Sunday, September 20, 2015

Time in the Word - Pentecost 18 - Proper 21

Time in the Word
 September 21-26, 2015
Proper 21
Preparation for next week, Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday’s Theme is Tolerance. In the Old Testament lesson, Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. In the Epistle, James calls for intolerance of wickedness. In the Gospel, Jesus approves a non-follower’s use of His name. Coupled with tolerance is an underlying theme of resistance. Jesus urges to get rid of anything that causes us to sin while in the Old Testament lesson the Israelites complain about the monotony of daily manna. James condemns the sin of arrogance and persecution of the poor.

Collect for Proper 21 – Everlasting Father, source of every blessing, mercifully direct and govern us by Your Holy Spirit that we may complete the works You have prepared for us to do; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect for Pentecost 17O God, without whose blessing we are not able to please You, mercifully grant that Your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and govern our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A prayer for God to guide us—Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in You we may glorify Your holy name and finally, by Your mercy, obtain eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer for steadfast faith—Almighty God, our heavenly Father, of Your tender love towards us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For the Hope of Eternal life in Christ—Almighty, everlasting God, whose Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death, strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ increase daily and we hold fast to the hope that we shall not die but fall asleep and on the last day be raised to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For those in distressed—Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in all their necessities they may mark and receive Your manifold help and comfort; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A Prayer for Peace—O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works proceed, give to Your servants that peace which the world simply cannot give that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended by You, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Monday, 21 September 2015Psalm 135:1-3, 13-14, Antiphon, Psalm 135:13—Your Name, O Lord, endures forever, Your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages. Psalm 135 is a call to praise the Lord – the one and only true God, the Lord of all creation, the Lord over all the nations, Israel’s redeemer. The Psalmist reminds us that the Lord and His redeeming work will be remembered throughout time. Thus we praise Him for His marvelous deeds.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015Psalm 104:27-35; key verse, verse 24How many are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures. The psalmist recalls the fifth day of creation. (Genesis 1:20-23).  The realm of the sea is structurally balanced with the celestial realm, (see verses 2-4) as the other boundary to the realm of earth. And the Lord orders each day of your life as He has promised to guide and sustain you. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015Numbers 11:4-6; 10-16, 24-29—Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. The Lord provides seventy elders to assist Moses in meeting the needs of the people and gives his spirit to others than the seventy. The Israelites are in the wilderness and complain to Moses that they have only manna and no meat. Moses takes the complaint to God who orders Moses to bring seventy elders to the meeting place outside the camp. Some of Moses’ spirit was given to the elders and they began to prophesy. Two men, Eldad and Medad, were not invited to the meeting of the seventy. While in the camp, they received the Spirit and prophesied. Joshua was jealous for Moses and asked him to stop the two. Moses refused and wished that all of the people had the spirit and were prophets.

Thursday, 24 September 2015James 5: (1-12) 13-20—James calls for intolerance of wickedness and a return to God for the avoidance of evil. This lesson continues where last Sunday’s Epistle has stopped. James urges his readers to turn to God and away from wickedness. Among the evils we are to avoid are judging others, boasting, and injustice to the poor.

Friday, 25 September 2015Mark 9:38-50—Jesus approves a non-follower’s use of His name to cast our demons. He urges the extermination of those sins that result in hell. The first part of the Gospel (verses 38-41) obviously parallels the Old Testament lesson. It deals with Jesus’ approval of a non-disciple casting out demons in Jesus’ name. The next section (verses 42-48) deals with Jesus’ “little ones” – not children but his disciples or new converts. The point is that any sacrifice is worth eternal life rather than going to hell forever which is described as eternal torment. A third section of the reading deals with salt.  It is a call to radical obedience rather than to accommodation to the world.

In Christ you are free. There is much Christian liberty and freedom the child of God can experience in this life. The Lord wants His followers to enjoy the fullness of life. All that God created is good. However, if any part of us or any habit causes us to sin, we are to get rid of it. It would be better to abstain and deny ourselves certain pleasures and privileges than to allow one pleasure to ruin the whole. When should we allow our Christian liberty to be exercised? When might you deny yourself certain “freedoms” for the sake of someone else? How might we better live balanced lives?

Vv. 38-41  Jesus opens the disciples' eyes to see those who do God's work in a simple way. The work of God goes far beyond us. He show His power and kindness through great life changing miracles and simple cups of water.

Vv. 42-50  Nothing is more important than retaining the faith unto eternal life. Let nothing come between you and the Savior, Though He tests us with fire, He does not consume His own people. Rejoice, for God graciously gives us the faith in which He preserves us to eternity.

:42  "little ones" Gk. "micros, "smallest child"

:43 "hell: Gk. "geenna" from Hebrew name for the Hinnom Valley southwest of Jerusalem, where humans were sacrificed (2 Ch.28:3; 33:6) and garbage was dumped (2 Kings 23:10)  Fire was constantly present in the Hinnom Valley due to sacrifices and burning trash. This became a figure for the everlasting fire of hell. Used in Mark Vv. 43, 45, 47.

Saturday, 26 September 2015John 14:2; 1 John 4:19; John 8:12 - The hymn, Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower (LSB 694), is the Hymn of the Day. Having seen what the Lord has done, having experienced His goodness and mercy, having entered into His presence, we are now called to praise the Name of the Lord which is expressed in this wonderful hymn. 


Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

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