The theme for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost is Incarnating the Christ. Christ is the Living Bread who came down from Heaven, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), who gives His flesh for the life of the world.
We can find this Living Bread nowhere else but in Christ. As Peter answered, when asked by Jesus if he wanted to leave, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” After Jesus ascended into heaven, when called before the Jewish council, Peter would proclaim again, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) Come, feast on the Living Bread. Gladly hear His Word, and eat His Body and Blood, given for you for the remission of all your sins.
Monday, 10 August 2009—Psalm 111:1–5, 9; Antiphon, Psalm 111:10—Athiest groups are taking out ads on city buses in cities across the U.S., even in Indiana (South Bend and Bloomington, so far), that proclaim that there is no God (‘You Can Be Good Without God’; ‘In the Beginning, Man Created God’). What utter nonsense! What through-and through foolishness! The psalmist tells us what it truly means to be wise: to fear the Lord, to recognize all that He has done for us. Those so-called ‘atheists,’ far from disbelieving in a god, have made themselves their own god, and a very poor one at that.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009—Psalm 34:12–22—This is a continuation of the psalm for last Sunday. In the antiphon for to-day (v. 11), David calls us to listen to him, that he may teach us the fear of the Lord: one who is not foolish, and acknowledges the Lord, will turn away from evil and do good; he will seek peace and pursue it. These righteous ones will the Lord deliver out of all their troubles.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009—Proverbs 9:1–10—In the Old Testament reading, we continue our education in the way of wisdom from the wisest man who has ever lived, Solomon. Here, he gives wisdom a personality, and we start to understand that the personification of wisdom is Christ our Lord, for it is Christ who invites us to eat of His bread and drink of His wine. These are His body and blood, which He gives for the life of the world.
Thursday, 13 August 2009—Ephesians 5:6–21—In this section of our reading from the book of Ephesians, St Paul continues his instruction of how we ought to live. Since Christ has made us His own, and, since, by Word and Sacrament, we have eaten the living Bread that comes down from heaven, we ought to walk, not as unwise, but as wise. We ought not allow ourselves to be deceived by charlatans masquerading as men of God; we ought not take part in the sins that the world takes pleasure in; we ought, rather, make the best use of time, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friday, 14 August 2009—John 6:51–69—Jesus declares that He is the Living Bread that came down from heaven. It is through Him alone that we can be forgiven, that our sins can be removed, that we can partake of eternal life. Through Word and sacrament, Christ feeds us, bestowing faith and nourishing it. The bread that He gives does not just satisfy for a short time, like earthly food; whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.
Saturday, 15 August 2009—This week, the final two stanzas of O Living Bread from Heaven (LSB 642) serve as the hymn of the day. Having received from the Lord Jesus Christ living bread, we seek to serve Him with holy fear, living as wise, not foolish ones, during our days on earth, and looking forward to the day when we leave this world below, and enter Heaven, where joys unmingled flow.
Collect for Pentecost 11—Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us to know Your Son, Jesus, to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow His steps in the way that leads to life eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
This week's Time in the Word was written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who serves St. John Dexter and Zion Casey, IA