Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer—Introduction and First Petition

November 16, 2018

CP181118

 

Creed— the 3rd Article

November 11, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 9—Comfort for Persecuted Christians—We are not to fear suffering and persecution on account of Christ.  In Psalm 9, David teaches us to rejoice in the face of persecution and to praise the Lord whose judgments in allowing us to suffer for our faith are never mistaken.  “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing to Your name, O Most High.”  This theme is echoed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12).  As the psalmist prays for comfort and relief from Satan’s attacks through such persecution, David recognizes that the Lord is at work even through such suffering for His good and that He will not forsake His people.  Thanks be to God!CP181111

Creed— the 3rd Article

November 4, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 8—Praising the Name of the Lord for His Salvation—Luther declares that Psalm 8 is “a prophecy of Christ—His sufferings, resurrection, and kingly rule over all creatures. This kingdom shall be established by the voice of children, that is, it will be established by Word and faith alone, not by sword or armor.”  In Psalm 8 David praises the name of the Lord who has set His glory above the heavens precisely because He sent His Son into the world to establish His kingdom through suffering, death, resurrection, and the preaching of the Gospel.  Out of everything that God has created and made, mankind is the object of His love and the glorious work of salvation in Christ.  In the incarnation, the Son of God is joined to humanity in order to redeem mankind from the curse of the fall.  “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”  Christ was made a little lower than the angels, but was crowned with glory and honor from the Father because of His obedient suffering and death on our behalf.  Now we share in the glory that was His from the foundation of the world.  No wonder the psalmist declares, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!”CP181104

Creed— the 2nd Article

October 28, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 7—For Deliverance from a False Accuser—King David had many enemies, those who falsely accused him of evil and unfaithfulness.  The ascription at the beginning of the psalm identifies Cush, a Benjamite.  Luther identifies this man as Shimei, a descendant of King Saul, who accused David of treason in 2 Samuel 16:5-14.  David had many who falsely accused him.  To be sure, David was a sinner.  But those, like Shimei, who cursed him, believed that he had turned away from the Word of the Lord in the conduct of his office and had forsaken his calling.  David is called a faithful king, not because he had no sin, but because he lived in repentant faith and trusted in the Word of the Lord.  Like our Lord Jesus who was falsely accused, David commends himself to the Lord who judges righteously.  In the face of the lies and falsehoods spoken against him, David prays to the Lord for his defense and deliverance.  He does not act in vengeance but allows the Lord to visit punishment upon those who did evil against him.  This is a pattern for our lives as well. “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay” (Romans 12:19).  As he is being cursed for unfaithfulness, David praises the Lord for the righteousness of Christ that covers him and saves him from every false witness.  No one can take away the righteousness of Christ from those who believe in Him. “I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” CP181028

Creed— 2nd Article

October 21, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 6—For Relief from a Troubled Conscience—Psalm 6 is a penitential psalm in which David prays for relief from a troubled conscience and the accusing finger of the Law.  The Lord’s anger is real.  The Law exposes sin and demands punishment.  But Christ has taken this wrath and punishment upon Himself and has redeemed us with His blood.  David confesses that he is weak.  He has no strength of his own to save himself from the affliction of sin and the sentence of death. He is weary because his conscience is plagued by his sin and the enemies of the Gospel. But the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness in Christ is his comfort and the medicine for a sick and troubled conscience. The voice of faith cries out to the Lord for help and relief from all sin.  The workers of iniquity are those who not only reject the Gospel of God’s grace in Christ, but who also taunt and belittle those who rely upon God’s mercy.  “Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.  The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.”CP181021

Creed— First Article

October 14, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 5—The Morning Prayer of Faith—God hears our prayers only through faith in God’s promises of mercy in Christ.  It is not prayer if we believe that God hears our prayers because of our worthiness.  David gives us the pattern of daily prayer—every morning as the first priority of the day: “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and will look up.”  True prayer is anchored in repentance. God takes no pleasure in wickedness; therefore He calls us to turn away from our sin to Him for help. True prayer asks God to preserve us in the pure doctrine of His Word and to destroy the wickedness of false doctrine, because false doctrine undermines faith and robs Christians of their salvation.  True prayer is worship—the earnest and sincere desire to receive His gifts of grace in the fear and love of the Lord: “I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In the fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.”  True prayer asks to be guided, comforted, and led by the righteousness of Christ.  His righteousness covers our sin, teaches us to live by His mercy in our vocation, and enables us to be joyful and rejoice at all times: “Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You…For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5 is a confident prayer of trust in the righteousness of Christ.CP181014

