Thursday, October 2, 2014

Worship Notes for Pentecost 17, 2014 - LWML Sunday

Thursday after Pentecost 16
October 2, 2014

The Lord be with you

This coming Sunday is the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. It is also LWML Sunday. As a way of recognizing all that our ladies do, we will be asking them to do even more on Sunday. They will be serving as ushers, greeters, readers, and so forth. Special music will be provided by Christina Mullinax and Karen Hampton. For our liturgy we will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260 of the Lutheran Service Book). In this service we use the appointed Psalm of the Day instead of the Introit. The appointed lessons for the day are: Isaiah 5:1–7; Psalm 80:7-19 (7); Philippians 3:4b–14; Matthew 21:33–46. The sermon is titled “God’s Vineyard.” The text is Isaiah 5:1. The opening hymn will be “Make Songs of Joy” (LSB 484). This will be the fourth Sunday we will have sung “Make Songs of Joy,” so now it moves from the unknown to the known category. The sermon hymn will be “O Blessed Spring” (LSB 595). A Bible study inspired by this hymn was posted earlier this week. The closing hymn will be “Lutheran Women, One And All.” This is not in the hymnal. The words are below.  

Lutheran Women, One And All

Lutheran women, one and all,
We have heard the Gospel call.
We by faith have seen our Lord
Crucified and then restored.
We have seen Him pay the price,
For our sins a sacrifice.
Him we Lord and Christ acclaim
And unite to praise His name.

Lutheran women, young and old,
Well we know His challenge bold:
Help to take the Gospel light
To a world in darkest night,
By example in the home,
By inviting those who roam,
By our prayers for sinners lost,
By our gifts for missions’ cost.

Lutheran women, coast to coast,
In the Lord a mighty host,
Let us all united be
In the Holy Trinity,
One in faith, in hope, and love,
Working for the Lord above,
Till, our earthly labors done,
We in heaven shall all be one.
Tune: 495 LW, 892 LSB
Elmer A. Kettner

Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We looking at 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.

The True Vine Redeems the Vineyard of the Lord of Hosts
“The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel” (Is 5:7), which He planted “on a very fertile hill” (Is. 5:1). He did everything for His vineyard, not only clearing it of stones and planting it with “choice vines,” but also building the “watchtower” of His prophets and hewing out the “wine vat” of His priesthood in its midst (Is. 5:2). But when “he looked for it to yield grapes,” there were only “wild grapes” of bloodshed and unrighteousness (Is. 5:2, 7). The Lord Jesus likewise described the unfaithfulness of those who were called to care for His vineyard (Matt. 21:33–35). But in this He also describes His cross and Passion (Matt. 21:38–39), by which He has redeemed the vineyard for Himself. He is the true Vine, planted by death into the ground, and in His resurrection He brings forth “the fruits in their seasons” (Matt. 21:41). Among those good grapes of the true Vine is the apostle Paul. Once a zealous persecutor of the Church, he “suffered the loss of all things” in order to “gain Christ and be found in him,” to “know him and the power of his resurrection” (Phil. 3:8–10). [Consider also the vine/vineyard metaphor as it is used in Sunday’s Psalm. There the evil forces from outside the vineyard (the “boar” of verse 12), because the Lord has broken down its wall (punishment for the sin of his people). But the Psalmist, in repentance, asks for the vineyard (the people of God) to be restored, which is accomplished through the “Son of Man” God has chosen (Jesus). - Pastor]

Isaiah 5:1–7
1         Let me sing for my beloved
                   my love song concerning his vineyard:
          My beloved had a vineyard
                   on a very fertile hill.
2         He dug it and cleared it of stones,
                   and planted it with choice vines;
          he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
                   and hewed out a wine vat in it;
          and he looked for it to yield grapes,
                   but it yielded wild grapes.

3         And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
                   and men of Judah,
          judge between me and my vineyard.
4         What more was there to do for my vineyard,
                   that I have not done in it?
          When I looked for it to yield grapes,
                   why did it yield wild grapes?

5         And now I will tell you
                   what I will do to my vineyard.
          I will remove its hedge,
                   and it shall be devoured;
          I will break down its wall,
                   and it shall be trampled down.
6         I will make it a waste;
                   it shall not be pruned or hoed,
                   and briers and thorns shall grow up;
          I will also command the clouds
                   that they rain no rain upon it.

7         For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
                   is the house of Israel,
          and the men of Judah
                   are his pleasant planting;
          and he looked for justice,
                   but behold, bloodshed;
          for righteousness,
                   but behold, an outcry!

Psalm 80:7-19 (7)
7         Restore us, O God of hosts;
                   let your face shine, that we may be saved!

8         You brought a vine out of Egypt;
                   you drove out the nations and planted it.
9         You cleared the ground for it;
                   it took deep root and filled the land.
10        The mountains were covered with its shade,
                   the mighty cedars with its branches.
11        It sent out its branches to the sea
                   and its shoots to the River.
12        Why then have you broken down its walls,
                   so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13        The boar from the forest ravages it,
                   and all that move in the field feed on it.

14        Turn again, O God of hosts!
                   Look down from heaven, and see;
          have regard for this vine,
15                 the stock that your right hand planted,
                   and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
16        They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
                   may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17        But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
                   the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18        Then we shall not turn back from you;
                   give us life, and we will call upon your name!

19        Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
                   Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Philippians 3:4b–14
4bIf anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
12        Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 21:33–46
33        “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
42        Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

          “‘The stone that the builders rejected
                   has become the cornerstone;
          this was the Lord's doing,
                   and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43        Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45        When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

A Couple of Quick Notes:

  • Saturday, October 11, will be our first Work Day. This will be the “outdoor” day. Things like tree removal, painting, etc. are scheduled. Work begins at 9:00 am. For more information check the newsletter.
  • This weekend Spartanburg is having its International Festival. The LWML is an international organization (see the newsletter for information about both local and international work the ladies do). So, in the spirit of our international faith, let us support our ladies this Sunday. It is the last day we can help with their effort to dig a water well in Ethiopia.
  • Pastor will be gone much of the upcoming week, attending the district’s “President’s Conference and 75th Anniversary.” (That is, the 75th anniversary of the Southeastern District.)

Well, I pray we will see you Sunday morning.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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