Thursday, June 26, 2014

Worship Notes for the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles - 2014

Commemoration of Jeremiah
Thursday after Pentecost 2
June 26, 2014

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles. It is also the Third Sunday after Pentecost (Pentecost 3). This presents the local churches with a choice as both days have specific lections assigned. At Lamb of God we will celebrate the Festival. I hasten to add that churches that are not celebrating this Festival are not “wrong” or somehow sub-Christian for not celebrating this day. I also need to add that Lamb of God is not somehow better or more spiritual or more Christian by celebrating the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul. Festivals come under the general heading of Christian Freedom.

When I arrived at Lamb of God (way back in the 20th century) I was told that the church observed all major Feasts and Festivals. This was done by celebrating the Lord’s Supper. “Feasts and Festivals” were explained as “things like Easter and Christmas.” If I stuck to the letter of what I was told in the beginning, we would be celebrating the Lord’s Supper this Sunday. However I think what is meant are the “super big Feasts,” like Christmas and Easter. If we offered the Lord’s Supper on all Feasts and Festivals, we would share the Sacrament on the following days:

January 1: Circumcision and Name of Jesus (Feast)
January 18: The Confession of St. Peter (Festival)
January 24: St. Timothy, Pastor and Confessor (Festival)
January 25: The Conversion of St. Paul (Festival)
January 26: St. Titus, Pastor and Confessor (Festival)

February 2: The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord (Feast)
February 24: St. Matthias, Apostle (Festival)

March 19: St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus (Festival)
March 25: The Annunciation of Our Lord (Feast)

April 25: St. Mark, Evangelist (Festival)

May 1: St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (Festival)
May 31: The Visitation (Feast)

June 11: St. Barnabas, Apostle (Festival)
June 24: The Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Feast)
June 29: St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles (Festival)

July 22: St. Mary Magdalene (Festival)
July 25: St. James the Elder, Apostle (Festival)

August 15: St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord (Festival)
August 24: St. Bartholomew, Apostle (Festival)
August 29: The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (Festival)

September 14: Holy Cross Day (Festival)
September 21: St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist (Festival)
September 29: St. Michael and All Angels (Feast)

October 18: St. Luke, Evangelist (Festival)
October 23: St. James of Jerusalem, Brother of Jesus and Martyr (Festival)
October 28: St. Simon and St. Jude, Apostles (Festival)
October 31: Reformation Day (Festival)

November 1: All Saints’ Day (Feast)
November 30: St. Andrew, Apostle (Festival)

December 21: St. Thomas, Apostle (Festival)
December 26: St. Stephen, Martyr (Festival)
December 27: St. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Festival)
December 28: The Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Festival)
December 31: Eve of the Circumcision and Name of Jesus (Feast)

Also Christmas Eve day; Christmas Eve midnight; Christmas Day dawn; and Christmas Day; the Epiphany of Our Lord; every day of Holy Week beginning on Palm Sunday and extending through Wednesday after Easter; the Ascension of our Lord; Pentecost Eve; Pentecost Day; Monday and Tuesday following Pentecost; and finally the Sunday following Pentecost which is the Feast of the Holy Trinity.

The above list of Feasts and Festivals is the one in the Lutheran Service Book. Lamb of God was using the calendar from Lutheran Worship when I arrived, and that calendar has fewer celebrations.

So, if we stick to the letter of what I was told when I arrived, we would share the Lord’s Supper this Sunday. However, if we go with what I think was the spirit of the comment, we can celebrate this Feast, using the appointed lections and propers, and using red paraments, without also celebrating the Lord’s Supper. In light of the fact that we have shared the Lord’s Supper three times already this month, I have opted for the non-communion alternative. Therefore we will use Matins (page 219) for our liturgy.

