Thursday, July 17, 2014

Worship Notes, Pentecost 6 - 2014

Thursday after Pentecost 5
July 17, 2014

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the Commemoration of Elijah. As is the case for all commemorations in LSB, there are no assigned propers (Scripture lessons, Introit, etc.) for the day. So we will be using the propers for Pentecost 6. We will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260) for our liturgy. This service uses the appointed Psalm for the Day instead of the Introit for the Day. The scripture readings for the day are: Psalm 119:57-64 (antiphon verse 89); Isaiah 44:6-8; Romans 8:18-27; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.

The prophet Elijah, whose name means “My God is Yahweh [the Lord],” prophesied in the Northern Kingdom of Israel primarily during the reign of Ahab (874-853 bc). Ahab, under the influence of his pagan wife Jezebel, had encouraged the worship of Baal throughout his kingdom, even as Jezebel sought to get rid of the worship of Yahweh. Elijah was called by God to denounce this idolatry and to call the people of Israel back to the worship of Yahweh as the only true God (as he did in 1 Kings 18:20-40). Elijah was a rugged and imposing figure, living in the wilderness and dressing in a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt (2 Kings 1:8). He was a prophet mighty in word and deed. Many miracles were done through Elijah, including the raising of the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24) and the effecting of a long drought in Israel (1 Kings 17:1). At the end of his ministry, he was taken up into heaven while Elisha, his successor, looked on (2 Kings 2:11). Later, the prophet Malachi proclaimed that Elijah would return before the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6), a prophecy that was fulfilled in the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:14).  (Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH)

Normally with Prayer and Preaching we use three hymns. However, this coming Sunday we will be installing our newly elected officers. Therefore we will be including an “Installation hymn.” The installation will happen following the sermon. The congregation will sing the first two verses while the officers gather at the Altar Rail. Following the installation the congregation will sing the final verse as the officers return to their seats. (There will be a pot luck lunch following the service. See the “quick notes” at the end of this post for more about the pot luck.)

Our opening hymn will be “Lord, This Day We’ve Come to Worship” (LSB 911). This is the hymn we are learning. Our sermon hymn will be “Sing with All the Saints in Glory” (LSB 671). We learned this hymn a couple of years ago. Our installation hymn will be “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (LSB 497). Our closing hymn will be “Saints, See the Cloud of Witnesses” (LSB 677).

This has been a very busy week so I haven’t been able to get to posting a Bible study based on one of Sunday’s hymns yet. God willing I will do so tomorrow. The study will be inspired by our closing hymn, which in turn was mainly inspired by Hebrews 11.

Below is a video from St. Lorenz Lutheran singing our Installation Hymn, “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord.” The words are included.

Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We will continue in chapter two of Ruth, and probably finish it. Everyone is welcome.

What now follows is first a modification of the summary of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the LC-MS, and then the actual lessons. This gives me a chance to write a bit about the difference between exegesis and doctrine. Exegesis is the practice of reading something and getting the meaning out of it. Without even knowing it, we do it every time we read (or listen to) anything. When you pick up the newspaper you use different rules to understand the front page or the comic section. Doctrine is the information drawn from the scriptures (through exegesis) and presented as propositional truths. All correct doctrine is supported by sound exegesis. The “rule of faith” is an exegetical rule. It states that no passage is to be understood in a way that conflicts with other clear passages. This does not guarantee that a passage is understood correctly, only that the understanding of the passage will be orthodox, that it will not conflict with clearly revealed truth. So, for example, I might look at Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth) and say the passage teaches Jesus was born of a virgin. My doctrine is correct (or orthodox) but my exegesis is flawed. This is so even if I might draw a strained line between the two (God was creatively active in both cases, for example). The reason I have modified the synopsis is that I found the exegesis flawed, though the doctrine was true. Our unity in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod is founded on agreement in doctrine, not necessarily exegesis (though our exegesis tends to also be remarkably harmonious).

The Word of the Gospel Bestows the Righteousness of Christ and Brings Forth Faith

The good Seed, which is planted by “the Son of Man,” Jesus Himself (Matt. 13:37), are believers in this world (Matt. 13:38). Whatever is sown apart from Jesus is of the devil, who plants the weeds of unbelief and sin in in the form of unbelievers in God’s creation. Thankfully, the Lord is patient and He does not uproot the weeds, lest the plants also be destroyed. He lets “both grow together until the harvest” (Matt. 13:30) which is at the Second Coming (Matt. 13:29). Thus, He preserves, in the world, His Church in righteousness, because He alone is “the King of Israel and his Redeemer” (Is. 44:6). Since all things are in His gracious care and keeping, “fear not, nor be afraid” (Is. 44:8). For “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19), and in this hope we also wait with patience. Though we do not yet see it, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Rom. 8:26) and, in truth, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18).

Psalm 119:57-64 (89)
57        The Lord is my portion;
                   I promise to keep your words.
58        I entreat your favor with all my heart;
                   be gracious to me according to your promise.
59        When I think on my ways,
                   I turn my feet to your testimonies;
60        I hasten and do not delay
                   to keep your commandments.
61        Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me,
                   I do not forget your law.
62        At midnight I rise to praise you,
                   because of your righteous rules.
63        I am a companion of all who fear you,
                   of those who keep your precepts.
64        The earth, O Lord, is full of your steadfast love;
                             teach me your statutes! …
89        Forever, O Lord, your word
                   is firmly fixed in the heavens.

Isaiah 44:6–8
6         Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
                   and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
          “I am the first and I am the last;
                   besides me there is no god.
7         Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.
                   Let him declare and set it before me,
          since I appointed an ancient people.
                   Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
8         Fear not, nor be afraid;
                   have I not told you from of old and declared it?
                   And you are my witnesses!
          Is there a God besides me?
                   There is no Rock; I know not any.”

Romans 8:18–27
18        For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26        Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43
24        He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” …
36        Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Some Quick Notes:

  • POT LUCK, Sunday, after worship. This fellowship meal will serve three functions. 1) a way to say thank you to all who are serving as officers and board members at Lamb of God; 2) an opportunity for the various boards and auxiliary groups to inform the congregations about upcoming events and opportunities to serve; 3) a chance to enjoy each other’s company. So bring something to share and join in the gathering.

  • Information for the August newsletter is due Sunday.

  • Though last week was the first time we did setting four of the morning service, everyone did very well. It looks like we will have no problem learning this service.

  • Our Summer Series, Resolving Everyday Conflict,” has now met four times. We will continue to meet every Wednesday, through August 13.

  • A new page has been added to this blog. On it you will find links to the Bible Studies, inspired by our hymns, which I have posted.

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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