Sunday, November 1, 2015

Time in the Word - Pentecost 24 - Proper 27

Time in the Word
 November 2-7, 2015
Proper 27
Preparation for next week, Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday’s Theme of sacrifice is evident in all three of our lessons for this coming week. In the Gospel a widow makes a sacrifice of money by giving her last penny. The widow of Zarephath gave her last portion of meal and oil to Elijah out of obedience to his command. Jesus made the once-for-all-time sacrifice for the sins of the world out of love for humankind. The Lessons call upon us to give our all as a sacrifice to God. As we are nearing the end of the church year, the sermon hymn reminds us to keep our heads up to be vigilant as the Son of Man will return at the right time to bring this earth to a close.

Collect for Proper 27 – O Lord, by Your bountiful goodness release us from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon ourselves, that we may stand firm until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

For Good Government:  Eternal Lord, Ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that they may be guided by Your Spirit, be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably;

For our Country:  Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Make us who came from many nations with many different languages a united people. Defend our liberties, and give those whom we have entrusted with the authority of government the spirit of wisdom that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, let our hearts be thankful; and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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. Help us provide trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and thus serve You faithfully in our generation to the honor of Your holy name. 

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.

Monday, 02 November 2015Psalm 107:1-2, 41-42, Antiphon, Psalm 107:8 – Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of men!  The Antiphon along with the entire psalm is a call to praise the Lord for His unfailing love in that He hears the prayers of those in need and saves them. The Lord has heard the cries of His people in times of great need. Our God will act to help and save His people.   

Tuesday, 03 November 2015Psalm 146; key verse, verse 9aThe Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow but He frustrates the ways of the wicked. In both the Old Testament lesson as well as the Gospel, a poor widow gives all that she has because of great obedience and a strong faith. The key verse reminds us that the Lord will vindicate His own especially the stranger, the widow, and the orphan. The Psalmist invites us to praise the name of the Lord especially for His tender mercies to His people.

Wednesday, 04 November 20151 Kings 17:8-16–The sacrifices of God – a sacrifice of obedience. A widow feeds Elijah out of her minimum supplies for many days because the supply of oil and meal was never exhausted. The setting is the northern kingdom of the 9th Century with Ahab as king and Elijah as prophet. Because of Israel’s faithfulness, Elijah calls down a drought which lasts three years. When the brook dries up, God sends Elijah to a widow in Zarephath for food and drink lest he starve. However, the widow and her son are also dying of starvation. They have a tiny amount for a last meal before dying. Elijah commands her to give food to him and promises that the meal and oil will not fail. True to his word, each day there was enough for one more meal. The Lord preserves His prophet and is faithful to His Word.    

Thursday, 05 November 2015Hebrews 9:24-28–The sacrifices of God – a sacrifice of love. Christ offers Himself but once for the sins of the world and is coming again.  The author of Hebrews uses the cult to explain the atonement and return of Jesus. As the Jewish high priest annually entered the holy of holies in the temple, Jesus, the high priest, entered the heavens, the temple of God.
The high priest offered a sacrifice annually, but Christ as high priest offers His sacrifice but once.

The high priest offered not his own blood, but Jesus did. His one-time sacrifice took away sin. As judgment comes after a person’s death, so Christ will return for the judgment of the world and to receive those who are waiting for Him.

Friday, 06 November 2015Mark 12:38-44–The sacrifices of God – a sacrifice of faith. Jesus compliments a poor widow for her sacrificial gift to the temple. Verses 38-40 serve as an introduction to our Gospel lesson for Sunday. Jesus warns the disciples against the scribes, for in their greed they devour widows’ houses. By contrast we see an impoverished widow who places two of the smallest coins, worth a penny, into the temple’s treasury. Jesus is sitting across from the offering boxes and observes the gift being given. He calls attention to the widow’s penny in contrast to the million-dollar gifts of the rich.  He claims that she gave more than any other, because she gave out of her poverty while others gave out of their abundance. 

A widow was almost always poor because she had no husband to support her. There was no insurance policies, no death benefits plan, no Social Security. Because she was extremely poor, she could have been excused from giving to the Lord’s treasury. Rather she should have been given something from the treasury. Her gift proved that she was not poor spiritually. She had the riches of faith in God to motivate her.

Saturday, 07 November 2015—Luke 21:25-36; Matthew 25:31-46- Sunday’s hymn of the day is The Day Is Surely Drawing Near (LSB 508).  Just as the days are growing shorter so also time is counting down to the end of the church year and the end of the world as we know it. This calls for vigilance, patience, and faith. These themes and ideas are all communicated in this much treasured hymn.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and 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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