Monday, September 1, 2008

Time in the Word - Proper 18 - September 1-6, 2008

In the Lessons for this week we encounter sinners. What shall we do with our fellow sinners an dhow shall we deal with them? In the Gospel lesson Jesus teaches what we should do to be reconciled to those who sin against us. Ezekiel in the Old Testament lesson reports that God expects us to warn the sinner, who, if he repents, will live. Paul in the Epistle lesson urges obedience to the officials and law of government and teaches that love is the way to obey the law. The Hymn of the Day speaks of the power we as Christians posses to carry out this task. It is found in the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who has called and saved us according to His grace and favor.

Collect for Proper 18O God, from whom all good proceeds, grant to us, Your humble servants, Your holy inspiration, t h at we may set our minds on the things that are right and, by Your merciful guiding, accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, September 1, 2008Psalm 92:1-4 Antiphon, V. 5 How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! In the Introit for next Sunday, the psalmist expressed joy over the Lord’s saving acts. By the Lord acting in our lives we receive the Lord’s mercy and pardon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008Ezekiel 33:7-9 – The obligation to warn sinners. He who warns the wicked shall live. God refers to Ezekiel, the prophet, as one of his watchmen. A watchman is to warn a town that an enemy is coming to destroy the people. A preacher is to warn people that sin will kill them. Sin does bring death to the sinner. Therefore, sin is no light, casual matter to be dismissed by calling it a sickness, a maladjustment, or ignorance. Sin is a serious offense against God that brings death to the person. This reminds us that God is a just God and violations of his holy Law will bring the wrath of God upon the offender. The “watchman” needs not be limited to the professional preacher, but since we believe in the priesthood of believers, each Christian has the responsibility to warn sinners to cease and desist lest death overtake them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008Romans 13:1-10 – The obligation to exhort sinners to obey. Governmental leaders, God’s servants, are to be obeyed and respected. Christians are to obey state officials as servants of God and the law of love which fulfills all laws. The pericope reflects a stable political order in Paul’s time. Christians are to obey state authorities, for they are servants of God appointed by God to resist and punish evildoers by the power of the sword. Therefore, a Christian pays taxes and obeys the laws. Moreover, the laws of God are also to be obeyed by obeying the commandment to love. This law fulfills all other laws.

Thursday, September 4, 2008Matthew 18:1-20 – The obligation to reconcile sinners. The procedure for dealing with those who sin against you. Jesus gives a procedure for settling disputes among his followers. Jesus is teaching his disciples, the church. Since Christians are sinful, personal relations may be ruptured. If so, Jesus gives a threefold procedure to settle the differences. Moreover, Jesus gives the power of the keys to forgive or not to forgive to the community. The power of the gathering is demonstrated in prayer which will be answered if the church agrees on the petition. When several gather in Jesus’ name, he promises to be with them. In these three cases, the church’s importance to faith and life is demonstrated.

Jesus says, “you…go!” Who is “you”? “You” may be an individual Christian or “you” may be the group of Christians (church). It is worthy to note that this passage does not deal with the one who sinned but with the victim of sin. He who is sinned against is to take the initiative to get the matter settled. One would think the guilty one ought to settle accounts, but the sinner may not consider himself to be in the wrong. The victim is to show the sinner what harm he has done and an understanding needs to be reached that the Christian fellowship may not be disrupted by personal tensions.

Friday, September 5, 2008 Psalm 32:1-7 - The Psalm appointed for next has as the key verse, verse 1, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” This is an exuberant proclamation of the happy state of those who experience God’s forgiveness in Christ. Repetition underscores, are forgiven…are covered…does not count against him. Repetition with variation emphasized and illumines. Paul will use these words in Romans 4:6-8/

Saturday, September 6, 2008Ephesians 2:8-9 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn. “By Grace I’m Saved” [LSB 566] This verse is one of the clearest passages in Scripture underscoring our forgiveness comes freely as a free gift of God. It’s not based on what we do but on what Christ has accomplished for us. By grace, through faith we receive the blessings of God.
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO


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