Friday after Ash Wednesday
February 20, 2015
As most everyone knows, we lost power at church, probably during all that wind we had Saturday. I hoped it was a blown transformer because all the homes in our area were dark. It turned out to be a bit more and we didn’t get power back until Sunday afternoon. The church building was in the 40’s and, without lights, quite dark. So we canceled the service. Sunday afternoon I listened to an excellent sermon from the Lutheran Hour, thanks to the link on our blog. I hope you were able to do the same.
The lost service does pose a problem. Often people forget that the bills don’t stop just because we have to close our doors due to conditions out of our control. Yes, this is a pitch asking you to not forget your offerings for last Sunday as well as for this Sunday when you come to church this coming Sunday. Some families live pay check to pay check. Well, we live Sunday to Sunday; not only from the point-of-view of Word and Sacrament ministry, but also from the perspective of paying our bills. Your offerings are important to the work we all do at Lamb of God.
This coming Sunday will be the First Sunday in Lent. It will also be a communion Sunday. At our last Communion service (February 8), we used the second setting of the Divine Service (page 167). This service was introduced in the hymnal Lutheran Worship. I was under the impression that, while it had been quite awhile since the service was used, the congregation knew it. In fact, most do not and the few that do know it do not know it well. So, while the singing of the hymns was excellent, the singing of the liturgy was quite weak.
As it is a beautiful service (when sung well) and, as members are likely to find other congregations using it when on vacation, it seems a shame to abandon the service. On the other hand, no on wants to struggle through Sunday morning worship. So, simply struggling through setting two for however long until we get it is out. Instead, we will go back to Divine one and three and simply substitute a single piece from setting two until we learn that. We will start with the Offertory (page 176).
This Sunday, then, we will use Divine Service, setting three. Because it is Lent the Gloria in Excelsis will be omitted. The appointed lessons are Genesis 22:1-18, James 1:12-18 and Mark 1:9-15. Both this coming Sunday’s Old Testament lessons and the following Sunday’s Old Testament lesson tell stories about Abraham. So we will have a mini-series focused on Abraham. This Sunday’s sermon is titled “Tested” and the text is Genesis 22:2.
Our opening hymn will be “Christ, the Life of All the Living” (LSB 420). Our sermon hymn will be “Christ Be My Leader” (LSB 861). Our closing hymn will be “Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing” (LSB 924). Our distribution hymns will be “Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing” (LSB 421) and “Jesus Comes Today with Healing” (LSB 620). These hymns have five and six verses respectively, which is why we do not have three distribution hymns.
Below is a video from the Lutheran Warbler singing our opening hymn, “Christ, the Life of All the Living.” This is off the CD she released last year and so is a bit fancier than her normal offerings.
Be sure to read the additional notes at the end of this post as there have been some changes because of the weather.
What follows is a synopsis of the OT, Epistle and Gospel lessons, provided by the synod. After that, are the readings themselves.
Christ Jesus Defeats Our Temptation and Saves Us by His Faithfulness
In faith and the fear of God, Abraham prepared to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. At the Word of the Lord, he “took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son.” And “when they came to the place of which God had told him,” Abraham bound Isaac “and laid him on the altar” (Gen. 22:6, 9). Then God stayed Abraham’s hand and provided “for himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8). That Lamb is God’s own beloved Son, Jesus, in whom “all the nations of the earth” are blessed (Gen. 22:18). As the Substitute for all the sons of men, Jesus is driven by the Spirit “into the wilderness” to be “tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:12–13), in order to endure and defeat all temptation. We are tempted by our own desire, which conceives and “gives birth to sin” (James 1:14–15). But this blessed Man, Christ Jesus, remained “steadfast under trial,” and He has received “the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). His faithfulness, His victory and His life are now given to us by His grace in the Gospel.
22:1 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Some Additional Notes
- We will have a Voters’ Meeting following the worship service. Aside from reports, the voters will consider establishing a policy concerning marriage practices at Lamb of God. Copies of the proposal have been placed in your boxes in the narthex. It would be very helpful if you have any suggested modifications to e-mail it to our elders (Jim Kimsey and Wayne Mabb) and Pastor.
- LitWits meets Sunday at 6:30 pm. The book under discussion will be “The Book Theif.”
- Our Stations of the Cross have been posted in our yard.
- The March newsletter is due to be out Sunday.
- The Ash Wednesday homily can be found on the sermon page. All the homilies will be found there.
- Our Lenten worship services are each Wednesday, 7:00 pm, preceded by a community supper, which begins at 6:15 pm. When you arrive at church Sunday, you will notice a beautiful new banner in the front of the church inviting the community. We Still Need People to Sing Up to Bring Soup. The theme for the homilies this Lent is “The Hymns of Lent.” We are looking at the teaching in some well-known Lenten hymns. This Wednesday’s homily will look at the theology behind “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary” (LSB 423).
- Our seasonal Choir has its practices following our Wednesday worship services. New singers are always welcome.
- If you missed Pastor Rickert on KFUO’s HIS Time program, you can hear it by following the link on this page and go to KUFO, click on the archives, and listen.
- Remember, we have pledged to pray for our neighbors. You can get a list of your 100 your closest neighbors from pray4everyhome.com. If you have no internet access, speak with Rachel Swain or Kitty Rickert and they will sign you up and get you a list.
Blessings in Christ,