Thursday, July 29, 2021

Friday Prior to Proper 13

 

John 6:22-35 — Bread satisfies hunger. John urges the people to seek bread from heaven and reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. What is the work of God? Jesus replies that the work of God is to believe in Him. The people ask for a sign that would persuade them to believe in Him and refer to the manna received in the wilderness.

Jesus assures them that God sent the bread from heaven, the bread that gives life to the world. Then they ask Him to give this king of bread. He reveals that He is the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Him and believes in Him will never hunger nor thirst.

In John 6:1-15 is recorded the feeding of the 5,000. (A prelude to the next three Sundays of readings)  Some believe that the crowd could have been over 5,000 as only "men" were counted. If you would count "women and children" it could have been up to 15,000 (See Matthew 14:21). Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana seats close to 17,000 people....

According to the phone conversation I had with the concessions manager the following items were sold at the Indiana v Wisconsin game, on Saturday, March 12, 1994...

400 1bs of hot dogs,
3,000 popcorn boxes,
8,200 cokes (about 1,000 gallons)
684 candy bars,
436 nachos,
284 boxes of caramel corn,
917 soft pretzels,
247 polish sausages,
100 sandwiches,
179 bags of peanuts,
50 muffins,
160 cups of coffee.

 

This game was played on an afternoon, with tip-off scheduled for 2:00 pm. Most fans had eaten their breakfast and had probably had their lunch also! Besides fans had to pay for their food at the concessions stand at stadium prices!

Jesus feeds the crowd freely. Without cost! When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" we can know that the Savior will supply us with all that we need to support our body and life.

Collect for Proper 13Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting;; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever[3]. Amen


[3] Collect for Proper 13, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

[2]  The Crowd copyright©  Indiana University Athletics 


[1] Loaves and Fish, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Thursday Prior to Proper 13

 


Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 — Bread makes for bodily growth. Christians are to live lives worthy of their calling in love, unity, and growth to maturity in Christ. The church is urged to become what they are by the grace of Christ. Paul appeals for unity on the basis of the unity of Spirit and body. Various functions are gifts of Christ to equip the members and to build up the church in love. The goal of the growth is the matching of the stature of Jesus so that we are not children but mature in faith and love.

Paul identifies himself here as a prisoner of Christ. At other times he refers to himself as a servant, apostle, ambassador and spokesman. To be a prisoner of Christ is to suffer for him. When we are zealous Christians, we will be subject to the opposition and persecution of the enemy, Satan. The test of the true Christian is the suffering he/she experiences in living out the Christian faith.

Seven times the word “one” is used. Repetition indicates the importance of the word in the thinking of Paul. On one side is the word “all”, and on the other side is “one.” All are to be one in Christ, in hope, faith, and love. This unity is demanded because we have one God, one faith, one Spirit.

The word “unity” gives us the insight into the Christian religion as a process of becoming what we are by the grace of God. We are not what we have been and what we will be. We are a growing people of God. We are in the process of attaining unity, of building up the church, of matching the full stature of Jesus. This “until” continues to the end of our existence on earth and is only completed in the heavenly world to come. [2]

Collect for Proper 13Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting;; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[3] -29 July 2021



[1] Loaves and Fish, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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

[3] Collect for Proper 13, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Wednesday Prior to Proper 13

 


Exodus 16:2-15— In response to the people’s complaint that they had no food, the Lord sends food from heaven. Only a few weeks after deliverance from Egypt the people complain about the lack of food. They murmur against Moses and Aaron, but God knows that they complain about Him. They doubt whether the Lord cares about them and His ability to provide for them. In response to their complaints the Lord sends quail in the evening and bread, “manna,” in the morning. To this day the Manna is a mystery – “What is it?  Moses answered, “it is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.” By this the people are to know that He is their God.

Didn’t the Israelites in the wilderness have a right to murmur against Moses and the LORD? They followed His leader out of Egypt where at least, they had food, but now they were starving. They had reason to complain, but they went about getting food in the wrong way. Instead of complaining, why did they not discuss their needs with Moses and take it to God in prayer? Their complaining reveals a lack of faith in the LORD’s hearing and answering prayer.

