Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer: July 12, 2020

The Office of the Keys

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 84—A Prayer of Delight in the Lord’s Divine Service—The Patriarch Jacob rightly confessed “the LORD is in this place” when he heard and received the Lord’s Word in the wilderness. Wherever the Word of Christ is preached in its truth and purity and the Sacraments are administered according to Christ’s institution, it is a “Bethel”— House of God. This is what makes the Tabernacle of the Lord so lovely and why we long to go to the house of God. Faith yearns to receive the Lord’s Word and Supper, and so the psalmist prays, “My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” This yearning is expressed in the basic prayer of faith at the beginning of the Divine Service: “Lord, have mercy upon us!” It is a prayer which believes that everything that we need both spiritually and temporally flow from the Lord’s grace which is offered to us in the Word. The Word of God is like a spring of living water, or rain that covers the earth with pools that refresh the soul. “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You!” Throughout our earthly pilgrimage it is the Lord’s Word that sustains, comforts, and refreshes us. Interestingly, the psalmist draws attention to how even the sparrows could nest in the Old Testament Tabernacle. It is a sign of how the Church of Christ benefits the whole world, even those who do not realize the importance of the Church’s presence for the welfare of the whole earth. May the words of psalm 84 ever be our prayer: “A day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness…O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!”