October 24th, 2021 – 22th Sunday after Pentecost
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES FOR WEEK OF: Oct 25th – Oct 31th
Monday……………….. Lydia, Phoebe and Tabitha
Tuesday………………. Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heerman and Paul Gerhardt, Hymnwriters
Wednesday………….. 5:30pm Confirmation
Thursday: ……………… St. Simon & St. Jude, Apostles
10:00am Bible Study
Sunday: …………………. Reformation Day
11:00am Bible Study
LAST WEEKEND Attendance: 34 Contributions: $6,620 YTD: $ 98,099
DEDICATED COLLECTIONS (for Year): Organ – $ 1,370 Missionary Support: $ 1,600/collected
We are back to recording weekly attendance. Please help with this. Record your presence in the pew books!
It is a busy week on the commemorations calendar. Some of them like Simon and Jude are in calendar spots that go back millennia. The two apostles share a day most likely because their names are always listed together in the bible and nobody wanted a St. Judas day alone, even though this Jude, who became a saint of lost causes, was not that Judas. The hymnwriters are added for deeply Lutheran reasons, as these three were the writers of the Chorales and Hymns that are deep staples of Lutheran piety: Wake Awake for Night is Flying, O Morning Star, O Dearest Jesus What Law Hast Thou Broken, and O Sacred Head Now Wounded along with many others. They are deeply Lutheran but belong to the entire church. Lydia, Phoebe and Tabitha correct something that earlier post-Reformation “list of Saints” marred. The Lutheran teaching on the saints is not intercession but example and that all believers are saints. The second part of that tended to erase the first part including erasing commemorations, especially of women whose example – like Tabitha (Acts 9:36) – tended to be holiness – “she was full of good works and acts of charity.” When she died, that congregation refused to accept it and called Peter, and the apostle restored her. All of them having devoted themselves to the service of Christ are held up for our example.
PRAYER THOUGHT AND MEDITATION
The entire argument of Hebrews is a catalog of from the lessor to the greater. You like angels? Let me tell you why Jesus is greater than all the angels. Moses? Yes, Moses was great in the household of God, but Jesus fulfills Moses. Why you might ask. Well, neither Moses, nor Joshua, led Israel into the promised rest of The Promised Land. Jesus leads us into our Sabbath rest.
Jesus is clearly the greater prophet and the greater king as his throne is on high, but what about the Priesthood? Doesn’t the temple still stand and the rounds of sacrifice have to continue? Jesus is also the greater priest in the greater Priesthood. Admittedly you have to be deep in the OT to understand the greater Priesthood argument. It’s in the run up to our Epistle reading. The priesthood as it stood was the descendants of Levi and Aaron, but Abraham, the father of all of them and therefore greater, paid his tithe to Melchizedek, priest of the most high god, who brough bread and wine (Genesis 14:18). And with the change in priesthood there is a change in the law (Hebrews 7:12). The old covenant was but shadows of things to come. The priest in the order of Melchizedek brings bread and wine “through which we draw near to God (Hebrews 7:19).” Even if the Priesthood is greater, what about the priest? The old order had many because they kept dying. Death ended their office. (Hebrews 7:23). But Christ due to his resurrection, his conquest of death, assumes the office eternally. All who draw near through his offerings – the bread and the wine – he saves eternally. Not just for the year of the offering. Those old priests yearly had to purify themselves to offer the sacrifice for the next year. But Jesus enters the High Holy Place through his own blood to make eternal intercession for his saints (Hebrews 7:26-28). Jesus is the greater Priest of the greater Priesthood.
Of course a solid question from a gentile like me might be what does any of this have to do with me? Am I a Jew, as Pilate asks (John 18:35)? Well, Jesus is the Jewish messiah. He says that salvation comes from the Jews (John 4:22). But we who were once far off have been invited near. Not through the law or the temple or the old priesthood. These were bars to gentiles. But the new covenant is one of faith. The new covenant is both the fulfillment of Abraham and David and the ingrafting of the nations. The new covenant is the fulfillment of the promise that Abraham would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:4). The Priest in the order of Melchizedek who brings bread and wine has made intercession for the entire world. Argumenta from the lessor to the greater are not arguments of rupture, but of continuity and discontinuity. Jesus was not a revolution, but a revelation. You thought that God forgot about the world. He never did. It was waiting for the greater fulfillment, the Great High Priest, who has taken away the sins of the world and sits at table with sinners and tax collectors, offering himself under bread and wine.
- Thurs 10am: We are going to be reading the last letter of John starting this week. Come Join!
- Confirmation: Work on memorizing the commandments and read the 5th commandment questions.
- Life Application Fellowship (LAF): Will pick up on November 4th.
- Sunday Morning: From Mark, the death and burial of Jesus. Come Join!
- Catechism Moment: I’m going to stop making promises. I do intend to get back to this.
UPCOMING CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
Today & November 7th for budget and offices
BEEF ON WECK
We are going to attempt a Beef on Weck on November 6. You might be asked to help, please do help. Ellen and Lisa and Abel Acuña are the contact points.