Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

The Creed—The Second Article

October 25, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Psalm 96 —The New Song of the Gospel Calls to Faith and is Our Confession—Several psalms call us to “sing to the Lord a new song!” The substance of the “new song” is the Good News of salvation in Christ, anchored in the “New” Testament in His blood. It is the song of grace and mercy for sinners in Jesus. It is the sung confession of faith in Christ and the sung proclamation of that Gospel that calls us to faith in Him. We sing that song! That song goes out into all the earth! And we want the whole earth to sing that song as the nations come to repentance and faith in Christ for salvation. All the gods of mankind are idols, but the God who redeemed us with the blood of His Son is also the

Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has established the earth. He calls the nations to repentance and desires all to be saved and to sing this song. This salvation in Christ is the beauty of God’s holiness and what moves the heavens to rejoice. The song of the Gospel restores life to God’s creation and promises resurrection from the dead. On the last day Christ will return to judge the nations by the righteousness of His cross and the truth of His Word.  

CP201025

The Creed — The Second Article

October 18, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Luther on Psalm 95 — A Song of Praise to the Rock of Our Salvation—The first seven verses of Psalm 95 has a very familiar place in the church’s regular prayer life in the Venite of the Matins service. Venite means, “Oh come…” and is the call to sing to the LORD who is the Rock of our salvation. In the Scriptures, singing, thanksgiving, a joyful noise, songs of praise, and worship are all actions that confess faith, trust, reliance, and dependence upon the Lord. In Psalm 95, like so many psalms, praising God as the Creator is also linked to confessing and praising Him as our Savior. Psalm 95 confesses Him to be the only God, the one who formed the depths of the earth, the heights of the mountains, the sea, and the dry land. The children of Israel sang this song as the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of His hand. The fervent joy of the first portion of the psalm gives way to the warning against unbelief. We are not to harden our hearts against God as the children of Israel in the wilderness. They did not enter His rest because of the impenitence of unbelief. Therefore, let us heed the warning and continue to “sing to the Lord” for He is “the Rock of our salvation.”

CP201018

The Creed—The First Article

October 11, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Luther on Psalm 94 —“The 94th psalm of prayer that, by my understanding, cries out not against the heathen but against the kings and princes, priests, and prophets.  The psalmist calls them fools among the people, senseless ones who teach and rule the people foolishly and badly.  These are the ones who kill and persecute all the godly prophets and their disciples.  As the psalmist says, they presume upon God.  He has given them the power and has stood by and watched, not paying attention to those whom they slaughtered as condemned heretics and rebels.  Against these authorities, the psalmist prays, desiring help and support.  Although he finds no help, he takes comfort in his confidence that God’s Word and actions are reliable, and God will not allow the corrupt throne to come upon them but will repay them for their lies and murders.  Amen.”— Reading The Psalms With Luther

CP201011

The Creed—The First Article

October 4, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 93 — A Confession of Faith in the Eternal Reign of the Lord—Psalm 93 is a confession of faith in the LORD as Creator and Savior, whose Word is foundational and true for all of faith and life. The name “LORD” specifically connects us to God’s revelation of Himself at the Burning Bush. He is the great “I AM”—the One and only eternal God of salvation who always was, who is now, and who shall always be. He is the LORD who reigns over His creation and who is also the God of salvation in Christ Jesus. Notice the foundational assertions upon which our faith is based: “The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD is clothed, He has girded Himself with strength.” We see the “clothing and majesty of the LORD” in the grandeur of His creation. Even though the waters of the Great Flood rose above the entire earth, yet it is the LORD who has established the earth so that it cannot be moved. The One who sent forth the Flood is mightier than the noise of many waters. How comforting it is in our age to know and believe that the LORD who is our Creator is also our Savior. It is He who has both established the earth and sustains her, and who gives salvation to us through His sacrifice upon the cross. The climax of this brief psalm is in the final assertion: The LORD’s testimonies are very sure. They will not be overthrown or contradicted. By the Word of the LORD the heavens and the earth were created and are sustained. When we enter the house of the Lord, we do so to hear these testimonies of the LORD, because they are the source of life, comfort, strength, and hope. By His true and faithful testimonies, the LORD adorns His house with holiness.

