Monday, August 3, 2015

Joanna, Mary, Salome Myrrh bearers

Almighty God, Your crucified and buried Son did not remain in the tomb for long., Give us joy in the tasks set before us, that we might carry out faithful acts of service as did Joanna, Mary and Salome, offering to You the sweet perfume of our grateful hearts, so that we, too, may see the glory of your resurrection and proclaim the Good News with unrestrained eagerness and fervor worked in us through Lord Jesus Christ who rose and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Time in the Word - Pentecost 11 - Proper 14

Time in the Word
August 3-8 2015
Pentecost 11 -Proper 14

Collect for Pentecost 11Gracious Father, Your blessed Son came down from heaven to be the true bread that gives life to the world. Grant that Christ, the bread of life, may live in us and we in Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Collect for Proper 14Gracious Father, You blessed Son came down from heaven to be the true bread that gives life to the world. Grant that Christ, the bread of life, may live in us and we in Him, who loves and reigns with You and the holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Before the study of God’s WordAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate our study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For reconciliationGod of love, through Your Son You have commanded us to love one another. By the guidance of Your Word and Spirit, deliver us from impenitence and teach us the truth that we might confess our sins, receive Your forgiveness, and be reconciled to one another; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

For guidance in our callingLord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For proper use of leisureO God, give us times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life. Grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds that we may be opened to the goodness of Your creation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 For a right knowledge of ChristAlmighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us perfectly to know Your Son, Jesus Christ, to be the way, the truth, and the life, that following His steps we may steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For steadfast faithAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The theme for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost is “Eat and Live”. His own people, the Jews, grumbled when Jesus told them that He is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven. They saw Him only as a man, not the Savior who had been promised from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden after the Fall (Genesis 3:15). Their own expectations of God’s promised Deliverer blinded them to the fact that He was standing before them.

Christ Jesus offers His gift of eternal salvation to all who will receive it. He calls them, and the Father draws them to Him. But some, because of the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their sin, reject the good gift that God has for them. May we ever nourish our faith through our regular church attendance, hearing the word of God preached and proclaimed, and receiving the body and blood of Christ.

Monday, 3 August 2015—Psalm 34:8–10; Antiphon, Psalm 145:16—The antiphon should be familiar to us, as it is part of the prayer before a meal which Luther included in the Catechism. The psalmist David then says to taste and see that the Lord is good. How are we to do this? St Peter tell us that we should be like newborn infants, longing for the pure spiritual milk. We have tasted that the Lord is good, for we have heard His Word of forgiveness and salvation, we have eaten of His Holy Supper, and we long for more.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015—Psalm 34:1–8—The psalm appointed for next week is one taken from a bizarre incident in the life of David, when he pretended to be insane before Achish, a Palestinian king in the line of Abimelech. The entire story is recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David exhorts us to extol the Lord at all times, for as the Lord delivered David in answer to his prayer, so He also has delivered us from sin, death, and the devil.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015—1 Kings 19:1–8—Despite the fact that the Lord had shown that He alone is the true God in Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal, wicked Queen Jezebel clung to her false gods and sought to kill Elijah. To escape, Elijah fled to the wilderness near Beersheba. There, the Lord fed him with bread. The Lord feeds us also; not through the ministrations of an angel, but by farmers, truckers, stock-boys, and grocery-store clerks. “God gives daily bread to everyone…we pray that He would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.”

Thursday, 6 August 2015—Ephesians 4:17—5:2—In this section of our reading from the book of Ephesians, St Paul tells us that, since we have been set free from bondage to sin and death, we should live outwardly in way that reflects our new life in Christ. We are to live as children of light, no longer living in the darkness of sin. Those in the world ought to see a difference in how Christians live versus how the rest of the world lives. As children of God, we imitate God, not the ways of the world.
Friday, 7 August 2015—John 6:35–51—“I am the Bread of Life,” declares Jesus. The bread that He gives is better than earthly bread, for that can only sustain the body while we sojourn in this earthly vale of tears. The bread that Jesus gives—the bread that Jesus is—sustains our souls for all eternity. Jesus gives Himself for the life of the world.

Saturday, 8 August 2015—Again this week, the hymn of the day is O Living Bread from Heaven (LSB 642). This second stanza proclaims that we have been led by the Lord to His house to receive His good gifts of forgiveness. We could not, and do not, do this on our own, but He leads us, and then feeds us with Word and Sacrament. The ‘food’ we receive in the Divine Service is better than the food we eat daily at our meals, for it is food that gives eternal life.

My Lord, You have led me
To this most holy place.
And with Yourself have fed me
The treasures of Your grace;
For You have freely given
What earth could never buy,
The bread of life from heaven,
That now I shall not die.
-Lutheran Service Book 642:2

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut used with permission from WELS

Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pentecost 10 - Proper 13

Proper 13
2 August 2015
John 6:22-35

 Let Your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church. Because it cannot continue in safety without Your help, protect and govern it always by Your goodness…

The people seek Jesus. They took a lot of time and travel back then. In that day. It was a long distance. To find Him.  To seek Jesus is praise worthy. But is He sought for the right reason?

