Thursday, February 20, 2014

Worship Notes for Epiphany VII (Commemoration of Polycarp) - 2014

Thursday after Epiphany VI
February 20, 2014

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany. It is also the Commemoration of Polycarp of Smyrna, Pastor and Martyr. Polycarp was born around 69 ad and was a central figure in the early church. A disciple of the evangelist John, he linked the first generation of believers to later Christians. Those leaders who fall into this time period are often called the Apostolic Fathers. After serving for many years as bishop of Smyrna (located in what is now modern Turkey), Polycarp was arrested, tried, and executed for his faith on February 23, around 156, by being burned alive. An eyewitness narrative of his death, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, continues to encourage believers in times of persecution.

We will be using Divine Service setting one for our liturgy (page 151). This is a Communion Service. This service is based on the western tradition’s “Cathedral” services. These are distinct from the services that grew up in the monasteries. The “Cathedral” service was intended for people outside the religious community, that is, for the town’s people. Originally offered once a week, it always offered the Lord’s Supper. To prepare for the Lord’s Supper you can read again the Small Catechism on the subject.

Our Hymn of Praise will be the Gloria in Excelsis. Our Post-Communion Canticle will be the Nunc Dimittis.

Our opening hymn will be “O Word of God Incarnate” (LSB 523). The sermon hymn will be “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” (LSB 524). Our closing hymn will be “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” (LSB 549). Our distribution hymns will be “Hail, O Source of Every Blessing” (LSB 409); “Crown Him with Many Crowns” (LSB 525); and “What Is This Bread” (LSB 629).

Below is a video of the Lutheran Warbler playing and singing “O Word of God Incarnate.”  

Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We continue with Colossians.

There are no designated scripture lessons for the Commemoration of Polycarp (or any Commemoration as far as that goes) so we will use the assigned lessons for Epiphany VII. They are Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; 1 Corinthians 3:10-23; and Matthew 5:38-48. The sermon is titled “Pointing To Jesus.” The text will be Leviticus 19:2.

Below is the summary of the lessons provided by the LCMS.

God Manifests His Perfect Holiness in Christ through Compassion and Forgiveness
God reveals His perfect holiness in compassion as “he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). By His grace in Jesus Christ, we are holy just as He is holy (Lev. 19:2) and we are “God’s temple” in whom “God’s Spirit dwells” (1 Cor. 3:16). This gift of holiness begins with fearing, loving and trusting God above all things, and it leads us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Lev. 19:18). No longer should we practice “injustice in court.” No longer should we “be partial to the poor or defer to the great.” No longer should we “go around as a slanderer” among God’s people. No longer should we “take vengeance or bear a grudge” (Lev. 19:15–18). Though we were His enemies, our Lord Jesus Christ has loved us and forgiven us. Nourished and sustained by His holy body and blood under the bread and wine of His holy Supper, we “shall be holy” (Lev. 19:2) even as the Lord our God is holy.

Sunday’s Lessons
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
19:1      And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. …
9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
11        “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
13        “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
15        “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
17        “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

1 Corinthians 3:10-23
10        According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—13each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
16        Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18        Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

Matthew 5:38-48
38        “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
43        “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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