CP201004

The Ten Commandments—Review of the Commandments and the Close of the Commandments

September 27, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 92 — A Prayer of Daily Thanksgiving for the Love of the Lord—There is so much evil in the world. It is foolish and senseless to deny the existence of God and the goodness of His love. Enemies abound who reject the Lord God, but He never fails to uphold, strengthen, and lift up His people who trust in Him and to make them glad by the works of His hands. As believers in the Lord and in His sustaining grace, we commend the wicked and all workers of iniquity to Him who will judge the wicked and bring their evil plans to an end in His good time. In the meantime, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night.” The humble, faithful, regular morning and evening prayers of Christians are a balm for the soul in the face of the evils of our age. Daily prayer focuses our attention upon what the Lord has done and continues to do for His people. In such regular meditation upon God’s Word, anxiety is dispelled and confidence in the Lord is strengthened. The righteous walk by faith in the Lord’s promise and do not live in despair when we see the wickedness of the world around us. “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree… They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”

CP200927

The Ten Commandments—The Ninth and Tenth Commandments

September 20, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 91 — A Prayer to Abide in the Lord our Refuge and Fortress—In psalm 91 and throughout the psalter, the Lord is described as the refuge and fortress for His people against every assault from the problems of life and the enemies of faith. Psalm 91 also compares the Lord’s protection to a valiant raptor who shelters us under His wings. Satan attempts to ensnare Christians like a fowler to traps birds. The plagues of Egypt are alluded to in the image of pestilence, darkness, and destruction that lays waste at noon day.  The firstborn not covered in the lamb’s blood died. The Lord stands with us in battle. The Lord is our refuge against every plague. Satan is depicted as a cobra, a lion, and a serpent. The Lord dispatches His holy angles against his attacks, so that we do not stumble or strike our foot against a stone. In Psalm 91, the Lord promises help, protection, and deliverance to every Christian who loves Him and calls upon His name. He promises us, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him” (verse 15).

CP200920

The Ten Commandments—The Seventh and Eighth Commandments

September 13, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 90 — A Prayer of Total Reliance Upon the God of Creation for our Salvation—Moses is the psalmist who pens Psalm 90. He recalls how the LORD had been the “dwelling place” of his people in all generations. This LORD, who called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to faith, and who redeemed Israel from slavery, is none other than the God of creation. He created the heavens and the earth and brought forth the great mountains after the flood. The Lord is eternal, the great I AM. “A thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past.” Moses recalls the frailty of his sinful people. The age of a man is perhaps only 70 or 80 years. The LORD is just in His anger. But ultimately, the LORD who created all things is also the God of their salvation and the beauty of the Lord rests upon those who call upon His name.      

CP200913

The Ten Commandments—The Fifth and Sixth Commandments

September 6, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 89:38-52 —Prayer for the Preservation of the Church—“How long, Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire?” There have been times throughout the history of the Old Testament Church to the present day in which it appeared as if the Lord had not only abandoned His Church but cast her off. The Babylonian captivity was such time. The Temple was destroyed. Prominent officials were carried away captive. The Kingdom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem were left in ruins. As was the case in the Old Testament, sometimes the New Testament Church has brought such destruction upon herself by her sins and infidelity. Faith understands that it is the Lord who has seemingly cast us off and allowed the enemies of the church to oppress her. Appealing to the Lord’s promise, the psalmist asks, “How long?” Ultimately the oppression of His people is not for their destruction but for their salvation. The psalmist prays for the Church with the sobriety of a broken and contrite heart: “Remember how short my time is; for what futility have You created the children of men? What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?” Faith knows the answers to these questions and can only appeal to the Lord’s promise of salvation to the unworthy and undeserving, “Lord, where are Your former loving kindnesses, which You swore to David in Your truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants…Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen.”CP200906

The Ten Commandments—The Third and Fourth Commandments

August 30, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 89:19-37—The Exaltation of David as a Type of Christ—King David was chosen by the Lord because he was a man “after God’s own heart” which means that by faith he shared in God’s heart of mercy and compassion.  All the wonderful things that God says about David in this section of Psalm 89 seem so strange to our ears. It is almost as if David had no sin, as if he were a Savior, or even like God Himself! But this is where we must see in God’s choice of David and the Covenant the Lord made with him a picture of what God was doing in choosing His only-begotten Son to be the greater David, the greater King, and the greater Savior of God’s people. Indeed, David is made to look like Christ, but the words about David and his kingdom ultimately come to completion in Christ. Central to this section is that just as God’s promise—God’s Word—sustained, strengthened, and enabled David to be faithful as Israel’s king, so God’s promise to His only-begotten Son, our Savior, enabled Jesus to be faithful unto the death of the cross and thereby to establish a kingdom that would never end. CP200830

The Ten Commandments—the First and Second Commandments

August 23, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 89:1-18—Prayer in Remembrance of the LORD’S Faithfulness—The LORD’S faithfulness to His people is rooted in His mercy and loving kindness. The Lord keeps His promise of salvation. So the psalmist prays, “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever…” Psalm 89 is a strongly Messianic psalm. It was a contemplation by Ethan the Ezrahite who remembered that the LORD had chosen David and made an everlasting covenant with Him. The LORD’S covenant with David was fulfilled in the coming of the Christ, David’s greater Son, and in the righteousness and justice that He would establish through His death and resurrection. This week’s section of Psalm 89 ends confidently with the assertion that all believers and the nation’s ruler are to rely upon what Christ has done for them: “In your righteousness they are exalted. For You are the glory of their strength…For our shield belongs to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel.”CP200823