Time in the Word
Proper 28 - 2nd to Last Sunday of the Church Year
November 7-12, 2011
Preparation for the Lord’s Coming
The Lessons for this coming week again help us prepare for the coming of our Lord. In the Old Testament lesson the prophet Zephaniah reminds us of the reason the Lord must return. Sin will cause death and destruction. In the Epistle lesson Paul assures his readers the children of light will not be surprised when the day of the Lord suddenly comes. The Christians of the first century were concerned about the exact date of Jesus’ return. Paul reminded them that no exact day can be determined, for Jesus will come suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief comes in the night. In the Gospel lesson we are given the parable of the talents. This is another parable related to the Lord’s return. According to the parable, the return is long delayed (v. 19). The servants are asked to give an account of their investment. Two servants doubled the investment and the third preserved what he was given. The third servant was condemned for not making the most of his talent. It was taken from him and given to the other two. Jesus has ascended and his return has been delayed. When he comes, he will ask for an accounting whether they worked for him while he was absent or whether they cared only for their security. A hoarded gift is lost and the hoarder is condemned.
Monday, 07 November 2011 - Psalm 143:5-6, 10-11 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Psalm143:1 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my pleas for mercy! In Your faithfulness answer me, in Your righteousness!” David calls for deliverance from his enemies and for divine leading. As he makes his appeal to the Lord he is confident the Lord will act on his account. Thus we are directed to pray in the morning and evening “…into Thy hands I commend myself…”
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 – Zephaniah 1:7-16- The prophet reminds his hearers sin will cause destruction and death. Zephaniah calls upon the nation to be “silent” before God. Similarly a psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” If one is to hear what God has to say, there must be silence. Because of this, silence is requested in a library or concert hall. But, there is greater reason for silence. In the face of something catastrophic or terrible, our only reaction is silence. When the seal is broken in heaven, there is a half hour of silence. Zephaniah has a dreadful word from God: The day of the Lord is coming as a day of doom, gloom, destruction, and death for all people. That is enough to shock us into silence.
The “end” is final. There is nothing beyond or it would not be the end. The wrath of God will not be spent until the end of everything. It reminds us of the result of nuclear warfare and the end of the earth. This passage gives us no hope, no solution. The end is promised and it will come, unless.... Or, is it too late?
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 -Since Christians they are children of the day (righteousness) and not of the night (wickedness), they are to remain sober and awake. To be ready and to be equipped to do battle against evil, they are to be equipped with faith, hope, and love. Paul comforts and assures them that God has not destined them to wrath, but to salvation so that whether they live or die, they might be with the Lord.
Thursday, 10 November 2011 – Matthew 25:14-30 – What the servants have is not their own. The rich man of the parable gave his property to his servants as a trust until he returned. As servants of God, all we have has been given to us: our world, gifts, and our very own lives. Thus, we are stewards of God’s wealth. We are not free to do with his possessions as we wish. God holds us accountable for what we did or did not do with his property.
The Bible teaches us to fear God, but not to be afraid of him. The servant who did nothing with his talent was afraid of God. Though God is a just God who demands justice, holiness, and righteousness, we need not be afraid of him, for he loves us. Fear him? Yes! Fear him in terms of reverence and awe! When we are afraid, we freeze, hold back, fear to venture. The servant was afraid he would lose his one talent and he knew the master would demand a return of his money. In all ways, fear in terms of being afraid, makes us inhibited, cautious, and withholding. Love dares to venture and invest.
Friday, 11 November 2011 Psalm 90:1-12 - This Psalm is the appointed for this Sunday. Verse 17 is the key verse, ““Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us” David says, as You Lord only have been our security in the world so also make our labors to be effective and enduring – though we are so transient.
Saturday, 12 November 2011 Luke 21:25-36 - Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn; “The Day is Surely Drawing Near”. As the Church year comes to a close so we look to the time of Christ’s second coming. We need not fear these days for we are confident of Him who orders our days and directs our path.
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House,
St. Louis, MO
LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A © 1980 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts Zachariah names John, Jesus feeds the 5,000 © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.