Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Catechism: Lord’s Prayer—Fourth Petition

July 14, 2024

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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 had 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.”CP240714

Catechism: Second Article

July 7, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Praying the Psalms: Psalm 19—Praise of God for the Perfect Revelation of His Glory—David links together the preaching of the Gospel with the ordering of the cosmos. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” precisely because they are signs whose ordered design and placement in the cosmos perfectly reflect the ordering of the Gospel of God’s love and sacrifice in Christ. The creation of the sun, the moon, and the stars are for signs and seasons, and for all the patterns of life that find their fulfillment in the week of our redemption in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. As the earth orbits around the sun, which sustains the life of all living things, so Christ and His Gospel is the source of eternal life and salvation. The pattern of a day (“evening and morning”) points us to the darkness of death and the light of the resurrection of Christ by which the creation is redeemed and made new. The statutes of the Lord testify to the truth of the Gospel which is imbedded in all of creation. The Law of the Lord—His commandments and promises—convert our hearts from unbelief to repentant faith. We rejoice in His salvation and desire His Word to be proclaimed in all of creation. By the Word of the Lord we are turned from our sin, cleansed from unknown errors, and lead a life that is innocent of all transgressions by the gift of Christ’s righteousness. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer!”CP240707

Catechism: The Office of the Keys

June 30, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Praying the Psalms: Psalm 21—A Prayer of Rejoicing in the Lord’s Salvation—God the Father heard the prayers of His Son and did not deny the desires of His heart or the requests of His lips.  Why?  Because the heart of our Lord Jesus was perfectly united in faith and love for the Father and the work of salvation to which the Father had called Him.  The King, Christ Jesus, trusted in the Lord, and through the Lord’s mercy He was not moved.  God the Father hears our prayers, also, precisely because we are joined to His anointed Son who won salvation for us.  Eternal salvation and the absolute guarantee of our victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil is the reason for our joy.  In our prayers we join with Christ in rejoicing in the gift of salvation that we have in Christ: “His glory is great in Your salvation; honor and majesty You have placed upon Him. For You have made Him most blessed forever; You have made Him exceedingly glad with Your presence… Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!  We will sing and praise Your power.”CP240630

Catechism: Sacrament of Holy Baptism — Part IV

June 23, 2024

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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.”CP240623

Catechism: Sacrament of Holy Baptism — Parts II and III

June 16, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 103—A Prayer in Praise of the Lord’s Mercy—From the depths of his being, David calls upon his own soul and all that is within him to bless the Lord for the Lord’s mercy and for every benefit that he receives from the grace of God. The Lord forgives all iniquity. He heals all diseases. He redeems one’s life from destruction. He crowns the believer with loving kindness and tender mercies. He satisfies us with good things. He renews our life. All of this flows from the mercy of God in Christ our Redeemer. In Jesus, God has executed righteousness and worked justice for all who were oppressed by sin and death. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy which He so freely and faithfully made known to Moses and the children of Israel. Though He afflicts us, He, nevertheless, lets go of His anger and does not punish us as we deserve. His mercy is as different from the world’s concept of mercy as the heavens are high above the earth. His forgiveness means that He has removed our transgressions from us, like a father who pities his children. The Lord knows that we are made from dust. We will flower but soon wither and fade. But His mercy endures forever, from everlasting to everlasting. All angelic ministers in heaven and earth bless the Lord and do His pleasure as they proclaim the excellencies of His love in the preaching of the Gospel.CP240616

June 9, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — This Week in Acts: The Gospel Spreads to the Gentiles — The vision that Peter received of God cleansing the unclean animals taught him that the Gospel was to be preached to Jew and Gentile alike. Peter Preaches to the Household of Cornelius saying, “in truth I perceive that God shows no partiality…the word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all.” Peter Defends Preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles by recounting the vision he had received and the Lord’s declaration: “What God has cleansed you must not call common…If God gave them the same gift as he gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” The Feast of St. Barnabas, Apostle is celebrated this week as we meditate upon the ministry of the man whose name means, “Son of Encouragement.” Barnabas encouraged the Church to be faithful to the Gospel, to receive Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) as a fellow minister, and he accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey. Barnabas and Saul Are Sent to Antioch because of the explosion of Hellenist Jews who were converted to faith in Christ. Barnabas is called an apostle, not because he was one of the eyewitnesses, chosen by Jesus as Paul and the Twelve were, but because he shared in the apostolic mission and supported the apostles in their ministry. In Herod Beheads James and the Lord Delivers Peter, we learn that God’s will is always good. He uses persecution to spread the Gospel, but He also delivers His saints from persecution when His mission for them on earth is not complete. As the Church continued to grow in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, Syrian Antioch became the hub of missionary work to the Gentiles. Saul and Barnabas Begin the First Missionary Journey to Cyprus and Asia minor, preaching Jesus from the Old Testament Scriptures. In Paul Preaches in the Synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, we see the pattern of apostolic preaching used throughout the book of Acts in calling Jews and Gentiles to repentance and faith.CP240609

