Sunday, June 21, 2020

Time in the Word - Pentecost 4 - Proper 8

The Price of Being a Christian
Pentecost 4
Proper 8
June 22-27, 2020

Today’s lessons are uncomfortable. They give a side to the Gospel we often neglect. In the Gospel lesson, Jesus says He came to bring a sword and not peace, because a conflict naturally results when one makes Christ his first love. This produces a conflict with competing loves. The way of Christ is not easy; it is the way of the cross, a way of self-sacrifice and hardship. The Old Testament points out that the truth is not always peace but war. The truth hurts because it is often negative and judgmental.  Christians are called to be salt and light in this world. The role of a Christian in this world is that of a true prophet: “O thou troubler of Israel” and “Hast thou fond me, O my enemy?” 

Collect for Proper 8O Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow it’s directing; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord who lives and rules with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

A simple yet heart-felt Prayer – “Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another.”

A Prayer of thanksgivingHeavenly Father, God of all grace, govern our hearts that we may never forget Your blessings but steadfastly thank and praise You for all Your goodness in this life until, with all Your saints, we praise You eternally in Your heavenly kingdom.

A Prayer for the Proper use of leisureO God, give us times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life. Grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds that we may be opened to the goodness of Your creation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord

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, June 22, 2020Psalm 89:15-18 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 1, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known You faithfulness to all generations.”  The love and faithfulness that appear here will be repeated fourteen times throughout the course of this Psalm. We trust in the mercies of our Lord because of His love and faithfulness.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2020Jeremiah 28:5-9 – A true prophet is one whose message is fulfilled. One day two preachers were speaking in the temple. They contradicted each other and yet both claimed to be prophets. Whom were the people to believe? One says God will send peace; the other promises the way. Jeremiah gives the acid test: the true prophet is one whose preaching comes true. So, we have to wait and see who is right. 

Here we find God’s bad news (verses 5-8).  Most think God has only good news for us. According to this lesson, God has both good and bad news. For the rebellious and disobedient there is bad news – judgment, war, famine, and death. King Ahab referred to Elijah as “you troubler of Israel,” and “my enemy.”  Micah had bad news of defeat for the kings about to go to war. To say peace because people want to hear it is to be faithless to God who brings judgment upon a sinful people. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020Romans 7:1-13 – Paul warns Christians not to back into our former way of living. As far as Christians are concerned, a life “controlled by the sinful nature” belongs to our past. The law not only reveals sin, it also stimulates it. The natural tendency in man is to desire the forbidden thing – death. Physical death and beyond that, eternal death - final separation from God – are the fruit of our “union” with the law.

Thursday, June 25, 2020Matthew 10:34-42 –Jesus calls upon his disciples to love him above all others. Matthew continues in this lesson with the price of discipleship. In verses 34-36, Jesus declares that His coming will cause dissension in families because disciples will love Him more than any member of the family. In verses 37-39, Jesus calls upon His disciples to take up the cross and to lose themselves in His cause. To those who do this, Jesus promises rewards (verses 40-42). In this passage, we have the cost and reward of discipleship.

There are many rewards — reward of a prophet, or a righteous man, of a spokesperson and ambassador of Christ. “He who receives you receives me.” To accept a follower of Christ is to accept Jesus; to help a disciple is to help Christ. To reject a disciple is to reject Christ. What a high honor to be a surrogate of Christ!

Friday, June 26, 2020Psalm 119:153-160 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. It falls under the Hebrew letter “Resh” It is a psalm and prayer of deliverance. “See how I love your precepts; preserve my life…

Saturday, June 27, 2020John 11:16 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn “Let us ever walk with Jesus” {LSB 685}. Thomas is ready to suffer all, even death, for the sake of Christ. Such commitment is necessary yet impossible without faith in Christ. Our prayer: Lord increase my faith!

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

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