Friday, August 14, 2020

August 14—Friday prior to Pentecost 11 – Proper 15



Father welcomes all His children To His family through His Son. Father giving His salvation. Life forever has been won.” – Father Welcomes,” Lutheran Service Book #605

Matthew 15:21–28 Jesus heals a Canaanite woman’s daughter. In this regard faith embraces Christ – which is NOT about doing right things. Or being correct. Performing rituals to perfection. Or even eating certain foods. It is what is on the inside which is the most important.

This Canaanite woman is an unlikely candidate to be the ideal follower of Jesus. She’s Gentile. Yet she calls Jesus, “Lord” and “Son of David.” Unlike Peter who fails to understand anything Jesus was doing. Along with Jesus’ other disciples, who attempt to chase her away.

Discipleship is not automatic. Instead, a true believer is one who has absolute faith in Jesus. Paul in this week’s epistle (Romans 11:1–2a, 13–15, 28–32) is attempting to come to grips with the reality that his own people have not accepted Jesus as the Christ.  Yet all have been disobedient alike – both Jews and Gentiles together. In spite of everything, God is able to work through our disobedience to show us His mercy, love and care. 

In Jesus’ conversation with the Canaanite woman there is a wonderful exchange of words. Jesus responds to her by saying, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the family puppy.” She replies by saying, “Yes, Lord, yet even the mutts off the street eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.”

By her persistent prayer, that Jesus would have mercy and help her, even in the face of His initial silence and apparent rejection. This Canaanite woman boldly confessed her faith in Christ.

Her beautiful example encourages us to cling to the words and promises of the Gospel.  Even in the face of the Law.  That accuses and condemns us. Do not think you can walk your way into the Kingdom of God by some grand achievement. Paul commands a life of faith. By faith we receive the Father’s gifts. By faith we get precisely what we don’t deserve. And even more! That is why grace will always be karma’s worst nightmare.

Let Your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Your help, protect and govern it always by Your goodness; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. ~ Collect for Pentecost 11

Lutheran Service Book ©2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts “The Crucifixion” copyright © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.  

Morning Prayer Reading #3


Man in Paradise 
Genesis 2:7-9, 15-18, 21-25


Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat [a] of it you shall surely die.”

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for[b] him.

21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[a] into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”[b]

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Footnotes:
Genesis 2:22 Hebrew built
Genesis 2:23 The Hebrew words for woman (ishshah) and man (ish) sound alike

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts "Man in Paradise" copyright © WELS used with permission for personal and congregational use 

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

August 13— Thursday prior to Pentecost 11 – Proper 15



St. Paul concludes, “That he may have mercy on all.” (Romans 11:32). The Canaanite woman from this Sunday’s Gospel reading, (Matthew 15:21–28) boldly confessed her faith in Christ. This woman’s faith and hope were not disappointed.  Her prayers were answered in the mercy of Christ. Not only does He grant us the crumbs from His table. He also feeds us with “the children’s bread” in the house of His Father.  

Faith believes that God is not a Divine Accountant of Probation Officer. Rather, He’s an indulgent father. Who throws a party for his indigent son. He’s like an employer, who pays employees a full day’s wage even though they only worked an hour. He’s like a lavish wedding host, who provides copious amounts of only the best and finest wine. He’s your Good Shepherd content to leave behind ninety-nine of His herd in safety. Who will risk all to save just one that is lost. 

This is the God who desires to bless all people I’m tempted to curse. He includes those whom I’d exclude. And embraces the very people I would shun. This good news, He says, is for all people. No one is to be excluded from the Father’s presence.

May this be our prayer, Lord, through the power of the Gospel - eclipse fear and hatred. By the power of Your love - eclipse violence and injustice. By the mercies of Christ - eclipse racism and bigotry.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts “The Crucifixion” copyright © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

Morning Prayer Reading #2


The Creation Part 2
Genesis 1:20-2:3

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[a] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.



24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man [b] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.


Footnotes:
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut "The Fifth Day of Creation," "The Sixth Day of Creation," "The Seventh Day of Creation," copyright © WELS used with permission for personal and congregational use 

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

August 12— Wednesday prior to Pentecost 11 – Proper 15




Isaiah 56:1, 6–8—Writing about 700 years before Christ, Isaiah prophesies of the LORD: Soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance will be revealed. The LORD’s salvation and righteousness have been revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Because of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for all, regardless of race, the LORD is pleased to gather to Himself people of all nations and races, and accepts their offerings and sacrifices: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.

The Lord Jesus gave His command to reach out the entire world with the message of His salvation, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)  

This prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost as Peter proclaimed, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) and further, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) The end result was growth, “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)

Jesus calls us to himself and to his cross. Now, the Lord hears our prayers and accepts our sacrifice of praise upon the altar of His cross. (Isaiah 56:7)

Prayer for the mission of the Church: Almighty God, You have called Your Church to witness that in Christ You have reconciled us to Yourself. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may proclaim the good news of Your salvation so that all who hear it may receive the gift of salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,

Go into all the world, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Collect from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Morning Prayer #1


The Creation Part 1
Genesis 1:1-19 (selected verses)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.



6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made[b] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.[c] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.



9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[d] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.



14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[f] and for days and years,  16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.



Images: Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts, "The First Day of Creation," "The Second Day of Creation," "The Third Day of Creation," "The Fourth Day of Creation."  copyright © from WELS used with permission for personal and congregational use


Footnotes:
Genesis 1:6 Or a canopy; also verses 7, 8, 14, 15, 17, 20
Genesis 1:7 Or fashioned; also verse 16
Genesis 1:8 Or Sky; also verses 9, 14, 15, 17, 20, 26, 28, 30; 2:1
Genesis 1:10 Or Land; also verses 11, 12, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30; 2:1
Genesis 1:11 Or small plants; also verses 12, 29
Genesis 1:14 Or appointed times
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

August 11 — Tuesday prior to Pentecost 11 – Proper 15


Psalm 67—All of the readings for this coming week express the fact that God’s salvation is for all people. The psalmist begins with the familiar Aaronic blessing. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace" (Numbers 6:24–26) For thousands of years God’s people have received this blessing. It is the benediction spoken to the people of God at the conclusion of the Divine Service.  It is a blessing God speaks to you individually and personally.

This blessing originally applied to the children of Israel, but then extends it to all people;” that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.”

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known upon earth,
your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.

The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us;
let all the ends of the earth revere him.

When we pray with Psalm 67 that "God continue to bless us" or when we end the end of the worship service with the promise that "the Lord's face shine upon you," we do so for the sake of God's mission. In order that through God's people, all of the world might experience God's saving help.

Prayer for Psalm 67 – Father through your power the earth has brought forth its noblest fruit, the tree of the cross. Unite all people in its embrace, and feed them with its fruit, everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for Psalm 67, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY
The Trinity copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things