Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Visitation

Collect for the Visitation (31 May ): Almighty God, You chose the virgin Mary to be the Mother of Your Son and made know through her Your gracious regard for the poor and lowly and despised. Grant that we may receive Your Word in humility and faith and so be made one with Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever, Amen.

Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, © WELS
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Easter 7 Outline & Points to Ponder

Romans and the Reformation 

A Series of Sermons Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation 

28 May 2017 – Easter 7 - Romans 1:8-17
The Righteous shall live by faith

With St. Paul we can say “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.”

1. It is the power of God for salvation.
2. It is for everyone.
3. It is the righteousness of God.

Points to consider…

Why and how are these early words, “the Gospel is…” so important in understanding the book of Romans?

What differences does it make when Paul states  “the gospel is for the Jew first but also for the Gentile”?

Define “the righteousness of God” in the following terms
1. “faith in God’s work”
2. “entirely the work of God”

Why is it important to understand that our standing with God has everything to do with faith from start to finish?

The just shall live by faith” or “By faith, the just shall live.” Is there a difference in the above two statements? If so, is one more appropriate? Why?

Looking to next week, read Romans 3:21-28 - Obedience to God’s Word results from grace.

Image Luther' Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

Time in the Word ~ Pentecost

Preparation for next week, the Day of Pentecost

The Risen Lord Jesus Pours Out the Holy Spirit
The Lord took “some of the Spirit” that was on Moses “and put it on the seventy elders” of Israel (Numbers 11:25), and they “prophesied in the camp” (Numbers 11:26). In the same way, our risen Lord Jesus poured out His Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost—the fiftieth day and the “Eighth Sunday” of Easter. When “a sound like a mighty rushing wind” and “tongues as of fire appeared” and rested on each of the twelve Apostles, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” and proclaimed “the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:2–4, 11). The Lord Jesus grants this same Spirit to His Church on earth to proclaim Him glorified on the cross and risen victorious from the grave for us sinners. From His open heart, our crucified and risen Lord pours out His Holy Spirit in “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) and invites everyone who thirsts to come to Him and drink freely (John 7:37). Through this life-giving work of the Holy Spirit, we hear our pastors “telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God” (Acts 2:11) and “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).
Time in the Word
May 29 – June 3 2017
Preparation for next week, the Day of Pentecost
Collect for Pentecost Eve: Almighty and ever-living God, You fulfilled Your promise by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to unite disciples of all nations in the cross and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. By the preaching of the Gospel spread this gift to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Collect for Pentecost Day: O God, on this day You once taught the hearts of Your faithful people by sending them the light of Your Holy Spirit. Grant us in our day by the same Spirit to have a right understanding in all things and evermore to rejoice in His holy consolation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns...
Collect for Pentecost Monday: O God, who gave Your Holy Spirit to the apostles, grant us that same Spirit that we may live in faith and abide in peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns...
Collect for the Holy Spirit: Lord God, heavenly Father, let Your Holy Spirit dwell in us that He may enlighten and lead us into all truth and evermore defend us from all adversities; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns...

Collect for the Visitation (31 May ): Almighty God, You chose the virgin Mary to be the Mother of Your Son and made know through her Your gracious regard for the poor and lowly and despised. Grant that we may receive Your Word in humility and faith and so be made one with Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever, Amen. 

