Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

The Ten Commandments — The Ninth and Tenth Commandments

September 19, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 125: A Prayer of Trust in the Lord’s Strength for His People—Psalm 125 continues the psalms of Ascents. Faith in Christ gives us freedom from sin and the judgment of the Law. Faith in Christ is also our strength against every foe because the Lord makes unequivocal promises to those who believe. “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” The Lord promises protection for His people and to do us good, so that no harm will destroy our life with Him who gave His life for us. His peace abides with His faithful congregation.



The Ten Commandments — The Seventh and Eighth Commandments

September 12, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 124: Blessed be the Lord Who Defends His Own—Psalm 124 is another Psalm of Ascents sung by the congregation of Israel in blessing for the Lord’s defense of His people. “If the Lord had not been on our side, we would have perished at the hands of our enemies.” The Lord blesses and defends His Church according to His promise of salvation to us. He is faithful to us even though our faith often wavers in confidence.  This psalm gives encouragement today in the face of persecution and the attempts of those who would destroy the Church. For this protection we pray, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey…Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers…Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” and He will not let us down.



The Ten Commandments — The Fifth and Sixth Commandments

September 5, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 123: A Prayer for Help Against Those Who Hold Christians in Contempt—Psalm 123 is another Song of Ascent as the people entered into the Lord’s presence for worship. Christians are often the object of contempt, ridicule, and scorn from those who do not believe in the Gospel. We often grow weary of being attacked because we hold fast to God’s Word and confess the name of Christ. Psalm 123 directs the eyes of faith to look up to the Lord in the heavens, just as a servant relies upon his master or a maid relies upon her mistress for help. We have had our fill of the ridicule of unbelievers, and so we pray for relief in the Lord’s mercy. He will have mercy upon us, for He is our faithful Lord and Savior and He will not abandon us to those who hold us in contempt.



The Ten Commandments — The Third and Fourth Commandments

August 29, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 122: A Prayer for the City of God—What is the Lord’s city on earth? It is the Church of Jesus Christ, the congregation of all the baptized faithful among whom the Gospel is preached, and the Sacraments are administered. When David prays for “the house of the Lord,” Jerusalem, and the palaces of the Lord we should understand that this refers to the Church. At the heart of the “City of God” on earth is faith and the gift of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all believers, but it has very real and concrete outward expressions. Confessing before the world, public preaching, the Sacraments, and the gathering together of the baptized faithful to receive these gifts is how the outward ministry of Word and Sacraments creates and nourishes the gift of faith in Christ and the fruits of love to others. So, David prays, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!  Our Divine service is that “Jerusalem” and “House of the Lord” today.  David not only recognized the necessity to gather together to receive God’s gifts, but He rejoiced to do so because the Lord’s Word and Sacraments are the source of salvation and comfort for every Christian. Many tribes and nations flood into the Church. We rejoice in the testimony of the Lord’s blood shed for our forgiveness. We pray for the peace of the Church and the prosperity of all who enter into her.


The Ten Commandments—the First and Second Commandments

August 22, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 121: A Prayer for the Preservation of Your Faith—The Songs of Ascent were prayed by the Old Testament faithful as the priest entered the Holy Place to intercede for the congregation. Psalm 121 is a prayer for the individual believer and for the whole congregation. The God of salvation is He who made the heavens and the earth. Our God is not only the God of salvation, but also the God who is the Creator and Preserver of all things. So, the psalm begins, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” “Help” is a reference to salvation and the preservation of our faith. It is as if the psalmist were praying, “My salvation comes from the Lord…the Preservation of my faith comes from the Lord…My protection from all enemies who seek to destroy me comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Our prayers, like Psalm 121, are always based upon the foundation of the sure and certain promises of the Lord. He will not allow us to stumble. He never slumbers or sleeps. He is the one who keeps or shelters us from harm. He is the one who preserves us from evil. He protects us as we go in and out from the Divine Service where He refreshes our faith and comforts us with His forgiveness and mercy. He who keeps the individual Christian and preserves him in the faith is also He who keeps and preserves the Church: “He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” All of this is so, “from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. CP210822


August 15, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 120: A Prayer for Relief from Bitter Foes—Psalm 120 is a brief cry to the Lord for deliverance from those who oppose the faith of Christians with lies and deceit. “Lying lips” and “a deceitful tongue” is a reference to all false teachers who not only oppose the faith, but by their false doctrine lead people astray. The psalmist asks the question, “What shall be done to those who preach false doctrine?” In the end, the Lord will bring His judgment upon them. Meschech is outside the Promised Land in the southeast of Asia minor. It signifies a foreign land which does not know the Lord. Christians are on a pilgrimage through a world of unbelief and rejection of the truth. The tents of Kedar were black and inhabited by Arabians who did not worship the Lord. Like Meschech, dwelling among the tents of Kedar signifies how the Christian is in the world of unbelief and false doctrine, but not of the world. Under similar circumstances today, we call upon the Lord. Our lament parallels that of the psalmist, “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace (the Gospel). I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” This timely psalm is a prayer for the Church today in the midst of a world which is increasingly hostile to the Gospel. It is called a “Song of Ascent” because it was prayed after the burnt offering as the congregation entered into the presence of the Lord for the very help and deliverance for which the psalm prays.



