The Lessons for this week deal with God and the world. God rules the world. His glory is manifest among the nations. A pagan ruler, Cyrus, is chosen by God as his instrument; he uses a nation to fulfill his purposes in the world. In God’s hands lies the destinies of the nations. The Lord reigns among the nations and will judge the world with righteousness. In the Hymn “Before the Lord We bow” we praise God who rules the world and is boundless in power and love.
Collect for Proper 24 – Almighty God, the protector of all who trust in You, have mercy on us that with Yu as our ruler and guide we may so pass through things temporal that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Monday, October 12, 2020 - Psalm 121:1-4, 7-8 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Vs. 5 of Psalm 121; “The Lord watches over you- the Lord is Your shade at your right hand.” Under the theme “Nations under God” this Sunday’s readings deal with God and the world.
God rules the world. His glory is manifest among the nations. The Antiphon reminds us that the Lord is watching. How does that make one feel? We seek after Him who grants us grace which is found in the second half of the phrase “He is Your shade at your right hand.”
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - Isaiah 45:1-7 -In our Old Testament lesson a pagan ruler, Cyrus, is chosen by God as His instrument. The Lord uses a nation to fulfill His purposes in this world. In God’s hands lies the destiny of nations.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5a -In our Epistle lesson for this week Paul greets the Thessalonians and thanks God for their faithful work of faith and love. This is the first of a series of readings from the book written by the Apostle Paul. With respect to the Gospel lesson for the week – The Thessalonians render to God what God deserves. As for the Old Testament lesson; as Cyrus was chosen, God chose the church of Thessalonica. (Vs. 4) 1 Thessalonians is Paul’s earliest letter from Corinth ca. 50 A.D. He was writing to a Gentile congregation. Accordingly, he refers to their turn from idols to God, to their deliverance from sin through the cross and resurrection, and to their hope for Jesus’ return. In these opening verses, Paul thanks God for their faith, love, and hope. They prove that God has chosen them through the gospel which he preached. Moreover, they imitated the example of Paul and thus they became examples to the other churches.
Thursday, October 15, 2020– Matthew 22:15-22 - Religious leaders attempt to trap Jesus by asking him whether taxes should be paid to Rome. The religious leaders came to Jesus with a trick question that no matter how he answers, he is in trouble.
Pharisees and Herodians come to him with the question whether taxes should be paid to the Roman government. The Pharisees would say, “No”; the Herodians would answer, “Yes.” If Jesus said one should not pay taxes, he could be arrested as a subversive and revolutionary. If Jesus said one should, he would be in trouble with the patriotic Jews who hated Roman dominance. Jesus recognized that the inquirers were hypocrites and that they came to find occasion to have him arrested. His answer caused his enemies to marvel at his answer: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Friday, October 16, 2020 - Psalm 96:1-9 - This Psalm is appointed for next week. The key verse is verse 7b Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength”.
Saturday, October 17, 2020 –Psalm 145:1 -Our reading is the inspiration for tomorrow’s sermon hymn; “Before the Lord We Bow” an appropriate hymn for this week’s theme “Nations under God.” In this hymn we praise God who rules the world and is boundless in power and love. Truly we serve a God who governs the affairs of men who will judge the world with righteousness and equity. Having read these lessons here are a few points to ponder. Is it a true statement that the Lord has already judged the world? If so when and how? When Christ returns in glory what will be the sentence rendered?
A Prayer of the Church at the time of the Reformation (The Great Litany): Be mindful of all who have fallen asleep…who have offered You these gifts…who do good works…and are concerned for the poor…Remember, Lord those who live in deserts and mountains…those who persevere in virginity…those in authority…speak good to their hearts…Be mindful, O Lord, of the people assembled here, as well as those who are absent from good cause…fill their households with every good thing; sustain their marriages in peace and harmony; nurture their infants; train up the youth; support the elderly, comfort the fainthearted; gather in those who are scattered and lead back those who have strayed, uniting them in Your holy, catholic and apostolic church…Sail with those who sail…plead for the widows, shield the orphans…hear the cries of the afflicted. O God, look after all those who are on trial…those who love us as well as those who hate us…Be mindful, Lord our God, of all Your people and lavish on all Your rich mercy, granting to all what leads to salvation. And, if we have failed to commemorate anyone, whether out of ignorance or forgetfulness or because of the great number of names, You, O God, will remember.
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