Monday, 29 May 2017Psalm 104:24, 27–28, 30; antiphon, Liturgical Text—On the Day of Pentecost, we focus our attention on the Holy Spirit and His rĂ´le in establishing the Christian Church. The antiphon is a portion of an ancient prayer to the Holy Spirit: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your love. Psalm 104 is a hymn of praise celebrating the wonders of God’s creation. But it is careful to direct our attention not so much to the creation, but to the Creator. The portion of the psalm used in the Introit proclaims that the Holy Spirit, too, with the Father and the Son, was involved in the creation, especially of man, into whose nostrils God breathed the breath (Spirit) of life.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017Psalm 25:1–15—This psalm of David makes an excellent prayer for daily use. It first contrasts godly (the one who trusts in God) with the ungodly. In verses 4–11, we consider our sins, especially as contrasted with the righteousness of God, and pray for forgiveness and spiritual renewal, trusting in the mercy and steadfast love of the Lord. Verses 12–15 deal with sanctification—godly living—asking for guidance, instruction. The closing verses of the psalm, though not appointed for next week’s reading, brings the plea full circle, as, once again, we pray for deliverance from suffering and from persecution by our foes, those who are opposed to the Lord and to those faithful to the Lord.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017Numbers 11:24–30—Because the task of caring for the children of Israel was overwhelming, the Lord instructed Moses to appoint seventy men as elders to assist him. For some unknown reason, two of them, Eldad and Medad, failed to present themselves at the tabernacle for commissioning. Yet, the Spirit rested upon them, also. Some of the others thought that they should be stopped from prophesying, proclaiming the Word of the Lord. Moses exclaims, Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them! Though pastors are appointed to fulfill certain tasks in the Lord’s Church, all Christians are called upon to give witness to the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15) by proclaiming the Word of God, as opportunities are presented.

Thursday, 1 June 2017Acts 2:1–21—The Epistle reading for the Day of Pentecost is, as you might imagine, the account of the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Day of Pentecost, and the establishment of the New Testament Church. This special gift was given to the disciples in the early Church for two main reasons: to testify that these men were speaking by the authority of God (for only God could grant such a gift in fulfillment of prophecy), and in order to proclaim the Word of God to people of many different tongues. Since the New Testament had not been written down yet, it also could not be translated yet. In our day, the written Word of God, the Bible, fulfills both these purposes, delivering the truth of God in a language which we can understand.

Friday, 2 June 2017John 7:37–39—Jesus foretells the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit will be fully poured out upon the Church, causing living waters to flow out from their hearts, that is, all believers will be empowered to testify to the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation which comes through Jesus Christ alone.

Saturday, 3 June 2017—The majestic Hymn of the Day, Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord (LSB #497), was written by Martin Luther. In addition to writing catechism hymns for each of the six chief parts of Christian doctrine, Luther wrote this one to help remember the third article of the Apostles’ Creed. The chief teaching of the Christian faith—the doctrine of salvation by faith rather than works—is clearly proclaimed throughout this great hymn. Sing it confidently and boldly. The Holy Spirit has brought you to faith, and by Word and Sacrament, He will continue to keep you in the one true faith.
 Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, © WELS
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Easter 7

28 May 2017 – Easter 7 - Romans 1:8-17
The Righteous shall live by faith

Today we begin a series of sermons. Based on the book of Romans. For the next sixteen weeks. The epistle lesson is taken from St Paul’s letter to the Romans. It was Luther’s careful study of this book, which lead him to understand the gospel namely that we are justified by God freely apart from works of the law.

From that discovery came the inspiration which sparked the Reformation 500 years ago. Luther grappled with an age old dilemma. How do I get right with God? How do I know God cares? How can I know that He love me? And if He does, in fact, care for me. And love me. How do I know this?

Luther was keenly aware that all was not well. There was something broken. From the testimony of God’s Law. From the evidence of the existence of evil in this world. From the conviction of my own conscience. These all remind me daily of the fact that I am a poor, miserable sinner. Sin is real. With sin come consequences. Consequences often lead to great cost and loss. The penalty of sin is death. And death we cannot avoid. So how do you make sense of all this?

Says, Luther “I questioned this passage for a long time and labored over it. The phrase “the righteousness of God” barred the way. The phrase was customarily explained to mean that the righteousness of God is a virtue by which He is Himself righteous and condemns sinners…As often as I read this passage, I wished that God had never revealed the Gospel; for who can love a God who was anger, who judged and condemned people…This misunderstanding continued until enlightened by the Holy Spirit. I finally examined these words, “The just shall live by faith”…then the entire Scriptures became clear to me and heaven was opened to me. Now we see this brilliant light very clearly, and we are privileged to enjoy it abundantly.”   [1]

With St. Paul we can say “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

1.     It is the power of God for salvation.

a.     Christ bore our sin, guilt and shame on the cross and gave us His life for us.

b.     Receiving these gifts by faith, and empowered by the Spirit, we are no longer ashamed of the Gospel. Rather we cherish the Gospel. It is good news and it is life.