The crowd wanted Him to give them more physical bread. And why not? After all. He had just fed five thousand. Beside women and children.  The seating capacity for Mackey Arena in West Lafayette is 14,846.  That’s how many stomachs were filled on that day. With plenty left over. For that crowd. Jesus was their meal ticket. And they were willing and eager for Jesus to work His magic. 

Think of our modern Thanksgiving Day celebrations. Where too often, the focus is on a feat. And football. And Friday sales. Where thanking the Lord is a complete afterthought. The crowd did not want Jesus for Himself. As the Lord and giver of life.  As their Sustainer and Savior. They wanted Him as only the provider of food.   Yet Jesus makes it clear. He wanted no “rice Christians”!

Jesus urged the crowd not to labor for physical food. But for food which satisfied. Indeed. It does take effort and labor to raise food in a garden and on the farm. People work hard. And put in incredible long hours to earn a living.

So how does one labor for spiritual food? Jesus explains, that work, is to believe in Him. Jesus’ point is this – Heavenly bread is a gift. And faith is necessary to accept it as a gift.

1.            Heavenly Bread is a Gift.

A.            Salvation is a gift of the Bread of Life. “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” V. 27 Physical food is important. Without sustenance, we perish. Malnutrition is a serious threat. Even in the heartland. That’s why we participate in Pak Away Hunger every single year. Because there are people. Going to bed hungry. In our own neighborhood. But an even greater danger is spiritual starvation.  But more important is that food that endures to eternal life. Life, which only the Son can give.  This life, which Jesus offers, is so important that the Father has set His seal.  Seals are important. You receive an invitation in the mail with a waxed seal attached to the letter you know it’s something official and significant.  A marriage license comes with the seal of the County Clerk attached to it. Baptism and confirmation certificates are affixed with the congregation’s official seal. The official seal of your heavenly Father is His Son Jesus. And on that, seal are written the words, “it is finished!” For at a cross the Son suffered and died, assuring you of your forgiveness in Christ.  On Him, God has set his seal. That seal cannot be broken. It is His oath and promise. In Christ, all sin is forgiven – period!

B.            Where does it come from? “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”V.33 This bread is Jesus - who is...the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary and was made man…” 

This bread is Jesus. “…he is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity…For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the living and the dead.” 

2.            Faith is necessary to receive it as gift.

A.            Faith is the receptive agent. “Jesus answered them; This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” V. 29 Faith in Jesus was the purpose of all Jesus’ signs. At the miraculous feeding, the crowd saw only the gifts. Not the Giver. Like the ten lepers. They became fixated on themselves. Only one returned to give thanks. And he was a foreigner.

B.            How it is received. “…that you believe in him…” V. 29 Remember Jesus’ first miracle. He turned water into wine. Jesus never performed miracles for His own attention. He always performed miracle on behalf of others.

John reminds us, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:11) Jesus singled out one necessary work. Faith in Jesus. This is God’s gift to you. And what does faith do? It trusts! Like a toddler. Clinging to her mother. That’s all she knows to do. That’s all she can do. The only thing faith knows is to trust. That’s why you cling to Jesus. That’s all you know to do.

C.            Why receive it. “Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” V. 35 Two little words set Jesus apart. “I am.” Jesus clearly identified Himself as the source of real life, which lasts forever. You receive Him in Faith. And in this faith, you live. And move.  And have your being. Jesus. He is the center of all that we are. All that we have. All that we do. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Yes, it really is all about Jesus!

Words – 1.065
Passive Sentences –4%
Readability – 81.9%

Reading Level – 3.8

Friday, July 31, 2015

Joseph of Arimathea

Merciful God, Your servant Joseph of Arimathea prepared the body of our Lord and Savior for burial with reverence and godly fear and laid Him in his own tomb. As we follow the example of Joseph, grant to us, grace and courage to love and serve Jesus with sincere devotion all the days of our lives; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mary, Martha Lazarus of Bethany


Lord, teach us to be like Jesus' death friends from Bethany, that we might serve Him faithfully like Martha, learn from Him earnestly like Mary, and ultimately be raised by Him like Lazarus. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

J S Bach

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty and majestic in holiness, You have taught us in Holy Scripture to sing Your praises and have given to Your servant Johann Sebastian Bach grace to show forth Your glory in his music. Continue to grant this gift of inspiration all Your servants who write and make music for Your people, that with joy we on earth may glimpse Your beauty and at length know the inexhaustible richness of Your creation in Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Time in the Word Pentecost 10 - Proper 13

This coming Sunday marks an interlude in the long series of passages from Mark during the Pentecost season. The Gospels for three Sundays are taken in course from John 6 - The Bread of Life chapter. Jesus explains that the people have come for more physical bread, but He would rather they had spiritual food which comes from heaven, food for the soul. He then identifies Himself as the bread from heaven similar to the manna God sent to His people in the wilderness. The Old Testament. Paul speaks repeatedly of growth into the fullness of Christ’s stature and growth as “bodily growth”.  As everyone knows, physical growth is not possible without adequate food. The Psalm of the Day sings of God’s goodness and greatness in satisfying the physical needs of every person. Jesus our Savior fills our deepest needs.

