Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 92 — A Prayer of Daily Thanksgiving for the Love of the Lord—There is so much evil in the world. It is foolish and senseless to deny the existence of God and the goodness of His love. Enemies abound who reject the Lord God, but He never fails to uphold, strengthen, and lift up His people who trust in Him and to make them glad by the works of His hands. As believers in the Lord and in His sustaining grace, we commend the wicked and all workers of iniquity to Him who will judge the wicked and bring their evil plans to an end in His good time. In the meantime, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night.” The humble, faithful, regular morning and evening prayers of Christians are a balm for the soul in the face of the evils of our age. Daily prayer focuses our attention upon what the Lord has done and continues to do for His people. In such regular meditation upon God’s Word, anxiety is dispelled and confidence in the Lord is strengthened. The righteous walk by faith in the Lord’s promise and do not live in despair when we see the wickedness of the world around us. “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree… They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”
Congregation at Prayer
Yearly Archives: 2020
September 27, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
September 20, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 91 — A Prayer to Abide in the Lord our Refuge and Fortress—In psalm 91 and throughout the psalter, the Lord is described as the refuge and fortress for His people against every assault from the problems of life and the enemies of faith. Psalm 91 also compares the Lord’s protection to a valiant raptor who shelters us under His wings. Satan attempts to ensnare Christians like a fowler to traps birds. The plagues of Egypt are alluded to in the image of pestilence, darkness, and destruction that lays waste at noon day. The firstborn not covered in the lamb’s blood died. The Lord stands with us in battle. The Lord is our refuge against every plague. Satan is depicted as a cobra, a lion, and a serpent. The Lord dispatches His holy angles against his attacks, so that we do not stumble or strike our foot against a stone. In Psalm 91, the Lord promises help, protection, and deliverance to every Christian who loves Him and calls upon His name. He promises us, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him” (verse 15).
September 13, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 90 — A Prayer of Total Reliance Upon the God of Creation for our Salvation—Moses is the psalmist who pens Psalm 90. He recalls how the LORD had been the “dwelling place” of his people in all generations. This LORD, who called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to faith, and who redeemed Israel from slavery, is none other than the God of creation. He created the heavens and the earth and brought forth the great mountains after the flood. The Lord is eternal, the great I AM. “A thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past.” Moses recalls the frailty of his sinful people. The age of a man is perhaps only 70 or 80 years. The LORD is just in His anger. But ultimately, the LORD who created all things is also the God of their salvation and the beauty of the Lord rests upon those who call upon His name.
September 6, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 89:38-52 —Prayer for the Preservation of the Church—“How long, Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire?” There have been times throughout the history of the Old Testament Church to the present day in which it appeared as if the Lord had not only abandoned His Church but cast her off. The Babylonian captivity was such time. The Temple was destroyed. Prominent officials were carried away captive. The Kingdom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem were left in ruins. As was the case in the Old Testament, sometimes the New Testament Church has brought such destruction upon herself by her sins and infidelity. Faith understands that it is the Lord who has seemingly cast us off and allowed the enemies of the church to oppress her. Appealing to the Lord’s promise, the psalmist asks, “How long?” Ultimately the oppression of His people is not for their destruction but for their salvation. The psalmist prays for the Church with the sobriety of a broken and contrite heart: “Remember how short my time is; for what futility have You created the children of men? What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?” Faith knows the answers to these questions and can only appeal to the Lord’s promise of salvation to the unworthy and undeserving, “Lord, where are Your former loving kindnesses, which You swore to David in Your truth? Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants…Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen.”CP200906
August 30, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 89:19-37—The Exaltation of David as a Type of Christ—King David was chosen by the Lord because he was a man “after God’s own heart” which means that by faith he shared in God’s heart of mercy and compassion. All the wonderful things that God says about David in this section of Psalm 89 seem so strange to our ears. It is almost as if David had no sin, as if he were a Savior, or even like God Himself! But this is where we must see in God’s choice of David and the Covenant the Lord made with him a picture of what God was doing in choosing His only-begotten Son to be the greater David, the greater King, and the greater Savior of God’s people. Indeed, David is made to look like Christ, but the words about David and his kingdom ultimately come to completion in Christ. Central to this section is that just as God’s promise—God’s Word—sustained, strengthened, and enabled David to be faithful as Israel’s king, so God’s promise to His only-begotten Son, our Savior, enabled Jesus to be faithful unto the death of the cross and thereby to establish a kingdom that would never end. CP200830
