Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Morning Prayer #23

 

Joseph’s brothers in Egypt 
Genesis 42 
(Selected Verses)

So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him. 5 Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

6 Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9 And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”

14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies."18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.

21 Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and wept. 

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 


Thursday prior to Proper 21

 

James 5: (1-12) 13-20James calls for intolerance of wickedness and a return to God for the avoidance of evil. This lesson continues where last Sunday’s Epistle has stopped. James urges his readers to turn to God and away from wickedness. Among the evils we are to avoid are judging others, boasting, and injustice to the poor.

In fulfillment of God’s purposes…” That’s how the opening verses of James have described the purposive nature of God’s “generous acts of giving” and God’s “every perfect gift.”

Confidence in the power of prayer

At the beginning of the letter the author has counseled that if we lack anything that belongs to wisdom, the correct response is to turn to God in prayer, knowing that God will respond “generously and ungrudgingly” (James 1:5). That confidence is now reasserted in these final words to the community. But now the power of prayer holds out some rather telling content and promise. The author speaks of its power to “save” the sick, to “raise them up,” and to occasion the “forgiveness of sins” (James 5:5). In effect the assertion is that in the community’s exercise of prayer the very promise and power of the resurrection remain not just some future hope but now impinge on, recreate, and sustain a living and active community of faith.

It takes a village

In case it has slipped our notice, the author emphasizes it once again — such an exercise of prayer is not either by or for persons in isolation. We might imagine that such counsel jumps over the centuries in being particularly relevant to our own contemporary world. Ours is a very individualist oriented culture. Self-help books proliferate on our bookshelves. And even our so-called “social media” is often structured or utilized primarily to focused on exalting individual identities and chalking up the greatest number of “friends” on our tally sheets (friends for whom the greatest insult might be that in a fit of pique I might “un-friend” them at any moment).

But James knows a wisdom that is communal, especially in its faithful exercise of prayer. Twice he charges that confession should be “to one another,” and that we should pray “for one another,” if we have any expectation that the promised healing is to take place (James 5.16). Such prayer exercised within and on behalf of the community has power — James says it is “effective.” It is effective because it is exercised within the context of a community endowed with God’s gifts in creation, and because it belongs to ones who have been forgiven and empowered by the implanted word of promise in Christ Jesus. In James’ language it is the prayer of ones who are “righteous.[2]

For the Hope of Eternal life in Christ—Almighty, everlasting God, whose Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death, strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ increase daily and we hold fast to the hope that we shall not die but fall asleep and on the last day be raised to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.[3] – 23 September 2021



[1]The CrucifixionSchnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[3] Collect for the Hope of Eternal Life, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Wednesday prior to Proper 21

 

Numbers 11:4-6; 10-16, 24-29The LORD provides seventy elders to assist Moses in meeting the needs of the people and gives his spirit to others from the seventy.

Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. The Lord provides seventy elders to assist Moses in meeting the needs of the people and gives his spirit to others than the seventy. The Israelites are in the wilderness and complain to Moses that they have only manna and no meat. Moses takes the complaint to God who orders Moses to bring seventy elders to the meeting place outside the camp. Some of Moses’ spirit was given to the elders and they began to prophesy. Two men, Eldad and Medad, were not invited to the meeting of the seventy. While in the camp, they received the Spirit and prophesied. Joshua was jealous for Moses and asked him to stop the two. Moses refused and wished that all of the people had the spirit and were prophets.

The “spirit” is the spirit of God. It did not originate on Pentecost, but the same spirit existed from the beginning. It operated at creation and spoke through Moses and the prophets. The spirit may come through human instrumentality. The spirit came out of Moses to the elders from Elijah to Elisha, from the church’s laying on of hands. Proclamation is allied with the spirit. When the spirit is possessed, there is preaching. [2]

Especially in the book of Acts, as the spirit comes Luke remarks, “and they prophesied” which simply means the early disciples proclaimed the Gospel. 