Creed— First Article

October 7, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 4—Relying Upon the Righteousness of Christ Without Distress—David prays for relief against those voices who would attack that which is at the very center of our faith: that the righteousness of Christ is our salvation.  Our Lord Jesus and what He has done for us is our glory.  His righteousness gives us gladness, peace, safety, and salvation.  The sons of men speak against this righteousness.  The sons of men love the worthlessness of the works of man. It angers us when the enemies of Christ speak against our Savior and exalt their own works over the works of Christ. In his prayer, David says, “Be angry, and do not sin.” When the enemies of Christ speak against Him we are not to be embittered against them or lash out in anger.  We meditate upon the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness in quiet confidence for we cannot fight against any of the enemies of the Gospel with any strength of our own.  Our comfort, strength, and salvation rest in Him who gave His life for us.   The sacrifices of righteousness are the prayers of faith that entrust ourselves entirely to the Lord and that commend the enemies of the Gospel to Christ. No earthly security is any security at all.  “You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased. I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  CP181007

The Ten Commandments–Review and the Close of the Commandments

September 30, 2018

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CP180930

Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 3—God’s Mercy for the Trouble We Have Brought upon Ourselves.

Psalm 3 was prayed by King David at the time that his son Absalom had conspired against him and marshalled an army to usurp his father’s reign and steal the throne.  The backdrop of David’s prayer is that he himself knew that so many of the problems he was facing, including betrayal from his own son, were a direct result of his sin against the Lord in the adultery he had committed with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah.  He was brought to repentance for his sin.  He confessed.  The Lord forgave him, and yet He continued to suffer the fallout of his actions in the strife that entered into his kingdom and his own household.  Many accused David of having been abandoned and rejected by the Lord.  It was not true.  The Lord had forgiven David and had promised to uphold and defend him against his enemies.  This is a testimony to God’s undeserved love and mercy.  There is no help for any of us apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus, who died for us and saved us from our sins, because we could not save ourselves.  David was taught through the things he continued to suffer to rely upon the grace of God alone.  God’s grace in Christ is the object of our faith.  There is no other source of salvation than in the Lord who has given us His Son.  At the heart of the Gospel is salvation from all of our troubles, even those we have brought upon ourselves.  So David prays: “Many are they who rise up against me, saying ‘There is no help for him in God.’ But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head…the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me…Save me, O my God…Salvation belongs to the Lord.”

Ten Commandments—9th & 10th Commandments

September 23, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 2—Persecution of the Lord’s Anointed    Jesus is the Lord’s anointed, the Messiah, the Christ, and the Savior of the world.  Psalm 2 clearly forecasts that the kings of the earth will be marshaled against Christ.  Why? Because unbelief is an insidious evil that hates the grace of God in Christ and all that is good. When the Church experiences persecution at the hands of governments and people in high places, we tend to be afraid.  What are we to do?  How are we to combat this? Psalm 2 declares something stunning. “He who dwells in heaven LAUGHS” at such threats. This is not what we expect.  What is the Lord teaching us?  Christ builds His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her.  As surely as the Lord Jesus has been established by God the Father as His beloved Son, so He shall keep and preserve His Church against EVERY attack, even from the highest authorities on earth.  This is very comforting indeed.  Psalm 2 is given us to pray that we might learn to believe this and to entrust the Church to the promises of God in Christ.  God WILL judge the nations and any king or civil authority that has been marshaled against Jesus.  Thanks be to God.  Every civil ruler should take seriously this warning in Psalm 2. CP180923

Ten Commandments— the 7th & 8th Commandments

September 16, 2018

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Praying the Psalms: Psalm 1—This week we begin a series of commentaries on all 150 Psalms. The Psalms are prayers of faith.  Luther called them an exposition of what it means to trust in God under the First Commandment. Psalm 1 declares that the “blessed man” is the one who is rooted and anchored in God’s Word.  He does not walk in the way of the wicked or stand with sinners or sit with scoffers, which is the way of unbelief and rejection of God.  Instead, he delights in God’s Law, the Word of the Lord, and meditates upon it day and night.  The blessed man, who delights in God’s Word, is like a tree that is planted by streams of living water that will not fail to bring forth the wholesome fruits of faith. The ungodly will perish in their unbelief. But the blessed man is righteous by virtue of the gift of God’s Word that is received and believed.  Ultimately, Jesus is that Blessed Man because He delights in the Law of the Lord and He meditates upon it day and night.  This state of blessedness becomes ours for Christ’s sake through faith in the Word of the Gospel by which we are declared righteous for Jesus’ sake.CP180916