2.     It is for everyone.

a.     It is for the Jew first. Why? Paul explains. “to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 9:4-5)

b.     But the Gospel is for pagans also. On the first Pentecost. Gathered in Jerusalem were Jews from every tribe and nation. Peter in his epic sermon speaks of the Father’s guarantee of salvation. “For the promise is for you and for your children” But then he adds,” and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:39) The great promises of the Gospel. The power of God for salvation. His good and gracious favor has come for you.

3.     It is the righteousness of God.

a.     Revealed from faith to faith. Paul would remind us that our standing with God has everything to do with faith from start to finish. It begins with the faithfulness of God and is continues into faith in the heart of the believer. God is completely responsible for your salvation from front to back! You don’t one-day wake up and decide to follow Jesus – He plants the seed of faith in your heart. He then nourishes that faith by giving you His eternal Word, which is able to make you wise unto salvation. This is what St. Paul reminds us when he tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”

b.     Faith is God’s gift. Created by the Holy Spirit who works in and through the Gospel. He brings us to repentance. And in faith we trust the Father’s promises. Repentance and faith. They work together. Both simultaneously and concurrently. They are like a chorus. Occurring all together. At once. And what are these two? Repentance and faith? Repentance is simply giving up all hope of a better past. While forgiveness is no longer haunted by a troubled past.

c.      It is entirely God’s work. “The one who is righteous by faith shall live.” You are declared righteous. Thus, you live by faith. If you are in Christ. God considers you. Counts you. Credits you as His good and faithful servant.  You are declared righteous because of Christ’s righteousness, which has been poured out all over you. It is the life of Jesus that now becomes your credentials to be with Christ in this life and the one which is to come.  It is the life of Jesus whom the Father will recognize as He greets me in glory. It is Christ’s righteousness that will be counted as your own righteousness. How Jesus lived His life is what is being counted in place of how you lived your life. How Jesus died, is what is being counted as your death. How Jesus obeyed is what is being counted in place of how you disobeyed.

The struggles with which Luther struggled five hundred years ago continue to this day. How does God regard me? How do I know God cares? How can I know that He love me? As we review this book of Romans we are given these words which have become the center of our faith. “The one who is righteous. By faith. Shall live!”  

Words – 1,025
Passive Sentences –9%
Readability –81.2%
Reading Level -4.2
Luther’s Seal © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[1] Plass, Ewald (1959). What Luther Says. CPH: St. Louis, MO. p835

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Ascension of our Lord

Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into heaven, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

The Ascension   © Google Images


Acts 1:8-11
Implications concerning the Ascension

40 days after the Resurrection. 10 days before Pentecost. The church gathers to celebrate one of the earliest church holidays – the Ascension of our Lord. What does the ascension mean for us today in the 21st Century - living in the year of our Lord 2017? Let’s consider the words of the angels as they spoke to the 1st century believers.

Ascension marks the fact that Jesus’ work on earth is finished. Today marks the fact that Jesus' mission is complete. Yet, there is work for the members of His body to do- We review Jesus words, “And you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You shall be witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria- even to the uttermost parts of the earth.” Jesus, by these words, reminds us that we shall receive:

1. The Power: “But ye shall receive power…

A. Jesus has not let us weak- He has not left us powerless.  To the contrary. The Lord has given power and strength to His church. He equips us to work for Him as His representatives. You are an ambassador for Christ. Armed with His credentials. 

B. The places where we are given this power are found specifically in His Word which is preached, taught, read and shared. It is found specifically in His gifts; the blessed Sacraments. It is found specifically in the message of Christ’s forgiveness. 

Transition: There is power there are also provisions the Lord has for His people.

2. The Provision: “After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…

A. God has provided you with His Spirit. Some believe that in the Ascension Jesus has left us. These believe that there is somehow a sense of separation or distance between Christ and His Church. They reason, that the Church is on earth and Christ is in heaven so somehow Christ has distanced Himself from His people.  Not so! For He has sent us His Holy Spirit.

B. For what is the role of the Holy Spirit? He calls, gathers, enlightens sanctifies and keeps us in the one true faith. The Holy Spirit has called you by the Gospel, gathered you into His church, enlightened you with His gifts, makes you perfect, blameless and holy and will continue to keep you faithful to Him and to the Christian faith.  This is the provision He has given to you.

