Sunday, June 7, 2009

Time in the Word Pentecost 2 - Proper 6

The theme for the Second Sunday after Pentecost is Growth of God’s Kingdom. The Introit sets the theme by proclaiming that the righteous (the one, holy, Christian, and apostolic Church) flourish and grow, not because of anything in them, but because they are planted in the house of the Lord.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a seed. It grows, even if we do not understand all the things at work which cause it to grow: the time of year, the temperature of the soil, the amount of moisture, the amount of daylight, contact with the soil, and so on. It is God who causes the seed to grow. Likewise, in the Church, it is God, not we, who gives it its growth. We plant the seed by proclaiming the Word of God, but it is the task of the Holy Spirit to establish and further the growth of the Church. Our responsibility is to make certain that the Word is taught in truth and purity, and that the Sacraments are administered rightly.
Monday, 8 June 2009Psalm 92:12–15; Antiphon, Psalm 92:1—This ‘Psalm for the Sabbath’ is a hymn of praise, in which the psalmist gives thanks to the Lord for His steadfast love and faithfulness. He declares us righteous and makes us flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. From ancient times, even until to-day, Lebanon has been known for its tall strong cedars: Cedars from Lebanon were used in constructing the temple, and the cedar appears on Lebanon’s flag. We who are planted in the house of the Lord are strong in the Lord like these trees of renown.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009Psalm 1—Luther wrote that the psalter is the Bible in miniature. If so, then the opening six verses are the portal leading into a treasure-house of communion with God. Who is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners…but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on His Law he meditates day in night? First, it is Christ. Secondly, it is all of us who have been incorporated into Christ—the holy Christian Church. The new man, created by Baptism, that comes forth daily and arises to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009Ezekiel 17:22–24—Things looked bleak when Jerusalem fell and King Zedekiah died in exile (Ezekiel 17:11-21). Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord proclaims that He will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and…I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. This tender sprig will never be uprooted, for it is the promised Messiah, Jesus, who will be given the throne of His father David, and whose Messianic kingdom will be established forever.
Thursday, 11 June 20092 Corinthians 5:1–10—In Sunday’s epistle reading, St Paul looks forward to eternal life in heaven, when we shall live forever in our glorified bodies, no longer made frail by the ravages of sin. Paul has supreme confidence in what is to come, for his confidence rests, not in the whims of man, but in the surety of God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. The Christian, who lives by faith in the promises of the Lord, rejoices at the thought of being at home with the Lord.
Friday, 12 June 2009Mark 4:26–34—These parables serve as both warning and encouragement to us. We have a rôle to play in the furtherance of God’s kingdom on earth by sharing the Good News of the Gospel with those around us, but we must never think that the triumph of the Kingdom is our triumph, for it is the Lord and His Word alone which are effective. But neither should we despair if the growth of the Lord’s Kingdom seems somehow unspectacular in our eyes. He alone is the Lord of the harvest (Mark 9:38); thus, we never cease praying “Thy Kingdom come” with patience and confidence.
Saturday, 13 June 2009—Sunday’s hymn of the day, Creator Spirit, By Whose Aid (LSB 500), is an eighth-century written in praise of the Holy Spirit and the gifts He bestows on the Church.

Collect for Pentecost 2Blessed Lord, since You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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