Monday, March 30, 2015

Holy Week Schedule 2015




Monday of Holy Week
March 30, 2015

The Lord be with you

We have a very full week, worship service wise. Each service has a special liturgy. If I were to post everything about them, this notice would far longer than anyone would care to read. So I will simply provide some bare bones information, which will include the synopsis of the assigned lections that is provided by the Synod.

MAUNDY (HOLY) THURSDAY
(April 2, 2015)

Maundy Thursday, which commemorates the establishing of the Lord’s Supper, will be a communion service. The service ends with a traditional stripping of the altar. There are options for each of the lessons and the underlined passage is the one we will use. The worship service begins at 7:00 pm.

Exodus 24:3–11 or Exodus 12:1–14
1 Corinthians 10:16–17 or 1 Corinthians 11:23–32
Mark 14:12–26 or John 13:1–17, 31b–35

Let Us Love One Another, as Christ Has Loved Us and Loves Us to the End

The Lord’s Passover (Ex. 12:11) and the blood of the covenant at Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:8) are preeminent types of the Lord’s Supper. The blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, now covers us, and we keep His Supper as a feast to the Lord (Ex. 12:13–14). In Him, we see the God of Israel (Ex. 24:10), and yet He does not lay His hand on us to punish us. As disciples of Jesus, we recline at the table with Him to eat and drink in peace (Mark 14:18). The apostles, who received the New Testament in His blood on the night when he was betrayed,” delivered the same to His Church, which we also now receive in remembrance of Him (1 Cor. 11:23–26; Mark 14:22–25). So He has loved his own who were in the world,” and He loves us to the end (John 13:1). As He thus feeds us in love, let us love one another, just as He has loved us (John 13:34). For we who are many are one body because we all partake of the one bread,” which is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:17).

GOOD FRIDAY
(April 3, 2015)

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus died and was buried. Originally the name for this day may have been “God’s Friday” but is certainly also “good” because of the good gifts Christ won for us on this day. We will remember this day with a service that blends the traditional “main” service for Good Friday with a Tenebrae (darkness) service. The Gospel lesson has a long and a short option. As indicated by the underlining, we will use the “short” option. The worship service begins at 7:00 pm.

Isaiah 52:13—53:12
Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9
John 18:1—19:42 or John 19:17–30

Behold the Lamb of God, Who Takes Away the Sin of the World

Jesus, the Lamb of God, is led to the slaughter of His cross as the Sacrifice of Atonement for the sin of the world. Despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3), He is the righteous Servant who justifies many by His innocent suffering and death. He bears our griefs and sorrows; He is wounded for our transgressions; He is crushed for our iniquities; He suffers our chastisement; and with his wounds we are healed (Is. 53:4–5). As the Son of God, He fulfills the Law for us in human flesh, and so fulfills the Scriptures (John 19:7, 24). In perfect faith and faithfulness, He shares all our weaknesses and temptations, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). As our merciful High Priest, He brings us to the Father in peace, makes intercession for the transgressors” (Is. 53:12) and joins our prayers to His own, so that we are heard because of his reverence (Heb. 5:7). From His cross, He gives us His Spirit (John 19:30), washes us with water from His side and covers us with His blood (John 19:34).

HOLY SATURDAY
(April 4, 2015)

Holy Saturday commemorates the day Jesus lay in the tomb. We will recognize the day with our Stations of the Cross service, held outside in our yard at noon. If it is raining we will have to cancel.

We also join our sister LC-MS congregations in a “Great Easter Vigil” service at Good Shepherd in Greenville (1601 N. Pleasantburg Ave). This service is saturated with readings from the Scriptures, most from the Old Testament. They are “types” of which Jesus is the “antitype.” The congregation is expected to ponder the readings and ask themselves, “How does this point to Jesus?” The service begins at 7:00 pm with the lighting of the “new fire” and a candlelight processional as the congregation moves into the sanctuary.

EASTER SUNDAY
(April 5, 2015)

Easter, or more liturgically proper, The Resurrection of Our Lord, obviously celebrates our Lord’s victory of death and the grave. This will be a communion service. The morning begins with breakfast at 9:00 am. Worship will be at 10:30.

Isaiah 25:6–9
1 Corinthians 15:1–11
Mark 16:1–8

The Risen Christ Has Swallowed Up Death Forever!

