Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Yearly Archives: 2019

The Creed — the Third Article

December 29, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — (Christmas Psalm 98 The walk through the psalms resumes after Christmas) “The 98th psalm, like the preceding psalm, is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ, which extends into all the world. It also calls us to be joyful and to praise God for His salvation, that is, to preach and give thanks for the redemption given us through Christ. Here then is worship—not offerings given in Jerusalem, but preaching and thanksgiving that He is King in righteousness over the entire world, that is, that He has redeemed us from sin and death by Himself alone, without our merits.”—Martin Luther CP191229

Creed — the 2nd Article

December 22, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — (Christmas Psalm 96 The walk through the psalms resumes after Christmas) “The 96th psalm is a prophecy of the kingdom of Christ in the world, in which there will be nothing but joy and praise…In it, all the nations, lands, people, forests, seas, trees are called to worship.  They should praise and thank the Lord because He judges and rules with righteousness and truth.  That is, He delivers us from sins and all that sin brings with it, such as death, hell, the power of the devil, and all that is evil.  This is the new song of the new kingdom from new creatures, from a new people, not born of the Law or works but born of God and Spirit.  These are nothing less than miracles, done in Christ Jesus.” Martin Luther CP191222

Lord’s Prayer — 5th and 6th Petitions

December 15, 2019

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Lord’s Prayer — 4th Petition

December 8, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 62: A Prayer against Those Who Delight in Tearing Others Down—Self-righteousness and pride is the perennial disease of our sinful flesh, because of it, the Old Adam delights in tearing others down and exalting one’s self.  This prayer against such pride and arrogance is also a prayer for every Christian to realize the self-righteousness that lurks within his nature, to confess it, and to abide in the humility of faith.  For the Christian our hope is in God alone.  We rely upon His power.  We trust in His mercy.  We wait silently for Him.  We know that we are but a vapor, a breath that soon dissipates into nothing.  Where there is self-righteousness and pride, there will be the destruction of others.  Where there is faith in the Lord Jesus, who humbled Himself in service to the neighbor, even to the point of death, there will be compassion and concern for others ahead of one’s self.  The way of faith is clear: Christ alone is our salvation and our glory; He alone is the rock of our strength and our refuge.CP191208

The Catechism: The Lord’s Prayer—Second Petition and Third Petition

December 1, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 61: A Prayer for the Assurance of God’s Protection on Earth and for Eternity—Psalm 61 was likely prayed by David before he succeeded Saul as King and began his reign.  He prays for the Lord’s protection.  When his heart is overwhelmed, he prays that the Lord would lead him to the Rock that is higher than he.  That Rock is Christ, his Lord and Savior.  Though Saul was his enemy, David anticipates the teaching of the Apostle Paul who declares that our true enemy is Satan and the forces of darkness (Eph. 6:12). In the end. David prays for his King and desires only what is best for the King: “You will prolong the king’s life, His years as many generations. He shall abide before God forever. Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him!” Luther extols the blessings of a stable government, even though the governing authorities have their flaws.  In the end, God works even through the secular kingdom to maintain order and to provide for people’s well-being.CP191201

Lord’s Prayer— Introduction and 1st Petition

November 24, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 60: A Psalm of Praise to God for His Salvation and Providence—During the reign of King Saul, Israel was not at rest and had much conflict from within and without.  During the reign of David, the Lord solidified the kingdom and gave victory to Israel over her enemies.  In Psalm 60, David traces the gracious providence of the Lord.  There were times when He allowed them to be afflicted because they had turned away from Him.  There were times that He delivered them.  Only the God who at times cast them off would be the God who would give them help. David’s kingdom had been established after Saul.  The ancient ascription tells us that this psalm was written, “when David fought against Mesopotamia and Syria of Zobah, and Joab returned and killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt” (2 Samuel 8). David rightly addresses the Lord in humble terms.  If the Lord had not gone with them into battle, they would have failed miserably.  But the Lord established the Davidic kingdom as He had promised and David rejoices. The geographic reference points show the extent to which the kingdom of David had spread.  The psalm ends with a prayer for God’s ongoing help, the renunciation of human strength, and a confession of firm faith: “Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who will tread down our enemies.”CP191124

Lord’s Prayer— Introduction and 1st Petition

November 17, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 59: A Prayer of Christ Against the Enemies of the Lord—Psalm 59 is yet another prayer of David during that period in which Saul sought to destroy him.  The entire psalter was not only known and prayed by our Lord Jesus, but the psalms also speak of Him.  The words of Psalm 59, especially, belong in the mouth of Christ.  When we understand it first as His prayer to His Father, then we are enabled to pray it through faith in Jesus.  Look at how the words rightly belong in Jesus’ mouth: “Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For look, they lie in wait for my life; the mighty gather against me, not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord. They run and prepare themselves through no fault of mine…  But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them….” These words rightly belong in Jesus’ mouth as He faces those who ultimately wanted to destroy Him.  In the end, however, we learn how faith in Christ both thinks and prays by the pattern of Jesus’ prayers.  In Christ we are declared righteous and therefore have the right to approach the throne of grace, through Christ, when we are attacked in the same way that He was. CP191117

Creed — 3rd Article

November 10, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 58: A Prayer of Comfort Against Enemies that Are Not as Strong as We Think—Psalm 58 is a prayer of comfort for the Church and individual Christians when we are threatened by false teachers and the voices of a society and culture which appear overwhelming in their strength.  It appears as if we are weak and that they are all powerful, but greater by far is Him who fights for us than all the forces of evil combined.  The false teaching is like the poison of a snake, and the false teachers are like a deaf cobra who will not listen to the truth of God’s Word but rather fight against it.  Their lies are charming and their number is great.  David commended his cause and the cause of the church to God.  He will judge the wicked.  Their apparent power is like a flood of water that soon dissipates, or like a crossbow and arrow that is soon broken, or slug that is soon dried up in the sun, or stillborn child whose life is no more, or a thornbush that is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Although the world and her false teachers threaten the Church, the Lord will preserve His people from all harm, defend them from destruction, and judge His enemies. “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely He is God who judges in the earth.” CP191110

Creed — 3rd Article

November 3, 2019

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 57: A Prayer for Safety from the Enemies of Faith—The time of David’s persecution under King Saul were very fruitful for him.  By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who strengthened him to bear up under the incessant attacks by Saul, he produced many of his greatest psalms.  Psalm 57 was prayed by him when he fled from Saul into a cave.  On that occasion, King Saul fell into David’s grasp without Saul realizing it as Saul entered the same cave in which David was hiding to relieve himself.  David and his men remained silent in the darkness of the cave.  Though given the opportunity to strike down his enemy, David would not raise his hand against the anointed King.  Instead, he commended himself to God who judges righteously and who would avenge his cause as he saw fit.  David’s example is an encouragement for us during times of prolonged and intense persecution for our faith. “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.”CP191103

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