A prayer for steadfast faith—Almighty God, our heavenly Father, of Your tender love towards us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. [3]-22 September 2021

 



[1]The CrucifixionSchnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[3] Collect for a steadfast faith, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Monday, September 20, 2021

Morning Prayer #22

 

Joseph rises to power 
Genesis 41 
(Selected Verses)

 

And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”[a] 17 Then Pharaoh [told Joseph his dream]

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. 30 but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 

33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.36 That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.[d] Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

Footnotes:

Genesis 41:16 Or (compare Samaritan, Septuagint) Without God it is not possible to give Pharaoh an answer about his welfare
Genesis 41:34 Or over the land and organize the land
Genesis 41:38 Or of the gods
Genesis 41:40 Hebrew and according to your command all my people shall kiss the ground

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 


Tuesday prior to Proper 21

 

Psalm 104:27-35; key verse, verse 24How many are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.

This Psalm has no title but it is attributed to David. 

The psalmist recalls the fifth day of creation. (Genesis 1:20-23).  The realm of the sea is structurally balanced with the celestial realm, (see verses 2-4) as the other boundary to the realm of earth. And the Lord orders each day of your life as He has promised to guide and sustain you.

These all wait for You, that You may give them their food: The psalmist considered all kinds of created things from the land, sea, and air. He recognized that they all depended upon God, who provided for them in due season.

The Lord provides for all we need in due season. God has a timing for all things, and does not feed his creatures by fits and starts; he gives them daily bread, and a quantity proportioned to their needs.

V. 24: O LORD, how manifold are Your works. The psalmist continues in amazement as he looks at nature and creation. He sees it all not as the result of random and purposeless events, but as the wise works of a great God who has right of ownership over all of it (Your possessions). [2]

Collect for Psalm 104: God of all light, life and love, through the visible things of the world you raise our thoughts to things unseen and you show us your power and your love. From your dwelling place refresh our hearts and renew the face of the earth with the life-giving water of your Word, until the new heaven and new earth resound with the song of resurrection in Jesus Christ our Lord.   [3]-21 September 2021 



[1]The CrucifixionSchnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[3] Collect for Psalm 104, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, © 1996 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Morning Prayer #21

 

Joseph before Pharaoh 
Genesis 41
(Selected Verses)

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dreams

After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2 and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. 3 And behold, seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4 And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke. 5 And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. 6 And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind. 7 And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8 So in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.


9 Then the chief cup-bearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today. 10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11 we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”


14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.


English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use.


Monday prior to Proper 21

 


Psalm 135:1-3, 13-14, Antiphon, Psalm 135:13—Your Name, O Lord, endures forever, Your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.

Sunday’s Theme is Tolerance. In the Old Testament lesson (Numbers 11:4-6; 10-16, 24-29) Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. In the Epistle, (James James 5: (1-12) 13-20)  James calls for intolerance of wickedness. In the Gospel, (Mark 9:38-50) Jesus approves a non-follower’s use of His name. Coupled with tolerance is an underlying theme of resistance. Jesus urges to get rid of anything that causes us to sin while in the Old Testament lesson the Israelites complain about the monotony of daily manna. James condemns the sin of arrogance and persecution of the poor.

Psalm 135 from which the Introit comes is a call to praise the Lord – the one and only true God, the Lord of all creation, the Lord over all the nations, Israel’s redeemer. The Psalmist reminds us that the Lord and His redeeming work will be remembered throughout time. Thus we praise Him for His marvelous deeds.

Psalm 135 is of note for its use of other passages from the Hebrew Scriptures. Almost every verse quotes the words or the idea of another Old Testament passage, including four different psalms, two passages from Deuteronomy, two from Jeremiah, and two from Exodus. Derek Kidner wrote of Psalm 135, “Every verse of this psalm either echoes, quotes or is quoted by some other part of Scripture.”[2]

Collect for Psalm 135 Lord God, you are great and have done mighty deeds; you have shattered the powers o darkness and have shown compassion to your servants .Keep us from being deceived by idols, for there is no god like you, and your renown endures from age to age. Blessed be the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit now and forever.  [3]-  20 September 2021



[1]The CrucifixionSchnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use 

[3] Collect for Psalm 135, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, © 1996 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY


Proper 21 Series B


Proper 21 B
Numbers 11:4–6, 10–16, 24–29
James 5:(1–12) 13–20
Mark 9:38–50


Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Cares for Us and Serves Us with the Forgiveness of Sins

When the people of Israel wept, complaining that they had no meat to eat (Numbers 11:4), Moses cried out to the Lord that “the burden of all this people” was too heavy for him and that he was “not able to carry all this people alone” (Numbers 11:11–14). So the Lord had Moses gather “seventy men of the elders of Israel” (Numbers 11:16), and the Lord “took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders” (Numbers 11:25), so that Moses would not carry the burden alone.

