Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Monthly Archives: July 2019

The Creed— Second Article and Explanation

July 28, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 43: A Prayer for the Light of God’s Word to Draw Us to Faithful Worship—Psalm 43 is a briefer version of Psalm 42. The psalmist is distraught.  He is pursued by the ungodly nation and those who despise his faith.  He prays for vindication, that the Lord God would fight for him with words: “plead my cause!” As he is tormented by his enemy and those whose accusations are troubling his soul, his prayer rests upon the assertion: “You are the God of my strength!”  At the center of Psalm 43, the psalmist prays for the light of God’s Word of truth to be sent forth for him so that he is led to return to the holy hill of the Lord in faithful worship. Unless the light of God’s Word calls us to repentance and faith we cannot worship God faithfully or make sense of our lives.  It is God’s Word that teaches us to delight in Him and to desire Him above all things.  It is God’s Word that gives us wisdom, teaches us to confess, and animates our song of praise. “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy: and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.”  The prayer resolves with the confident assertion: If we have God on our side in Christ Jesus our Lord, then we have nothing to fear.CP190728

The Office of the Keys

July 21, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 42: A Prayer, Yearning for God—To be a Christian is to trust in Christ, even and especially if all other earthly supports are taken from you.  The soul of a Christian is never at rest unless it finds its rest in Christ. In Psalm 42, the psalmist yearns for God as a deer pants for water from the brook.  Psalm 42 is a call to prayer wherein the Christian is to cast all of his or her cares upon God and to hope in Him when all else fails.  The psalm echoes themes from Romans, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Answer: No one!  “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”  Yearning for God’s deliverance in Christ does not mean that we will not know sadness, heartache, or disappointment.  When we experience such things we are to be incited to pray and to call upon God for help.  Our situation may often be like a believer who is far from home, beyond the Jordan from the Hill Mizar (the “mountain of littleness”). The discipline of daily prayer, morning and evening, cannot be overvalued as the opportunity and occasion wherein we “drink in the goodness of the Lord” for our help and strength.  So the psalmist prays: “The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—A prayer to the God of my life.”  This discipline of prayer in which we lay our need before the Lord cultivates hope and the confidence of faith in Christ: “Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him the help of my countenance and my God.”CP190721

The Lord’s Prayer— Fifth Petition ans Explanation

July 14, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 41: Prayer for Deliverance in the Face of Betrayal—False witness, false accusations, and slander are spoken against David in this psalm.  He was accused of many great evils by those who should have been his loyal supporters and confidants.  Jesus suffered the same false witness and evil accusations.  It is from this psalm that we hear the Old Testament prediction of Judas’ betrayal: “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”  In David’s case, he sincerely confessed that which was sin in his own life, (as opposed to the false accusations of those who wanted to destroy him), and he commended himself to the mercy of God.  David knew that the Lord would preserve him in time of trouble, deliver him from all his enemies, and strengthen his faith as he lay sick and dying.  David’s confidence is the confidence of every Christian.  Because of the Lord’s forgiveness, He is well pleased with us.  Even though we suffer such things and will eventually die, this does not mean that the Lord has abandoned us.  He will raise us up from the dead.  Our enemies will not triumph over us and their false and lying words will be proven false.  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting!  Amen and Amen.”  CP190714

The Lord’s Prayer—Third Petition

July 7, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 40: The Prayer of Jesus and His Righteousness—Psalm 40 is a prayer of our Lord Jesus which, through faith in Him, we are privileged to share in.  In the center of the psalm we hear the words that belong in the mouth of our Lord: “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the Book it is written of me.  I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”  With these words, our Lord declares His purpose for coming into the world: to fulfill the whole will and law of God for us.  His willing sacrifice upon the cross in fulfillment of the Law of God is the righteousness that saves every sinner.  So our Lord Himself declares, “I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness…I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart…I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.”  Since Jesus has done this for us, we may “wait patiently for the Lord.”  His gift of salvation has “put a new song in my mouth.”  Because of what Jesus has done for us, we have the right to pray, “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me.”  Though our iniquities may overwhelm us, Jesus is our salvation and He is pleased to deliver us.”      CP190707