Worship Helps for Pentecost 13

An icon of Jesus as the Living Bread

Worship Theme: Living as a Christian is hard. The devil places many obstacles in our way, all of which lead to sin and unbelief. But by his death in our place (by losing!), Jesus defeated Satan. The risen Christ gives us a way out of every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Most of all, our Savior gives us the Bread of Life, his promises of forgiveness and eternal rescue. As we nourish our faith on this Bread of Life, Jesus will give us boldness to fight our spiritual enemies.

Old Testament: Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. 4 "Let all who are simple come in here!" she says to those who lack judgment. 5 "Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.

1. What character do we meet in these verses?

2. What are her characteristics?

3. What invitation does she offer to all?

Epistle: Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. What encouragement does Paul give in verse 15?

5. How are we to speak to one another as Christians?

Gospel: John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."

6. True or false: Jesus is talking about Holy Communion in these verses.

7. What is the main difference between the manna that God gave to his people after they got out of Egypt and the Bread of Life which Jesus gives us?

Answers:
1. In Proverbs 9, we meet Wisdom. If we read on we also meet Stupidity. Miss Wisdom prepares a feast, hospitably.

2. Miss Wisdom is so industrious she has built her own house at the highest point of the city. She is well-to-do enough that she has servant girls. She is so welcoming that she sends out her servant girls to invite all to come to her feast.

3. Wisdom invites us to come to her home and eat, to walk in the way of understanding, and to leave our foolish, worldly way of thinking. Such heavenly wisdom leads us on the right path, so that we will not stumble in our faith.

4. Paul encourages us to be careful in how we live our lives as Christians, to be wise in the decisions we make, understanding the Lord’s will for us.

5. We aren’t to use unwholesome talk. Instead, we should speak to one another spiritually, “with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs … giving thanks to God the Father for everything.”

6. False. Jesus had not instituted Holy Communion when he spoke these words in John 6. Instead, when Jesus says that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life, he means trusting in him as our Savior who came to sacrifice his body and shed his blood to give us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God.

7. The sending of manna during Moses’ time came to an end; Jesus, the Bread of Life, lasts forever. He gives eternal life.


Putting your faith into action
Saving faith is not merely a matter of believing in Jesus Christ as our highest moral example. Saving faith cannot be equated with taking hold of his ethics and applying them to one’s self. Saving faith is not trusting in Jesus as a leader. Saving faith is looking to the cross and seeing the flesh and blood offering Jesus made once for all that forgiveness might be secured. Christ gave his all for us. As we walk in newness of life, so we will put this faith into action. We will feast on the Bread of Life and make use of all the resources God has put at our disposal to share that Bread of Life with others that they too may realize that only Jesus offers Living Bread, which leads to eternal life.

A reading from the Book of Concord for Pentecost 13
I speak of this in order that the young may be guided so that they desire the married estate and know that it is a blessed estate and pleases God.  For in this way, over time we might cause married life to be restored to honor.  There might be less of the filthy, loose, disorderly behavior that runs riot the world over in open prostitution and other shameful vices arising from disregard for married life.  It is the duty of parents and the government to see to it that our youth are brought up with discipline and respectability. When they have become mature, parents and government should provide for them to marry in the fear of God and honorably.  God would not fail to add His blessing, so that people would have joy and happiness from marriage.


In conclusion this commandment demands: Everyone should live chaste in thought, word, and deed in the estate of marriage.  But also everyone should love and value the spouse God gave to him.  Where marital chastity is to be maintained, man and wife must live together in love and harmony.  Then one may cherish the other from the heart and with complete faithfulness.  For harmony is one of the principal points that enkindles love and desire for chastity, so that, where this is found, chastity will follow without any command.  St. Paul diligently encourages husband and wife to love and honor one another. – Large Catechism, Part I, The Seventh Commandment, paragraphs 217-220

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