October 3rd, 2021 – 19th Sunday after Pentecost
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Oct 4th – Oct 10th
Monday……………….. St. Francis of Assisi
Tuesday………………. 7:00pm Elders Meeting
Wednesday………….. 5:30pm Confirmation
Thursday: ……………… Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Pastor
10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. 10:00am Worship
11:00am Bible Study
It is worth noting Pastor Muhlenberg for a second. Born in Germany in 1711, he was ordained in Leipzig in 1739, but took a call from a group of German speaking Pennsylvania residents in 1741. I say Pennsylvania because the USA didn’t exist yet. I often joke that Lutheranism is invisible in America because it isn’t really part of the Anglophone world. It is the near other to Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and High Anglicans. But Muhlenberg is contrary to that. Lutherans were here early. Why Henry Melchior makes the list is his 47 years of extraordinary service. In 1748 he formed the first proto-Synod, the Pennsylvania Ministerium. Part of the work of that Ministerium was the first American Lutheran liturgy in English. If you compared our DS3 and that liturgy you’d see the continuity. The vision behind this work was two-fold: the English was missionary; the liturgy was unifying. And Henry worked his entire life on both visions. One son, John Peter, followed into the ministry and was also a General in the Revolutionary War, served as a Representative in the 1st Congress and eventually a Senator from Pennsylvania. A statue of John Peter stands guard in the US Capitol crypt. The other son, Frederick, was the first Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Saints are always more interesting than the Devil leads us to believe.
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
What do you think about Angels? The reputation of Angels seems to ebb and flow rather dramatically. In some ages and circles they are awesome beings of tremendous power and dread – St. Michael casting down Satan. In other ages and circles they are fat babies that you hope are not your guardian angel, because they don’t look like they could do much. And there have always been those who dismiss the unseen creation: angels and demons. The Epistle Reading this week (Hebrews 2:1-13) picks up in the middle of an argument about angels. Around the time of Jesus, in Jewish circles, angles were at high tide: awesome, mysterious, powerful, behind everything that God did. The only two angels named in the bible are Gabriel and Michael. The other names we might have heard, like Rafael, all come from extra-biblical works from this timeframe. It was the Marvel Universe of the day – stories of incredible works of angels. But the purpose of the unknown writer of Hebrews is to rightly place Jesus Christ. Whether it is a rhetorical evangelization strategy with angel valuing Jews (likely), or a salutary reminder to Christians overvaluing angels against Jesus (less likely), the first chapter of Hebrews is a string of Biblical quotes asking the question: “To which of the angels did God say x?” with x being “you are my son” and “let all God’s angels worship him.” If you so value the angels, you should more highly value Jesus.
The argument continues that “we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard.” Everything the angels told us, think of the angels to the shepherds, and the angels at the tomb to the Mary’s, has proven true. This Jesus is both the Christ and the Risen One. “And it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come.” We don’t see everything yet, but all the angels, and the demons, have been made subject to Christ. Christ who for a time was made lower, but now “is crowned with glory and honor.” If you trust the angels to watch over you. If you trust the angels to pilot this world. So much more should you trust the one they give praise and honor to, Jesus. Because it is Jesus who sanctifies, makes holy, all of us. The awesome holiness of the angels is a reflection of the holiness of Jesus whom they serve. And our holiness is given to us by grace through faith in his work. “For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source.” And that source of all holiness is Jesus.
This Jesus “is not ashamed to call us brothers.” The one who is the highest is also our brother. When he speaks, the angels move. If the angels hang on his words, how much more should we?
- Thurs 10am: 1 John, Darkness and Light, The Antichrist, Children of God, Love one another, good time to join!
- Confirmation: Last week: 1st commandment. This week: 2nd. (And remember to memorize the NT books.)
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): October 7th, Fruits of the Spirit
- Sunday Morning: Study will be at 11:15ish, after worship, Walking through the Gospel of Mark
- Catechism Moment: I’m going to stop making promises. I do intend to get back to this.
UPCOMING CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
October 24th will be the budget presentation and officer nominations. November 7th will be voting.