Thursday after Pentecost 7
Commemoration of Ruth
July 16, 2015
The Lord be with you.
This coming Sunday, Pentecost 8, we will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching for our liturgy (page 260). As a non-communion service inspired by the old monastic hours, we use the appointed Psalm instead of the Introit. The appointed lessons are Psalm 23 (antiphon verse 6), Jeremiah 23:1-6, Ephesians 2:11-22 and Mark 6:30-44. Our opening hymn will be “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (LSB 662). Our sermon hymn will be “The Church’s One Foundation” (LSB 644). Our closing hymn will be “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” (LSB 660).
As most everyone knows, I sometimes go outside my comfort zone in sermons and do a “narrative” sermon. Narrative sermons are simply stories, like how Jesus used to tell parables. While Jesus would provide some interpretative help, much is left for his “congregation” to grasp through their own contemplation. Well, this coming Sunday, I will be doing a narrative sermon titled World Environment Solutions. The text will be Jeremiah 23:1. That title might lead you to think the sermon is about environmental issues. It isn’t.
Below is a video of our sermon hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation,” sung by the Lutheran Warbler.
What follows is a synopsis of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the synod, then the lessons and finally some additional notes.
The Lord Jesus Shepherds His Church on Earth by the Ministry of the Gospel
The Lord rebukes and removes “the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep” (Jer. 23:1). He gathers the flock, brings them back to the fold and sets “shepherds over them who will care for them” (Jer. 23:3–4). He raises up the Son of David, the great Good Shepherd, to “reign as king and deal wisely” (Jer. 23:5). He is “our righteousness,” in whom we “dwell securely” (Jer. 23:6). He has compassion on all of us, who were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). Not only does He teach us many things, but taking the bread, He blesses and breaks and gives it to the disciples “to set before the people” (Mark 6:41). He abundantly provides for His Church on earth, so that everyone is fed and fully satisfied in body and soul. He preaches peace “to you who were far off,” and “by the blood of Christ,” He brings you near (Eph. 2:13, 17). Though you were “separated from Christ” by your sin, “having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), now “you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).
Psalm 23 A Psalm of David.
23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. 3Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
6:30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42And they all ate and were satisfied. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Some Additional Notes
- We are scheduled for a Voters’ Meeting to follow Sunday’s worship service. However our president (Tim) will be out of town and it seems the majority of our council feels we should postpone the meeting until August. Normally we have no council meeting or voters’ meeting in August, so this would simply be moving the “off” month. So it seems we will postpone the meeting until next month.
- Included in Sunday’s worship bulletin will be an insert containing the list of supplies we are collecting for Jesse Boyd Elementary school. We will be dropping off the supplies August 10, making Sunday, August 9, the final day to bring in your supplies. Yesterday the list was also posted on this blog. You may drop off your supplies in the box in the narthex.
· Praying for our Neighbors and Walking our Neighborhoods: We have joined the rest of the District in this effort. Andrew Okai, inspired by this effort to reach our neighborhoods, sent a Christmas letter to the 18 people on his block. He says of the response, “It went very well. Our neighbors were impacted by our sharing. Of the 18 homes in our court, only three homes did not respond; and that was because those neighbors were away. We have begun a very strong connection with the hope of continuing it as the Lord leads us.” Keep praying. Keep walking. And keep sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- At the District Convention this past May the delegates voted to have a special “Sunday for the City” August 9. This was shortly after the shooting death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Since then we had the murders in Charlotte at Emmanuel AME congregation. The planning for “Sunday for the City” has expanded to include, not only Charlotte, but all our cities. The SED is preparing special material for this local commemoration, and we will participate at Lamb of God.
- Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We are about finished with our examination of the biblical teachings concerning Vocation.This coming Sunday we will decide what we will look at next, but keep the general theme of Lutheran Spirituality.
- Don’t forget to check out the other posts on our blog that have been made this past week. Many of these posts are from district, synod or one of the groups affiliated with us (like a seminary).
Blessings in Christ,