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Worship Helps for Pentecost 6

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Artwork: The Repentance of Nineveh Artist: John Martin
Worship Theme: Following seems easy. We just go behind the person in front of us. But following Jesus daily for our whole lives requires endurance. It is a struggle between our old and new selves.
Old Testament:Jonah 3:3-4:4 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh just as the word of the Lord had commanded. Now Nineveh was a great city to God. It required a three-day walk. 4Jonah walked through the city for a day, and he called out, “Forty more days and Nineveh is going to be overthrown!” 5The men of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least. 6When word reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh. By the decree of the king and his leading officials: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything. Do not let them eat food or drink water…

Don’t mistake Christ’s identity

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Luke 9:18–24  18One time when Jesus was praying alone and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19They answered, “‘John the Baptist,’ but others say, ‘Elijah,’ and others say ‘one of the ancient prophets come back to life.’” 20He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21He gave them a strict command not to tell this to anyone. 22He said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law. He must be killed and be raised on the third day.” 23Jesus said to all of them, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Peter 1:2) Two months ago, my wife, Shelley, and I took our daughters to Pritchard Park to s…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 5

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Artwork: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
Artist: Guido Reni Date: 1630
Worship Theme: Is faithfulness to Christ worth the trouble it brings? The life of faith is lived in a godless world, and it is therefore certain to be met with persecution. Like our Suffering Savior, we too bear his cross in our daily interactions with the unholy trio. The Lord, however, uses these persecutions suffered for the sake of the Gospel to refine us into the pure, precious metal of his children. Strengthened through the means of grace, we boldly confess Jesus as the Christ in the face of any persecution or trouble. The Church prays that God in his mercy would direct the affairs of this world so that the Church might have peace, but at the same time we prepare ourselves for persecution.
Old Testament:Genesis 39:6b–12, 16–23   Joseph was well built and handsome. 7Sometime after all this, his master’s wife had her eye on Joseph, and she said, “Come, lie down with me.” 8But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “L…

Learning worship from a forgiven prostitute

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Luke 7:36–50 36A certain one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to eat with him. Jesus entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37Just then a sinful woman from that town learned that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38stood behind him near his feet weeping, and began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she began to wipe them with her hair while also kissing his feet and anointing them with the perfume. 39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would realize who is touching him and what kind of woman she is, because she is a sinner.” 40Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” He said, “Teacher, say it.” 41“A certain moneylender had two debtors. The one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42When they could not pay, he forgavethem both. So, which of them will love him more?” 43Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the larger debt forgi…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 4

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Artwork: Christ at Simon the Pharisee
Artist: Peter Paul Rubens Date: 1618-1620
Worship Theme: The journey from spiritual death to spiritual life begins with a recognition of guilt. We have sinned and fall short of fulfilling the Law of the Lord. Through contrition and repentance God prepares the heart to receive the gift of the Gospel.
Old Testament:2 Chronicles 33:1-6, 10-18
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he ruled as king in Jerusalem for fifty-five years. 2He did evil in the eyes of the Lord by following the disgusting practices of the nations which the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel. 3He rebuilt the high places which his father Hezekiah had torn down. He erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He worshipped the whole army of the heavens and served them. 4He built altars in the House of the Lord, about which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem my Name will be forever.” 5He built altars for the whole army of the heavens in the two courtyar…