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|Sixth Sunday after Pentecost|
This coming Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (24 Jul 2011).
Week #1 with Dr. Art Just on the Liturgy was just the introduction. Despite his “soothing” voice, I think the series will get more interesting as he takes us deeper into the background of the Divine Service.
This week’s session is called The Structure of Liturgy. If we have time, we might even go on to view the session on the Jewish Origins in Christian Worship.
As usual, the worksheet for this week is attached. Take a look and think about it before Sunday!
Here are the Scripture readings for this coming week, plus a little summary note of how they tie together. We always encourage you to read the weekly Scriptures before you get to church. We think you’ll find that valuable!
First Lesson – Deuteronomy 7:6 –9
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.”
Second Lesson – Romans 8:28 –39
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God’s Everlasting Love
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gospel Lesson – Matthew 13:44 –52
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The Parable of the Net
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
New and Old Treasures
“Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
The Son of God Has Redeemed Us for Himself with His Holy and Precious Blood
The Lord our God has chosen us to be “His treasured possession,” not because of any strength in us, but solely “because the Lord loves” us (Deut. 7:6 –8). He is faithful, and He “keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deut. 7:9 ). He has searched for us and found us in love, and He has bestowed on us “great value” by the great price that He has paid on the cross (Matt. 13:45 –46). In His joy, He has redeemed us by His cross and gathered us into His Kingdom by the Gospel. Now we are “hidden in a field,” covered by the cross and subject to the persecution of the world (Matt. 13:44 ), not for destruction, but “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29 ). Since we “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 ), and because Christ Jesus died, rose again, and lives to intercede for us “at the right hand of God” (Rom. 8:34 ), there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from “the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39 ).
See you in iTrust!
Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.