Thursday after the Baptism of our Lord
January 15, 2015
Blessed Epiphany season
This coming Sunday is one of those with options. Many of our congregations will celebrate it as the Second Sunday after the Epiphany. Many others will celebrate it as the Festival of the Confession of St. Peter. Finally, many of our congregations will celebrate it as “Pro-Life Sunday” or “Sanctity of Life Sunday.” This final possibility isn’t on the liturgical calendar but deals with an issue near and dear to us. This date is selected because of its proximity to January 22, the anniversary of the 1973 Row v Wade Supreme Court decision. Because this, we’ll call it a commemoration, is observed by many of our churches, and the view of life it advocates is supported by the Synod (and the Bible), there are Synod resources that can be used, including assigned readings. This means there are three distinct sets of readings to choose from for Sunday.
At Lamb of God we will use the appointed lessons for the Festival of the Confession of St. Peter. That doesn’t mean we will ignore the moral issues dealing with the disregard of life in our country. There will be a bulletin insert and we will certainly remember this in our prayers.
The liturgical calendar in the LC-MS provides us with “Feasts,” “Festivals” and “Commemorations.” One would also rank them in that order, that is, “Feasts” being the really big days, followed by “Festivals” and then “Commemorations.” “Feasts” and “Festivals” have special assigned readings, “Commemorations” do not. At Lamb of God it has been our practice to recognize the differences by celebrating the Lord’s Supper and using the special readings for “Feasts,” using the assigned readings for “Festivals” but only celebrating the Lord’s Supper if the “Festival” falls on a Sunday when we normally would celebrate the Sacrament even if there were no “Festival,” and simply remembering the “Commemoration” in our prayers.
This coming Sunday is not a Sunday we would normally celebrate the Supper so, even though it is a “Festival,” we will not offer Communion. For our liturgy we will use Matins (page 219). For our Canticle we will use the Te Deum.We will use Psalm 118:19-29 instead of the Introit, as is the standard practice for Matins. Our appointed lessons are Acts 4:8-13, 2 Peter 1:1-15 and Mark 8:27-9:1.The sermon text is Acts 4:12. The sermon is titled “Jesus, Revealed by Peter.” As you can tell from the sermon title, we will continue our Epiphany theme.
Our opening hymn is “Arise and Shine in Splendor” (LSB 396). Our sermon hymn is “By All Your Saints in Warfare” (LSB 517:1, 10, 3). Our closing is “You Are the Way; through You Alone” (LSB 526).
The video is CCS High School Choir singing “Arise and Shine in Splendor.” Of course, being a choir, it isn’t exactly what we have in our hymnal, but close enough to get the idea.
As far as I know, the Synod does not provide summaries of the lessons for Feasts and Festivals, so below are our lessons, without a summary.
Psalm 118:19-29 (26)
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord 's doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!
O Lord, we pray, give us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
up to the horns of the altar!
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
you are my God; I will extol you.
29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
2 Peter 1:1-15
1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.
31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. 36For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
9:1 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
Some Additional Notes
- The Church Council will meet Sunday following the service.
- Information for the February newsletter is due Sunday.
- Remember, we have pledged to pray for our neighbors. You can get a list of your 100 closest neighbors from pray4everyhome.com. Pastor has signed up the congregation and is waiting for confirmation, but you can sign-up as an individual.
- New sign-up sheets for 2015 have been posted in the narthex.
- Elders meet Tuesday, January 20.
Blessings in Christ,