The LORD’s glory appeared in a cloud. Like a cloud, the LORD is mysterious and hidden – one can’t see much when fly in a cloud or driving in a fog. The LORD is the unknowable an hidden God. Yet, as the cloud indicated, God is ever present. His glory appears when he comes to the rescue of his people, who are in need. His glory is seen best in the cross where the LORD in his Son saves the world.[2] 

Collect for Proper 13Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting;; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[3] -28 July 2021



[1] Loaves and Fish, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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

[3] Collect for Proper 13, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St Louis


Monday, July 26, 2021

Tuesday Prior to Proper 13

 

Psalm 145:10-21; key verse v15The eyes of all look to You and You give them their food at the proper time. This is a psalm of praise and fitting for our theme for this week. The Lord is the provider of all both physical and spiritual blessings. He supplies physical food for us daily as we acknowledge in the Lord’s Prayer. He also supplies us spiritually as He comes to us through the means of grace. 

PRAISING GOD FOR WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE DOES

This psalm is titled A Praise of David. Though Psalms 17 and 86 were also called A Prayer of David, this is the only one titled A Praise of David, and it is a high point of praise. “Psalm 145 is indeed a monumental praise psalm, a fit summary of all David had learned about God during a long lifetime of following hard after the Almighty.” (James Montgomery Boice)

Psalm 145 is the last psalm attributed to David in the collection of psalms, and it is the last of the nine psalms using some kind of acrostic pattern (9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145). Five of these acrostic psalms are attributed to David.

In Jewish practice this psalm was recited twice in the morning and once in the evening service. The Talmud commends all who repeat it three times a day as having a share in the world to come.” (Willem VanGemeren) [2]

Collect for Psalm 145: Loving Father, you are faithful in your promises and tender in your compassion. Listen to our hymn of joy, and continue to satisfy the needs of your creatures, that all flesh may bless your name in your everlasting kingdom, where with your Son and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and forever.[3] -27 July 2021



[1] Loaves and Fish, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[3] Collect for Psalm 145, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol. IV © 1996The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Monday Prior to Proper 13

Psalm 78:23-25, Antiphon, Psalm 78:72With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with His skillful hand. Israel under the care of the Lord’s royal shepherd from the house of David was for the prophets the hope of God’s people (see Ezekiel 34:23; 37:23 Micah 5:4) fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 2:6; John 10:11; Revelation 7:17)

This coming Sunday marks an interlude in the long series of passages from Mark during the Pentecost season. The Gospels for three Sundays are taken in course from John 6 - The Bread of Life chapter. Jesus explains that the people have come for more physical bread, but He would rather they had spiritual food which comes from heaven, food for the soul. He then identifies Himself as the bread from heaven similar to the manna God sent to His people in the wilderness Exodus 16:2-15.

Paul in our Epistle lesson Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 speaks repeatedly of growth into the fullness of Christ’s stature and growth as “bodily growth”.  As everyone knows, physical growth is not possible without adequate food. The Psalm of the Day Psalm 145:10-21; key verse v15—The eyes of all look to You and You give them their food at the proper time sings of God’s goodness and greatness in satisfying the physical needs of every person. Jesus our Savior fills our deepest needs.

In the center of Pentecost we will be reading the Bread of Life chapter of John 6. Following are the Gospel readings for the next three Sundays.

–Proper 13 John 6:22-35
Eat More Than Bread - The Necessity of spiritual bread for life.
–Proper 14 John 6:35-51
Eat and Live – Spiritual food gives eternal life
– Proper 15 John 6:51-69
To Eat or Not to Eat – The decision whether or not to follow Christ 

Collect for Psalm 78: Lord Jesus Christ, shepherd of your Church, to strengthen our faith and to lead us to the Kingdom, you renewed and surpassed the marvels of the old covenant. Through the uncertainties of this earthly journey, lead us home to the everlasting pastures, where we may praise you now and forever. [2] -26 July 2021



[1] Loaves and Fish, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[2] Collect for Psalm 78, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church. Vol. IV The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, © 1996 Delhi, NY 


Proper 13 Series B




Proper 13
Exodus 16:2–15
Ephesians 4:1–16
John 6:22–35

For 1 August 2021 

Jesus Is the True and Living Bread from Heaven

Having rescued Israel “out of the land of Egypt” (Ex. 16:6), the Lord manifested His glory and made Himself known to His people. He fed them with “meat to eat” in the evening and with “bread from heaven” in the morning (Ex. 16:4, 8, 12). But now, the “true bread from heaven,” which the Father gives to you, is the Son, “who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32–33). Whoever comes to Him “shall not hunger,” and whoever believes in Him “shall never thirst.” He is “the bread of life,” who gives Himself to you as “the food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27, 35). By the gracious working of God, you believe in Him by the calling of one Spirit through the Gospel, so that you also have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Eph. 4:4–6). As you eat His one body in the Holy Supper, so you belong to the one body of His Church, in which you “are to grow up in every way into him who is the head” (Eph. 4:15).
John 6:22-35

Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacrament, that we may be nourished unto life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

According to the concessions manager the following items were sold at the Indiana v Wisconsin game, on Saturday, March 12, 1994...