The entire fallen world is veiled in a funeral shroud that is spread over all nations and cast over all peoples (Is. 25:7). But the Lord of hosts, in the Person of the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, has removed that terrible pall and swallowed up death forever. By submitting Himself to death, He burst it apart from the inside out. Now He wipes away all tears from our faces, and He invites us to be glad and rejoice in his salvation (Is. 25:9). His body and His blood, crucified and risen, are given and poured out for us as a feast of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined (Is. 25:6). We enter that feast through Holy Baptism, whereby our old man is buried with Jesus Christ, and we are raised up in Him, dressed in a white robe of His perfect righteousness (Mark 16:5). What St. Paul and the other apostles received by the grace of God is also delivered to you by the preaching of Christ, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved (1 Cor. 15:1–11).

I hope you will join us for these special, only once-a-year, worship opportunities.

He is Risen!
He is Risen, Indeed!!!

Pastor John Rickert

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Worship Notes for Palm Sunday, 2015



Thursday before Palm Sunday
March 26, 2015

Blessed Holy Week

Yes, Holy Week begins this coming Sunday with Palm Sunday (AKA Sunday of the Passion). As with all our services during Holy Week, we have a special liturgy for Sunday. Most of it will be spoken with the exception of the hymns and a couple of liturgical pieces. The music liturgical pieces will be included in the worship bulletin. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper.

Our opening hymn will be “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” (LSB 443). The sermon hymn will be “Ride On, Ride On in Majesty” (LSB 441). Following the Prayer of the Church (taken from The Lutheran Hymnal) and as we turn our eyes towards the Sacrament, we will sing “Be Present at Our Table, Lord” (LSB 775). For our Sanctus we will sing verses one and two of “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” (LSB 940). For our Agnus Dei we will sing “Lamb of God, Pure and Holy” (LSB 434). We will have two distribution hymns, “Draw Near and Take the Body of the Lord” (LSB 637) and “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing” (LSB 643). Our final hymn will be “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates” (LSB 341).

The assigned Gospel lessons are rather lengthy. They are John 12:12-19 (actually a rather normal length) and Mark 15 (yes, the whole chapter). The Old Testament lesson is Zechariah 9:9–12. The Epistle lesson is Philippians 2:5–11. It is easy to lose focus when one person is reading for a long time, so the reading of the Gospel lessons will be shared with the congregation.

The choir will be singing “What Wondrous Love Is This.”

The sermon is titled, “The Week that Changed History.” While the sermon will survey all our Gospel reading, the text will be John 12:12. In reality, this message introduces the theme for all the Holy Week messages. So the message for Maundy Thursday is “The Meal that Changed History.” The Good Friday message is “The Death that Changed History.” Easter’s message is titled “The Day that Changed History.”

Below is a sweet video of our opening hymn. The regular choir in the church begins the hymn “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna.” In the opening verse there is the line “The little children sang.” The small children of the congregation join the choir, all bearing palm fronds. The children then sing the second verse.


What follows is a synopsis of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the synod. Following that are some additional notes of interest.

The Son of David Ascends His Throne and Reigns in Love from His Cross
The Son of David comes in gentle humility, sitting on a donkey’s colt,” yet as the King of Israel in the name of the Lord (John 12:13–15). He comes to be lifted up in glory on the cross in order to cast out the ruler of this world and draw all people to Himself (John 12:23–32). The Church is thus called to rejoice greatly,” because her King comes with salvation, and he shall speak peace to the nations (Zech. 9:9–10). As He is anointed beforehand for burial (Mark 14:8), He also ascends His royal throne as the King of the Jews by way of His Passion (Mark 15:2, 17–19, 26). He goes as it is written of him,” wherefore you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power (Mark 14:21, 62). For the glory of God is love, which crescendos in the humble obedience and voluntary self-sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners. So God the Father has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9), that He might reign over us in love with the forgiveness of His cross.

Some Additional Notes

  • Saturday we gather at church, beginning at 10:00 am, to spruce everything up for Holy Week.

  • Our Holy Week schedule of services will be included in Sunday’s worship bulletin.

  • Our adult Sunday morning Bible study continues its look at the “spirituality of vocation.”

  • Our Stations of the Cross have been posted in our yard. We will have a Stations of the Cross Service at noon, Holy Saturday. The stations will be taken down following Easter and returned to our wall.

  • The new Portals of Prayer (which begin April 1) are here. Copies are in your mailboxes in the narthex. Extra copies are available for you to give out.

