesus and his disciples leave the temple, and the disciples point out the marvelous structure with pride. Indeed, Herod’s temple was a marvel. Jesus responds by foretelling its destruction (which happened in the year 70 ad. The Jews rebelled against the Romans and the Romans destroyed the city of Jerusalem, including the temple, and disbursed the Jews, passing a law that prohibited Jews from living in Jerusalem). Later that day, James, John, Andrew and Peter asked Jesus when the temple would be destroyed. From Matthew and Luke’s account, we understand that the disciples believed the destruction of the temple and the end of the world would be simultaneous events. This explains Jesus’ answer in Mark, which has much to do with the events in these Last Days. So we read that there will be wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, people who convert to Christianity will be abused and murdered, and the like. None of these signs are unique to the 21st century. They are typical of the Last Days that began with Jesus. One thing we can take away from the words of Jesus is that all efforts to create a perfect world prior to the Second Coming are doomed to failure. God doesn’t have to deliberately cause their fall. Fallen humanity will do it all on their own. The mission of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus around the globe. When the last person whose name is written in the Book of Life has come to faith, Christ will return to judge the living and the dead.

  • The church council will meet after our worship service, Sunday.

  • Information for the December newsletter is due Sunday. .  

Well, I pray I’ll see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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