Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mary Magdalene




Almighty God, Your Son Jesus Christ restored Mary Magdalene to health and called her to be the first witness of His resurrection. Heal us from all infirmities, and call us to know You in the power of Your Son's unending life; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Commemoration of Ezekiel

Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Ezekiel, You continued the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrating through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son our Savior, the final end times prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and Sacraments; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Time in the Word - Proper 12



Three parables of the nature of the kingdom of God are told by the Savior in the Gospel for this coming week. Three parables are directed to the disciples concerning the kingdom. The first two deal with the kingdom as being of top value worthy of any sacrifice to gain it. The third parable concerns are similar to wheat and the weeds parable, the separation of the good and the wicked on Judgment Day. Jesus asks the disciples if they understand these parables. They claimed that they understood. Consequently, they were to be scribes trained for the kingdom who bring out of the treasure the old and the new.

The old truths are to be applied to the new conditions in the world. These are addressed in our Epistle and Old Testament lessons for the coming week.

Collect for Proper 12 Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope, and love that, receiving what You have promised, we may love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, July 21, 2014 – Psalm 105:2-6 – This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 1, “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” The psalmist exhorts us to worship the Lord. Thus, we are called upon to give thanks to God through our worship and praise. When we call upon God and as we give thanks, our worship shall be blessed. Praise and prayer are the two expressions of our worship. As we recall the many acts of kindness the Lord has given to us, we will trust in Him and share with others what He has done. We will make known among the people His many deeds.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 Deuteronomy 7:6-9 - The Lord is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love. We are loved and blessed because the Lord first loved us. Yet this love must be reciprocated by His people to others. Thus in the New Testament we are reminded, “We love because He first loved us” {1 John 4:19}.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 Romans 8: 28-39 - The Father spared not His own Son but gave Him up for us all. These words are read at many Christian funerals. They have comforted many troubled hearts. They have soothed and given encouragement to many who are troubled. St. Paul’s words are sure. No charge can be brought against the Christian because the Father has already pronounced a verdict! Not guilty! How so? No one can condemn God’s elect. Christ has died for you. He is alive at the right hand of God. He is interceding for you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014Matthew 13:44-52 – Christ treasures the world, and so He redeems it. Jesus likens the kingdom of God to a treasure, something of supreme worth.
It is a treasure of infinite worth because it is the kingdom of God. This includes Jesus, the priceless treasure, the riches of grace, and the wealth of God’s love. This treasure is discovered by accident. It is always found where no one expected it.

The kingdom of God can be a surprise. It may come in unexpected ways and places. Must we ask whether the average Christian considers Christianity the top treasure?

Both the farmer and the merchant sold all their goods to get the treasure.

This implies that the two men considered all their possessions to be inferior to the treasure or the pearl. It was a matter of establishing priorities. Because the treasure and pearl were evaluated as the best, the price of total sell-out, or exchanging all other possessions, was considered worth the price.

When a person finds a treasure, how can he help but be overjoyed? If a merchant has been looking for the perfect pearl for years and then finds it, is there any wonder that he would be as happy as can be? Many church members lack the joy of being Christians. They are not happy about their religion. Could this be the reason? They have not found the treasure or the pearl of Christ.

Friday, July 25, 2014 – Psalm 125 - This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. This psalm speaks of Israel’s peace in testimony, prayer, and benediction. Bible scholars believe it was written after the exile when those held in Babylonian captivity were allowed to return to the Jewish homeland. This psalm was most likely prayed as part of the liturgy in the Jewish worship service. Thus, the Psalms we pray in worship reach back into the Old Testament. Through the centuries, our prayers h


Saturday, July 26, 2014 – Joshua 24:16 –This passage is the inspiration for the hymn, “From God can nothing move me” {LSB 524}. The people react to Joshua’s commitment to serve the Lord. The people respond, “We will not serve other gods. If we say of the Lord, “He is our God,” we cannot serve any other.

For blessing on the Word – Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, my Lord.

A prayer before we study the WordAlmighty 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 others and ourselves in Your holy faith.

A prayer for Pentecost 6: O God, the Protector of all who trust in You, without whom nothing is strong and nothing is holy, increase and multiply Your mercy on us that with You as our Ruler and Guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Sources:
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A © 1980 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima, OH

Commemoration of Elijah

Lord God, heavenly Father, through the prophet Elijah, You continued the prophetic pattern of teaching Your people the true faith and demonstrated through miracles Your presence in creation to heal it of its brokenness. Grant that Your Church may see in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the final end-times prophet whose teaching and miracles continue in Your Church through the healing medicine of the Gospel and Sacraments, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Proper 11

Proper 11
20 July 2014
Matthew 13:24-30
The Good planting of the Kingdom

Jesus explains the parable of the wheat and the weeds at the request of His disciples. That’s a good thing! Now we know the meaning of the parable too! The Son of Man (Jesus) sows good seed into the field of the world, producing children of the kingdom. The devil, on the other hand, sows bad seed, producing evildoers. At the end of the age, that is, at the end of all time – angels will remove from the kingdom all evildoers. When that happens, then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

There is a lesson for each of us to heed. Nothing good happens after midnight. In the middle of the night, the enemy sows his seeds.  While Jesus will be sowing His Word producing His followers around the world until His return (Acts 1:8), Satan refuses to give up! He too will also be distributing his followers to counter Jesus’ message and ministry.

There are in fact two forces at work. The word of God will not stop. But there is another who works just as well. The work of the devil will also continue until the end of time.  Thus, we must consider the planting of the Kingdom.

