Preparation for next week, the 12th Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus Is the Word and Wisdom of God, Who Gives You Life and Light in His Flesh
Jesus is the divine Word by whom all things were made, who has become flesh and dwells among us. He gives His flesh “for the life of the world,” not only as a sacrifice for sin, but as “the living bread” from heaven (John 6:51). Eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6:54–57), and no longer walk in the darkness of sin, but walk in His light. “Arise from the dead” and live in Him, because you are “light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8, 14). Being filled with His Spirit, confess Him to “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Eph. 5:18–19). Fear, love, and trust in Him, “and serve Him in sincerity and faithfulness” (Josh. 24:14). For He has brought you “out of the house of slavery” by His Cross and Resurrection, and now He does “great signs” in your sight (Josh. 24:17). Indeed, He is the divine Wisdom, who has built His house, prepared His feast, and set His table; who bids you to recline, to eat of His bread and drink of the wine He has mixed (Prov. 9:1–5).
Collect for Pentecost 12—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.
Collect for the Feast of St Mary, Mother of Our Lord (15 August)—Almighty God, You chose the virgin Mary to be the mother of Your only Son. Grant that we, who are redeemed by His blood, may share with her in the glory of Your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Collect for the Commemoration of Johann Gerhard, Theologian (17 August)—O Lord God, heavenly Father, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon Your faithful people, keep them steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and comfort them in all temptation, defend them against all enemies of Your Word, and bestow on Christ's Church Militant Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer for responsible leaders: O merciful Father in heaven, from You comes all rule and authority over the nations of the world for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do well. Graciously regard Your servants, those who make, administer, and judge the laws of this nation, and look in mercy upon all the rulers of the earth. Grant that all who receive the sword as Your servants may bear it according to Your command. Enlighten and defend them, and grant them wisdom and understanding that under their peaceable governance Your people may be guarded and directed in righteousness, quietness, and unity. Protect and prolong their lives that we with them may show forth the praise of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer for responsible citizenship: Lord, keep this nation under Your care. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to the other nations of the earth. Grant that we may choose trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and serve You faithfully in our generation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Monday, 13 August 2012—Psalm 111:1–5, 9; Antiphon, Psalm 111:10—In recent years, many atheists have become much more vocal and strident. They have even taken out ads on city buses in cities across the U.S. (even in Des Moines), that proclaim that there is no God (‘Don't believe in God? You are not alone.’). What utter nonsense! What through-and-through foolishness! In the Introit for Sunday, 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, 14 August 2012—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, 15 August 2012—Proverbs 9:1–10—In the Old Testament reading, our education in the way of wisdom continues, as we learn 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, 16 August 2012—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, 17 August 2012—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, 18 August 2012—Sunday’s hymn of the day is O God, My Faithful God (LSB 696). This hymn is really a prayer set to music, asking the Lord that He would give us a confident faith and that we would lead a life pleasing to Him. The hymn fits the Scripture texts perfectly, praying that we make walk as wise men, and not as foolish, staying in the way of the Lord.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © Higher Things
Lectionary summary on first page from LCMS Commission on Worship
The Revd Jeffrey M. Keuning, wrote this week’s issue of Time in the Word