Catechism: The Lord’s Prayer — Second Petition

June 9, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — This Week in Acts: The Gospel Spreads to the Gentiles — The vision that Peter received of God cleansing the unclean animals taught him that the Gospel was to be preached to Jew and Gentile alike. Peter Preaches to the Household of Cornelius saying, “in truth I perceive that God shows no partiality…the word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all.” Peter Defends Preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles by recounting the vision he had received and the Lord’s declaration: “What God has cleansed you must not call common…If God gave them the same gift as he gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” The Feast of St. Barnabas, Apostle is celebrated this week as we meditate upon the ministry of the man whose name means, “Son of Encouragement.” Barnabas encouraged the Church to be faithful to the Gospel, to receive Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) as a fellow minister, and he accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey. Barnabas and Saul Are Sent to Antioch because of the explosion of Hellenist Jews who were converted to faith in Christ. Barnabas is called an apostle, not because he was one of the eyewitnesses, chosen by Jesus as Paul and the Twelve were, but because he shared in the apostolic mission and supported the apostles in their ministry. In Herod Beheads James and the Lord Delivers Peter, we learn that God’s will is always good. He uses persecution to spread the Gospel, but He also delivers His saints from persecution when His mission for them on earth is not complete. As the Church continued to grow in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, Syrian Antioch became the hub of missionary work to the Gentiles. Saul and Barnabas Begin the First Missionary Journey to Cyprus and Asia minor, preaching Jesus from the Old Testament Scriptures. In Paul Preaches in the Synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia, we see the pattern of apostolic preaching used throughout the book of Acts in calling Jews and Gentiles to repentance and faith.

Catechism: The Ten Commandments—The First Commandment

June 2, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Summer Readings from the Book of Acts and Romans—The preaching of the Gospel, catechesis, and the Sacrament of Holy Baptism characterize the spread of the Gospel and the ministry of the Church in the book of Acts. Philip is one of the seven ministers ordained by the Apostles to expand this ministry among Greek speaking Jewish Christians and others. Philip had an extensive ministry. He catechized new converts in Samaria and called Simon the Sorcerer to repentance. A eunuch, who was the treasurer to Queen Candace from Ethiopia, is catechized by Philip from the book of Isaiah to know that in Jesus’ suffering and death Jesus fulfilled the description of the suffering servant from the Old Testament. Immediately upon confessing his faith that Jesus is the Christ, Philip baptized the eunuch. Chapter 9 details the circumstances of Saul’s conversion. The Lord Jesus confronted him on the road to the city of Damascus with letters in hand from the High Priest to arrest and persecute Christians. “Why are you persecuting Me,” Jesus asked. Saul was struck blind as a sign of his self-righteous impenitence. The disciple Ananias was sent to him in Damascus to further instruct him and to baptize him. The foremost persecutor of Christians would become the foremost Apostle, preaching the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles and testifying to Christ before kings and civil rulers. Saul would become the Apostle Paul and carry the Gospel throughout Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, and Spain. By the grace of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul would write many letters in the New Testament, including the book of Romans, written to the Church at Rome, which will be read throughout the summer.  Paul’s first missionary journey took place over a decade after his conversion. During this period he spent time with the Lord Jesus and in the study of the Scriptures before he was summoned by Barnabas to begin work among the Gentiles. The proclamation of the Gospel to the Gentiles was prepared for by the vision of unclean animals that Peter received in Joppa. In this vision, Peter is catechized on the meaning of justification that Paul would write about in the book of Romans. “What God has declared clean [or justified], you must not declare unclean.” Since salvation is by grace alone, through faith in Christ alone and not by human merits, the Gospel cannot be denied to the Gentiles. Salvation is freely offered to all. CP240602

Catechism: Table of Duties — To Widows; To Everyone

May 26, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Table of Duties: To Widows and To Everyone—The last section of the Table of Duties summarizes Christian vocation: that every Christian is to live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20). It is our common faith in Christ and the grace of God—His undeserved and unmerited love—that unites us in love for one another. Just as Christ loved us, though we did not deserve it and had done nothing to earn His favor, even so we are called by the Gospel to live in love for one another and especially for those who do not deserve such love. The Apostle John wrote, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loves us, we also ought to love one another.…  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:7-11, 16). It is this love of God to which we are called by the Gospel, and it is this love of God which is the source of strength to live faithfully in our vocation.  The source of true fulfillment is not in living for oneself, but in giving of ourselves to one another out of our love for Christ. [Reprinted from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition]CP240526

Catechism: Table of Duties — To Employers & Supervisors; To Youth

May 19, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Table of Duties: 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 oneself” 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.  [from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition]CP240519