Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

The Catechism: The Lord’s Prayer—Third Petition

July 3, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — This Week’s Bible Stories from St. Luke—Jesus’ promises in the Gospel are the basis for every petition of the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus’ teaching on prayer in the Parable of the Friend at Midnight.  We can be absolutely confident that our heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers them when we “ask, seek, and knock” on the basis of His promises to us in the Gospel of His Son.  Every petition of the Lord’s Prayer is God’s Word and God’s promise to us, so that we might be bold and confident when we cry out to Him.  In a House Divided Cannot Stand, Jesus answers those who accused Him of being in league with the devil.  Satan’s kingdom is not divided against itself. Satan’s kingdom is in opposition to God, but Jesus is the Stronger Man who has come to bind Satan as He demonstrated in the casting out of unclean spirits and restoring to newness of life those who had been in bondage. At the Dinner at a Pharisee’s House, Jesus called the self-righteous Pharisees and lawyers to repentance for teaching a theology of works-righteousness and for rejecting God’s mercy for sinners.  Their disdain for God’s mercy was the motivating force for the persecution of the prophets down through the centuries, but for those who are brought to repentance, Jesus is the Savior of sinners and the Teacher of eternal life with God. Confessing Christ, begins with warnings about the works-righteous doctrine of the Pharisees, who would seek salvation by human merit, followed by an encouragement not to fear those who would kill us for our confession of faith in Christ.  Martyrdom gives witness to Christ and, if we are called to endure it, we should not fear it but rather rejoice that we in our death might bear witness to the death and resurrection of Christ for the salvation of the world.  Jesus warns that those who deny the confession of Christ have no place in heaven but promises that those who confess Him will also be confessed before His Father in heaven.  It is the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, that will teach us what to say in the face of persecution for the name of Jesus.  The Parable of the Rich Fool warns us of the covetousness that is a part of our sinful nature and which wars against the confession of faith in Christ.  To be “rich toward God” is to cling to Christ alone.CP220703

The Catechism: The Lord’s Prayer—Second Petition

June 26, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — This Week’s Bible Stories from St. Luke – At the beginning of Luke 10, the evangelist records Jesus’ Sending out of the Seventy and the instructions He gave them. They were to begin this ministry with prayer that the Lord would send out laborers into the harvest field. Even before they began their work, they were to understand that others would take over after them and that the ministry of the Gospel would expand throughout the life of the Church. He taught them total dependence upon Him and His Word, and that there would be a sacrificial character to their ministry as they would be treated like lambs among wolves seeking to devour them. Ultimately, the message of the Gospel is one of peace with God. The kingdom of God is near wherever the Gospel is preached. Those who receive the Gospel will provide for those from whom they received it. But for those who reject the Gospel in impenitence and unbelief, the judgment will be even more severe for them than it was for Sodom. The ultimate strength and comfort for Christ’s ministers is contained in Jesus’ promise: “He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” The Seventy Return with Joy and rejoice to be witnesses to the power of the Gospel to save and deliver sinners from the clutches of Satan. Jesus encourages His ministers and every Christian to find our ultimate joy in the promise that our names are written in heaven. Jesus Himself rejoices to reveal the mystery of God’s grace, not to the so-called wise and prudent, but to baptismal babes who have no standing in this world but who rejoice to know and receive His love. The Parable of the Good Samaritan teaches the nature of God’s grace as the Samaritan befriends a man who would have considered him to be his enemy. In the same way, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and paid whatever was necessary for our redemption. Our Lord brought us to the inn of His Church where we are cared for and nurtured back to health. In the account of Mary and Martha, the simplicity of being a disciple of Jesus is revealed in Mary who sits at Jesus’ feet to receive the “one thing needful”—Jesus’ Word of life, comfort, and peace. St. Peter and St. Paul, Apostles is celebrated on Wednesday where Peter and Paul labor together at the Jerusalem Council to clearly set forth the doctrine of the justification of the sinner before God by faith in Christ alone apart from the works of the Law. This first controversy in the fledgling Church continued to be the fundamental issue that the Church would contend for throughout her history.CP220626

The Catechism: The Ten Commandments—The First Commandment

June 19, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Ordination to the Office of the Holy Ministry. This week marks a milestone in our congregation as Pastor-elect Brennick Christiansen is ordained to the Office of the Holy Ministry. “Ordination takes place at the beginning of a man’s service in the Office of the Holy Ministry, after he has received a divine call. The rite takes place in the Divine Service of the Church, after the sermon and before the Lord’s Supper. It involves both clergy, who lay their hands on the head of the ordinand, conferring upon him the promise of the Holy Spirit through the Word, and the laity, who witness his confession and the laying on of hands, and join in prayer on his behalf. The address to the congregation and candidate for ordination defines the nature of the office and how it is that this man has come to be ordained. The minister-elect promises that the administration of his office will conform to the apostolic and prophetic Scriptures, and to the ecumenical creeds and confessions of the Lutheran Church because they are in agreement with the one Scriptural faith. This is called confessional subscription. His ordination vows also require him to do the work of the ministry, to keep the seal of the confessional absolute, and to adorn the Office of the Holy Ministry with a holy life. A minister is called by God through the Church…According to apostolic tradition, the laying on of hands by fellow ministers of the Word is the way that a man is placed into the Office of the Ministry (1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Timothy 5:22). The Word of God carries the promise of the Holy Spirit. Every minister who administers his office according to the mandates of Christ has the promise of the Holy Spirit. It is customary that fellow ministers each lay their hands on the head of the ordinand and speak a word or blessing from the Scriptures, thereby conveying the promise of the Holy Spirit to the man being ordained into the Office of the Ministry…The minister’s stole represents the yoke of the Office of the Holy Ministry that has been conferred upon him. The chasuble, emblematic of the sufferings of Christ, is the traditional vestment worn by the ordained minister who presides at the Lord’s Supper. A man is ordained to the Office of the Holy Ministry in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. The congregation in which he is ordained receives him on behalf of the whole Church.” – Excerpted from Lutheran Catechesis, p. 162ff.CP220619