 400 1bs of hot dogs,
3,000 popcorn boxes,
8,200 cokes (about 1,000 gallons)
 684 candy bars,
436 nachos,
284 boxes of caramel corn,
917 soft pretzels,
247 polish sausages,
100 sandwiches,
179 bags of peanuts,
50 muffins,
160 cups of coffee.

This was for a 2 pm tip where the crowd had already had breakfast and possibly lunch!  And they had to pay for their food!


6:22 narrated from Jesus' disciples - assessing the situation, the crowd could not figure out how Jesus could have crossed the sea.

6:23 Tiberius  GK city on the Sea of Galilee, mentioned only in John 6:1; 21:1) Herod Antipus built it in AD 16-22 and named it in honor of the reigning Romas emperor.

"Having given thanks..." does this make the text Eucharistic?  It's bread but more than bread...he comes to us, then when He came and now as He has compassion and teaches.

6:26 faith in Jesus was the purpose of all the signs. At the miraculous feeding, the crowds saw only the gifts, not the Giver.   You saw and had your bellies filled...they saw but did not understand.

Look at the change of verbs...

6:27 labor - food. Jesus posed an absolute contrast between physical and spiritual "food" without denying the importance of the physical. Set His seal...see Jer. 32:10

"Stop working for the perishable food" bread that we eat will not keep you alive forever...it's the bread you work for after the fall which comes from the cursed earth and your sweaty brow...you still die.

The Orthodox use this terminology of "seal" for baptism.

6:28 don't trust in your daily labor

6:29 "work of God, that you believe"  The crowd asked abour righteous "works" but Jesus singled out one necessary work; faith in Him, which is God's gift.

6:30 what sign do you do that we might understand? Who are in the crowd?  The Pharisees?  Mocking...they use the same verb for work. See Matthew 12 show a sign...

6:31 the crowd quotes the OT to support their demand that Jesus perform a miracle like Moses had done, which they assumed was greater thatn Jesus' signs. Like Mary and Martha only one thing is needful...

6:32   Jeus corrected the crowd on two points - manna came from God not Moses and Moses' bread was not the "true bread from heaven"  Only the Father gives that bread.

6:33 the one who gives life for the world is a person, the one Whom the father sends

6:35 "I am" Jesus clearly idnetified Himself as the sources of real life, which lasts forever.

Time in the Word - Proper 13



Time in the Word
July 26-31 2021
Proper 13


Preparation for next week, Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

This coming Sunday marks an interlude in the long series of passages from Mark during the Pentecost season. The Gospels for three Sundays are taken in course from John 6 - The Bread of Life chapter. Jesus explains that the people have come for more physical bread, but He would rather they had spiritual food which comes from heaven, food for the soul. He then identifies Himself as the bread from heaven similar to the manna God sent to His people in the wilderness. The Old Testament. Paul speaks repeatedly of growth into the fullness of Christ’s stature and growth as “bodily growth”.  As everyone knows, physical growth is not possible without adequate food. The Psalm of the Day sings of God’s goodness and greatness in satisfying the physical needs of every person. Jesus our Savior fills our deepest needs.

Collect for Proper 13Merciful Father, You gave Your Son Jesus as the heavenly bread of life. Grant us faith to feast on Him in Your Word and Sacraments that we may be nourished unto life everlasting;; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Monday, 26 July 2021Psalm 78:23-25, Antiphon, Psalm 78:72 – With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with His skillful hand. Israel under the care of the Lord’s royal shepherd from the house of David was for the prophets the hope of God’s people (see Ezekiel 34:23; 37:23 Micah 5:4) fulfilled in Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 2:6’ John 10:11; Revelation 7:17)

Tuesday, 27 July 2021Psalm 145:10-21; key verse v 15—"The eyes of all look to You and You give them their food at the proper time." This is a psalm of praise and fitting for our theme for this week. The Lord is the provider of all both physical and spiritual blessings. He supplies physical food for us daily as we acknowledge in the Lord’s Prayer. He also supplies us spiritually as He comes to us through the means of grace.   

