Forgiveness is the theme running through the lessons for this coming week. God’s attitude toward sinners is shown in Jesus’ association with sinners and in His joy when sinners repent. If God did not forgive sinners would be destroyed by God’s wrath. In the Old Testament lesson the Lord promises to send a true shepherd who will not only tend to them but search them out and rescue them. Of course, our true shepherd is the good shepherd our savior Jesus Christ. God forgives and accepts His own people. In the Epistle Paul tells of the mercy of forgiveness he received by his faith in Christ even though he called himself the chief sinner. The basic factors of forgiveness are found in all our lessons. Forgiveness discloses the nature of God – a God of mercy. On the other hand, forgiveness reveals the nature of humans as sinners standing in need of forgiveness. God’s act is forgiveness. Our part is repentance.
Collect for the Sixteenth Sunday of Pentecost: Grant merciful Lord, to Your faithful people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed form all their sins and serve You with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
Almighty God, our creator and guide, may we serve You with all our heart and know Your forgiveness in our lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One god, forever and ever. Amen
Collect for Proper Nineteen: Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd, without whom noting is secure. Rescue and preserve us that we may not be lost forever but follow You rejoicing in the way that leads to eternal life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Collect for Psalm 119: Lord, You are just and Your commandments are eternal. Teach us to love You with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves, for the sake of Jesus our Lord.
Prayer for likeness to Christ: O God, by the patient suffering of Your only-begotten Son You have beaten down the pride of the old enemy. Now help us, we humbly pray, rightly to treasure in our hearts all that our Lord has of His goodness borne for our sake that following His blessed example we may bear with all patience all that is adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for spiritual renewal: Almighty God, grant that we, who have been redeemed from the old life of sin by our Baptism into the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may be renewed by Your Holy Spirit to live in righteousness and true holiness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Monday, 06 September 2010—Psalm 30:2-5; antiphon, Psalm 30:11a, 12b—In the Introit for Sunday, we pray, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.” God answers and the psalmist David vows to prolong his praise forever. Dancing and joy replace wailing and sackcloth so that songs of praise not silence may attend the acts of God.
Tuesday, 07 September 2010—Psalm 119:169-176 —In the psalm for the day, David uses the Hebrew letter “Taw” to explain that it is the Lord who will direct and save His people. No one else can defend or save. As Psalm 119 is drawing to a close, prayers for deliverance now become dominant. Drawing the analogy of a shepherd rescuing the flock the Psalmist directs us to repent “I have strayed like a lost sheep Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten Your commands.” (v. 176)
Wednesday, 08 September 2010—Ezekiel 34:11-24— The Lord makes a bold statement. He commits Himself to shepherd the flock. He promises to restore His people as He Himself will bring them out. This is all fulfilled in the person and work of our Savior Jesus as the Lord predicts that His servant David will be prince among them. This prophecy was written well after David had died. Thus a ruler like David and from his line, great David’s greater Son would shepherd the people. This prophecy can only be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Under His rule and authority there would be one flock and one shepherd who would feed them with the bread from heaven. See John 6:32-40; 10:16 as Jesus fulfilled these words.
Thursday, 09 September 2010—1 Timothy 1:12-17— Paul witnesses to God’s mercy in forgiving him as chief of sinners. Here is a statement that everyone can and should accept. It sums up the whole mission and nature of Christ. We usually avoid general statements because investigation often shows that there are exceptions. Here there are no exceptions. This statement is most certainly true and should be accepted as the truth.
No one can deny theses three statements; 1. “Christ came into the world” God became human. 2. “Sinners” the truth about every man, woman, boy and girl. 3. “Save” Christ came not to judge, condemn but to reconcile sinners back to God.
Friday, 10 September 2010—Luke 15:1-10— Twice in the Gospel for Sunday tells us of the joy in heaven when a sinner repents. We can see the smile on the Father’s face. The choirs of angels are singing. The archangel’s trumpets are blaring. How much joy is indicated when sinners repent in the average church today? Is there a party spirit of great joy when a person is baptized or confirmed or renews his faith? Evangelism is the happy time of the church because it is an echo of what goes on in heaven. So we ask why God is happen when we repent. God’s will is fulfilled. He desires everyone to return to Him for He loves each person. Repentance means a wayward child has come back. This makes God happy, for His will is done. God’s portion is His people. God is happy for the sinner’s sake. Prior to repentance the sinner was going down the road leading to death. Now he has avoided destruction and is coming to life, love and light. This is God’s desire for every person because He loves each.
Saturday, 11 September 2010— Acts 4:11-12 - Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, (LSB #575). The defense of the faith from the first Century to this 21st Century is the fact that Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. What the prophets of old foretold all find their completion in Jesus Christ. Therefore there is salvation in no one else. Jesus is not one of several options. There is no other name given among men by which we can be saved.
Today is a day for contemplation as it marks the ninth anniversary when the war on terror came to American soil. At the time members of our current confirmation class were entering kindergarten. College sophomores set to graduate in 2013 have this unique distinction – never in their lives have they not known of a time when Americans were not fighting a war in Iraq. Vigilance is still need. We pray for peace at the same time we pray for those who stand in harms way defending our liberties. Serious sacrifices have been called for by so many. Today reflect on the sacrifices others have made for you in the cause for freedom as we recall the ultimate sacrifice made by the Savior that we may be freed from sin and guilt.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Collect for Pentecost 16 from Lutheran Worship © Concordia Publishing House
The image of Christ the Good Shepherd by Wm Dyce is found here: http://www.biblicalart.com/biblicalsubject.asp?id_biblicalsubject=789&pagenum1
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C by John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing Lima OH
For All the Saints A Prayer Book for and By the Church Vol. II © 1995 by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY