Friday, October 4, 2013

Worship Notes for Pentecost 20 - 2013

Thursday after the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels
October 4, 2013

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the 20th Sunday after Pentecost. We, like many in our denomination, will also celebrate it as LWML Sunday. For our liturgy we will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260), with some modifications. One of those modifications will be to invite the ladies of the LWML (both past and present) up to the altar area for special recognition of their dedicated service to the Lord. These modifications will all be printed in the bulletin and will be incorporated in the service after the offering.

Our opening hymn will be “For All the Faithful Women” (LSB 855). Our sermon hymn will be “Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Troubled.” This hymn was in The Lutheran Hymnal, but was not included in the Lutheran Service Book (our current hymnal). It happens to use the same tune as “I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus.” The closing hymn is also not part of our current hymnal. It is based on the LWML pledge and titled “Praise, Love, and Service.” It uses the same tune as “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The words for both of these hymns will be included on an insert in the bulletin.

The scripture lessons are: Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; and Luke 17-1-10. The sermon text will be Habakkuk 1:2. The sermon title is “Tribulations.” The Service of Prayer and Preaching uses the appointed Psalm for the day instead of the Introit. It is Psalm 62 and the antiphon is verse 2.

In our prayers, we will remember the United Methodist Church, the Primitive Methodist Church in the U.S.A, and the Free Methodist Church – USA. We will remember the persecuted believers in Tibet (China). We will remember Ginger Taff-Lagergren, our missionary in South Africa. We will continue to remember the churches in our denomination. This week we lift up before our Lord Messiah, Germantown, MD; St. Paul’s, Glen Burni, MD; Holy Cross, Greenbelt, MD; Concordia, Hagerstown, MD; and Incarnate Word, Sumter, 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. Of course we will also remember the ladies and work of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.

Don’t forget that our “Opening Worship Moments” actually begin a little before 10:30. During these moments we receive prayer requests and greet each other in the name of the Lord. This way we are singing our opening hymn at 10:30.

The video below is of “Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Troubled.” The words are included, but no one is singing. As with many older hymns, there are numerous versions of this hymn. The words in this version are the closest I could find to the words in our hymnal.

We continue in the Gospel of Luke in our Sunday morning Bible study. All are welcome. Bible study begins at 9:00 am.  

Preview of Lessons
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
Habakkuk is one of the “minor” prophets. “Minor” is just a reference to the size of the book (only three chapters) and not a reference to its importance or theological value. An unusual feature of the book is that the prophet never directly addresses the people of God. The book was written around 605 bc. The book, in general, addresses the question of evil; why do bad things happen? This will be the focus of the sermon. By far the best known passage in the book is 2:4, “the righteous [just] shall live by his faith.”

2 Timothy 1:1-14
Timothy was a valued aid to St. Paul and was left in Ephesus to serve as their pastor. I expect anyone, when compared to St. Paul, might seem to be less qualified to lead a congregation and apparently Timothy felt that (7). How many pastors have faced a congregation where members longed for the “good old days” of the former pastor? But every pastor has his own unique set of gifts and expecting us to be carbon copies of each other is a non-biblical expectation. At any rate, Paul is encouraging Timothy, reminding him of his calling and gifts which flow from the Gospel. As Timothy apparently was having a rough time of it, the book also addresses difficulties in our lives.

Luke 17:1-10
Jesus also addressed the issue of evil in the world, indeed, in the lives of his followers. “Temptations to sin are sure to come.” His words, “if your brother sins against you” certainly implies that even our fellow Christians will sin against us. The Lord encourages us to always be ready to forgive. The disciples cry, “increase our faith.” They realize that forgiving is often hard for us sinners. Jesus' saying about faith the size of a mustard seed is tantamount to saying; it isn’t about your faith, but who you have faith in. The little parable in verses 7-10 flies directly in the face of those who teach if you have enough faith no problems will befall you. We are always unworthy servants. We are made “worthy” in the eyes of God, not by any work we do, but by his grace. Works flow from that. As Paul put it in Ephesians 2:10: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which he has prepared beforehand.”

Lesson Synopsis (from the LC-MS)
We Walk by Faith, and Not by Sight, in the Peace of Christ’s Forgiveness

We are surrounded by “destruction and violence” (Hab. 1:3) because the Law “is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth” (Hab. 1:4). In fact, the Law cannot rescue us from our enemies; it is our fiercest enemy of all. Therefore, not by sight, experience or feeling, nor by works, but “the righteous shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4). “Temptations to sin are sure to come” (Luke 17:1), but as often as we sin, the Lord rebukes us, turns us to repentance and forgives us. We pray that He would thus “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). And indeed, He does! Though we are His “unworthy servants” (Luke 17:10), He prepares His Supper for us, dresses us properly, and gives us His body and blood to eat and drink. He appoints pastors for us, “by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:1). For the Gospel brings “life and immortality to light” (2 Tim. 1:10). This we believe. Therefore, “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard,” by which He guards you “in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13).


  • This coming Sunday, as already announced, is LWML Sunday. The ladies will be ushering, reading the scripture lessons, etc.   

  • One of the decisions made at last Sunday’s LWML Tea was to begin a morning Bible Study. The first one will be Monday, October 14, beginning at 10:00 am. The time was selected so any of the ladies present might go out together for lunch afterwards. The study will be held at church.

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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