All who thus labor are honored, and all the people are cared for, in the name of the Lord (Mark 9:39–41). Everything is done with reference to Christ Jesus. So we cling to Him, and we flee from all sins that would separate us from Him (Mark 9:42–48). The life of the Church is one of repentant faith in Christ. Christians confess their sins to one another, and they “pray for one another,” that each would be raised up and healed by the Lord Jesus, who covers “a multitude of sins” and saves our souls from death (James 5:15–20). 

The theme is Tolerance. In the Old Testament lesson Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. In the Epistle, James calls for intolerance of wickedness. In the Gospel, Jesus approves a non-follower's use of His name. Coupled with tolerance is an underlying theme of resistance. Jesus urges to get rid of anything that causes us to sin while in the Old Testament lesson the Israelites complain about the monotony of daily manna. James condemns the sin of arrogance and persecution of the poor.

Collect for Proper 21 - Everlasting Father, source of every blessing, mercifully direct and govern us by Your Holy Spirit that we may complete the works You have prepared for us to do; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Lord, thank You for Your work through the lives of others. Lead me to welcome those miracles and mercies that You show through every one of Your people

Lord, give us the lasting faith that can persevere through every trial. Empty our heads of anything that competes with You, and let us hold firmly to You eternally

Mark 9:38-50 – Jesus approves a non-follower’s use of His name to cast our demons. He urges the extermination of those sins that result in hell. The first part of the Gospel (Vv. 38-41) obviously parallels the Old Testament lesson. It deals with Jesus’ approval of a non-disciple casting out demons in Jesus’ name. The next section (Vv.42-48) deals with Jesus’ “little ones” – not children but his disciples or new converts. The point is that any sacrifice is worth eternal life rather than going to hell forever which is described as eternal torment.

A third section of the reading deals with salt.  It is a call to radical obedience rather than to accommodation to the world.

In Christ you are free. There is much Christian liberty and freedom the child of God can experience in this life. The Lord wants His followers to enjoy the fullness of life. All that God created is good. However, if any part of us or any habit causes us to sin, we are to get rid of it. It would be better to abstain and deny ourselves certain pleasures and privileges than to allow one pleasure to ruin the whole. When should we allow our Christian liberty to be exercised? When might you deny yourself certain “freedoms” for the sake of someone else? How might we better live balanced lives?

Vv. 38-41 Jesus opens the disciples' eyes to see those who do God's work in dramatic or simple ways. The work of God goes far beyond us. He show His power and kindness through great life changing miracles and simple cups of water. 

Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us


:38 [a]Ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰωάννης· Διδάσκαλε, εἴδομέν τινα [b]ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου ἐκβάλλοντα δαιμόνια, [c]καὶ ἐκωλύομεν αὐτόν, ὅτι οὐκ ἠκολούθει ἡμῖν. John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,[a] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”

-John the Baptist  beheaded in chapter 6 - he's not following us, not one of us...casting out demons correctly. Is this a part of the 70/72? 

-Consistent with John/James “shall we call down fire?” “Sit on Your right/left.”

:39  ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· Μὴ κωλύετε αὐτόν, οὐδεὶς γάρ ἐστιν ὃς ποιήσει δύναμιν ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου καὶ δυνήσεται ταχὺ κακολογῆσαί με· But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 

- do not forbid him...do not stop them...for no one who does a powerful work (things) ...in My Name... and turn around and speak evil. 

-Powerful things = proclaiming the Word, baptizing…

:40 ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ’ [d]ἡμῶν, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐστιν For the one who is not against us is for us. 

-whoever is not against us is for us...

