Thursday after Pentecost 13
August 27, 2015
The Lord be with you.
This coming Sunday is Pentecost 14. We will be using the Service of Prayer and Preaching for our liturgy (page 260). This is a non-communion service. We use the appointed Psalm instead of the Introit for the Day. Our readings will be Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9; Ephesians 6:10-20; Mark 7:14-23 and Psalm 119:129-136 (antiphon v. 132). Psalm 119 is sometimes called the “giant Psalm.” It is an acrostic poem following the Hebrew alphabet. The first eight verses all begin with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The second eight verses begin with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and so on. In this particular set of verses, the Hebrew letter is “Pe.” The entire Psalm is about the word of God. You will notice the role of the word of God in the other readings as well.
I will again be using the epistle lesson for the basis of the sermon. This will conclude Ephesians in our Sunday readings, and therefore the end of this little mini-series. The sermon is titled “Stand Together.” The text is Ephesians 6:11.
The hymns Sunday will all be well known. Our opening hymn will be “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” (LSB 660). Our sermon hymn will be “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (LSB 662). Our closing hymn will be “Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You” (LSB 668).
Our adult Bible class is working through the study, Word: God Speaks to Us. The author is John T. Pless and it is part of the Lutheran Spirituality series published by Concordia Publishing House. This Sunday we will continue with the second lesson, “The Words That Kill and Give Life.” To be honest, the discussion was such that last week we only covered one question. Some of the questions left to answer are: “What will the Law not do? What will it do?” “What is the ‘righteousness of God’ and how is it made manifest?” “How does Isaiah demonstrate the connectedness between Word and Spirit?” Participants are asked to read 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 to prepare for class. We have extra study guides. Join us and be blessed by the Word of God, which is a means of grace.
Below is a video of “The Lutheran Warbler” (Rachel) singing “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” our sermon hymn.
What follows is a synopsis of Sunday’s lessons, provided by the synod, then the lessons. As always, the synopsis does not factor in the appointed Psalm, but you should have no trouble understanding how it relates. Following the readings are some additional notes. Don’t forget to check out the other posts from earlier this week. You can also link one or more of our posts to your personal facebook (or other social media) page. Find one you like and share it.
We Are Cleansed and Sustained by the Word of God
Wickedness and evil come “from within, out of the heart,” and that is what defiles a person (Mark 7:21–23). Hence, we cannot save ourselves, because we are sinful and unclean from the inside out. But as the Lord Jesus “declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19), so He cleanses us by His Word, by the preaching of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, “listen to the statutes and the rules” of the Lord, “and do them, that you may live” (Deut. 4:1). For His Word is righteous, and to live according to it is “your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples” (Deut. 4:6). Cling to His Word, and also teach it “to your children and your children’s children” (Deut. 4:9). Put on this “armor of God” by hearing and heeding what He speaks to you, that you may “stand firm” in the evil day (Eph. 6:11–13). Gird yourself with the righteousness of Christ, by faith in the “gospel of peace,” and take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” by confessing Christ Jesus and “praying at all times in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:14–18).
Psalm 119:129-136 (antiphon v. 132)
129 Your testimonies are wonderful;
therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from man's oppression,
that I may keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136 My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
4:1 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. …
6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children—
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”a 17And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
aSome manuscripts add verse 16: If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear
Some Additional Notes
There will be a special called church council meeting following Sunday’s worship service.
The September newsletter will be available Sunday.
Keep Praying for your Neighbors and Walking your Neighborhoods.
The next hymn our ladies will examine at the WBF (September 2) will be “When I Behold Jesus Christ,” LSB 542.
Blessings in Christ,