Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Monthly Archives: June 2019

The Lord’s Prayer—Second Petition

June 30, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 39: A Prayer to Live in Humility with Faith in the Lord Alone—David prays for a sober faith that understands the frailty of his own life before God and how utterly dependent he is upon the Lord: “Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.”  David rightly recognizes the temptation we all face to make more of ourselves than we ought, even in fighting for a good cause or something that we know to be right.  “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.” The Christian faith calls us to commend ourselves and one another to the Lord who alone is our help and our salvation. “Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor… And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions.”  David recognizes that he is a sinner along with the rest of mankind.  He confesses his sins and cries out to the Lord for Him to turn away every harsh judgment and rebuke that he deserves, so that he may regain his strength in the mercy of his gracious and all-sufficient Lord.  CP190630

The Ten Commandments—the First Commandment and Explanation

June 23, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 38: Prayer for the Lord’s Salvation Against the Devastation Wrought by Our Sin—Psalm 38 is one of the seven penitential psalms.  It is a confession of sin and a prayer for the Lord’s salvation.  David reflects upon how, because of his sin, the Law of God pierces him deeply.  He honestly expresses what his sin has done to him and how the condemnation of God’s Law has devastated his conscience.  All of this is expressed in the language of “no soundness in my flesh…no health in my bones…a heavy burden that is too heavy to bear…I am feeble and severely broken.”   The heavy load of David’s sin includes how the members of his friends and family keep their distance from him because of his failings.  David confesses that his sin has left him all alone and that his only hope is in the salvation of the Lord which he has neither earned nor deserved. “In You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear O Lord my God…For I am ready to fall, and my sorrow is continually before me. For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin…Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.”  David teaches us what is our only help and comfort in the struggle with sin: to cling the Lord and the promise of His salvation.CP190623

The Lord’s Prayer— First Petition and Explanations

June 16, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 37: A Prayer for Endurance against the Wickedness of the World—Our experience in a fallen world teaches us that the wicked and unbelieving seem to prosper and that they often do so at the expense of Christians who are hated, ridiculed, persecuted, and rejected.  Things are not always as they appear.  They, who seemingly prosper in this life, may not prosper in the life to come.  In the face of such suffering, David prays against envying the wicked for their prosperity.  The Lord does not want us to hate the wicked, but to love them, to commend them to God, and to pray for their salvation.  Throughout the psalm he extols the virtues of faith in Christ which are chiefly characterized by mercy and compassion toward the unbelieving.  In the face of the prosperity of the wicked and the assaults that Christians face at their hands, David urges us: “Trust in the Lord, and do good…  Commit your way to the Lord…  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…  The Lord knows the days of the upright…  The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though He fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him…  Wait on the Lord, and keep His way…”CP190616

The Creed— Third Article and Explanation

June 9, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 36: A Prayer for Faithfulness to the Lord’s Word against False Doctrine—In the First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, the Catechism teaches us that God’s Word is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity and when we as the children of God also lead holy lives according to God’s Word.  The transgression, pride, arrogance and evil against which Psalm 36 is directed is a prayer against heresy and false teaching which denies Christ and His righteousness as the source of salvation.  Psalm 36 speaks comfort to Christ’s Church which clings in faithfulness to Christ and His Word: “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart.”CP190609

The Lord’s Prayer— Sixth Petition and Explanation

June 2, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 35: A Prayer against the Enemies of the Truth—Of Psalm 35, Martin Luther writes: “The 35th psalm is a psalm of prayer in which David cries out against the shameful people who, for the sake of their enjoyment and profit, put up a pretense and say what the rulers would gladly hear.  They defame the innocent, embittering the rulers against them and inciting them to violence. They devour the truth and cause great heartache. This happened to David, under Saul his king, when those whom he had treated well often afflicted him out of their own malice.                                         We take this as an example for our own time, when—both in sermons and in books, by the princes in every place—our Gospel is so shamefully defamed with great lies beyond measure. Those whom we have served with all due honor and respect do this, for the most part. Thus they ascend and are praised, while we are overthrown and descend to the ground. This shameful, thankless, evil filthiness is nothing but the abominable belly with its servants.                                       In short, it happens (as Christ said of His betrayer) that “he who eats my bread betrays me with his feet”—and does so for thirty pieces of silver. Such are the hypocrites, who for the sake of food will devour the righteous, as David here cries.”(from Reading the Psalms with Luther, CPH). CP190602