Thursday, May 15, 2014

Worship for Easter 5, 2014

Thursday after Easter 4
May 15, 2014

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

This coming Sunday is the Fifth Sunday of Easter. For our liturgy we will use the service of Matins (page 219). This is one of the historic “prayer hours” that developed in the monasteries and, as such, is a non-communion service. The accents of such services are word and prayer.

Matins uses the appointed Psalm of the Day instead of the Introit of the Day. For this Sunday it is Psalm 146. The antiphon is verse 2. We will chant it by the half verse. While this is our common practice at Lamb of God, it is only one of the ways currently popular. In some churches the psalm is chanted whole verse by whole verse. Sometimes a Psalm Tone is used that goes two verses by two verses. Some churches do not use an antiphon. Some congregations speak the Psalm instead of chanting it. If you look on page xxiv in the hymnal, you will see the various suggested Psalm Tones. We tend to use three of the eleven options. Perhaps, down the road, we will expand our choices.

After the Gospel lesson we will use the Easter Responsory (page 222) instead of the Common Responsory. For our Canticle we will use the Benedictus (page 226) instead of the Te Deum. The Benedictus just feels a little more like Easter to me.

Our hymns for Sunday will continue to reflect the Easter season. The opening hymn will be “This Joyful Eastertide” (LSB 482). The sermon hymn will be “Alleluia! Let Praises Ring” (LSB 822). The closing hymn will be “Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain” (LSB 487).

The appointed scripture lessons (aside from the Psalm) are Acts 6:1–9; 7:2a, 51–60; 1 Peter 2:2–10; and John 14:1–14. The text for the sermon is John 14:6. The sermon is titled “Knowing God.”

Below is a video of the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, singing our opening hymn, “This Joyful Eastertide.” The voices are so rich that you don’t even notice at first that it is a cappella.

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

Below is the summary of the lessons provided by the LCMS, followed by the lessons themselves.

The Lord Jesus Christ Is the Way, the Truth and the Life

The risen Lord Jesus alone is “the way, and the truth, and the life,” and we come “to the Father” only through Him (John 14:6). God is thus “glorified in the Son,” and those who believe in Him will do the works of Christ because He goes to the Father for us (John 14:12–14). Stephen, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5) and “doing great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8), did the works of Christ. When he was falsely accused and put to death, he “gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Fixing his hope there, he commended his spirit to the Lord Jesus and prayed for his murderers. In the same way, all the baptized are called to follow the example of Christ Jesus by faith. Though He was “rejected by men” in the sight of God, He is “chosen and precious” (1 Peter 2:4). He is the chief cornerstone of the Father’s “spiritual house,” and we are built upon Him as “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5).

Acts 6:1–9; 7:2a, 51–60
6:1       Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7         And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
8         And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. …
7:2a      And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. …
51        “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
54        Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

1 Peter 2:2–10
2         Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4         As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in Scripture:

          “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
                   a cornerstone chosen and precious,
          and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

7         So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

          “The stone that the builders rejected
                   has become the cornerstone,”

8         and

          “A stone of stumbling,
                   and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
9         But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

John 14:1–14
14:1      “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8         Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
12        “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

A Few Quick Notes:

  • Church Council will meet after the worship service Sunday.
  • Information for the June newsletter is due Sunday.
  • A short video about our summer series, Resolving Everyday Conflict, will be shared near the end of the Bible Study hour Sunday. If you want to know more about this DVD based study, this is a great chance to do just that. Also, a sigh-up sheet will be available for those who desire to attend the Resolving Everyday Conflict series.
  • Coming Thursday, May 29, is our annual joint Ascension Day worship service. The LC-MS congregations in the upstate gather at Good Shepherd (Greenville) to celebrate the day. The service begins at 7:00 pm. Pastor Rickert will be giving the sermon this year.
  • Don’t forget, you can listen to Easter music throughout the Easter season through live streaming on your internet on Lutheran Public Radio. Also,, which is part of the KUFO family, is playing mostly Easter music.
Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Easter Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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