Transition: There is power given, there is the provisions of the Holy Spirit. There is also the prospect of being witnesses for Christ.

3. The Prospect: “And ye shall be witnesses unto me…” 

A. The early Christians said repeatedly; “We are witnesses of these things” All the disciples and believers spoke concerning what he Savior had done. The result? Whole families were brought into the family of faith as the Lord was adding them those that were being saved. 

B. You too are witnesses- You too tell the wonderful news concerning Jesus Christ. This is the only way the Church of Jesus Christ grows- one Christian at a time. Yet it is always the Holy Spirit who adds the increase.

Transition: Yet where shall we go? The Holy Spirit has also provided the place.  

4. The Places: “In Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

A. It’s where God has planted you. For the early Christians of the 1st Century it started in Jerusalem, then Judea, it grew into Samaria- then finally to the uttermost parts of the earth.

B. For us, living in the 21st Century? It starts at Friedheim, then it expands into Preble Township, it grows into Northeast Indiana. And with respect to the uttermost parts of the earth. It’s getting so much easier to reach so many. The nations are literally coming across our borders. Residents from foreign lands continue to make their home here in our area. May the Lord give us eyes to see them!

There are also the people God places in your life. People, whom you interact with; either at home, at school, in the greater community. This is your mission field.

C. We are becoming a “sending congregation.” This month we have celebrated with many of our students who have graduated from college. Many of them will continue their education at institutions even further away from home. Some will soon begin their careers; in urban centers, a greater distance from here. Literally they are traveling to the ends of the earth. Armed with the Gospel, they become witnesses of the Savior’s mercy and grace.
 The 1st Century directive of reaching out continues to be your directive. God the Holy Spirit does all of the work from front to back. He simply uses you to be His instrument. The Holy Spirit has provided the power, the provision, the prospect, the place. Thanks be to God. He has done it all. Even so come Lord Jesus, come even today!

Words – 825
Passive Sentences –4%
Readability – 71.8
Reading Level -5.9

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wyneken Graduation

Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School
8th Grade Graduation
23 May, 2017
James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

We all knew this night would come. When you would graduate from Wyneken. And it has been a true joy to spend this past year with you. Great students! Great class! You enjoyed each other’s company. You made teaching fun! The text you have selected for your graduation are appropriate. They say to us this night, “Remain steadfast!”  

1. Blessed is the man
        A. Who remains steadfast
             1. Be steadfast. James reminds us “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial.”                         This echoes Jesus’ words, “the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
                    a.       Moving on to Bellmont, there will be many decisions you will be making very                                     soon. Friends you will make. Classes you will take. Who you will be hanging out                                 with. Career choices. The list is endless.
                     b. Yet, remaining steadfast in the faith is of the first importance.

             2. This is one of Jesus’ great promises. Not only will He will remain with you. He                                      remains steadfast. Unmovable. He will not change.  He remains faithful.
                   a.      Notice who is the One who is being steadfast – Christ.
                   b.      Count on Him to remain steadfast for you. Go where He directs you.
                        1. To His promises found in His Word
                        2. To His gifts of mercy and grace.
                                 a. To His forgiveness spoken to you in His word of absolution.
                                 b. To His life given to you in His Supper.
                                 c. To His salvation given to your baptism.

          B. Jesus remains faithful. Especially under trial.
             1. Trials will come.
                   a.  You have been confirmed. You have renounced Satan. You have pledged to remain                               faithful to Christ. So expect trials to come.
                   b. Yet these trials can only make you stronger. As you look to Christ.
            2.          This is how Satan operates.
                   a. The trials and the sufferings we endure now is the result of living in a broken world.                             Outside of Eden.
                   b. There is a purpose for such things. To stand the test. “When he has stood the trial.”                                 But not because of your might, your strength, your will. “Not by might, nor by                                     power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)

Transition: Not only are you blessed now. You will be blessed by Christ forever!

