Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Monthly Archives: October 2019

Creed — 2nd Article

October 27, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 56: A Prayer of Absolute Confidence in God—Psalm 56 was composed by David during that period in which he was hunted by King Saul.  He had fled to the land of the Philistines to escape Saul’s reach, but that presented a new problem: the Philistines hated him because of Goliath and the many victories he had won against them. In order to appear as no threat to the Philistines, he pretended to be out of his mind (1 Samuel 21:10-15).  The Philistines thought that he was a crazy man, an accusation often leveled against Jesus.  David’s prayer is one of absolute confidence in God.  His words remind us of what Paul wrote centuries later in Romans 8: “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?” (Romans 8:31-33). The confidence in David’s prayer rests squarely upon the Word of God.  God’s Word is what gives us the certainty of God’s love and of His abiding protection. “In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His Word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”  The words of David and Paul could not be more timely for us today. CP191027

Creed— 2nd Article

October 20, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 55: A Meditation of David on the Treachery of Apparent Christian Brothers—Have you ever felt like an inferior Christian because you do not have the same “joy, happiness, and overt expressions of faith” that some apparently have? Instead, you may feel as if you have little of the Christian sincerity and “spiritual maturity” that other Christians have.  David knew his sin, felt the attacks of the evil one, and often felt the joy of his salvation sapped from him, yet he was still a Christian—one who trusted not in Himself, but in His Lord.  In Psalm 55 David contemplates the betrayal of those brothers in the faith who turned out to be no brothers at all.  Their piety was a sham!  Their sincerity was a lie!  Perceptions are often deceiving.  And so David prays, “It is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has magnified himself against me; then I could hide from him.  But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance.  We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.”  In the end, our faith must never be in ourselves or others, but only in the Lord.  “I will call upon god, and the Lord shall save me…He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle which was against me…Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you: He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”CP191020

Creed— 1st Article

October 13, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 54: A Prayer for Deliverance from the Enemies of Christians—Psalm 54 was prayed by David on the occasion of King Saul’s attempts to murder him.  The Ziphites had betrayed David to Saul.  Saul had departed from the Word of God and despised the Lord for having anointed David to succeed him as King.  David would not lift his hand against his enemy, but rather commended himself to God and prayed for the Lord to deliver him.  David’s example is a pattern for us and Christ’s Church under persecution and suffering.  Our only weapon is the Word of God and faith that clings to the Lord’s promise of protection.  In our battle against the forces of darkness and the enemies of our faith, our protection can never be the force of human arms, but must always and only be the Word of God the protection that the Lord promises to those who are faithful to Him.  So we, with the whole Church on earth, pray with David, “Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth…oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them.  Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life. He will repay my enemies for their evil.”  This is of inestimable comfort in the face of persecution and suffering for the faith. CP191013

Creed— 1st Article

October 6, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 53: A Psalm of Instruction Concerning Atheism and the Corruption of Sin—It is foolish to say that there is no God.  A rejection of the God of the Bible leads to the full blown corruption of sin, no matter how “good” a person might appear to be in the eyes of the world.  Before God, apart from faith in Christ, all are sinners and unable to save themselves.  The corruption of Original Sin means that no one naturally fears, loves, or trusts in God.  The corruption of Original Sin means that “there is none who does good, not even one.”  St. Paul quotes this psalm in Romans 3 to reinforce the teaching that “by the Law comes the knowledge of sin” and “by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in God’s sight.”  Justification and salvation only comes from the righteousness of God in Christ which is received by faith alone.  This is the salvation that comes out of Zion (the Church), and which causes Jacob (all believers in Christ) to rejoice.  Without faith in Christ and in His righteousness upon the cross, one can have no true understanding of self, God, or the world in which we live. CP191006