Thursday after Pentecost 20
October 10, 2013
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday is Pentecost 21. The assigned readings are: Ruth 1:1-19a, 2 Timothy 2:14-13, and Luke 17:11-19. For our liturgy we will use Divine Service 3 (page 184). This is a communion service. To prepare you may review the “Christian Questions with Their Answers” found in most any copy of Luther’s Small Catechism (page 329 in the Lutheran Service Book). Our sermon will be titled “The Rest of Us” and the text will be Ruth 1:2. Our opening hymn will be “Today Your Mercy Calls Us” (LSB 915). Our sermon hymn will be “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” (LSB 575). Our closing hymn will be “Go, My Children, with My Blessing” (LSB 922). Our distribution hymns will be: “Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying” (LSB 597); “The Lamb” (LSB 547); and “Eat This Bread” (LSB 638).
Below is a video of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church singing our opening hymn, “Today Your Mercy Calls Us.” The words are included.
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
The opening chapter of the book of Ruth sets the stage for the rest of this well-known story. Naomi gives a little speech to her daughters-in-law that might seem odd to us today: “Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? … I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown?” She is referring to a practice in their day which provided for the security of a woman. Women, while certainly in a better situation in OT Israel than in other countries, still didn’t have anywhere near the opportunities or security that a modern woman has. Without a husband, father, or some other man to watch out for them, they would sink to the bottom of the community. To keep them safe, if a woman’s husband died, a brother would marry her. He thus would provide for her security and assume all her legal debts and possessions. This happened only if no sons were present. If there was a son, then the son was expected to provide for his mother. The first son born to such a union was legally the heir of the deceased man and would receive all that the woman brought into the marriage (land, etc.). Technically, the possessions were in the charge of the new husband, but remained the property of the wife and so could be passed down to the “son” of the deceased man. Thus the “name” of the deceased was preserved. When Boaz determines to marry Ruth, he has the “right” as a near relative. However there was one who was closer in relationship to the deceased Elimelech. While Ruth’s property was attractive, he did not want to jeopardize his own inheritance, so he deferred to Boaz.
2 Timothy 2:1–13
There is way too much in this short reading to do it justice, so I’ll just comment on a few things. Paul writes “be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Notice that he doesn’t tell us to be strengthen in God’s Law, commandments, rules, etc. Our strength as Christians flow from God’s grace in Christ Jesus, from the Gospel, from the promises of God. He also writes, “what you have heard from me … entrust to faithful men who will … teach others.” The Christian faith is handed down from one person to another and one generation to another. As Paul wrote elsewhere, “we do not follow cleverly devised myths.” Paul compares us to “soldiers” and “athletes.” Here we get a picture of the Christian life as one of endurance and training as well as engaging opponents. Paul gives us the very heart of the Gospel, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel”. Those who deny the incarnation deny the Gospel. Those who deny the death and resurrection of Jesus deny the Gospel The phrase “If we have died with him” is referring to our baptism, in which we are united with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This is the well know account of how Jesus heals ten lepers. Only one of them actually returns to Jesus to give him thanks. This man receives the ultimate healing brought about by faith. As often noted, this believer was a Samaritan. Thus Jesus demonstrates that life and salvation by grace through faith is open to all.
Lesson Synopsis (from the LC-MS)
Faith Returns Thanks to God and Worships Him in the Person of Christ Jesus
Jesus comes in mercy and, by His Word, heals you in body and soul. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” for you are cleansed (Luke 17:14), and you are granted access to the Lord’s Temple. It is “at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks” (Luke 17:16) that you worship God, for Christ Jesus is your great High Priest; His body is the true Temple. In Him, you “find rest, each of you in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:9), for the Lord has “visited his people and given them food” (Ruth 1:6). The person of Jesus Christ lodges Himself in holy food — bread and wine for believers to eat and drink. You lodge where Jesus lodges; His Father is your God, His people are your people. Death cannot part you from Him because His death and resurrection are eternally yours through Holy Baptism. “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Tim. 2:8). As surely as death could not hold Him, so surely “the word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9). His Gospel is entrusted “to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2), so that you “may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:10). Such is the confession of faith for all the saints, who believe, teach and confess the one Lord and Savior — Jesus Christ.
On Sunday mornings our Bible study hour begins at 9:00. The Prelude begins around 10:20. Our opening worship moments begin around 10:25. Our opening hymn begins around 10:30.
Well, I hope we will see you Sunday.
Blessings in Christ,