Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cyprian of Carthage

Almighty God, You gave Your servant Cyprian boldness to confess the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, before the rulers of this world and courage to die for the faith he proclaimed. Give us strength always to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Petitions for Holy Cross



O risen Christ, ascended Lord
All praise to You let earth accord:
Alleluia
You are, while endless ages run
With Father and with Spirit One
Alleluia[1]

Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

You bless the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper the work of farmers and all those who labor to bring food to our table. Grant them seasonable weather that they may gather in the fruits of the earth in abundance and proclaim Your goodness with thanksgiving.

To all of our members who are celebrating birthdays this week we ask Your blessing upon— Mike Werling, Brett Hormann, Addyson Lengerich, Paul Ruble, Erin Lengerich, Marvin Stoppenhagen (his 99th!), Marlin Keidel (his 90th!), Callen Knipstein (his 1st!), Peyton Buuck, Tom DeKoninck, and Judy Werling.

We also remember in our prayers  Matthew Kiefer and Megan Snider who were married this Saturday.

We rejoice with - Jim & Ann Crosby who will celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary this Thursday, September 18.  Ron and Bonnie Buuck, Don & Shirley Gehres, Adam & Kari Butcher, James & Karrie Fuhrmann, and Nathan & Connie Bultemeier , who are celebrating wedding anniversaries this week as well. Loving Father continue to bless them, remaining at the center of their homes, guiding them through life’s joys and challenges. 

Make our schools safe places that prepare young men and women for life-long service to You and Your people; we remember especially this day – 7th grade confirmation instructor, Brian Horning, as well as Casey Nidlinger who teaches at Bluffton.  We also remember our Sunday School Superintendent, Lisa Bultemeier.

We rejoice with Alex and Ashley Lithtle on the birth of a son, Wyatt Wayne who was born yesterday morning. Keep both mother and child in Your care and be pleased to receive Wyatt into Your family through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.

We remember those who are presently serving our country—Jason Putteet, Alan Bergdall, Mike Brandt, Dean Brandt, Derek Schultz, Josh Stoppenhagen Sam Conrad, Jeremy Nabity, and Chad Hall.  Lord protect and guide them in their missions.

 Great Physician give peace, health and strength to all who are in need of the touch of Your healing hand. If it be Your will restore them. And since it is Your will remain with them in every circumstance.  We especially remember Irene Kiess,  Wyatt Lichtle, Mason Krueckeberg, Rachel Kinninger, Kelly Baumann, Rev. Timothy Carr, Nora Rauner, Cathy Terhune, Maddox Franz, and Leo Feasel.

Help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand, to believe  and find comfort in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


Almighty God our heavenly Father, through Your dear Son You have made us all Your witnesses. Enlighten by Your Holy Spirit all who speak to others the message of salvation through Jesus' blood and merit. Grant Your blessing upon Russ Fuhrmann so that Your Word may reach out and bear much fruit for the growth of Your Church

Receive our thanks for Gloria Werling and for all the blessings You bestowed on [him/her] in this earthly life. Bring us at last to our heavenly home that with [him/her] we may see You face to face in the joys of paradise.

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Lord's Prayer
C  Our Father who art in heaven,
     hallowed be Thy name,
     Thy kingdom come,
     Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
     give us this day our daily bread;
     and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
     and lead us not into temptation,
     but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Introduction to Collects
L O Lord, hear my prayer.
C And let my cry come to You.

Merciful God, Your Son, Jesus Christ, was lifted high upon the cross that He might bear the sins of the world and draw all people to Himself.  Grant that we who glory in His death for our redemption may faithfully heed His call to bear the cross and follow Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, You have safely brought us to the beginning of this day. Defend us in the same with Your mighty power and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, but that all our doings, being ordered by Your governance, may be righteous in Your sight; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.





