Thursday, March 5, 2015

Worship Notes for Lent 3, 2015

Thursday after the Second Sunday in Lent
March 5, 2015

Blessed Lententide

This coming Sunday is the Third Sunday in Lent. I’m going to take a moment to explain nomenclature, though most who read this blog probably already know what I’m about to share. On our liturgical calendar, the names of the Sunday’s during the Lenten Season are “Sundays in Lent” not “Sundays of Lent.” One of the major themes of Lent is repentance. Sundays are always a remembrance of the Resurrection of Jesus (who rose on a Sunday), and therefore a celebration. The emotions of celebrating the resurrection and repenting of our sins seem at odds. Therefore the forty days of Lent (from Ash Wednesday through the Saturday before Easter (Holy Saturday)) do not include Sundays. From this perspective, then, Sundays are not part of Lent, even though they are in Lent. Many people recognize this by “breaking” their fast on Sundays. So, if you have given up vegetables for Lent, on Sunday you can have your okra without really breaking your Lenten fast.

As this coming Sunday is the second Sunday of the month, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. For our liturgy we will use the third setting of the Divine service with the following modification. Because it is Lent we will omit the hymn of praise (the Gloria in Excelsis). We will also use the Offertory found on page 176 instead of the one on page 192. Our choir will be singing “Bless Now, O God, the Journey.” Our Bible readings will be Exodus 20:1-17, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and John 2:13-25. The text for the sermon will be 1 Corinthians 2:22-23. The sermon will be titled “What Do You Look For?”

Our opening will be “O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken” (LSB 439). This hymn has 15 verses! We will sing verses 1-2, 9, 12. The sermon hymn will be “I Know My Faith Is Founded” (LSB 587). Our closing will be “Praise to You and Adoration” (LSB 692). Our distribution hymns will be “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary” (LSB 423), “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” (LSB 621) and “The Gifts Christ Freely Gives” (LSB 602).

Below is a video from the Lutheran Warbler singing our first distribution hymn, “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary” (LSB 587).  

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.

The Crucified and Risen Body of Jesus Is the True Temple of the Lord
The Lord rescues His people, Israel, out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery (Ex. 20:2) and makes His gracious covenant with them, defined by the Ten Commandments. Since He has become their God by His grace, they shall be His people, having no other gods before Him (Ex. 20:3). He is jealous for them as a husband for his wife and as a father for his children. He has named them with His name and called them to rest in Him (Ex. 20:5–9). The incarnate Son, Christ Jesus, is likewise jealous for His Father’s house, because it is to be a place of divine grace and Sabbath rest for His people, and not “a house of trade (John 2:16–17). His zeal consumes Him as He gives up the temple of his body to the destruction of the cross, but in three days He raises it up again to be the true temple forever (John 2:17–21). By His crucifixion He cleanses the entire household, and in His resurrection He becomes wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).

Exodus 20:1-17
20:1        And God spoke all these words, saying,
2           “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
3           “You shall have no other gods before me.
4           “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7           “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8           “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12          “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13          “You shall not murder.
14          “You shall not commit adultery.
15          “You shall not steal.
16          “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17          “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.”

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
18             For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

                “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
                        and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20             Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26          For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

John 2:13-25
13          The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18          So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
23          Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

Some Additional Notes

  • 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. When you arrive at church Sunday, you will notice a beautiful new banner in the front of the church inviting the community. 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 coming Wednesday’s homily will look at the theology behind “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” (LSB 427).
  • 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 If you have no internet access, speak with Rachel Swain or Kitty Rickert and they will sign you up and get you a list.

  • ·         The Board of Evangelism (which meets this coming Sunday) encourages our members to greet our visitors before our worship services begin. Think of it as welcoming someone to your home.

  • Finally, due to our unseasonable weather, we have missed two worship services (one Sunday and one Wednesday). This means we didn’t receive any offerings on these days. However, the bills still come in. Please remember to compensate for our loss of offerings by giving more this coming Sunday. The bills still need to be paid.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor Rickert

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