Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!
Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Pentecost, the Season of Growth, Part Three
As we approach the end of our Pentecost Season, we continue to review the purpose of the season of Pentecost and what we have been hearing and learning over the past four plus months. As a gentle reminder, the liturgical color for the season of Pentecost is Green, which is the color of growth. Thus, we are reminded by the color green that Pentecost and the Sundays after Pentecost are Sundays in which we have the opportunity, through the Scripture readings (the Old Testament Reading, the Epistle Reading and the Gospel Reading) to grow in our Christian faith and life, that is to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God and His work in our lives. The ultimate goal is that as we are able, as we are asked, we will always be ready to give an apology, which is a defense or an answer to others who ask about our faith in Jesus. So we see the importance of our Divine Service and Bible Class attendance.
So far we have discussed the texts for the first nineteen weeks after Pentecost. We pick up at the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost where Jesus encourages us to be careful of temptation and sin. To sin is one thing, to be the cause of sin is quite another. Jesus tells us to be careful, to look after our brothers and sisters in the faith, to forgive as we are asked and to not think more highly of ourselves because our faith, forgiveness and life are all gift, not something we are to boast or brag about as if they are what we have gained for ourselves.
The twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost refreshed our memory with the historical account of Jesus healing the ten lepers and the fact that only one returned to thank Him, and he was a Samaritan. Certainly we are condemned as very often in our lives we act like the other nine. We receive the gifts God has to give, at least sometimes, when we decided to attend Divine Service, but too often we reject the gifts by unthankfully absenting ourselves from the Divine Service, putting some other priority ahead of fearing, loving and trusting in God above all things. Thanks be to God that Jesus continues to pour out His gifts even after we refuse them.
On the twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost we were encouraged by Jesus’ parable to be persistent in our prayer life. While we live in this world, we are not of this world and as Christians we are not treated justly nor fairly, but our hope, our assurance is that in the end, on the day of judgement God will mete our justice fairly, and so we are encouraged while we live in this world to pray.
On the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost which was the Sunday we celebrated as Reformation Sunday, we heard Jesus tell the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, reminding us of our confession, that is that if we exalt ourselves and say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, God forgives us our sins. Also, we were reminded by Jesus blessing the children to have faith as a child, not the skeptical faith of an adult. As usual, Jesus reminds us that He come to us to give to us through means and in particular the means of grace, His Word and Sacraments, reminding us of our need to make regular, each and every Sunday, and diligent, as often as possible, use of the means of grace. It is through these very means that our Lord gives us the gifts He has to give and moves and stirs in us our response of faith to those gifts.
And that about catches us up for the third quarter of the Pentecost Season. It is amazing the gifts the Lord delivers to us through His Word each and every Sunday in Divine Service and in Bible Class. Thanks be to God!