Sunday, November 8, 2020

Time in the Word - Proper 28

Time in the Word

 November 9-14, 2020

Preparation for the Lord’s Coming

The Lessons for this coming week again help us prepare for the coming of our Lord. In the Old Testament lesson, the prophet Zephaniah reminds us of the reason the Lord must return. Sin will cause death and destruction. In the Epistle lesson, Paul assures his readers the children of light will not be surprised when the day of the Lord suddenly comes. The Christians of the first century were concerned about the exact date of Jesus’ return. Paul reminded them that no exact day could be determined, for Jesus will come suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief comes in the night. In the Gospel lesson, we are given the parable of the talents. This is another parable related to the Lord’s return. According to the parable, the return is long delayed (v. 19). The servants are asked to give an account of their investment. Two servants doubled the investment and the third preserved what he was given. The third servant was condemned for not making the most of his talent. It was taken from him and given to the other two. Jesus has ascended and His return has been delayed. When He comes, He will ask for an accounting whether they worked for Him while He was absent or whether they cared only for their security. A hoarded gift is lost and the hoarder is condemned.

Two simple yet heart-felt Prayers–

Lord God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by your Holy Spirit that, always keeping in mind the end of all things and the day of judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of life here and may live with you forever in the world to come.

Lord, when the day of wrath comes, we have no hope except in your grace. Make us so to watch for the last days that the consummation of our hope may be the joy of marriage feast of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Collect for Proper 28Almighty and ever-living God, You have given exceedingly great and precious promises to those who trust in You.  Dispel from us the works of darkness and grant us to live in the light of Your Son Jesus Christ, that our faith may never be found wanting; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayer for responsible citizenshipLord 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 before we study the WordAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.

Monday, November 09, 2020Psalm 143:5-6, 10-11 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Psalm 143:1: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my pleas for mercy! In Your faithfulness answer me, in Your righteousness!” David calls for deliverance from his enemies and for divine leading. As he makes his appeal to the Lord, he is confident the Lord will act on his account. Thus we are directed to pray in the morning and evening “…into Thy hands I commend myself…

Tuesday, November 10, 2020Zephaniah 1:7-16 - The prophet reminds his hearers sin will cause destruction and death. Zephaniah calls upon the nation to be “silent” before God. Similarly a psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” If one is to hear what God has to say, there must be silence. Because of this, silence is requested in a library or concert hall. But, there is greater reason for silence. In the face of something catastrophic or terrible, our only reaction is silence. When the seal is broken in heaven, there is a half hour of silence. Zephaniah has a dreadful word from God: The day of the Lord is coming as a day of doom, gloom, destruction, and death for all people. That is enough to shock us into silence.

The “end” is final. There is nothing beyond or it would not be the end. The wrath of God will not be spent until the end of everything. It reminds us of the result of nuclear warfare and the end of the earth. This passage gives us no hope, no solution. The end is promised and it will come, unless.... Or, is it too late?

Wednesday, November 11, 20201 Thessalonians 5:1-11 -Since Christians are children of the day (righteousness) and not of the night (wickedness), they are to remain sober and awake. To be ready and to be equipped to do battle against evil, they are to be equipped with faith, hope, and love. Paul comforts and assures them that God has not destined them to wrath, but to salvation so that whether they live or die, they might be with the Lord.

Today is Veterans Day - We remember all who have served and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in Whose hands are the living and the dead; we give You thanks for all those Your servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.. Grant to them Your mercy and the light of Your presence, that the good work which You have begun in them may be perfected on the Last Great Day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thursday, November 12, 2020Matthew 25:14-30 – What the servants have is not their own. The rich man of the parable gave his property to his servants as a trust until he returned. As servants of God, all we have has been given to us: our world, gifts, and our very own lives. Thus, we are stewards of God’s wealth. We are not free to do with his possessions as we wish. God holds us accountable for what we did or did not do with His property.

The Bible teaches us to fear God, but not to be afraid of Him. The servant who did nothing with his talent was afraid of God. Though God is a just God who demands justice, holiness, and righteousness, we need not be afraid of Him, for He loves us. Fear Him? Yes! Fear Him in terms of reverence and awe! When we are afraid, we freeze, hold back, fear to venture. The servant was afraid he would lose his one talent and he knew the master would demand a return of his money. In all ways, fear in terms of being afraid, makes us inhibited, cautious, and withholding. Love dares to venture and invest.

Friday, November 13, 2020 - Psalm 90:1-12 - This Psalm is the appointed one for this Sunday.  Verse 17 is the key verse, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,” David says.  As You Lord only have been our security in the world so also make our labors to be effective and enduring – though we are so transient. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020 Luke 21:25-36 - Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn; “The Day is Surely Drawing Near.” As the Church year comes to a close, so we look to the time of Christ’s second coming. We need not fear these days for we are confident of Him who orders our days and directs our path. 

Morning Prayer Readings for Next Week:

November 09 47 David Anointed
November 10 48 David & Goliath 1
November 11 Chapel
November 12 49 David & Goliath 2
November 13 50 David Mourns

Catechism Review: 3rd Article of the Apostles' Creed & Introduction to the Lord's Prayer

- LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
- Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts "The Crucifixion" copyright © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use. 

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