1.        God plants His kingdom in our world.
A. Jesus is the one who plants and sows.
1.            He does this through the preached word and sacraments.
2.            It will always accomplish what He desires. “My Word will not return unto me void…” He has promised.
B. The good seeds are the sons, the children of the kingdom.
1.            We have been incorporated into Christ’s family the church. “Build upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Christ Jesus being the chief cornerstone.”
2.            We now have a relationship with each other. Last names stop when we enter the church door.
C. The field is the world; the goal of missions is the world.
1.            Christ uses you to be His witness. You share Christ where you live.
2.            The church grows not by programs, plans, or agendas but only through people using God’s means of grace. As they share the word the Holy Spirit is there drawing men to Himself.
3.            An encouragement – to be people in mission. Lutheran Hour ministries’ theme says it all, “Bringing Christ to the nations and the nations to the church.” Invite someone! That’s all you’re asked to do.

Transition: “Have no fear little flock...” Jesus has told us. “For the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom” in spite of what the devil might attempt to do. Christ’s kingdom will continue to flourish and grow although it is met with resistance. Where Christ builds a church the devil will erect a chapel.

2.     Satan attempts to destroy the Kingdom.
           A. Satan sows the tares in the field.
1.            We are living in the world – with its own agenda and worldview, one, which is foreign to Christ’s will and way.
2.            The ways of the world are so designed as to choke out the things of Christ.

3.            Jesus knowing all this prayed that we would be kept from the evil one as He prayed in His high priestly prayer. (John 17:6-12)
B. God’s children are tempted to destroy the terrors.
1.            Radical groups attempt their desire through moral control.  Will it work?
2.            It cannot work for two reasons.
a.             We can’t look into the soul of every man.
b.             We can’t control every man’s actions.
3.             You can’t legislate morality; the devil’s tentacles are too deep. We simply cannot change man’s base nature.
C. Christ warns us to be patient.
1.            He alone is the judge. He will rule and judge perfectly at the right time – on judgment day.
2.             He will judge with equity and justly.

 We need not fear that the world will overcome us. Jesus has already overcome the world. Fare thee well son and daughter of the king, for the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom, have no fear little flock!

Words – 678
Passive Sentences – 8%
Reading Ease – 81.9

Reading Level – 4.4

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Commemoration of Ruth

O God, whose never-failing providence orders all things both in heaven and earth, we humbly implore You to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things that are profitable to us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Time in the Word - Proper 11


There is a tension between the faithful and the unfaithful. The unfaithful are the weeds of the parable in the Gospel, while the wheat is God’s faithful people.  In the final judgment, the unfaithful are excluded while the faithful are accepted by God. In the Old Testament lesson the faithful acknowledge God to be the one and only God. For the faithful who are weak, the Spirit intercedes for them. The prayers of the faithful are echoed in the great hymn of the church, “Lord keep us steadfast in Thy Word.”

For the work of the congregation – Almighty God and Lord, as You have called us to labor in Your vineyard, so grant us now Your presence. Enlighten and guide us by Your Word that in all matters of deliberation we may always consider the best interests of Your church and this congregation. Let Your Holy Spirit rule and direct our hearts that, in the spirit of Christian love, we may present and discuss matters and be kindly disposed toward one another, to the end that all we say and do may please You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer before we study the WordAlmighty 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.

Collect for Proper 11O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your final judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You in perfect joy hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, July 14, 2014 – Psalm 86:1-15 – This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 6, “Give ear, O lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.” In our need we pray to the Lord because out of His kindness and love our Lord answers each prayer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 Isaiah 44:6-8 – The faithful believe in the one true God. There is no god but God. It could be that Isaiah in these words is recalling a song of Moses, which describes God as “the Rock” (see Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 30-31). This metaphor of the Lord is also common in the book of Psalms (see Psalm 18:2).

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 Romans 8:18-27 – The faithful have the Spirit intercede for them. The Spirit intercedes for those who do not know how to pray. Both creation and creatures groan for redemption. Paul sees redemption in its cosmic perspective. With Adam the whole creation fell and the ground was cursed. It is in a state of decay and the whole creation groans for redemption from its bondage of decay and death. Nature is tooth and fang and it exists on the principle of “dog eat dog.” Paul sees the release of nature’s bondage when there will be a new heaven and a new earth at the time of the Savior’s return. Humanity’s sin pollutes nature, ravishes the good earth, and threatens creatures with extinction. Human beings share in this longing for redemption which by faith in Christ we now experience in part. With creation we long for the full redemption of our bodies when Christ returns.

Thursday, July 17, 2014Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43 – The faithful enter heaven in the parable of the wheat and the weeds. The parable of the wheat and weeds and Jesus’ explanation of its meaning is given here. Jesus gives this parable because he is criticized for associating with sinners and outcasts (verses 24-30). The allegorical explanation of the parable is the product of the early church as the parable applied to it in its day (verses 36-40).
The parable teaches that we are not to judge who is a true or false Christian. We are not to weed out the weeds because in doing so, we would destroy the wheat. On the Day of Judgment, God will judge and separate the weeds and the wheat. Until that time comes the church needs to have patience and forbearance of the weeds among the wheat.

The wheat (good) and the weeds (bad) are in the kingdom, not in the world. We could understand it if the parable applied to the world where there are all kinds of people. The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of God is God’s realm, God’s people, the church. The church of God consists of good and evil, wheat and weeds.

Friday, July 18, 2014 – Psalm 119:57-64 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. This section falls under the Hebrew letter “Heth.” The Lord is the psalmist’s true homestead because it is God’s law that fills the earth with all that makes life secure and joyous. So God’s promises are his hope and God’s righteous laws his delight.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn “In holy conversation” {LSB 772}. The eternal consequences of sin are more serious than any physical ailment. Thus we look to Christ who has borne our diseases and carried our sorrows.

Sources:
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1942 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A © 1980 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima, OH