Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Monthly Archives: April 2020

Table of Duties — To Wives

April 26, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Psalm 77—A Prayer to Remember God’s Mercy and Faithfulness—Psalm 77 grapples with one of the most troubling set of questions for a Christian, “Will the Lord cast me off? Will He stop being favorable to me? Will His love and mercy for me cease?” We find ourselves in this situation when the adversity of life bears down upon us and we do not see an end to it. We find ourselves in this situation because our flesh is weak, and we are attacked by the world and the voices of unbelief. How often do we lie awake in the night worrying and wrestling with problems that we do not know how to solve? So the psalmist prays, “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed.” It can seem, even for the believer, as if God is deaf to our prayers and silent to answer our cries. Finally, the psalmist calls us to remember the Lord’s faithfulness and His dealings for His people in ancient times. Though His help, at times, seemed to be delayed or that it would never come, He remembered His people and acted for their benefit according to the promises of His mercy. “Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? And I said, ‘This is my anguish; But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Every Christian needs to be reminded of the faithfulness of the Lord and how He never forsook those who trusted in Him. The foundation of this remembrance is the faithfulness that He displayed in the suffering and death of the cross. In His suffering and death, He restored life with God. Though we may suffer, He will not forsake His flock. CP200426

Table of Duties — To Husbands

April 19, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Psalm 76—The Church’s Prayer of Confidence in God—Psalm 76 is a psalm of Asaph, one of the cantors who led the liturgy of the Tabernacle. The psalm confesses that God is in His Church for the protection of His people and for judgment against those who oppose Him.  The power, strength, and assaults of the enemies of God are no match for Him.  His abode is clearly established.  He is in His Church.  He is majestic.  At His rebuke, His enemies are defeated, and the humble believer is rescued.  How can the wrath of man praise God? The wrath of man praises God when His Word is demonstrated to be true as the unbelieving enemies of God fight against the truth of God just as He said they would. Because God is faithful to His people and they entrust themselves to Him, they confess the faith by making vows of faithfulness to Him who is faithful to them.  God’s faithfulness to us is the strength of our fidelity and faithfulness to Him. CP200419

Creed — the 3rd Article

April 12, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Psalm 16— The Messiah’s Prayer for Strength—All the psalms are prayed through faith in Jesus Christ and His victory for us.  Psalm 16 is no exception.  The words of this psalm belong in the mouth of Jesus.  Peter makes this clear in his Pentecost sermon.  This psalm was Jesus’ prayer as He faced the horror of the cross and death: “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust…You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You!”  For Jesus’ sake, this becomes our prayer as well.  Even in the agony of His death upon the cross, Jesus confessed confidence in His Father who would raise Him from the dead and not allow Him to see corruption: “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at My right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore, My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave My soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”  Because of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice upon the cross which the Father accepted, Jesus’ body did not undergo decay and it was impossible for death to hold Him.  The Father raised His faithful Son from the dead and for Jesus’ sake the Father will raise us to life immortal.  This is our hope and confidence in Christ: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” CP200412

Table of Duties — Of Citizens

April 5, 2020

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Psalm 118—The Passover Psalm—The liturgy of the Old Testament Passover took place around the family table.  The Passover feast included the telling of the story of the Lord’s mighty act of redemption for Israel through the blood of the Passover Lamb.  Children were to ask questions, “What is the meaning of this night, of this meal, of the bitter herbs and spices, etc.?”  The head of the family would answer the questions and faithfully lead the family in remembering all that God had done to deliver them from slavery.  Psalm 118 was central to their prayers.  It begins with one of the most repeated antiphons in the psalms: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! Because His mercy endures forever.”  The goodness and mercy of God that redeemed Israel from slavery came to fulfillment in Jesus’ suffering and death upon the cross.  The pilgrims on Palm Sunday applied the language of the Passover psalm to Jesus: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  To be sure, they did not realize that He would suffer and die on Good Friday.  But by applying the words of the Passover psalm to Him, they identified Him as the Messiah and that the sacrifice of His body and blood upon the cross was His destiny.  This psalm has long enjoyed a prominent place in the Church’s liturgy.  It is not only prayed by the Church during Holy Week as we see the true Passover Lamb lifted up on the altar of the cross for our salvation, but it is also sung throughout Eastertide with words that are familiar to every Christian: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.  This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” CP200405