[1] A Hymn of Glory Let us Sing stanza six, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 

Time in the Word Proper 20



A Study for Proper 20
September 15 - 20, 2014
God’s Generosity

In the Lessons for this week the Gospel, as usual, gives the key to the theme of the day. When a payment time comes for the laborers in the vineyard, it was learned that each was to receive equal pay regardless of hours worked. The reward is the same in the Kingdom whether we enter early or late. They who return to the Lord (Old Testament reading) will receive mercy and pardon. In the Epistle lesson, Paul says he does not know whether to live or die, because death would mean a closer relationship with Christ, his greatest reward. The Lord is good to all. The suggested Psalm relates to the Old Testament lesson – “seek the Lord.” The hymn emphasizes our stewardship of life and harmonizes with the Gospel with its emphasis on working in the Kingdom.

Monday, September 15, 2014 – Psalm 116:12-13, 15 - Antiphon, verse 17: “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” – This psalm is a song of deliverance from death. David or another king such as Hezekiah may have written it. (See Isaiah 38:10-20)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Psalm 27:1-9 - This week’s Psalm is David’s triumphant prayer to God to deliver him from all those who conspire to bring him down. The prayer presupposes the Lord’s covenant with David. It is faith which publicly testifies to the Psalmist’s confident reliance on the Lord.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Isaiah 55:6-9 - Generosity of mercy to all who return. In Sunday’s first reading, the prophet’s hearers are encouraged to seek God and return to Him for mercy and pardon. God’s thoughts and ways are totally different from ours. This truth is illustrated in today’s reading, the parable of laborers in the vineyard. If God were like the world, he would not take back his enemies and freely pardon them. The world, rather, would seek revenge and treat enemies with hatred. We, by our nature, do not love or seek reconciliation. We hate and kill and never, never forgive. God is so different — thank God for that!  Those who return to the Lord in repentance will receive mercy and pardon. The same thought is echoed in the much loved hymn, “Just as I Am”

Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Philippians 1:1-5; 6-11; 19-27 - Our Epistle lesson for this week speaks of the generosity of Christ both in life and in death. Paul finds life on earth is Christ while the anticipation of death is gain. Paul says he does not know whether to live or die, because death would mean a closer relationship with Christ, his greatest reward. Thus our life here on earth is nothing but preparation for our life to be lived in glory.

Friday, September 19, 2014 – Matthew 20:1-16 - The parable of the laborers in the vineyard in the Gospel lesson for this coming week reminds us that God’s generosity is equal to all. When payment time came for the laborers in the vineyard, it was learned that each was to receive equal pay regardless of hours worked. The reward is the same in the kingdom whether we enter early or late. The thief on the cross receives the same reward as the faithful Christian who lives eighty plus years. Are we to spurn God’s generosity?

Saturday, September 20, 2014 –1 John 3:17 - Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn, “We Give Thee But Thine Own.” How does this hymn harmonize with our theme for today? It emphasizes our stewardship of life and harmonizes with the Gospel with its emphasis on working in the Lord’s Kingdom. How has the Lord blessed your life? How will you return a portion to Him this coming week?
  
Collect for Proper 20 – Lord God heavenly Father, since we cannot stand before You relying on anything we have done, help us trust in Your abiding grace and live according to Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Keep, we pray O Lord, Your church with Your perpetual mercy. Because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable.

For Home and Family - Visit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep far from them all harm and danger. Grant us to dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, and may Your blessing be with us forever, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer before we study the Word - Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.

For Schools - Almighty God, our heavenly Father, since You have committed the care and nurture of children to Your people, graciously enlighten those who teach and those who are committed to their instruction that they may know the truth and trust in You all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Sources:
Lutheran Service Book Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis MO © 2006
Lutheran Worship Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis MO © 1980, p. 83
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series A by John Brokhoff © 1980 CSS Publishing Lima OH, p. 253
Image © Ed Rojas Higher Things

Holy Cross

Merciful God, Your Son Jesus Christ was lifted upon a cross that He might bear the sin of the world and draw all people to Himself. Grant that we who glory in His death for our redemption may faithfully heed His call to bear the cross and follow Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Holy Cross



Holy Cross
14 September 2014
John 12:20-33
We Share in the Glory of Christ’s Cross

Almighty God, graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and forever. Amen




Today is Holy Cross Day.   Since Holy Cross Day falls on a Sunday this year, “it is meet, right and salutary” to think about the cross. It is good to consider the reason for which Christ died on the cross. And it is helpful for us to consider what the cross means for us as redeemed children of God. It’s also an opportunity for us to sing some cool and awesome hymns!

