Monday, August 31, 2009

Time in the Word - Pentecost 14 - Proper 18

God’s standard of excellence is the theme for this coming Sunday. In the Old Testament lesson God’s people are call to be strong and not to fear as God promises to come to His people. The language which is used is similar to that used of the coming Messiah. In the Epistle lesson excellence is seen in how the believer behaves. Favoritism is forbidden rather keeping the law is what is expected. The Christian faith is not merely a philosophical exercise of the mind. Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead. In the Gospel lesson a standard of excellence has been stamped on everything Jesus has done. He fulfills the prediction given in the Old Testament lesson. This causes the believer to express praise and adoration to the Lord who has done all things well as expressed in the hymn of the day which is based on this week’s appointed psalm.

Collect for Proper 18O God, from whom all good proceeds, grant to us Your humble servants, Your hold inspiration, that we may set our minds on the things that are right and, by Your merciful guiding, accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Monday, 31 August 2009Psalm 28:1-2, 6-7, Antiphon, Psalm 28:8The Lord is the strength of His people, He is the saving refuge of His anointed. The entire psalm is a prayer for deliverance from deadly peril at the hands of malicious and God-defying enemies. To rebel against the Lord’s Anointed is also to revel against the One who anointed him. The Lord’s anointed is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The English word “Messiah” comes from the Hebrew word for “anointed one” and the English word “Christ” comes from the Greek word for “anointed one”. (See also Matthew 1:17)

Tuesday, 01 September 2009Psalm 146; key verse v2— I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. The psalmist makes a vow to praise the Lord as long as he lives. This is similar to the vow we make on the day of our confirmation. Question: Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it? Answer: I do, by the grace of God.

Wednesday, 02 September 2009Isaiah 35:4-7a— Be strong and do not fear God will come. The coming Messiah will bring a standard of excellence. When God comes to redeem His people health and healing will be evident. The eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, the lame with leap and the mute will speak. Jesus will quote this passage in Matthew 11:5 to prove that He is the Lord’s chosen and anointed one, the Messiah.

Thursday, 03 September 2009James 2:1-10 14-18 — Favoritism is forbidden – faith and deeds are explained. It’s quite easy to say “I believe”, “I have faith,” “I trust” etc. Too often these are empty words and phrases. James explains that the sign of a genuine faith is shown in deeds. The key verse is v.17 “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James has no argument with the notion that we are saved by grace through faith. (See Ephesians 2:8-9) What he does say is that genuine faith will be demonstrated by certain actions and behaviors. (See Ephesians 2:10) This is the sign of excellence, faith that is active and engaging.

Friday, 04 September 2009Mark 7:31-37 —The original translation of verse 37 literally reads “Well! All things He has done!” A standard of excellence has been stamped on everything Jesus has done. He is able to make the deaf hear. This should not surprise us. Everything Jesus is doing is what God had promised to do when He came to redeem His people see Isaiah 35:5-6.

Saturday, 05 September 2009Psalm 146 - Sunday’s hymn of the day, Praise the Almighty (LSB 797) is based on the appointed psalm for this week. Having seen everything that Christ has done our only response is to return to Him our worship and praise. The psalm is an exhortation to trust in the Lord, Zion’s King. Psalm 146 is the first of five Hallelujah psalms with which the Psalter closes (Psalms 146-150).

Collect for Pentecost 15O Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us without all doubt to know Your Son Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life that, following His steps, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

A Prayer for obedience to God’s WordO holy and most merciful God, You have taught us the way of Your commandments. We implore You to pour out Your grace into our hearts. Cause it to bear fruit in us that being ever mindful of Your mercies and Your laws, we may always be directed to Your will and daily increase in love toward You and one another. Enable us to resist all evil and to live a godly life. Help us to follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to walk in His steps until we shall possess the kingdom that has been prepared for us in heaven; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer for God to guide usDirect 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 guidance in our callingLord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut used with permission from WELS
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

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