:41 Ὃς γὰρ ἂν ποτίσῃ ὑμᾶς ποτήριον ὕδατος ἐν [e]ὀνόματι ὅτι χριστοῦ ἐστε, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν [f]ὅτι οὐ μὴ [g]ἀπολέσῃ τὸν μισθὸν αὐτοῦ. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

- for whoever gives you to drink a cup of water in the Name because you are in Christ, he will certainly no loose his reward...Christian Vocation... 

-There must have been a conversion. By nature people start out against Christ, in the realm of darkness...

-Jesus also said, "He who is not with me is against me."

-Do not compare yourself to others but also do not compromise the truth.

There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” – CS Lewis “Through the Wardrobe”

Vv. 42-50 Nothing is more important than retaining the faith unto eternal life. Let nothing come between you and the Savior.  Though He tests us with fire, He does not consume His own people.  Rejoice, for God graciously gives us the faith in which He preserves us to eternity. 

Temptations to Sin

:42  Καὶ ὃς [h]ἂν σκανδαλίσῃ ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν [i]τούτων τῶν πιστευόντων [j]εἰς ἐμέ, καλόν ἐστιν αὐτῷ μᾶλλον εἰ περίκειται [k]μύλος ὀνικὸς περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ βέβληται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν.  Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[b] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 

"little ones" Gk. μικρῶν "smallest child" 

:43 Καὶ ἐὰν [l]σκανδαλίζῃ σε ἡ χείρ σου, ἀπόκοψον αὐτήν· καλόν [m]ἐστίν σε κυλλὸν [n]εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν ἢ τὰς δύο χεῖρας ἔχοντα ἀπελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γέενναν, εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ [o]ἄσβεστον. And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,[c] to the unquenchable fire.[d] 

-"hell: Gk. γέενναν from Hebrew name for the Hinnom Valley southwest of Jerusalem, where humans were sacrificed (2 Ch.28:3; 33:6) and garbage was dumped (2 Kings 23:10)  Fire was constantly present in the Hinnom Valley due to sacrifices and burning trash. This became a figure for the everlasting fire of hell. Used in Mark Vv. 43, 45, 47. 

-Hand, foot, eye = Works, your walk, what you take in goes to the heart...

:45  καὶ ἐὰν ὁ πούς σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἀπόκοψον αὐτόν· καλόν ἐστίν [p]σε εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν ζωὴν χωλὸν ἢ τοὺς δύο πόδας ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς τὴν [q]γέενναν. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 

:47 καὶ ἐὰν ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου σκανδαλίζῃ σε, ἔκβαλε αὐτόν· καλόν [r]σέ ἐστιν μονόφθαλμον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἢ δύο ὀφθαλμοὺς ἔχοντα βληθῆναι εἰς [s]τὴν [t]γέενναν, And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,

:48  ὅπου ὁ σκώληξ αὐτῶν οὐ τελευτᾷ καὶ τὸ πῦρ οὐ σβέννυται. where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

:49 Πᾶς γὰρ πυρὶ [u]ἁλισθήσεται. For everyone will be salted with fire.

:50 καλὸν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται, ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε; ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς [v]ἅλα, καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Sources
Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from the The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Luther’s Seal © Higher Things

Time in the Word - Proper 21


Time in the Word
 September 20-25, 2031
Proper 21

Preparation for next week, 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday’s Theme is Tolerance. In the Old Testament lesson, Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. In the Epistle, James calls for intolerance of wickedness. In the Gospel, Jesus approves a non-follower’s use of His name. Coupled with tolerance is an underlying theme of resistance. Jesus urges to get rid of anything that causes us to sin while in the Old Testament lesson the Israelites complain about the monotony of daily manna. James condemns the sin of arrogance and persecution of the poor. 

