Festival of St. Andrew, Apostle
The first day of the Church Year
Thursday after Reformation Sunday
October 30, 2014
The Lord be with you
This coming Sunday will be recognized by us, and by most churches in our denomination, as All Saints’ Sunday. Of course, All Saints’ Day is November 1 and some of our sister congregations will have a special service on that day. Most, though, will transfer the holiday to this coming Sunday like us. As this Sunday is celebrated as All Saints’ Sunday, we will have a special communion liturgy. Many of our departed friends and loved ones will be remembered by name in the service. We will also welcome into our local fellowship new members Harold and Susan Lurksen. It seems appropriate to welcome saints into our fellowship on the day we specifically set aside to remember all saints. This welcome will continue following the service with a pot-luck lunch.
Because Sunday uses a special liturgy, many parts of the service will be replaced with hymns. Therefore the list of hymns we will be singing is a longer than typical. They are:
“For All the Saints” LSB 677
“Sing with All the Saints in Glory” LSB 6714
“Take My Life and Let It Be” LSB 784
“Holy, Holy, Holy” LSB 507:1
“Lamb of God, Pure and Holy” LSB 434
“Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones” LSB 670
“Jerusalem, My Happy Home” LSB 673
“Eat This Bread” LSB 638
“We Sing for All the Unsung Saints” LSB 678
“For All the Saints” and “Take My Life and Let It Be” are actually broken up and sung at various points in the service. “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones,” “Jerusalem, My Happy Home” and “Eat This Bread” are distribution hymns.
I will post a Bible study on one of these hymns tomorrow.
Even though this is a communion service, we will use the appointed Psalm for the Day. So our lections for Sunday will be Revelation 7:2–17, 1 John 3:1–3, Matthew 5:1–12 and Psalm 149 (antiphon v. 4). The sermon text will be Revelation 7:9. The sermon is titled “Party Like A Saint.”
Below is a video of the Lutheran Warbler playing and singing our opening hymn, “For All the Saints,” hymn 677. This is one of those hymns that we sing with gusto.
Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We will continue our consideration of the biblical themes of Witness, Mercy and Life Together. The study of God’s word is a key way to keep the Third Commandment which Luther explains as meaning, “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.” Bible study is a great opportunity to “gladly hear and learn” God’s word.
What follows is a summary of Sunday’s lessons provided by the LC-MS and then the actual lessons. You might have noticed that the Psalm/Introit are never part of the summary.
Saints Are Blessed in the Eternal Presence of Christ
“A great multitude … from all tribes and peoples and languages” cry out, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne” (Rev. 7:9–10). Faith-filled saints from every place and time with unified voices eternally magnify the Lamb of God. As His beloved children, we, too, “shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Joined with the throng of angels and a myriad of saints, we shall “serve him day and night in his temple” (Rev. 7:15). In our earthly tension vacillating between saint and sinner, faith and doubt, sacred and profane, we earnestly seek Jesus to calm our fears, comfort our spirits and forgive our sins. The Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ, propels us forward to our eternal home, fortifying us in Word and Sacrament. In the midst of our constant struggle as believers, we need to be blessed. And so we are. The poor in spirit, the meek, the hungry, the thirsty, the merciful, the pure and the persecuted are all blessed, and we will most certainly inherit the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:1–12).
2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,
12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,
12,000 from the tribe of Gad,
6 12,000 from the tribe of Asher,
12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,
12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,
7 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,
12,000 from the tribe of Levi,
12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,
8 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,
12,000 from the tribe of Joseph,
12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
1 Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!
1 John 3:1-3
3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
5:1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
A Couple of Quick Notes:
- Remember, Sunday is a Pot Luck.
- Today is the, Festival of St. Andrew, Apostle. If you want to know a bit more, click on the name of the festival for a link to an article I did back in 2012.
Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert