Friday, May 9, 2014

Worship Notes for Easter 4 - 1014

Friday after Easter 3
Commemoration of Job
May 9, 2014

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

Before I get to our worship notes, I’m going to say a bit about Job, whom we commemorate today.

Job was a blameless and upright man who came from Uz (Job 1:1), a land northeast of
Canaan. The Book of Job examines the depths of his faith, which was severely tested through the sufferings God permitted. Despite the sudden death of his ten children and the loss of all his wealth and his health, Job refused to curse God, saying: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Still, in the midst of his tribulations Job questioned the meaning and purpose of suffering to the point of asserting his own righteousness (Job 34:5-6). Finally, the Lord revealed that a man cannot know the mysteries of God (Job 38-41). Job’s faith in his Redeemer and the resurrection prevailed (Job 19:25-27). In the end, the Lord restored Job’s wealth and blessed him with another seven sons and three daughters.

The Eastern Orthodox Church reads the book of Job during Holy Week, drawing a parallel between Job and Christ as righteous men who suffered through no fault of their own. God allowed Satan to afflict Job so that his faithfulness would be proven. Christ, the only sinless one, suffered voluntarily for our sins. The Septuagint (a bc translation of the Old Testament) text of Job 42:17 says that Job “will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up.” This passage is read on Good Friday, when the composite Gospel at Vespers speaks of the tombs being opened at the moment the Savior died on the Cross, and the bodies of the saints were raised, and they appeared to many after Christ's Resurrection (Matthew27:52).

As we remember Job, and the other saints, we recall the words of Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. It is also the Commemoration of Cyril and Methodius, Missionaries to the Slavs. There will be an insert with information concerning them in Sunday’s bulletin. We will remember them in our prayers. Because of the assigned lessons, this Sunday has also been called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Finally, this coming Sunday is set aside by our nation to remember our mothers (Mother’s Day). I really don’t understand the animosity some “feminist” have towards motherhood. Speaking as an “outsider,” it seems to me to be a profound privilege and blessing to be a participant, in such a personal way, with the creation of new life. At any rate, we will also remember our mothers in our prayers.

For our liturgy Sunday we will use the Divine Service, third setting (page 184). This is a communion service. This is the service most like the service in The Lutheran Hymnal. Our opening hymn will be “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing” (LSB 475). The sermon hymn will be “Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen” (LSB 4743). Our distribution hymns will be: “Our Paschal Lamb, That Sets Us Free” (LSB 473), “O Sons and Daughters of the King” (LSB 470) and “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” (LSB 643).Our closing hymn will be “Alleluia, Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven” (LSB 477). We again feature mostly Easter hymns as we are in the Easter season.

The assigned lections for Sunday are Acts 2:42–47; 1 Peter 2:19–25; John 10:1–10. We will use the Introit instead of the Psalm of the Day. The sermon is titled “Who Will Go To Heaven?”  The text is John 10:9.

Below is a video of the East Texas Youth Chorus singing our opening hymn, “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing.” The rhythm is a little jazzed up, but still very recognizable and the words are very understandable. Their use of flutes and other instruments give the hymn an even more joyous feel.

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.

The Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus Christ Is Our Good Shepherd

Although we “were straying like sheep,” the Lord Jesus Christ has willingly suffered and died for us, bearing our sins “in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24–25). We are healed by His wounds (1 Peter 2:24), and in His resurrection He gathers us to Himself as our Good Shepherd, by whose righteousness we “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Now through other shepherds whom He calls and sends in His name, He guards and keeps us in the green pastures of His Church, leading us beside the quiet waters of our Baptism and spreading the feast of His Table before us. Since He has called us by the Gospel to be His own dear sheep, we also “hear his voice” and “know his voice” (John 10:3–4) in the faithful preaching of His Gospel, and we follow Him by faith. When we receive His Gospel, we have the abundant life and common unity of the entire flock under one Good Shepherd, in “the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship” and in “the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

Acts 2:42-47
42        And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

1 Peter 2:19-25
19        For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

John 10:1-10
10:1      “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7         So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

A Quick Note:

  • For those who are interested, I will graduate from Gardner Webb this coming Monday. The ceremony begins at 10:00 am.  

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Easter Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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