  • Our seasonal Choir will practice, this week, following our Maundy Thursday service.

  • 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,
Pastor Rickert

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Worship Notes for Lent 4, 2014



Thursday after the Third Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2015

Blessed Lententide

This coming Sunday is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. As this is the third Sunday in the month, we will be using one of our non-communion liturgies, in this case, the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260). Because it is Lent we will omit the New Testament Canticle. As with all our worship services that are designed as services of the Word, we use the appointed Psalm of the Day instead of the Introit. Originally Introits were shortened forms of the appointed Psalm and were used because reception of the Lord’s Supper takes up a significant amount of time. Our Psalm for Sunday will be Psalm 107:1-9 and the antiphon will be verse 19. Our other appointed lessons are Number 21:4-9, Ephesians 2:1-10 and John 3:14-21.

Our opening will be “O Christ, You Walked the Road” (LSB 424). The sermon hymn will be “The Man Is Ever Blessed” (LSB 705). Our closing will be “My Song Is Love Unknown” (LSB 430). The sermon is titled “Two Roads.” The text is John 3:19.

Below is a video from the Lutheran Warbler singing our closing hymn, “My Song Is Love Unknown.”   


What follows is a synopsis of the OT, Epistle and Gospel lessons, provided by the synod. After that, are the readings themselves. Finally, there are some additional notes of interest.

Jesus Is Lifted Up on the Cross so that We May Look to Him and Live
The people sinned by speaking against God and against Moses,” and the Lord called them to repentance by sending fiery serpents, which bit the people, so that many people of Israel died (Num. 21:4–6). When the people confessed their sin, the Lord provided a means of rescue from death. He instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole,” so that if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live (Num. 21:8). Thus God sent His Son into the world, in the likeness of our sin and death, and lifted Him up on the pole of the cross, that whoever looks to Him in faith may have eternal life (John 3:14–16). By His cross, the light has come into the world,” not for condemnation, but that the world might be saved through him (John 3:17–19). While we were dead in the trespasses and sins” in which we once lived (Eph. 2:1), God loved us, calling us to repentance and raising us up with Christ to live with him in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:4–6).

Psalm 107:1-9 (19)
107:1      Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
                        for his steadfast love endures forever!
2           Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
                        whom he has redeemed from trouble
3           and gathered in from the lands,
                        from the east and from the west,
                        from the north and from the south.

4           Some wandered in desert wastes,
                        finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5           hungry and thirsty,
                        their soul fainted within them.
6           Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
                        and he delivered them from their distress.
7           He led them by a straight way
                        till they reached a city to dwell in.
8           Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
                        for his wondrous works to the children of man!
9           For he satisfies the longing soul,
                        and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Number 21:4-9
4           From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Ephesians 2:1-10
2:1         And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

John 3:14-21
14          And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16          “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Some Additional Notes

  • Church Council meets Sunday following our worship service.  

  • Our adult Sunday morning Bible study continues its look at the “spirituality of vocation.”

  • Our Stations of the Cross have been posted in our yard. They may be used as a personal devotional practice. We will have a Stations of the Cross Service at noon, Holy Saturday.

  • The new Portals of Prayer (which begin April 1) are here. Copies are in your mailboxes in the narthex. Extra copies are available for you to give out.

  • Our Lenten worship services are each Wednesday, 7:00 pm, preceded by a community supper, which begins at 6:15 pm. The theme for the homilies this Lent is “The Hymns of Lent.” This coming Wednesday’s homily will look at the theology behind the hymn “Go to Dark Gethsemane” (LSB 436).

  • Our seasonal Choir has its practices following our Wednesday worship services. New singers are always welcome.

  • 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,
Pastor Rickert

Monday, March 9, 2015

We're Registered


It took some time, but Lamb of God is now officially registered as a participating congregation in Pray 4 Every Home (www.pray4everyhome.com). They have various resources which the Board of Evangelism will review. Expect more information as we learn more.

Concord Matters & God Whisperers


CONCORD MATTERS and GOD WHISPERERS on your Lutheran Radio Station Worldwide KFUO.  Be sure to check out Concord Matters (Sat@10am and Tues@2pm Central Time) is a round table discussion on the Lutheran Confessions from the Book of Concord, and God Whisperers (Thurs@2pm Central) is an offbeat program that discusses the everyday life of Christians with humor and intelligence. Listen at kfuo.org! Follow us on Facebook.com/KFUORadio.