Wednesday, 28 July 2021Exodus 16:2-15— In response to the people’s complaint that they had no food, the Lord sends food from heaven. Only a few weeks after deliverance from Egypt the people complain about the lack of food. They murmur against Moses and Aaron, but God knows that hey complain about Him. They doubt whether the Lord cares about them and His ability to provide for them. In response to their complaints the Lord sends quail in the evening and bread, “manna,” in the morning. To this day the Manna is a mystery – “What is it?”  Moses answered, “it is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.” By this the people are to know that He is their God.

Thursday, 29 July 2021Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 — Bread makes for bodily growth. Christians are to live lives worthy of their calling in love, unity, and growth to maturity in Christ. The church is urged to become what they are by the grace of Christ. Paul appeals for unity on the basis of the unity of Spirit and body. Various functions are gifts of Christ to equip the members and to build up the church in love. The goal of the growth is the matching of the stature of Jesus so that we are not children but mature in faith and love.    

Friday, 30 July 2021John 6:22-35 — Bread satisfies hunger. John urges the people to seek bread from heaven and reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. What is the work of God? Jesus replies that the work of God is to believe in Him. The people ask for a sign that would persuade them to believe in Him and refer to the manna received in the wilderness. 

Jesus assures them that God sent the bread from heaven, the bread that gives life to the world. Then they ask Him to give this king of bread. He reveals that He is the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Him and believes in Him will never hunger nor thirst.

In John 6:1-15 is recorded the feeding of the 5,000. (A prelude to the next three Sundays of readings)  Some believe that the crowd could have been over 5,000 as only "men" were counted. If you would count "women and children" it could have been up to 15,000 (See Matthew 14:21). Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana seats close to 17,000 people....


According to the phone conversation I had with the concessions manager the following items were sold at the Indiana v Wisconsin game, on Saturday, March 12, 1994...

400 1bs of hot dogs,
3,000 popcorn boxes,
8,200 cokes (about 1,000 gallons)
684 candy bars,
436 nachos,
284 boxes of caramel corn,
917 soft pretzels,
247 polish sausages,
100 sandwiches,
179 bags of peanuts,
50 muffins,
160 cups of coffee.

This game was played on an afternoon, with tip-off scheduled for 2:00 pm. Most fans had eaten their breakfast and had probably had their lunch also! Besides fans had to pay for their food at the concessions stand! 

Jesus feeds the crowd freely. Without cost! When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" we can know that the Savior will supply us with all that we need to support our body and life.

Saturday, 31 July 2021John 6:22-58 - The hymn, Father, we Thank Thee (LSB 652) is a liturgical hymn based on John 6. The point of Jesus’ teaching and the text of the hymn is that to live spiritually we need the bread which comes from heaven namely our Lord and Savior Jesus. As Christ is received we as the children of God live new lives. Throughout the next several weeks we will be focusing on Jesus’ teaching on this import chapter from the gospel of John.  

In the center of Pentecost we will be reading the Bread of Life chapter of John 6. Following are the Gospel readings for the next three Sundays.


 – [Proper 13] John 6:22-35
Eat More Than Bread - The Necessity of spiritual bread for life.

 – [Proper 14] John 6:35-51
Eat and LiveSpiritual food gives eternal life

– [Proper 15] John 6:51-69
To Eat or Not to EatThe decision whether or not to follow Christ

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 "The feeding of the 5,000"  used with permission  copyright © WELS for personal or congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
The Sacrament of the Altar copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
The Crowd copyright © Indiana University Athletics 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 12B)

 


25 July 2021
Mark 6:45-56
Experiencing the LORD’s presence even when it stinks to be me

When life’s troubles rise to meet me,
Though their weight
May be great,
They will not defeat me.
God, my loving Savior, sends them;
He who knows
All my woes
Knows how best to end them.[1]

In the course of a conversation when it appears that a person is going through a rather difficult time of testing I’ll remind them; “stick out your hand…you have five fingers. You can be reminded of the last five words Jesus ever spoke to humans before He ascended into heaven…”I am with you always.”  Or, I might say to that person, “remember God’s promise to you – this is for my good…”  

And yet, the cynic inside of us can use another five word sentence that says, “It stinks to be me!”  In a real sense all three phrases are true. We can be assured of Christ’s presence in our lives. His promise is for you, ‘I am with you always.”  Nothing will happen to you without His perfect will being played out in your life. We can conclude, “This is for my good.”