August 23, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 89:1-18—Prayer in Remembrance of the LORD’S Faithfulness—The LORD’S faithfulness to His people is rooted in His mercy and loving kindness. The Lord keeps His promise of salvation. So the psalmist prays, “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever…” Psalm 89 is a strongly Messianic psalm. It was a contemplation by Ethan the Ezrahite who remembered that the LORD had chosen David and made an everlasting covenant with Him. The LORD’S covenant with David was fulfilled in the coming of the Christ, David’s greater Son, and in the righteousness and justice that He would establish through His death and resurrection. This week’s section of Psalm 89 ends confidently with the assertion that all believers and the nation’s ruler are to rely upon what Christ has done for them: “In your righteousness they are exalted. For You are the glory of their strength…For our shield belongs to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel.”CP200823
August 16, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). It is in our baptism that we have been crucified with Christ, so that Christ now lives in us. Since we have been crucified with Christ, the Law has been fulfilled for us, sin has been atoned for, and the gift of new life is ours. This new life begins now by faith in Christ the crucified. Victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil is never by the strength of our own will but solely by the merits of Jesus’ crucifixion. Faith receives Christ’s victory and lives in Him. Sin, death, and hell cannot destroy Him, and therefore, they cannot destroy us because He lives in us. This means that each day of our lives as Christians is lived by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. Christ’s sacrifice of love for us upon the cross is always before our eyes. This means that “the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me,” is not only the object of my faith, but also the source and strength for living the Christian life. Day by day, moment by moment, our life in the flesh—with all its struggles, weaknesses, and failings—is lived by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.— ExcCP200816erpted from Lutheran Catechesis, Catechist Edition, p. 280a (Used by permission.)
August 9, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
|Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 88—A Prayer for Salvation from Overwhelming Trouble—There are times in life in which even the Christian can be overwhelmed with trouble of every kind to the extent that there appears to be no help or deliverance for him. Psalm 88 gives voice to such times. The psalmist declares that his soul is full of troubles. He has no strength. He feels God’s wrath. His friends have abandoned him. He is all alone. He stands on the precipice of death. He suffers the terrors of being cast off by God. Yet in the face of such despondency and apparent hopelessness, faith clings to the Lord and cries out to Him for deliverance: “O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You. Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of troubles… Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You … and in the morning my prayer comes before You.” For the Christian who has ever experienced what the psalmist confesses, Psalm 88 is of great comfort because it not only gives voice to such despondency, but it is also the proper prayer because it is given to us by God that we might wait upon Him for the strength to endure and for the deliverance we need. In the end, the Lord hears our prayers and will not abandon the one who puts his hope in Him.|
August 2, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 87—A Prayer of Rejoicing in the Holy Christian Church—Zion is a type of the New Testament Church. Mount Zion was the location of Jerusalem and the Temple to which people of all nations were to be drawn for the gift of salvation and new life. Psalm 87 prophecies of how the Lord loves His Church, builds His Church, and will draw sinners of all nations into her. The new birth of Holy Baptism makes of people of many tribes, nations, and languages one people in Christ: “This one and that one were born in her and the Most High Himself shall establish her.” The Lord writes their names on the ledger of the Book of Life. In the Church there is deliverance from sin, death, and everlasting destruction. The Church’s choirs and musicians sing and rejoice in the Lord’s salvation in time and eternity.CP200802
July 26, 2020Download (Adobe PDF)
Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 86—A Prayer for Mercy that Meditates upon the Lord’s Goodness—In psalm 86 David prays for help yet confesses himself to be holy. He says that he is poor and needy yet claims to be the Lord’s servant. How can these things contrasting pairings be true? The prophet says, “the just shall live by faith” in the Lord’s promise of salvation (Habakkuk 2:4). To be a Christian is to trust in the Lord and not in myself. To be a Christian is to confess my sin and to receive the Lord’s forgiveness. To be a Christian is to believe that I am poor and needy in myself yet holy and righteous in Christ. The Christian faith believes in what God’s Word declares about myself and trusts in what God gives me in Christ. The just shall live by faith in the Lord Jesus and His suffering, death, and resurrection for our salvation. For this reason, David’s prayer of faith not only cries out to the Lord for forgiveness for his sin and deliverance from his enemies, but also rejoices in the myriad gifts of the Lord’s salvation. “Preserve my life…be merciful to me…You are good…Give ear to my prayer…You are great, and do wondrous things…Teach me Your way, O LORD…You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth…You Lord, have helped and comforted me.” Psalm 86 teaches us how to pray with boldness and confidence. Even though we are undeserving sinners, yet we are the objects and recipients of the Lord’s mercy and love.