Thursday, November 7, 2013

Worship for Pentecost 25 - 2013

Thursday after All Saints’ Sunday
November 7, 2013

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is November 10. It just so happens that it is also the birthday of Martin Luther, who was born in 1483. As is typical on Church Calendars, nothing much is made of a person’s birthday. It is their death date, the day they are “born into heaven,” that is remembered. Nonetheless, we will thank the Lord for the witness of Luther in our prayers.

As was the custom in Luther’s day, he was baptized the day after his birth, November 11. As was also customary, he was given the name of the saint who was honored on the calendar that day, Martin of Tours. We will also remember Martin of Tours in our prayers. It seems appropriate in America to remember Martin of Tours on Veterans’ Day as he served in the Roman Army before becoming a monk and eventually the bishop of Tours. As Monday is also Veterans’ Day, we will also remember our veterans and military in our prayers.

All that being said, this Sunday is simply the 25th Sunday after Pentecost. We will be using Divine Service 3 (page 184) for our liturgy. This is a communion service. You may prepare by pondering the words of your favorite communion hymn. These can be found in Lutheran Service Book (hymns 617-643), Lutheran Worship (hymns 236-250), or The Lutheran Hymnal (hymns 304-316).

Our opening hymn Sunday will be “Jesus Loves Me” (LSB 588). Our sermon hymn will be “Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense” (LSB 741). Our closing hymn will be “Forth in the Peace of Christ We Go” (LSB 920).  Our distribution hymns will be “Come, Let Us Eat” (LSB 626), “All Who Believe and Are Baptized” (LSB 601), and “Christ Is Surely Coming” (LSB 509).

The appointed lessons for Sunday are Exodus 3:1-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, 13-17; and Luke 20:27-40. The text for the message is 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17. The sermon is titled “Established in Christ.”

Aside from the prayers mentioned above, we will also remember our sister congregations Immanuel in Preston, The Church of the Cross in Rockville, Bethany in Salisbury, Calvary in Silver Spring, and Island in Hilton Head Island. We will remember the persecuted believers in Uzbekistan. We will remember Apple of His Eye, an outreach to Jewish people. We will pray for the Lutheran Malaria Initiative, the abolition of the world slave trade, and that the Lord would bring healing to the lives damaged by our culture’s  advocacy of sexual immorality and abortion, also asking God to turn our culture around.

Don’t forget that our “Opening Worship Moments” actually begin a little before 10:30. During these moments Karen plays our prelude, 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 “Jesus Christ, My Sure Defense.” The words are included.

We are nearing the end of the Gospel of Luke in our Sunday morning Bible study. We have maybe two more weeks. All are welcome. Bible study begins at 9:00 am.  

Preview of Lessons
Exodus 3:1-15
This is a portion of the call narrative of Moses. In it God appears to Moses in a burning bush. In verse two God is identified as “the Angel of the Lord.” In verse 6 he identifies himself as “the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Therefore this “Angel of the Lord” is also the Lord God. Like many before me, I think of this “Angel” as a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of the Father. Moses will deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. In this he foreshadowed Jesus, who delivers us from bondage. The slavery the Israelites endured echoes our slavery to sin, death and the devil. Perhaps overlooked by many because of the dramatic events recorded in the early chapters of Exodus is verse 12. The “sign” the people are to receive that the Lord is with them is that they join in corporate worship. In fact, half of the book of Exodus is dedicated to the worship life of Israel. Gathering together with Christians to worship God is still the sign that God is with us. In verses 13-15 God gives his name to Moses, translated here “I am who I am,” or just “I am.” Elsewhere in the Old Testament it is typically translated “the Lord” (note the capitals). There is debate about just what God is trying to get across to us with this name, but most go with something like the self-existence of God. He is the only uncreated, the only truly self-determining being, the only truly eternal being because he has no beginning as well as no ending.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, 13-17
Paul speaks about the Second Coming of Jesus, and urges us to not be alarmed by false claims concerning a pre-end return of Jesus. Know that Christ will return. Know that the world will not be all warm and fuzzy towards believers. Know that things get worse as the Day draws closer. Know that Christ will emerge victorious. Know that he shares that victory with us. We know this from the word of God, the Bible. It is with that word that we stand firm. Through that word we obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. That word guides us in this life.

Luke 20:27-40
Jesus is confronted by some Sadducees who seek to use the word of God against him. This certainly warns us that not everyone who quotes a Bible verse, even if they are great Bible scholars in “everyone’s” opinion, is automatically trustworthy or on God’s side. However Jesus shows us that, if we are skilled in the word, we need not fear the twisters of the Scriptures. This exchange gives us another peek at life after death. It is only a peek. When Jesus says we will be like angels, he is not saying we become angels. He is saying we will no longer die; we will no longer carry death in our bodies. He also indicates that the institution of marriage will no longer exist after the resurrection. We will be living in a new reality. What is found in every culture, marriage, will no longer be needed. One of the reasons for marriage is mutual support. In the resurrection we either no longer need that, or our support will come directly from the Lord. Maybe you can think of another reason marriage is no longer around. In the conversation Jesus demonstrates that the Old Testament teaches the afterlife and the resurrection. You may be surprised to know that many “scholars” today deny that the Old Testament teaches such things. This brings us back to the opening comments. Know the Bible or be ready to fall for all sorts of false ideas.

Lesson Synopsis (from the LC-MS)
The Triune God Curbs Evil and Overcomes Death with Resurrection

Christians live as sons of God, being sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:36), for the Lord our God is not God of the dead, but of the living (Luke 20:38). Those who deny that there is a resurrection (Luke 20:27) neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God, but the baptized faithful know that the dead are raised (Luke 20:37). For the Lord, who was, and is and is to come, knows Israel’s sufferings and has come down to deliver them (Ex. 3:8). Moses reveals the name of Yahweh to God’s chosen people, by which He is remembered throughout all generations (Ex. 3:15). In contrast to that sacred remembrance of His name, St. Paul warns against the antichrist, who takes his seat in the temple of God (2 Thess. 2:4). That lawless man preaches and practices the activity of Satan. Christians, however, are comforted by the coming of the Lord Jesus, who slays the antichrist and refutes his false doctrine with the breath of his mouth (2 Thess. 2:8). By His preaching, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught (2 Thess. 2:15). Hear, receive and believe God’s promise of love, comfort and good hope.


  • The Board of Evangelism will meet Sunday.    

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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