Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Monthly Archives: May 2019

The Table of Duties— To Widows; To Everyone

May 26, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 34: A Prayer of Confident Trust in the Lord in the Face of Suffering—The ascription at the beginning of Psalm 34 indicates that it was written by David when he pretended to be mad before the King of Gath in 1 Samuel 21.  What Jesus did in His ministry, suffering, and death appeared to be sheer madness and insanity to an unbelieving world.  He received sinners and ate with them.  He ministered to the outcasts of society, the poor, the lame, the maimed, and the blind.  He released sinners from the prison-house of their own sin. He suffered and died at the hands of His enemies and made no effort to defend Himself or avoid suffering. Sheer madness!  Against this backdrop, David’s prayer is the prayer of confident trust in the Lord in the face of horrible suffering and the rejection of those He came to save.  Jesus confidently asserted, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad…  Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord… Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken.” It is in what Jesus faithfully suffered for us that we see the answer of the psalmist’s prayer.  It is not insanity to trust in Jesus; it is rather the ground of comfort, soundness of mind, and ultimate peace. CP190526

Table of Duties— To Employers and Supervisors

May 19, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 33: A Prayer of Rejoicing for the Lord’s Creation, Preservation, and Salvation

The call to shout, sing, rejoice, and praise the Lord in Psalm 33 rests upon many great truths that comfort and strengthen the faith of Christians: The Word of the Lord is true.  By the Word of God all things are created and sustained.  God orders and governs all things for the benefit of His righteous ones.  God overturns and frustrates the plans of those who do not believe in Him, so that the actions of wicked rulers end up serving the welfare of His righteous people.  He blesses the earthly ruler who does not rely upon himself but does what is right in the eyes of God. Since God is the source and author of creation and salvation in Christ, then He can be depended upon for help and deliverance.  God is working in the affairs of the world for His good pleasure and for the sake of His Church.  Faith in the Lord is the only certain hope of deliverance.  To be a Christian is to wait upon the Lord and to trust in Him to order the affairs of the world aright.  This song of praise and rejoicing rests upon all of these great truths, and with the psalmist we confess: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him. On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.”CP190519

The Table of Duties— To Workers of All Kinds

May 12, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 32: The Blessedness of Being Forgiven—Psalm 32 is a prayer in which David rejoices in the blessed estate of being forgiven all his sin.  Forgiveness of sins is the declaration that we are righteous for Christ’s sake. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity.” In Psalm 32, David outlines how the Christian is led from the burden of sin that troubles his conscience and torments his life to the freedom that comes from a repentant faith that confesses sin and flees to Christ for forgiveness. “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer.”  It is only when there is repentance and an honest confession of sin that the comfort and blessing of Christ’s forgiveness can be received and enjoyed. “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.  I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.”  This is why God calls us to repentance: to forgive sin, which strengthens faith in Christ, and comforts the troubled conscience.  “For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You.” The godly are not those who have never sinned, but those sinners who have been brought to repentance and faith and who live in Christ’s forgiveness as the source of their life’s comfort and strength.  The way of daily contrition and repentance is the way of every sinner. To refuse the call to repentance, confession, and absolution is to be self-righteous and stubborn, like a horse or mule with no understanding.  “The wicked” are those who have refused the call to repentance.  “The godly” are those who hear, confess, and believe.  “The wicked” have many sorrows, not because the forgiven sinner has none, but because Christ’s forgiveness enables us to bear the sorrows with patience, joy, and hope.  “He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.  Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous” for your sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus.CP190512

The Table of Duties—To Parents and Children

May 5, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 31: A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Comfort for the Lord’s Deliverance—Jesus was hated, so will His Christians be.  Jesus was assaulted by the Evil One, so will His Christians be.  Jesus suffered much at the hands of those spiritual and earthly forces that tried to destroy Him, and so will His Christians be.  Yet through all of this the Lord God sustained Him, and He will sustain His Christians too.  Psalm 31 is a great example of how we pray THROUGH CHRIST for all the comfort, help, and strength that God promises to give us.  We are actually praying for the things that God promises.  This is what gives Christian prayer its certainty. This understanding appears at the beginning of the psalm: “Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress to save me” (the petition); “For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me” (the confident assertion of faith).  The certainty that God hears our prayers is anchored in the great truths of the Gospel that He promises and declares to us.  “Since He is our God and Savior, since He has redeemed me from all sin, death and the power of the devil, THEN I can be confident that He hears my prayers for His deliverance and I will give thanks to Him for the assurance of His answer to my prayers!”  Confidence in God’s promises of deliverance rests in what Jesus has done for us in His death and resurrection.  Christ is, therefore, the One who gives certainty and confidence to our prayers!  In Psalm 31 we can hear Jesus’ own prayers.  He faced every challenge for us!  He endured in the confidence that His Father in heaven was His refuge and strength!  And the Lord heard His prayers.  In His suffering, persecution, and death, Jesus confidently commended Himself to His Father in heaven: “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; Deliver Me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute Me.”  We pray these same prayers through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and in the full assurance of faith, because we are joined to Him.  It is for Jesus’ sake that we commend ourselves to God: “For You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”  As Jesus prayed these words with confidence from the cross, we are enabled to pray them with confidence in Him and in His redemption. CP190505