And at the same time we know that when we are in the midst of a battle; as we live in a broken world outside of Eden; so yes, it is just as true, sometimes, ‘It stinks to be me!”

The Savior brings His children into difficult and fearful situations to strengthen their faith in His presence and power only to deliver them from ultimate peril. During these difficult times; especially in times of hardship, you need to know of Christ’s presence and power to save.

I.       God sometimes sends His people into fearful situations.

A.    Jesus sent the disciples into a perilous situation. Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat w and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.  After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.  When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, (Vv.45-48)

B.     We sometimes find ourselves in difficult contexts. Maybe it’s a health scare. Or unemployment. Or under-employment. Possibly there’s trouble at home. Or a special needs child. Maybe it’s living through the consequences of the bad choices made in life.  Yet we must never forget that it is Christ and Christ alone who orders your days and directs your path.

C.     The question is why the LORD would allow this to happen. We only know of yesterday and today. He knows everything – your past and your future. He has not forgotten about your current situation. You are where you are now so that in the future you will then know and understand His ways.

II.    The LORD sometimes appears to pass us by in the time of peril.

A.    Jesus appeared intent on passing by the disciples in their time of peril. He was about to pass by them (v. 48b)

B.     It can appear to us that our Savior isn’t paying attention to us in our time of need. When we are tempted to think this way then we remember His Word. Then we remember His promises – I   will never leave you – I will never forsake you. I am with you always!

C.  At such times of great peril and anxiety; danger and fright you pray. Even when prayer doesn’t make sense. Jesus prayed when things were tough. You prayer because this is what faith does. You pray because you know none other. 

C.     The question is why He would do this. Sometimes we simply do not know! In the book of Job the Lord speaks - Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion? See how he scatters his lightning y about him, bathing the depths of the sea.  This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance. (Job 36:30-31)

III. When the LORD’s direction brings us hardship and He appears to neglect us, we often respond with fear and despair.

A.    The disciples failed to trust Jesus’ presence and power to deliver them. But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost.

They were tortured by the sea. So they cried out in terror. Yet notice the source of their fear. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. (Vv.49-50a. 52) They could not recognize Jesus because of fear and the hardness of heart.

B.    When our obedience to the LORD’s direction brings hardship, we might doubt His presence and His gracious purpose.

Faith calls for us to recognize the Lord’s working in our life. Especially when we cannot see His hand at God. The Lord will never abandon you to the world you’ve recreated for yourself. Christ does not withdraw to a contamination-free zone. He does completely the opposite. He chose to enter into your world. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. To does not leave you to fend for yourself. To get in with it on your own. Rather, He enters into the darkness, seriousness and the consequences of human life. John would remind us; “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1) He enters your world. He comes in order to save.

IV. But the LORD’s purpose is to use this experience to benefit us.

A.    Jesus shows how powerful He is by delivering us from that which would destroy us.

1.      Jesus demonstrated to His disciples His presence and power to save. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down.  They were completely amazed. (Vv.50b-51)

2.      Christ rescued us from the ultimate perils of sin, death, and hell by His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection.

3.      Christ delivers us from the need to fear or doubt. We need not fear for Christ is near.

B.     The LORD uses these experiences of hardship to strengthen our faith.

1.      The disciples were awed and amazed at Jesus’ power. The wind ceased. There was a great calm. They were completely amazed (V.51b)

2.      You are awed at Christ’s grace and power to save.

Everything that is happening to you is ultimately for your good. Christ cannot fail you.  Never will He leave you. Never will He forsake you. He is with you always! Even when it stinks to be you!

Words-1,160
Passive Sentences -2%
Readability – 81.5%
Reading Level -4.5



[1] Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Lift High the Cross copyright ©  Ed Riojas, Higher Things


Friday, July 23, 2021

Saturday Prior to Proper 12

 

Psalm 37:5 - Sunday’s hymn of the day Entrust Your Days and Burdens, (LSB 754).  In the midst of our busy and hurried lives it is easy to lose sight that it is the Lord who orders our days and directs our path. Thus the hymn writer will remind us, “For He who guides the tempests along their thunderous ways will find for you a pathway and guide you all your days.” Place you confidence in Him. He can be trusted at His word. We can rely on Him as we recall what He has done.

This hymn, by the great Lutheran pastor and hymn-writer Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), speaks of the absolute trust and confidence we have in God because of all He has done for us. The tune (SUFFICIENTIA) is by Stephen R. Johnson, a Lutheran church musician living in Mahopac, NY.