As redeemed children of God, we share in the glory of Christ’s cross.

1.       God’s glory was the dominating purpose of Christ’s life.

A.      The time for glory was there for Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. (v.23)
1.       Before this, the time had not been ripe. “My hour has not t come.” (John 2:4)
2.       The life of Jesus was arranged so that He could reveal the glory of the Father by word and deed and then seal that glory by His sacrifice on the cross.
3.       Jesus prayed for this and received an immediate answer. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” (v.28)

B.      The glory that was to come to Christ and the Father is many-sided.
1.       God receives glory every time He reveals Himself to us. It started in Old Testament times through the promise of the Savior. The glory of God is evident from the good things said about God, especially that He is merciful.
2.       When Christ was born, the heavens were filled with angelic voices praising God.
3.       In His ministry, Jesus directed the credit to His Father in heaven. What He said and did was always to give God glory.
4.       The revelation of the glory of God was inclusive. (cf. the Greeks vv.20-22)  Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.  So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”  Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
5.       When the Bible talks of the glory of God and Christ it is talking of God’s righteousness, mercy, and love, along with the total of all His attributes.

2.       Christ’s cross producing His glory.

A.      He despised the cross.
1.       He was a man. According to His human nature, Christ did not look forward to the dreadful sacrifice. We hear His personal struggle in v.27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
2.       Jesus knew that His death would not be peaceful. The Father would forsake Him because he would be suffering for the sins of all. His death was a frightfully depressing prospect.

B.      But Jesus knew that this cross had to be experienced to bear the fruit of His glory.
1.       He likened Himself to a seed that must be planted. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (v.24)
2.       He admits that this is why He came into this world. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” (v.27)
3.       He let Himself be “lifted up” from the earth.

C.      This sacrifice accomplished much for God’s glory.
1.       It brought salvation to all people. “I…will draw all men to Myself” (v.32; again the Greeks) “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.”  He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.”
2.       This sacrifice says the most about God’s righteousness and mercy; everything that needs to be said about God was said when Christ died. That’s glory!

3.       By faith we share the cross and the glory

A.      We share the same attitude toward this life that Christ had, illustrated in the paradox. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”  (v.25)
1.       He who loves life will lose it.
2.       He who hates life will keep it to eternal life.
3.       This life is lost in Christ- lost as far as the world is concerned.

B.      Such a life will bring honor.
1.       The glory we share as slaves of the Master is a gift.
2.       The heaven prepared for us is the same one Jesus occupies. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:11-3)

The glory the Father has and shares with us could not have happened without the cross. The cross is gory, but it the stuff of which lasting glory is made.

__________
Words – 950
Passive Sentences –5%
Readability – 83%
Reading Level – 4.7

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Prayers for the occasion of the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC


Prayers for the occasion of the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks 

 New York City and Washington DC



Prayer for peace in the world: Heavenly Father, God of all concord, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns…

Prayer for our enemies: Forgive, we implore You, O Lord, our enemies, and so change their hearts that they may walk with us in sincerity and peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns…





Prayer for the armed forces of our nation: Lord God of hosts, stretch forth Your almighty arm to strengthen and protect those who serve in the armed forces of our country. Support them in times of war, and in times of peace keep them from all evil, giving them courage and loyalty. Grant that in all things they may serve with integrity and with honor; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns…

Prayer for good government: Eternal Lord, ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that, guided by Your Spirit, they may be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns…

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Time in the Word - Proper 19


Forgiving as the Lord Forgives Us
In settling His accounts with us, our Lord acts not with anger, but with compassion. He does not imprison us as we deserve, but He forgives all our debts and releases us (Matt. 18:23–27). Therefore, our Lord bids each of us to have “mercy on your fellow servant,” and “forgive your brother from your heart” (Matt 18:33, 35). By the Lord’s forgiveness of our sins, we are free to forgive those who sin against us, because He has been handed over to the jailers in our stead, and He has paid our entire debt with His lifeblood. Whether we live or die, we “are the Lord’s” (Rom. 14:8). Since we all will “stand before the judgment seat of God,” we are not to despise our brother (Rom. 14:10), but gladly forgive him. By the grace of God, our brother also “will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Rom. 14:4). Though we daily sin against each other, the Lord intends “to bring it about that many people should be kept alive” (Gen. 50:20). Jesus speaks kindly by His Gospel and promises: “I will provide for you and your little ones” (Gen 50:21).




