Thursday, July 31, 2014

Worship Notes for Pentecost 8 (Commemoration of Joanna, Mary, and Salome, Myrrhberers) - 2014

Thursday after Pentecost 7
Commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea
July 31, 2014

The Lord be with you

As today is the Commemoration of Joseph of Arimathea, I thought I would start off with a quick word about him. This Joseph (not to be confused with Patriarch Joseph or Joseph the husband of Mary) is mentioned in all four Gospels. He came from a small village called Arimathea in the hill country of Judea. He was a respected member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious council in Jerusalem. He was presumably wealthy, since he owned his own unused tomb in a garden not far from the site of Jesus’ crucifixion (Matthew 27:60). Joseph, a man waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went to Pontius Pilate after the death of Jesus and asked for Jesus’ body (Mark 15:43). Along with Nicodemus, Joseph removed the body and placed it in the tomb (John 19:38-39). There public devotion contrasted greatly to the fearfulness of the disciples who had abandoned Jesus.

This coming Sunday is the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the Commemoration of Joanna, Mary, and Salome, Myrrhberers. This commemoration is new to our liturgical calendar. It is an adaptation of the commemoration in the Orthodox Churches of the myrrhbearing women Mary Magdalene, Mary Theotokos (the virgin Mary), Joanna, Salome, Mary the wife of Cleopas, Susanna, Mary of Bethany, and Martha of Bethany. They celebrate them on the Third Sunday of Easter. Obviously the name was put on “a diet.” These ladies are also know in some traditions as “the faithful women.” Joanna, Mary, Salome, and the other women visited the tomb of Jesus Easter morning (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10). Joanna was the wife of Chuza, a steward in Herod’s household (Luke 8:3). Mary, the mother of James (the son of Alphaeus), was another of the women who faithfully provided care for Jesus and His disciples from the time of His Galilean ministry through His burial after the crucifixion. Salome, the mother of the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 27:56), joined with the women both at the cross and in bringing the spices to the garden tomb. These faithful women have been honored in the Church through the centuries as examples of humble and devoted service to the Lord. We will remember these ladies with a special collect Sunday.

For our liturgy we will be using the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260). This is one of those services that use the Psalm of the Day instead of the Introit of the Day. The readings then are: Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26 (antiphon 26); Isaiah 55:1–5; Romans 9:1–13; Matthew 14:13–21. The Lord’s Supper is not offered in this service. The sermon text will be the antiphon from our Psalm. The sermon is titled “What is Hesed?”

We will sing three hymns. Our opening hymn will be “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” (LSB 524). Our sermon Hymn will be “How Wide the Love of Christ” (LSB 535). Our closing hymn will be “Crown Him with Many Crowns” (LSB 525). Our sermon hymn is actually new to us. It was selected by the hymnal review committee as one worth learning. This Sunday will mark the first time we are singing it and it will be a part of our Sunday worship for four weeks. I posted a Bible Study inspired by the hymn yesterday.

Below is a video of our closing hymn, “Crown Him With Many Crowns,” sung by the Lutheran Warbler.

Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We will the fourth and last chapter of Ruth. Everyone is welcome.

What now follows is first a summary of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the LC-MS, and then the actual lessons. I’ve included the Psalm.

Christ Jesus, the Living Bread from Heaven, Feeds the Children of God

By the Gospel of “the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever” (Rom. 9:5), we are “the children of God” (Rom. 9:8), “not because of works but because of him who calls” (Rom. 9:11). Therefore, “listen diligently” and “hear, that your soul may live.” By His sacrificial death in His flesh and blood, He has made “an everlasting covenant” for us. Since He now calls us to Himself, we come to Him “and eat what is good, and delight … in rich food” (Is. 55:2–3). He has come with divine compassion to save us from sin and death and to feed us with Himself. As our Lord Jesus once took bread, “said a blessing,” broke the loaves “and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds” (Matt. 14:18–19), He also now takes bread, blesses it by His Word to be His very body, and distributes it to His Church by the hand of His called and ordained servants. Just as “they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces,” there is more than enough for His whole Church to eat and to be satisfied (Matt. 14:20).

Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26; antiphon 26
1         Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever.
2         Give thanks to the God of gods,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever.
3         Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;

4         to him who alone does great wonders,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
5         to him who by understanding made the heavens,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
6         to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
7         to him who made the great lights,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
8         the sun to rule over the day,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
9         the moon and stars to rule over the night,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever; …

23        It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
24        and rescued us from our foes,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever;
25        he who gives food to all flesh,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever.

26        Give thanks to the God of heaven,
                   for his steadfast love endures forever.

Isaiah 55:1–5
1         “Come, everyone who thirsts,
                   come to the waters;
          and he who has no money,
                   come, buy and eat!
          Come, buy wine and milk
                   without money and without price.
2         Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
                   and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
          Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
                   and delight yourselves in rich food.
3         Incline your ear, and come to me;
                   hear, that your soul may live;
          and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
                   my steadfast, sure love for David.
4         Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
                   a leader and commander for the peoples.
5         Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
                   and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
          because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
                   for he has glorified you.

Romans 9:1–13
1         I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—2that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
6         But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—12she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Matthew 14:13–21
13        Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Some Quick Notes:

  • Our “Jesse’s Supplies” drive will start Tuesday, August 5. You can still join in this effort, which is in harmony with our Synod’s three emphasizes, “Witness, Mercy, and Life Together.” It will only take an hour or so of you time on August 5th and again on August 12.

  • Our Summer Series, Resolving Everyday Conflict,” has only two meetings left. This series certainly fits in the “Life Together” category in Synod’s emphasis. We will continue to meet every Wednesday.

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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