Collect for Proper 21Everlasting Father, source of every blessing, mercifully direct and govern us by Your Holy Spirit that we may complete the works You have prepared for us to do; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever

Monday, 20 September 2021Psalm 135:1-3, 13-14, Antiphon, Psalm 135:13—Your Name, O Lord, endures forever, Your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages. Psalm 135 is a call to praise the Lord – the one and only true God, the Lord of all creation, the Lord over all the nations, Israel’s redeemer. The Psalmist reminds us that the Lord and His redeeming work will be remembered throughout time. Thus we praise Him for His marvelous deeds. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021Psalm 104:27-35; key verse, verse 24—How many are Your works, O Lord! In wisdom You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures. The psalmist recalls the fifth day of creation. (Genesis 1:20-23).  The realm of the sea is structurally balanced with the celestial realm, (see verses 2-4) as the other boundary to the realm of earth. And the Lord orders each day of your life as He has promised to guide and sustain you.  

Wednesday, 22 September 2021Numbers 11:4-6; 10-16, 24-29—Moses tolerates the giving of the Spirit. The Lord provides seventy elders to assist Moses in meeting the needs of the people and gives his spirit to others than the seventy. The Israelites are in the wilderness and complain to Moses that they have only manna and no meat. Moses takes the complaint to God who orders Moses to bring seventy elders to the meeting place outside the camp. Some of Moses’ spirit was given to the elders and they began to prophesy. Two men, Eldad and Medad, were not invited to the meeting of the seventy. While in the camp, they received the Spirit and prophesied. Joshua was jealous for Moses and asked him to stop the two. Moses refused and wished that all of the people had the spirit and were prophets. 

Thursday, 23 September 2021James 5: (1-12) 13-20—James calls for intolerance of wickedness and a return to God for the avoidance of evil. This lesson continues where last Sunday’s Epistle has stopped. James urges his readers to turn to God and away from wickedness. Among the evils we are to avoid are judging others, boasting, and injustice to the poor. 

Friday, 24 September 2021Mark 9:38-50—Jesus approves a non-follower’s use of His name to cast our demons. He urges the extermination of those sins that result in hell. The first part of the Gospel (verses 38-41) obviously parallels the Old Testament lesson. It deals with Jesus’ approval of a non-disciple casting out demons in Jesus’ name. The next section (verses 42-48) deals with Jesus’ “little ones” – not children but his disciples or new converts. The point is that any sacrifice is worth eternal life rather than going to hell forever which is described as eternal torment. A third section of the reading deals with salt.  It is a call to radical obedience rather than to accommodation to the world. 

In Christ you are free. There is much Christian liberty and freedom the child of God can experience in this life. The Lord wants His followers to enjoy the fullness of life. All that God created is good. However, if any part of us or any habit causes us to sin, we are to get rid of it. It would be better to abstain and deny ourselves certain pleasures and privileges than to allow one pleasure to ruin the whole. When should we allow our Christian liberty to be exercised? When might you deny yourself certain “freedoms” for the sake of someone else? How might we better live balanced lives?

Saturday, 25 September 2021John 14:2; 1 John 4:19; John 8:12- The hymn, Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower (LSB 694), is the Hymn of the Day. Having seen what the Lord has done, having experienced His goodness and mercy, having entered into His presence, we are now called to praise the Name of the Lord which is expressed in this wonderful hymn.  

Collect for Pentecost 18Keep, we pray. O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; 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 steadfast faithAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, of Your tender love towards us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord

For the Hope of Eternal life in ChristAlmighty, everlasting God, whose Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death, strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ increase daily and we hold fast to the hope that we shall not die but fall asleep and on the last day be raised to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For those in distressedAlmighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in all their necessities they may mark and receive Your manifold help and comfort; through Jesus Christ, our Lord

Sources:
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Pentecost 17 -Proper 20B

 

Mark 9:30-37

RESPECT

NOTE tomorrow 20 September marks the date when FCD Wyneken arrived at Friedheim for the first time in 1838

Keep, we pray O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.  

R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Aretha Franklin the queen of soul sang about giving it. Rodney Dangerfield the comedian complained that he never got it.

Often we too, may feel that we get no respect – from our peers, from our parents, from our teammates, and from others around us.

People often resort to bizarre means to get respect from others, but so often they end up as fools, still crying for – respect. 

We are so concerned about getting respect from other people. What about respect from God? God respects all people in the sense that we all are important to Him. After all, He created us in still preserves us.