2. He will receive the crown of life
     A. A promise which God has promised you in Christ. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give                    you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)
        1. Christ cannot go back on His promises.
        2. He remains faithful. For he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)
     B. He does all this because He loves you.
        1. The definition of God’s love for you, “greater love has no man than this, that He lay down                   His life for His friends. “ (John 15:13)
        2. Thus you can face the future confidently!

Remember the things taught you. Cling to that which is good. Love God. Serve your neighbor. Be a sermon in shoes! Remain steadfast in the steadfastness of Christ!

Words – 530
Passive Sentences – 4%
Readability – 88.2%
Reading Level - 2.7

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Time in the Word ~ Easter 7

Time in the Word
Christians in a non-Believing World
Easter 7
May 22-27, 2017

This coming week will be the last Sunday in Easter. Easter 7 serves as a bridge between Ascension and Pentecost. We look back to the Ascension or forward to Pentecost. Because Easter was so late this year, we will be celebrating Ascension the last week of May.  .

A Daytime Collect for Eastertide Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit.

For Agriculture - Almighty God, You blessed the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper; we implore You, the work of farmers, especially in this planting season. Grant them seasonable weather that they may gather in the fruits of the earth and thus proclaim Your goodness. May we see by this noble vocation that by Your aid we are helping to feed the world and cause all who give thanks over their food to treat those who produce it with honor and respect.

An Evening Collect for Eastertide Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. Abide with us and with Your whole Church. Abide with us in the end of the day, in the end of our life, in the end of the world. Abide with us with Your grace and goodness, with Your Holy Word and sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair when death shall come. Abide with us and with all the faithful through time and eternity.

Monday, May 22, 2017 – Psalm 68:1-10 - This is the Psalm suggested for the last Sunday in Easter. It appears to be an order of service for procession to the temple in Jerusalem. The Lord has brought salvation to Israel Vv. 1-6 in the Exodus Vv. 7-10 and the wilderness wanderings. Vv.11-14 extended verses.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 – Acts 1:12—26 – Christians in the world pray for the Spirit.  At His ascension, Jesus promised to send the Spirit to the disciples. The risen Lord meets with His eleven disciples a short distance from Jerusalem where before ascending to His Father, He promises them the Spirit who will give them power to witness throughout the world. Then they returned to an upper room in Jerusalem to pray. With the disciples are Jesus’ brothers and mother. This is her last appearance in the New Testament — she is seen among the first Christians praying and waiting for the Spirit. This deals with both the Ascension and next Sunday’s Pentecost. The First Lesson is similar to today’s Acts 1:1-11. Otherwise, the Lesson can be used to prepare for the upcoming Pentecost celebration.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 – 1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11 – Christians in the world share Christ’s sufferings. Christians are to rejoice over the privilege of sharing Christ’s suffering, and, after suffering, God will restore and strengthen them. The exhortations to the newly baptized are continued in this passage. They are warned of impending persecution for being Christians, for at this time it was a crime to be a Christian. They are not to be surprised when suffering comes, but to rejoice that they suffer as Jesus did. When suffering comes, the new Christians are to be humble, trust in God’s care, be on guard against temptation, and to remember that suffering is over and God will strengthen them. They are to take comfort in the fact that suffering is experienced by the whole church.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 John 17:1-11 – Christians in the world are prayed for. Before His departure, Jesus prays for His disciples. This lesson is a part of Christ’s high priestly prayer, the end of His farewell discourse at the Last Supper begun in chapter 13. The hour of His departure has come. He reports to the Father that He has accomplished the work He was sent to do. 
Friday, May 26, 2017 – Psalm 47 – This Psalm is suggested for Ascension.  The Psalmist gives praise for the kingship of the Lord and the universal reign of the God of Abraham. It is seen as a prophecy of Christ who will rise up to be king of the entire earth through the preaching of the Gospel.

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – Acts 2:21 – This verse is the inspiration for the hymn, “Christ is the World’s Redeemer“{LSB 539}. The suggested hymn for this week reminds us that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Having examined the realities of Easter, we now go out into the world as witnesses of the Savior. This is what living the faith means. Expressing what those 1st Century disciples proclaimed, “We are witnesses to these things”

THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

LECTIONARY PREACHING WORKBOOK © 1989 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Time in the Word ~ Easter 6

Collect for Easter 6 - O God, the Giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those 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. Amen.