Stanza One:

Entrust your days and burdens To God’s most loving hand; He cares for you while ruling The sky, the sea, the land. For He who guides the tempests Along their thunderous ways Will find for you a pathway And guide you all your days.

God is the Creator of all, from the tiniest atom to the largest galaxy and beyond. That same God cares for you, so what is there to fear? As the Psalmist says, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 125:1-2). God will guide us through the storms of this life unto our eternal home with Him.

Stanza Two:

Rely on God your Savior And find your life secure. Make His work your foundation That your work may endure. No anxious thought, no worry, No self-tormenting care Can win your Father’s favor; His heart is moved by prayer.

Christ is your Redeemer, so with Paul you can “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:4-7). Christ is the one mediator with the Father, interceding on our behalf and for our benefit. Christ is our brother and God is our Father, so we can ask Him with all boldness and confidence as dear children ask their dear father.

Stanza Three:

Take heart, have hope, my spirit, And do not be dismayed; God helps in every trial And makes you unafraid. Await His time with patience Through darkest hours of night Until the sun you hoped for Delights your eager sight.

Christians live as people of hope, knowing that the sure and certain promises of Christ are true. Though we endure the troubles of this world, we know that Christ has defeated the darkness and the Light of the World is coming soon. Confident in this, we wait with patience for Christ’s return on the Last Day.

Stanza Four:

Leave all to His direction; His wisdom rules for you In ways to rouse your wonder At all His love can do. Soon He, His promise keeping, With wonderworking powers Will banish from your spirit What gave you troubled hours.

St. Peter writes, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7). We need not worry, for Christ fights for us, keeping at bay the powers of evil, no matter how bleak things look. He invites us to give Him our burdens and take His yoke upon us, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Stanza Five:

O blessed heir of heaven You’ll hear the song resound Of endless jubilation When you with life are crowned. In your right hand your maker Will place the victor’s palm, And you will thank Him gladly With heaven’s joyful psalm.

Oh, the wonder and glories of heaven! This is what we long for: to be with the Lord in that place where there will be no sorrow or tears and where Christ will be our light forevermore.

Stanza Six:

Our hands and feet, Lord, strengthen; With joy our spirits bless Until we see the ending Of all our life’s distress. And so throughout our lifetime Keep us within Your care And at our end then bring us To heaven to praise You there.

Confident of the joys of the life to come, we pray that God would strengthen us while we sojourn here on Earth. He will keep us in His care throughout our lives and take us to be with Him. What wonderful promises we have, promises that are sure and certain because of Christ’s death and resurrection for us and for all people.[2]

Collect for this Sunday Proper 12Almighty and most merciful God, the protector of all who trust in You, strengthen our faith and give us courage to believe that in Your love You will rescue us from all adversities; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen[3] -24 July 2021


[1] Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[3] Collect for Proper 12, Lutheran  Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Friday Prior to Proper 12

 

Mark 6:45-56 — Recognizing Jesus

In verse 53, Mark states that Jesus and the disciples landed at Gennesaret on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee (also known as the Lake of Gennesaret). It could well be that Jesus had previously passed through this area while travelling between Nazareth (twenty miles or so to the southwest) and Capernaum (a few miles further along the shoreline to the north). Still, this is the first mention of Gennesaret in Mark.

What happens after they step ashore? “People immediately recognized [Jesus]” (Mark 6:54).

How did they recognize him? Had he walked a few yards on the water while getting to shore? Had they seen pictures of him posted in the marketplace? Or is the scene more like that in Mark 1:16-20 when Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John? Without any apparent previous knowledge of Jesus, they left everything immediately and followed him. What had they recognized in Jesus?

It is remarkable that none of the gospels provide a physical description of Jesus. We will never be able to pin him down by virtue of his appearance. Rather, we will always have to recognize Jesus for who he is and what he does.

It is more than the miracles and healings Jesus performed or the things he taught. It may actually take the gift of faith to recognize the one who died on the cross as the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.[2]

In Mark 1:16-20 when Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John without any apparent previous knowledge of Jesus, they left everything immediately and followed him. What had they recognized in Jesus? It is remarkable that none of the gospels provide a physical description of Jesus. We will never be able to pin him down by virtue of his appearance.

Rather, we will always have to recognize Jesus for who He is and what He does. It is more than the miracles and healings Jesus performed or the things he taught. It may actually take the gift of faith to recognize the one who died on the cross as the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

Pray for Peace: O God, whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world simply cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.[3] -23 July 2021


[1] Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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