Are we respectable enough by God’s standards to be in heaven one day with Him? How do we get from God the respect that makes us worthy of eternal life? Today our lesson asks the question - how we get respect in God’s sight.

I.       God’s respect is not earned.

A.    Our humility and service do not measure up to God’s perfect standard.

1.      Like the disciples, we would rather be served then serve.

2.      Even when we serve, our motive is often self-serving.

3.      We make comparisons: “I have served more than you have.” Pride creeps in to stain our service.

B.     We labor under the false pretense whenever we think we can earn God’s respect by our humble serving.

1.      Jesus refused to seek people’s respect under a false pretense. “(As) They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, (v.30)

2.      The way to God’s respect is opened by honest admission that in ourselves we are not respectable people. Rather we confess with lips mind and heart, “I am a poor miserable sinner.”

II.    God’s respect is a gift.

A.    Christ earned it for us.

1.      He humbled Himself all the way to death on a cross to atone for our pride. “For he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” (vs.31)

2.      His rising from the dead guaranteed our respectability before God. Notice Jesus’ clear words, “And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”

B.     When we believe that Christ died and rose for us, we can be sure that God respects us as heaven-worthy people.

1.      Christ has given us His humility in exchange for our vain attempts to become proud, insolent, impudent, impenitent persons.

2.      Christ has bestowed on us His greatness in exchange for our smallness.

III. God’s respect is demonstrated through service.

A.    When we serve people who do not deserve our respect.

1.      Willing to place ourselves last.And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (v.35)

2.      Willing to serve without recognition or praise and thereby foregoing greatness as the world sees it. “But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.” (vs.34)

B.     When we serve people who are not in a position to reward us for our service.

1.      “And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, (36) Little children are not in a position to reciprocate our service to them any more than we are able to pay God back for having served us in His Son.

2.      Yet, when we serve even the least of God’s children, God respects our service for Jesus’ sake and graciously rewards us. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me. “(v.37)

A woman of some means gifted a great sum of money to charities and missions in her church. One day she decided to take a trip to visit some of the mission projects her money had so generously endowed. She visited a hospital where wonderful help was afforded to needy natives. She stopped at an orphanage where little children of the street were cared.

She went to a leper colony where a loving nurse was treating those who were suffering from the putrefying disease. She commented, more to herself then to the host, “My, I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.”

The nurse who was treating a patient answered, “Neither would I.” In the service of Christ to us, exemplified in the nurses’ service, we find the secret of greatness and the way to get respect in God’s sight.

Words-875
Passive Sentences-7%
Readability –75.5%
Reading Level -6.4

 


Friday, September 17, 2021

Saturday Prior to Proper 20

 


Exodus 20:1-17- The hymn, These Are the Holy Ten Commandments (LSB 581) Recall the Lord’s requirement of faithfulness to His Law. A good review of the Ten Commandments. Written by Luther the hymn was intended for instruction especially the youth.  It appears that Luther pioneered the concept of instruction set to music which five centuries later is still a successful technique in teaching the faith.  

The 10 Commandments for personal reflection

1 These are the holy Ten Commands. God gave to us by Moses' hands.

2 "I am alone your God, the Lord;

3 "Do not My holy name disgrace,

4 "You shall observe the worship day.

5 "You are to honor and obey.

6 "You shall not murder, hurt, nor hate;

7 "Be faithful to your marriage vow;

8 "You shall not steal or take away.

9. “Bear no false witness not defame.

10. “You shall not crave your neighbor’s house

In the final two stanzas Luther eloquently and sisinctly summarizes both the Law and Gospel in four short lines.

“You have this Law to see therein                              “Our works cannot salvation gain

That you have not been free from sin                         They merit only endless pain

But also that you clearly see                                       Forgive us, Lord! To Christ we flee

How put toward God life should be.”                         Who pleads for us endlessly.”

To which we pray “Have Mercy, 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 steadfast faith Almighty God, our heavenly Father, of Your tender love towards us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. - [2]18 September, 2021

 



[1] “The Crucifixion” Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[2] Collects for the Lord’s Guidance and a steadfast faith, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis