Thursday after Pentecost 5
July 2, 2015
The Lord be with you.
This coming Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and is special in a number of ways. First, in the vast majority of churches in the United States, the fact that this is Independence Day weekend will be recognized. Many ministers will certainly be commenting on the relationship the Church has with the State and reflecting on recent decisions by our Supreme Court and incidents like the murder of members of Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston. While the sermon Sunday will not reflect these concerns, they will be in our prayers and our final hymn (“Before, You, Lord, We Bow” LSB 966) is from the “Nation and National Songs” section of the hymnal.
Stepping up to the next reason this coming Sunday is special, we will be receiving into membership five individuals. They are the Duckett family (Nathan, Britney, Axel and Killian) and MaryAnne Henderson. This will happen following the sermon. The congregation will sing the first three verses of our reception hymn (“Built on the Rock” LSB 645:1-3; 4-5) as the new members come forward. After they are received the congregation will sing the final two verses as the individuals return to their seats.
Climbing the ladder one more rung, Alex and Killian will be baptized Sunday. This will happen at the beginning of the worship service. Our opening hymn (“Dearest Jesus, We Are Here” LSB 592:1-3; 4-5) will double as a Baptism Hymn. We will sing the first three verses as the family comes forward and we meet at the font. After the children have been baptized, we will sing the final two verses as the family returns to their seat. Doesn’t is seem appropriate that, on the weekend we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence we are able to rejoice in Jesus delivering two more from bondage to sin, death and the devil and granting them true freedom?
Following the worship service there will be a reception for our newest members. Please take the time to officially welcome them into our family here at Lamb of God.
For our liturgy Sunday we will use the Service of Prayer and Preaching (page 260). The appointed Psalm is Psalm 123 (antiphon verse 1). This will be used between the Old Testament and Epistle lessons. The lections are Ezekiel 2:1-5, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and Mark 6:1-13. The sermon text is 2 Corinthians 12:2-3. The sermon it titled “Heaven is Real!” The only hymn I haven’t mentioned above is our sermon hymn. It is “Jerusalem, O City Fair and High” LSB 674.
I hope everyone “gets” the reasoning behind the hymn selection. The first hymn accents baptism as we baptize Axel and Killian. The sermon hymn accents heaven, which is what the sermon is all about. The third hymn accents the foundation on which the Church is built as we bring in new members. The final hymn accents a nation’s relationship to God as we remember the national holiday of Independence Day.
Below is a video of our first hymn, performed on a guitar by Joel.
What follows is a synopsis of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the synod, then the lessons and finally some additional notes.
The Ministers of Christ Are Sent with His Authority to Forgive Sins and Give Life
The prophet Ezekiel was raised up by the Spirit of the Lord and sent to speak an unpopular Word to the rebellious house of Israel. As a prophet, he was not to speak his own word, but to preach the Law and the Gospel: “Thus says the Lord God,” whether the people “hear or refuse to hear” (Ezek. 2:4–5). So, too, in the footsteps of the prophets before Him, the Lord Jesus “went about among the villages teaching” (Mark 6:6). In His hometown, as elsewhere, “many who heard him were astonished,” marveling at His wisdom and at the “mighty works done by his hands,” and yet, “they took offense at him” (Mark 6:2–3). The offense culminates in His cross, which is, ironically, the heart and center of His “authority over the unclean spirits” (Mark 6:7). It is by that authority of His cross that those He sends preach repentance, “cast out many demons” and heal the sick (Mark 6:12–13). Thus, the apostle Paul boasts in the cross of Christ and in his own weaknesses, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and that the power of Christ “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:8–9).
Psalm 123 (antiphon v. 1) A Song of Ascents.
123:1 To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us.
3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4 Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud.
2:1 And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” 2And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. 3And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. 4The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ 5And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
12:1 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—6though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
6:1 He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.
7 And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—9but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
Some Additional Notes
- As indicated above, we will receive the Duckett family and MaryAnne Henderson into membership Sunday. A reception will follow the service so each of our members can greet and welcome our new members.
- The next Women’s Bible Fellowship will meet this coming Wednesday, 6:30 pm, at church. We are considering the Biblical foundation behind some of our hymns. Each hymn we consider was suggested by the ladies. This week we will look at “Lift High the Cross” (LSB 837).
- Information about our annual effort to collect school supplies for Jesse Boyd Elementary school children can be found in the newsletter.
- The July newsletter has been posted. To read it simply click on the newsletter link at the right-hand side of this blog.
- The new Portals of Prayer are in. Pick up your copy Sunday.
- Our Sunday morning Bible hour begins at 9:00 am. We continue our examination of the biblical teachings concerning Vocation.
- Walking our neighborhoods and meeting our neighbors is going well. We have already reached our first two goals. Remember to record your miles each week on the bulletin board in the hallway. Our collective goal - 2,015 miles in 2015.
- 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.
- 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,