Thursday, August 29, 2013

Worship for Pentecost 15 2013

Thursday after Pentecost 14
Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist
August 29, 2013

The Lord be with you

I apologize that it has been a couple of week since I’ve posted my worship notes. Things have just been pushing in on my time, and these notes take a few minutes to put together.

This coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the Commemoration of Joshua. There are no specific readings assigned for this commemoration (or any other commemoration for that matter) in our lectionary so we will simply use the assigned readings for Pentecost 15. During our prayers we will use the collect for Joshua.

We use four different liturgical settings for our Sunday morning worship services, two for when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper and two for our non-communion Sundays. Starting with this past Advent, we changed how we rotate these services. Before this change we used each of the settings each month. To put that another way, a visitor would not hear the same setting Sunday morning for a month. Our new rotation allows visitors to hear the same Sunday morning setting in just two weeks. Our current rotation is:

1st quarter (December – February): Matins; Divine Service 1
2nd quarter (March – May): Prayer & Preaching; Divine Service 3
3rd quarter (June – August): Matins; Divine Service 1
4th quarter (September – November) Prayer & Preaching; Divine Service 3

As you can see, we will be moving to the next cycle this coming Sunday. Therefore we will be using the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260) for our liturgy. This, along with Divine Service 3, will take us to Advent.

Our appointed lessons are: Proverbs 25:2-10; Hebrews 13:1-17; Luke 14:1-14; and Psalm131 (v.2). My sermon text will be Psalm 131:1. The sermon is titled “Wisdom.” Our opening hymn will be “One Thing’s Needful” (LSB 536:1, 3-5). The omitted verse relates to the story of Martha and Mary with Martha being distracted by “much serving.” The sermon hymn will be “You Are the Way; through You Alone” (LSB 526). Our closing hymn will be “Thy Strong Word” (LSB 578). As you consider the words of each of these hymns you will discover they all have something to say about wisdom.

Below is a video of our opening hymn, “One Thing’s Needful.” The words are included.

In our prayers, we will remember The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and their leader Patriarch Ireneos I. We will remember the persecuted believers in Somalia. We will remember Andy and Stephanie Jones, our missionaries in Germany. We will continue to remember the churches in our denomination. This week we lift up before our Lord Redeemer, Resurrection, St. James & St. Thomas, Baltimore, MD; and Holy Trinity, Columbia, SC. We will continue to remember all those who have been misled by our cultures advocacy of sexual immorality and abortion. We ask, not only that the Lord turn our country around, but also that he bring healing to the lives damaged by our current culture. We will remember the modern slave trade and ask God to bless all efforts pleasing in his sight to end this sinful practice. We will remember the Lutheran Malaria Initiative as we seek to end Malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. We will remember the Sampson family as they mourn the loss of Ken. We will remember Monica, the mother of Tiffany, who has pneumonia.

In our Sunday morning Bible study we are in our third read through of the Gospel of Luke. We are using the “book” method of studying Luke. This means we are giving our own titles to the book, and small sections, seeking to capture in our own words, the message of Luke. Currently we are giving a title to each chapter. Everyone is welcome to join us and provide your own titles. In discussing our titles and why we like them, we are discussing the themes of Luke. Bible study begins at 9:00 am.  

Preview of Lessons
Proverbs 25:2-10; Hebrews 13:1-17; Luke 14:1-14
All three of our lessons are related in that they reflect biblical “wisdom.” As one reviews them, it becomes apparent that biblical wisdom is different from Greek wisdom. Greek wisdom is interested in developing grand schemes to work everything (or most everything) into some logical, integrated system of thought. Biblical wisdom, on the other hand, is far more interested in what we might call horse sense. So a descendant of Greek wisdom may speak of anger as the results of the Id while the descendants of biblical wisdom would simply say don’t go to be angry. However, if we stop at Christian behavior, we have missed the deeper and more important aspect of biblical wisdom. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:24, tells us that Jesus is “the power of God and the wisdom of God.” So, a first reading of these texts may cause us to think of them mainly as “right living” passages. However, as the synopsis I downloaded from Synod ably shows, they are also, and even mainly, about Jesus and our salvation.

Lesson Synopsis (from the LC-MS)
We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ
“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,” Jesus proclaims, but “he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). For your hope is in the name of the Lord, who humbled Himself unto death on the cross and was exalted in His resurrection. So are you humbled by His cross, and “at the resurrection of the just,” He will say to you, “Friend, move up higher” (Luke 14:10; 13–14). By His grace, the King will honor you “in the presence of a noble,” where your eyes will gaze upon the Prince, His dearly beloved Son (Prov. 25:7). As He has dealt so graciously with you, “do not neglect to do good and to share what you have” (Heb. 13:16) and “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers” (Heb. 13:2). Humble yourself and exalt your neighbor.


  • We have now finished our summer Vespers services. The inspiration for the homilies came from the book BROKEN: 7 “Christian” Rules That Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible by Jonathan Fisk and published by Concordia Publishing House. I highly recommend the book.

  • Our summer “Walkabout” is over as of this Saturday. I hope everyone had a chance to meet and get to know some of their neighbors.

  • Remember, winter is coming on. We still need to raise the money for a new heater.

  • This coming weekend is Labor Day weekend. I don’t know about you, but Kitty and I will be going to the Apple Festival Saturday.

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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