Sunday, September 27, 2015

Time in the Word - Pentecost 19 - Proper 22

Time in the Word
 September 28 – October 3, 2015
Proper 22
Preparation for next week, Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday’s theme is God’s Intentions for the Family. The lessons deal with home, marriage, divorce, and children. The Gospel considers Jesus’ position on divorce and His attitude toward children. The Old Testament lesson fits into the Gospel with its account of Eve’s creation and the relationship between husband and wife. The Psalm for the week concerns a God-fearing person’s blessing of a fruitful wife, children, and grandchildren. The “Hymn of the Day” is a prayer to the Lord to bless the home and family.

Collect for Proper 22 – Merciful Father, Your patience and loving-kindness toward us have no end. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may always think and do those things that are pleasing in Your sight; 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 18Keep, we pray You, O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation.

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 increases 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 distress - 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.

A prayer for home and family - Visit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep far from them all harm and danger. Grant us to dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, and may Your blessing be with us forever.

Merciful Father, Your patience and loving-kindness toward us have no end. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may always think and do those things that are pleasing in Your sight.

O Spirit of the Father, Breath on them from above, So searching in Your pureness, So tender in Your love That, guarded by Your presence And kept from strife and sin, Their hearts may heed Your guidance And know You dwell within (LSB 858;3)

Monday, 28 September 2015Psalm 127:3-5, Antiphon, Psalm 127:1a – Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. In keeping with the theme of the week, God’s Intention for the Family, the psalmist gives us a timeless truth. Unless the Lord is the center of all that we do, unless the Lord builds the house, all of our efforts are in vain. The house in essence becomes a house of cards. May Jesus Christ be the ever present yet unseen guest in each of our homes. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015Psalm 128; key verse, verse 1 - Blessed are all who fear the Lord. Psalm 128 speaks of the blessedness of the godly man, another word for wisdom concerning health and home. The concluding benediction suggests that the psalm originally served as a priestly word of instruction to those assembled from their homes to worship in Jerusalem. The main body of the psalm is found in verses 1-4.  

Wednesday, 30 September 2015Genesis 2:18-25 – God intends husbands and wives to be one. God creates woman as man’s helper and companion. This lesson is part of the Lord’s account of creation, beginning with Chapter 2, verse 4. It is the earlier of the two accounts. According to this account, man is created first, then the animals, etc., and finally woman. The animals were not a suitable helper for Adam, and, consequently, Eve was created. Why the rib?  It’s closest to the man’s heart. After her creation from his rib, Adam recognizes her as an equal part of him (verse 23).  She is recognized as a fellow human with equal dignity and worth. Because of the creation of man and woman, marriage is one of the orders of creation in which the two become an entity of one flesh. Flesh here is more than physical; it refers to the whole person. 

Thursday, 01 October 2015Hebrew 2:1-13, (14-18) – God intends the family of humankind to be a family in Christ. By the grace of God, Jesus became a man who suffered and died for all. Today’s Epistle reading is the first in a series of passages from Hebrews. The author in Hebrews is facing the situation of the church’s waning faith, probably because of the delay of Christ’s return. To stimulate their faith, he writes the epistle of Hebrews.

Today’s reading deals with the event of Christ’s incarnation leading to His suffering and death for the salvation of humanity. Jesus’ incarnation gave Him solidarity with humankind in order to save it.  At present, we do not see Christ’s lordship over everything, but we do see Him (verse 9).  His atoning death created a oneness of Christ and His followers whom He calls “brethren” (verse 11).  In comparison with the Old Testament lesson, humans are created and re-created by redemption. 

Friday, 02 October 2015Mark 10:2-16 – God intends marriage to be lifelong. Sunday’s Gospel deals with two accounts: marriage/divorce and Jesus’ love of children. In regard to marriage and divorce, Mark has Jesus take the position that neither husband nor wife should get a divorce. For the Pharisees, divorce is a legal matter: for Jesus it is a divine matter – not what is legal, but what is right. Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that the legal right to get a divorce was due to a human’s sinfulness, but this was contrary to God’s intention that marriage is permanent. To substantiate this, Jesus refers twice to the creation account. The Gospel continues with an account of Jesus receiving little children, for marriage and children go together. Jesus urges that children should be brought to Him and teaches that one should receive the kingdom of God as a child in terms of openness and receptivity. 

The key to Mark 10 is  that God accepts us by grace through faith in Jesus not through obedience or status. Just as children receive love they do not earn.

Jesus teaches that God wants men and women in marriage to be exclusively committed to each other for life. Attempts to alter or get around God's good intentions bring condemnation, not greater liberty. Thoughtfully and prayerfully embrace God's ways. What He establishes is for our good and stems from His love and grace.

Saturday, 03 October 2015Joshua 24:15b; Ephesians 6:4; Luke 2:41-52; 10:38-42 - Sunday’s hymn of the day is Oh, Blest the House (LSB 862).  This is an appropriate hymn as it deals with the Christian home. May the Lord bless not only our Friedheim, St. John, and Zion families, but each and every individual family of our congregations. Taking the lead from Joshua, “as for me and my house we shall serve the Lord!” May the Lord bless each of us as Christ remains at the center of our homes. 

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

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