Thursday, January 1, 2015

Worship Notes for the Second Sunday after Christmas, 2015

The Circumcision and Name of Jesus (Feast)
Eighth Day of Christmas
New Year’s Day (secular)
January 1, 2015

Blessed Christmas season

This coming Sunday will be the Second Sunday after Christmas. It is also the Eleventh Day of Christmas. At Lamb of God we will be using Matins (page 219) for our liturgy. This is a non-communion service and uses the appointed Psalm instead of the Introit for the Day. For our Canticle we will use the Benedictus. Our lections will be Psalm 119:97-104 (antiphon verse 99), 1 Kings 3:4-15, Ephesians 1:3-14 and Luke 2:40-52. The text for the sermon will be Psalm 119:99 and the sermon is titled “Gaining Wisdom.”

Because we are in the Christmas season, we continue to sing Christmas songs. Our opening hymn will be “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice” (LSB 368). Our sermon hymn will be “Let All Together Praise Our God” (LSB 389). And our closing hymn will be “Joy to the World” (LSB 387). This will be the last Sunday for a year that we can enjoy these hymns as Epiphany (January 6) is this coming Tuesday. Because this is the end of the Christmas season, we will take down our Christmas decorations following our worship service Sunday. Everyone is invited to stay and help.

The video below is from the “mother” congregation of the LC-MS in San Diego, CA, Grace. As I have family that attends there, I have visited Grace while on vacation. It is quite “liturgical” in its worship style. Wonderful pipe organ.

The following summary of the lessons is provided by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In case you are interested in finding summaries for other Sunday’s in the Church year, you can find them at: These summaries overlook the appointed Psalms, Introits, and all other “propers,” and focuses solely on the OT, Epistle and Gospel lessons. However, if you read the appointed Psalm for Sunday, you will have no difficulty seeing how it relates to the other lessons.

The Lord Jesus Is Found in the Temple of His Church
The Lord Jesus grew and became strong (Luke 2:40); He increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). As His body grew and developed, His mind also increased in knowledge and understanding. For as our brother in the flesh, that we might have redemption through his blood (Eph. 1:7), He lived by faith in the Word of His Father. Thus, He was catechized by His parents, who took Him up to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover (Luke 2:41); and when He was of age, He gave attention to the Holy Scriptures in His Father’s house (Luke 2:46, 49). Christ Jesus is still found in His Church, in the word of truth, the gospel,” by which we are adopted by His Father and sealed with His Spirit (Eph. 1:5, 13). Thus do we gain an understanding mind to go about our vocations, discerning between good and evil (1 Kings 3:9). And so do we also go up to Jerusalem, to stand before the ark of the covenant of the Lord (1 Kings 3:15), that is, in the Holy Communion of His body and blood.

Here are the lessons for Sunday.

Psalm 119:97-104
97          Oh how I love your law!
                        It is my meditation all the day.
98          Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
                        for it is ever with me.
99          I have more understanding than all my teachers,
                        for your testimonies are my meditation.
100        I understand more than the aged,
                        for I keep your precepts.
101        I hold back my feet from every evil way,
                        in order to keep your word.
102        I do not turn aside from your rules,
                        for you have taught me.
103        How sweet are your words to my taste,
                        sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104        Through your precepts I get understanding;
                        therefore I hate every false way.

1 Kings 3:4-15
4           And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” 6And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10          It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15          And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.

Ephesians 1:3-14
3           Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11          In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Luke 2:40-52
40          And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
41          Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?” 50And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.
52          And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.

Some Additional Notes

  • The LC-MS congregations of the Upstate will celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord this coming Tuesday (January 6) with a joint worship service. As typical, because it is the most centrally located of our congregations, we will gather at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Greenville (1601 North Pleasantburg). The service begins at 7:00 pm.

  • The January newsletter has been posted on this blog. Just go to the newsletter page.

  • Please stay for a few minutes after Sunday’s service and help take down our Christmas decorations. People can also take home their Poinsettias. 

  • Remember, we have pledged to pray for our neighbors. You can get a list of your 100 closest neighbors from

  • Marion Hurt went to be with the Lord this past Wednesday. Please keep Ray in your prayers. As information concerning arrangements for Marion become available, the congregation will be informed.

  • New sign-up sheets for 2015 have been posted in the narthex.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Rickert

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