The Catechism: The Lord’s Prayer—First Petition

June 12, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Gift of Baptism for Every Day— Christians should look to their Baptism every day for their identity and strength.  Our Baptism means that we are the children of God; Christ’s death for sin and His resurrection for our justification is ours; Christ’s righteousness clothes us and makes us acceptable to the Father; the Holy Spirit has been poured out into our hearts through Christ; and faith has been created in our hearts. What God has made us and given us in our Baptism also becomes the strength by which we live our lives, repent of sin, resist Satan, and enjoy the testimony of a clean conscience.CP220612

The Creed — The Third Article

June 5, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified as God and Lord.  The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the Spirit of love for it is by the Spirit that we are drawn into the fellowship of the love of the Holy Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is always the Spirit of Christ who shines upon the person and work of our Savior, calls us to repentance and faith, and bestows upon us every blessing that Jesus won for us.  The Spirit’s means or instruments by which He does His work are the Gospel and Sacraments of Christ.

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The Lord’s Prayer —— The Sixth Petition

May 29, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 27: A Prayer of Faith and Confidence in the Lord’s Salvation

Psalm 27 begins with two rhetorical questions that rest upon confident assertions of faith in the Gospel.  It is as if David were saying, “since the Lord is my light and my salvation, then whom shall I fear?”  Answer: No one!  “Since the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  Answer: No one!  Clearly it is the Lord’s will that we know with certainty that He is our Savior from all sin, death, and from the power of the devil.  Since He has died for us and redeemed us from eternal destruction, we have nothing to fear from anyone or anything that would seek to destroy us!  Psalm 27 prays for the Lord’s help, deliverance, guidance, and forgiveness on the basis of everything that Jesus has done in love for us.  Christ is our confidence.  To hear and receive Christ is also the singular delight of the Christian: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

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Table of Duties — To Widows; To Everyone

May 22, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 47: A Prayer on the Ascension of Our Lord—Psalm 47 is traditionally prayed in celebration of the Ascension of Our Lord.  After Jesus has defeated sin, death, and the power of the devil through His suffering and death upon the cross, God the Father highly exalted Him and seated Him at His right hand, placing all His enemies under His feet.  Christ continues to reign over all things at the Father’s right hand for the sake of His Church and He will come again in glory to receive His bride to Himself.  So we sing with the psalmist: “God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding.  God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.”

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Table of Duties — To Employers and Supervisors; To Youth

May 15, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — To Youth— “Submission” and “humility” are not terms that any of us naturally gravitate toward. The sinful flesh wants to submit to no one and is filled with arrogance and pride. If the sinful flesh doesn’t get its way, it rebels. Where does the will to “submit” and “humble one’s self” come from? It comes from faith in the Gospel. Our Lord Jesus submitted Himself as a young man, because He trusted in His Father who promised to do good through His submission. He humbled Himself to the point of death on the cross because, He trusted His Father to do good through His suffering. When youth are admonished to submit to their elders and humble themselves before them, they are really being invited to trust God to do them good in their office as youth, even though they may have to endure things that they don’t agree with or enjoy. The way of faith is always the way of deference toward others. This we learn to believe through the faithful reception of the Gospel and Sacrament of our Lord.  [Reprinted from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition]

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The Catechism: Table of Duties — To Workers of All Kinds

May 8, 2022

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CP220508     Catechesis Notes for the Week — Justified by Faith— “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). “A sinner is ‘justified’ or ‘declared righteous’ by faith in Christ’s death for him. He is not forgiven or justified by the good works he performs (or attempts to perform) according to the Law. Our works cannot save us because we are all sinners and even the best of our works are still tainted with sin. Christ’s death for us, in our place, and on our behalf under the Law, is the ‘righteousness of faith’ that saves us from all sin, the condemnation of the law, and eternal death. As Christians we confess: ‘Christ is my righteousness. He has died for me. He has suffered in my place. He has fulfilled the Law for me by dying in my place. He has fulfilled the Law for me by dying in my place. He is my salvation.’” – Excerpt from Lutheran Catechesis, Catechist Edition, p. 70b.

 

The Catechism: Table of Duties — To Parents and Children

May 1, 2022

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart— “To ‘fear, love, and trust in God above all things’ means that we trust in Him for everything we are and need for life and salvation. To trust in God above all things means that we yield our own reason, will, and understanding to Him precisely because all our faculties are corrupted by the self-centered, sinful perversions of the flesh. Faith is the living trust of the heart that relies on, depends upon, and looks to the Lord for everything. Faith yields to the Lord in all circumstances of life and confesses that the Lord’s will is always good and always right. The Lord promises to ‘direct’ or ‘make smooth’ our paths as we rely upon Him through faith in His Word. This does not mean that life will go the way that we desire; it rather means that our faith and life will rest confidently in the sure promises of God’s Word.”—Excerpted from Lutheran Catechesis, Catechist Edition, p. 38b

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