The appointed lections for the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles are: Acts15:1-21; Galatians 2:1-10; Matthew 16:13-19; Psalm 46 (antiphon: v. 11). Our opening hymn will be “Lord, This Day We’ve Come to Worship” (LSB 911). Our sermon hymn will be “Salvation unto Us Has Come” (LSB 555). Our closing hymn will be “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” (LSB 576). Our opening hymn (Lord, This Day We’ve Come to Worship) is another one of the hymns the hymnal review committee selected as worth learning. So, over the next month or so we will sing it at least four times.

Concerning the Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Treasure of Daily Prayer (476) says:
          The festival of St. Peter and St. Paul is probably the oldest of the saints’ observances (dating from about the middle of the third century). An early tradition held that these two pillars of the New Testament Church were martyred on the same day in Rome during the persecution under Nero. In addition to this joint commemoration of their deaths, both apostles are commemorated separately: Peter on January 18 for his confession of Jesus as the Christ (Matthew 16:13-16) and Paul on January 25 for his conversion (Acts 9:1-19).
          The New Testament tells us much about both apostles. Peter was with Jesus from the beginning of His ministry and served as a leader among the disciples. Despite his steadfast faith, Scripture also records some of his failures, such as his rebuke of Jesus (Matthew 16:21-23) and his threefold denial of his Lord (Matthew 26:69-75). Following Jesus’ ascension, Peter continued as a leader in the Church (Acts 1:15; 2:14; 15:7).
          Paul, a devout Jew also known as Saul, entered the scene as a persecutor of the Church. Following his miraculous conversion, in which the risen Christ Himself appeared to him, Paul became a powerful preacher of the grace of God. During his three missionary journeys (Acts 13-14; 16-18; 18-21), Paul traveled throughout modern day Turkey and Greece. The New Testament account of his life ends with Paul under house arrest in Rome (Acts 28:16), though tradition holds that he went on to Spain before returning to Rome.

The text for Sunday’s sermon is Galatians 2:9-10. The sermon is titled “Something Old, Something New.”

Below is a video of our opening hymn, “Lord, This Day We’ve Come to Worship” sung by St. Lorenz Lutheran Chburch in Frankenmuth, MI.

Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We will continue in Ruth, chapter one. Everyone is welcome.

What now follows are Sunday’s lessons.

Acts 15:1-21
15:1      But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. 3So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. 4When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. 5But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”
6         The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
12        And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16        “‘After this I will return,
          and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
          I will rebuild its ruins,
                    and I will restore it,
17        that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
                   and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
18                 says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.’

19        Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

Galatians 2:1-10
2:1       Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. 2I went up because of a revelation and set before them (though privately before those who seemed influential) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain. 3But even Titus, who was with me, was not forced to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. 4Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—5to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. 6And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8(for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

Matthew 16:13-19
13        Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Psalm 46
46:1      God is our refuge and strength,
                   a very present help in trouble.
2         Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
                   though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3         though its waters roar and foam,
                   though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

4         There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
                   the holy habitation of the Most High.
5         God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
                   God will help her when morning dawns.
6         The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
                    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7         The Lord of hosts is with us;
                   the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8         Come, behold the works of the Lord,
                   how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9         He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
                   he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
                   he burns the chariots with fire.
10        “Be still, and know that I am God.
                   I will be exalted among the nations,
                   I will be exalted in the earth!”
11        The Lord of hosts is with us;
                   the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Some Quick Notes:

  • Tuesday morning Pastor Rickert will be a guest on KUFO radio ( which you can live stream on your computer. A Matins service is broadcast, beginning at 10:05 am (which lasts about half an hour). Pastor will give the sermonette. Pastor will also be the guest pastor on the Bible study portion of the program, which begins around 9:05 am.

  • This past Sunday new officers were elected. Our new officers will be installed in our Sunday service July 20. Please remember that the new chairs of the various boards are looking for board members. If you are asked to serve, please, for the sake of Christ and his Church, agree.

  • Our Summer Series, Resolving Everyday Conflict,” has begun. Every Wednesday, through August 13, we are gathering to learn what Scripture says about the source of conflict and how to resolve it in God pleasing ways.

  • The July newsletter will be available Sunday.

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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