A Prayer for Home & FamilyVisit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, 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.

For PeaceO God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works proceed, give to Your servants that peace which the world cannot give that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that  w3e, being defended by You, may pass our time in rest and quietness.   

Time in the Word
The Spirit in the Christian’s Life
Easter 6
May 15-20, 2017

This week lead us to the Sunday before the Festival of the Ascension, which falls forty days after Easter. Since Jesus is about to leave the earth, our attention is called to the Spirit who is to come in his place. The Lessons begin to prepare us for Pentecost. In the Gospel, Jesus promises to send the Spirit as Counselor, the spirit of truth. In Lesson 1, Paul in his sermon at Athens tries to explain the nature of God who, to the Athenians, is an “unknown God.” For many today, including Christians, the Spirit is an unknown God. The Spirit is mentioned in the Epistle Lesson — Jesus was made alive in the Spirit. The Prayer refers to “the inspiration of the Spirit” to enable us to think those things that are right. Since Pentecost is a major festival of the church and hopefully a renewed outpouring of the Spirit, it is appropriate that through the lections we begin to prepare for Pentecost.

A Daytime Collect for Eastertide: Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit.

A Collect for Ascension: Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into heaven, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen

Monday, May 15, 2017 – Psalm 66:1-7 -The Antiphon for next Sunday’s Introit is taken from Vs.1, “I cry to God with joy.” The man who is blessed (Vv.1-4) is also humbled (Vv. 5ff) Notice the illustration in Vs. 6 and the implication found in Vs. 7.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – Acts 17:16-31 –The Spirit as an “unknown God” Paul preaches at Athens. Paul’s sermon at Athens was different. It was addressed not to Jews nor to Christian Gentiles, but to educated and cultured pagans, for Athens was the capitol of Greek-Roman civilization. It is interesting to see how Paul adapted to his audience to get a hearing. He begins by complementing them — “You are very religious.” He refers to a local situation — an altar erected to an unknown god. This gives him an entree into his subject. Who is this “unknown God?” To bolster his argument he does not quote scripture but Greek philosophers and poets. He brings his message to a head by calling for repentance as preparation for the judgment to be conducted by the One God raised from the dead.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 –1 Peter 3:13-22 – Christians are alive in the Spirit. The newly baptized, warned they may suffer for being Christians are reminded if the suffer for “well-doing rather than evil-doing,” they will be blessed. In a non-Christian world, Christians are to imitate Jesus who suffered, died for our sins, rose and ascended to the Father. They are to revere Christ and to be prepared to give an account of their faith. As Noah was saved through water, really from water, baptismal water saves us not by a physical, but a spiritual cleansing.

Thursday, May 18, 2017 – John 14:15-21God’s people come to God only through Jesus. This is a continuation of Jesus’ “farewell discourses”. Jesus promises not to leave the disciples desolate, for he will send the Spirit. Jesus’ final discourse continues from last Sunday. It deals with the fate of the disciples after his departure.

Jesus reminds his followers that love is obeying his commands, particularly the command to love one another. He assures them that he will not leave them desolate, for he will send the Spirit. By the Spirit he will be with them. John considers the coming of the Spirit as the end of all time.
Friday, May 19, 2017 – Psalm 66:8-20 – This Psalm is a continuation from the Psalm appointed for Monday. Now we look at the holy man who is humbled by the marvelous ways of God (Vv.8-12). The person of faith is declared holy by the trustworthiness of God (Vv. 13-15) as well as his testimony. (Vv. 16-20)

Saturday, May 20, 2017 – 2 Timothy 1:9-10 – Is the inspiration for the hymn “Dear Christians One and All rejoice“{LSB 556} As we will have examination Sunday tomorrow reviewing the chief teachings of our Christian faith this hymn is quit fitting. It explains the whole story of Savior. Luther wrote this hymn to explain to his children what Good Friday and Easter Sunday taught. It is one of Luther’s great teaching hymns and has grown to be one of the finest hymns composed.

THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. LouisMO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St. LouisMO
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

LECTIONARY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A John Brokhoff © 1980 CSS Publishing House, LimaOH

Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

The Ascension   © Google Images