O God, our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness, hear the devout prayers of Your Church, especially in times of persecution, and grant that what we ask in faith we may obtain; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for deliverance from sin: We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishments that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns…

Collect for the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: O God, our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness, hear the devout prayers of Your Church, especially in times of persecution, and grant that what we ask in faith we may obtain; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayer for deliverance from sin: We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishments that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .

Prayers for the occasion of the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks:

Prayer for peace in the world: Heavenly Father, God of all concord, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .

Prayer for our enemies: Forgive, we implore You, O Lord, our enemies, and so change their hearts that they may walk with us in sincerity and peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .

Prayer for the armed forces of our nation: Lord God of hosts, stretch forth Your almighty arm to strengthen and protect those who serve in the armed forces of our country. Support them in times of war, and in times of peace keep them from all evil, giving them courage and loyalty. Grant that in all things they may serve with integrity and with honor; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .

Prayer for good government: Eternal Lord, ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that, guided by Your Spirit, they may be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .

Time in the Word
8-13 September 2014
Preparation for next week, Proper 19


Monday, 8 September 2014Psalm 143:1–2; Antiphon, Psalm 143:9Psalm 143 is the last of the seven penitential psalms. It is, like many of David’s other psalms, a plea to the Lord to rescue him from his enemies. David does not appeal to his own goodness or righteousness, however, but explicitly confesses that no one living is righteous before you. Therefore, he must beg the mercy of the Lord: In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! This is how we, too, must approach the Lord when we ask Him to rescue us from earthly and spiritual enemies—acknowledging, as we do in the catechism, that we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment, and acknowledging that He delivers  us purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014Psalm 103:1–12What a beautiful psalm of comfort! David praises the Lord for all His benefits to us: He forgives all our iniquity, heals all our diseases, redeems our life from the pit, and more. Why? Because the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014Genesis 50:15–21—Joseph’s brothers had done the unthinkable—they had sold him into slavery and told their father that his son was dead, eaten by wild animals. Years later, they were astounded to find out that Joseph was still alive and serving in Pharaoh’s court, as the most powerful man in all of Egypt after Pharaoh. So long as their father was alive, they thought that they were safe from Joseph’s retribution; however, after Jacob’s death, they feared for their lives. Incredibly, Joseph forgave them. He recognized the hand of God at work in his life. Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers ought to serve as an example to us, particularly when we find it so hard to forgive petty sins of others.

Thursday, 11 September 2014Romans 14:1–12—Our reading through Paul’s letter to the Romans continues with Paul warning us against judging other Christians—especially those new to the faith or weak in faith. Two extremes must be avoided: measuring and judging others by comparing them to ourselves or our own standards; and failing to use the Word of God to judge.
Paul reminds us that we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. What will be the standard? The same as here on earth: God’s holy Word, as revealed to us in the Bible.

Friday, 12 September 2014Matthew 18:21–35—When we hear this parable, our first reaction is probably the same as the king’s: indignation and fury against the servant who was unmerciful, especially after he had been forgiven a far greater debt. We must ask ourselves: Are we like the unmerciful servant? God has forgiven all our sins at great cost—the life of His own Son. We ought to examine ourselves: Is there anyone against whom we hold a grudge, refusing to forgive because we have been wronged? If so, we are like the unmerciful servant. Rather, we ought to remember the Lord’s Prayer, where we plead, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. That is, we beg God’s forgiveness, and then pledge that we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

Saturday, 10 September 2011—The hymn of the day, I Lay My Sins on Jesus (LSB #606), is a hymn of great comfort, as we sing of our confession of all our sins—laying them on Jesus—and also as we sing of our absolution, our forgiveness—He bears them all and frees us from the accursed load. What a relief our forgiveness in Christ is! What Good News that God forgives us for Jesus’ sake and receives us into His kingdom.

Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, © WELS

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House