Collect for Proper 13Merciful 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. Amen

Monday, 27 July 2015—Psalm 78:23-25, Antiphon, Psalm 78:72 – With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with His skillful hand. Israel under the care of the Lord’s royal shepherd from the house of David was for the prophets the hope of God’s people (see Ezekiel 34:23; 37:23 Micah 5:4) fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 2:6’ John 10:11; Revelation 7:17)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015—Psalm145:10-21; key verse v15—The eyes of all look to You and You give them their food at the proper time. This is a psalm of praise and fitting for our theme for this week. The Lord is the provider of all both physical and spiritual blessings. He supplies physical food for us daily as we acknowledge in the Lord’s Prayer. He also supplies us spiritually as He comes to us through the means of grace.  

Wednesday, 29 July 2015— Exodus 16:2-15—  In response to the people’s complaint that they had no food, the Lord sends food from heaven. Only a few weeks after deliverance from Egypt the people complain about the lack of food. They murmur against Moses and Aaron, but God knows that hey complain about Him. They doubt whether the Lord cares about them and His ability to provide for them. In response to their complaints the Lord sends quail in the evening and bread, “manna,” in the morning. To this day the Manna is a mystery – “What is it?”  Moses answered, “it is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.” By this the people are to know that He is their God.

Thursday, 30 July 2015—Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 — Bread makes for bodily growth. Christians are to live lives worthy of their calling in love, unity, and growth to maturity in Christ. The church is urged to become what they are by the grace of Christ. Paul appeals for unity on the basis of the unity of Spirit and body. Various functions are gifts of Christ to equip the members and to build up the church in love. The goal of the growth is the matching of the stature of Jesus so that we are not children but mature in faith and love.   
Friday, 31 July 2015—John 6:22-35 — Bread satisfies hunger. John urges the people to seek bread from heaven and reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. What is the work of God? Jesus replies that the work of God is to believe in Him. The people ask for a sign that would persuade them to believe in Him and refer to the manna received in the wilderness.

Jesus assures them that God sent the bread from heaven, the bread that gives life to the world. Then they ask Him to give this king of bread. He reveals that He is the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Him and believes in Him will never hunger nor thirst.

In John 6:1-15 is recorded the feeding of the 5,000. (A prelude to the next three Sundays of readings)  Some believe that the crowd could have been over 5,000 as only "men" were counted. If you would count "women and children" it could have been up to 15,000 (See Matthew 14:21). Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana seats close to 17,000 people....

According to the concessions manager the following items were sold at the Indiana v Wisconsin game, on Saturday, March 12, 1994...

 400 1bs of hot dogs,
3,000 popcorn boxes,
8,200 cokes (about 1,000 gallons)
 684 candy bars,
436 nachos,
284 boxes of caramel corn,
917 soft pretzels,
247 polish sausages,
100 sandwiches,
179 bags of peanuts,
50 muffins,
160 cups of coffee.

This game was played on an afternoon, with tip-off scheduled for 2:00 pm. Most fans had eaten their breakfast and had probably had their lunch also! And fans had to pay for their food!

Jesus feeds the crowd freely, without cost! When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" we can know that the Savior will supply us with all that we need to support our body and life.

In the center of Pentecost we will be reading the Bread of Life chapter of John 6. Following are the Gospel readings for the next three Sundays.

August 2, 2015 – Pentecost 11 – [Proper 14] John 6:22-35
Eat More then Bread - The Necessity of spiritual bread for life.

August 9, 2015 – Pentecost 12 – [Proper 15] John 6:35-51
Eat and Live – Spiritual food gives eternal life

August 16, 2015 – Pentecost 13 – [Proper 16] John 6:51-69
To Eat or Not to Eat – The decision whether or not to follow Christ

Saturday, 01 August 2015—John 6:22-58 - Sunday’s hymn of the day, Father, we Thank Thee (LSB 652) is a liturgical hymn based on John 6. The point of Jesus’ teaching and the text of the hymn is that to live spiritually we need the bread which comes from heaven namely our Lord and Savior Jesus. As Christ is received we as the children of God live new lives. Throughout the next several weeks we will be focusing on Jesus’ teaching on this import chapter from the gospel of John. 

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut  used with permission from WELS

Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH