Sunday, May 3, 2015

Time in the Word Easter 6

The theme for the Sixth Sunday of Easter is found in the Gospel. Jesus commands us to love one another. As usual the Gospel lesson gives the key to the theme of the week. Jesus commands us to love each other. Peter in the first lesson thanks God for His love for all men, both Jews and Gentiles. John in the Epistle reminds us that everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. The Psalm of the Day calls for a new song to the Lord because of His steadfast love to His people. The Hymn of the Day asks that we might be filled with Jesus’ love and pity.

A Prayer for Agriculture: Almighty God, You blessed the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper, we implore You, the work of farmers, grant them seasonable weather that we may gather in the fruit of the earth and thus proclaim Your goodness with thanksgiving. May we see by this noble vocation that with Your help they feed the world. And cause all those who give thanks over their food to treat those who produce it with both honor and respect; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

A Prayer for humility: O God, You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Grant us true humility after the likeness of Your only Son that we may never be arrogant and prideful and thus provoke Your wrath but in all lowliness be made partakers of the gifts of Your grace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For blessing on the Word: Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Sixth Sunday in Easter – O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those 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, 4 May 2015Psalm 66:1-,8-9, 20; antiphon, Psalm 66:16—The antiphon calls for us to listen to the voice of Him who has saved us,  “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for my soul.”  Worship here defined is the proclamation of what God has done in praise of God within the context of the worshiping congregation. As we prepare for next Sunday, this is our central purpose in gathering together.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015Psalm 98 key verse, verse 1—“Sing to the Lord a new song.” This psalm is a call to celebrate with joy the righteous reign of the Lord.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015Acts 10:34-48—Peter’s Vision in which all kinds of food which would include both clean and unclean animals (according to Leviticus 11) is depicted in the woodcut on this week’s cover. The Word of the Lord has now come to both Jewish and Gentile believers. Gentiles had received the same gift as the Jewish believers. This was unavoidable evidence that the invitation to the kingdom was open to Gentiles as well as to Jews.  The early Jewish Christians failed to understand that the Gospel was for Gentiles as well as for the Jews, and that they would share alike in the benefits of redemption.

The mention of Gentiles “speaking in tongues” is a fulfillment of Acts 1:8. The prophecy was given that the Holy Spirit would come and the disciples would be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and into the Gentile world. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on Pentecost, the disciples spoke in other languages (Acts 2:5-12).  Acts 8:14-18 reports of an incident occurring in Samaria. The Holy Spirit had come upon people in some noticeable way.  There is no mention of tongues but Peter and John are summoned. What had happened in Samaria was to be verified by those who had given testimony in Jerusalem. Christianity continued to expand to new geographic regions and include more people. The third and final time tongues is mentioned in the book of Acts occurred in the city of Ephesus. Paul found some disciples who followed the teachings of John

the Baptist. They didn't know about the Holy Spirit, so Paul informed them more fully, and taught them that John told people to believe in Jesus (Acts 19:1-4). "On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied" (verses 5-6). Now that the Spirit was poured out in a remote place like Ephesus there is no further mention of believers who would speak in tongues in the book of Acts. The prophecy of Acts 1 has been fulfilled.

Thursday, 7 May 20151 John 5:1-8—John begins by telling us, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Faith in Jesus as the Christ is a sign of being born again just as love is. John wrote at a time when members of a family were closely associated as a unit under the headship of the father. He could, therefore, use the family as an illustration to show that anyone who loves God the Father will naturally love God’s children.

Friday, 8 May 2015John 15:9-17—This is a continuation of Jesus’ last discourse with His disciples. It is appropriate that one of His last messages was one of love. His disciples are to love as the Father loved Jesus and as He loved His disciples. This love is expressed in keeping the commandments and in the sacrifice of self for a friend. Because we are His friends, Jesus shares all. By His choice, we are His friends. One privilege of this friendship is having prayers answered. If we are disciples and true friends of Jesus, we will love as He loved us.

Saturday, 9 May 2015Psalm 145:15-16; Revelation 19:1; Titus 3:4-7—The hymn of the Day is “Alleluia! Let Praises Ring” {LSB 822}.  The kindness of God, His undeserved mercy, and His grace is the reason why God did not simply banish fallen man but acted to save Him. When using the word love, Titus will use the Greek word philanthrapia, the love for mankind. God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus. Thus this hymn will fit in nicely with the theme for the Day.    


Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing Lima, OH

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, © WELS

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