The Lord’s Prayer — Third Petition

August 8, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 119: Shin and Tau—Meditations on the Word of God—Psalm 119 concludes with the Shin and Tau sections. Love for the Word of God is the cause of hatred and persecution from those who do not believe in the Lord. Love for the Word of God is also the source of peace and rejoicing for the Christian, especially in the midst of hardship and persecution. The Word of God inspires awe and reverence in the hearts of those who believe. The Word of God causes an aversion toward things that are evil. The Word of God gives peace to those who receive it. The Word of God upholds us so that we do not stumble. The Word of God gives us understanding and wisdom. It is the basis for our supplications and prayers to God. The Word of the Lord is the foundation of our confession of faith in Christ and all that we believe. The Word of God declares us righteous and bestows the gift of salvation. In the Shin and Tau sections of Psalm 119, word, law, righteous judgments, commandments, testimonies, precepts, and judgments are references to the Word of God. The Word of God gives assurance to the Christian that though we may stumble, the Lord will continually seek for us like a shepherd searching for a lost sheep.


The Lord’s Prayer — Second Petition

August 1, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 119: Qoph and Resh—Meditations upon the Word of God—Is there anything that we need for life and salvation for which God’s Word is not the source? No! The Word of the Lord is the fountain and source of everything that we need. In the Qoph section of Psalm 119, the psalmist speaks of the linkeage between the Word of God and prayer. God speaks to us and prayer, as the voice of faith in God’s Word, speaks to God for everything that we need according to His Word. “I rise before the dawning of the morning and cry for help; I hope in Your word.” God hears our prayers on the basis of His loving promises to us in Christ. In this section, statutes, testimonies, word, and commandments are the references to the Word of God. In the Resch section of Psalm 119, the psalmist cries out to the Lord for deliverance from affliction, for the revival of his soul, for salvation renewal in the Word of God. Our relationship with God and everything we need from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ comes from His Word. In this section, law, word, statutes, judgments, and testimonies are references to the Word of God.


The Lord’s Prayer — First Petition

July 25, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 119: Pe and Tsadde—Meditations on the Word of God—The testimonies of the Lord and the comfort of His righteousness are themes of both the Pe and the Tsadde sections of Psalm 119. In the Pe section, the psalmist begins by the declaration “Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.” This is the language of faith in the Gospel of God’s love and salvation in Christ. The testimonies of the Lord are the promises of the Gospel. They are the declarations of forgiveness and righteousness in Christ. God’s Word can be a stern word of Law, but in this section the emphasis is upon the comfort of the Gospel. The Gospel gives light. It gives understanding to the simple. It directs our paths. It does not allow iniquity to rule over us. It is the word of redemption. By the Gospel, God’s face shines upon us and we are grieved by those who turn away from the Gospel in unbelief. In this section, testimonies, words, commandments, word, precepts, statutes, and law are the references to the Word of God. In the Tsadde section, the theme of righteousness intensifies: “Righteous are you….  Your testimonies … are righteous….  Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness….  The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting…” These are not merely references to the holiness of the Lord, but of the righteousness of God in Christ. The righteousness of God is that He offered up His Son to the death of the cross on our behalf to make full atonement for all sin. This is the righteousness that is proclaimed in the Gospel and received by faith alone and not by the works of the Law. Sometimes “commandments” refer to the requirements of the Law, but commandments can also refer to the edicts of the Gospel that silences Satan’s accusations, takes away sin, and bestows the righteousness of Christ. These “commandments” are the eternal delight of the redeemed sinner. In this section, judgments, testimonies, words, word, precepts, law, and commandments are references to the Word of God.


The Sacrament of the Altar — What is the Sacrament of the Altar? What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?

July 18, 2021

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 119: Samek and Ayin— Meditations on the Word of God—Spiritual hypocrisy is to have a divided heart, a heart that is not firmly anchored in God’s Word but willfully follows the appetites and desires of the flesh. The Samek section of psalm 119 begins with a rejection of the “double-minded” or divided heart. For the Christian, God’s Word is the place of refuge and safety in the daily allure of the sinful flesh which would lead us astray. “You are my hiding place and shield…uphold me according to Your word, that I may live…Hold me up, and I shall be safe…” The Apostle declared that in his flesh there dwelt no good thing, therefore God’s Word alone is the source of safety, strength, comfort, and life for the faithful Christian. Only God’s Word can deliver us from the evil that lurks within us. In this section, law, word, commandments, statutes, testimonies, and judgments are the references to God’s Word. The Ayin section contains references to God’s righteousness. God’s righteousness ultimately centers in what Christ has done for our salvation in His death upon the cross. There He executed judgment and righteousness on our behalf as He suffered what the Law demanded for our sin. His righteousness is the source of our salvation, the mercy of God, and why the Lord’s commandments are more precious to us than fine gold. References to “the testimonies of the Lord” and His “righteous Word” are descriptions of the Gospel of the righteousness of God in Christ that covers our sin. In this section, righteous word, statutes, testimonies, law, commandments, and precepts are the references to God’s Word.