Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 2-Monday Genesis 12:10-13:18

You may make the sign of the cross + in remembrance of Baptism and say:

P In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C Amen.

Faithful God, whose mercies are new to us every morning, we humbly pray that You would look upon us in mercy and renew us by Your Holy Spirit. Keep safe our going out and our coming in, and let Your blessing remain with us throughout this day. Preserve us in Your righteousness, and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Reading the Bible
After the Lord spoke to His people and His Spirit moved the prophets and apostles to preach and write, their words were collected into books. God works through Christ, the Living Word. God brings Christ to us through Baptism. God brings Christ to us through His spoken word. God brings Christ to us through His sacramental words: Holy Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar. God brings Christ to us through His Written Word, the Old and New Testament.

Reading Genesis
God's call to Abraham begins the long countdown to Christmas. Christmas is the solution to the problems we read about in Genesis 3-11. The list of expanding effects of sin now includes: 
  1. A broken relationship with God
  2. Slavery to sin
  3. The tyranny of death
  4. The lies and accusations of Satan
  5. Broken relationships within ourselves-being at war with ourselves in heart, mind, soul, and body
  6. Broken relationships with our neighbors both near and far
just to name a few...

But God calls Abraham to begin the countdown to Christmas.  The Father knew when where and how the Christ would arrive. Just like Mary and Joseph had to get going from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Abraham has to move from Ur (Sumeria/Babylonia) through Haran (in the Hittite Empire) all the way to the land of Canaan, named for the son of Ham where the Canaanites lived. Also, like all the Lord's disciples-notably like St. Paul, Abraham gathers people into the promise God gave him while he is on the move. along the way of his journey, he shares the promises God has given him. He is already being a blessing to the nations.

Abraham also sins. He puts the promise of God in danger twice  in today's reading.

  1. He lies about his wife Sarai. If he had let Pharaoh have Sarai, how would the promise have been fulfilled.
  2. He puts the land up for grabs between him and Lot.
In each case God has to work to preserve His intentions. God gets Sarai back to Abram and reaffirms His promise to Abram regarding the Land. Throughout the readings this week we will see ways in which Abram fails to act faithfully, but the Lord keeps reminding him of the promises.

Reading Genesis 12:10—13:18
Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.
Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

352 Let the Earth Now Praise the Lord
  In LatinOrchestra/Choir10 year old organistJazz & Gospel Choir Version

Bruise for me the serpent’s head
That, set free from doubt and dread,
I may cling to You in faith,
Safely kept through life and death.

Then when You will come again
As the glorious king to reign,
I with joy will see Your face,
Freely ransomed by Your grace.

Public domain

Apostles' Creed
C I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life T everlasting. Amen.

The Seventh Commandment
You shall not steal.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor's money or possessions, or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income.

Prayers for others and ourselves:
  • For faith to live in the promises of Holy Baptism;
  • for one's calling and daily work;
  • for the unemployed;
  • for the salvation and well-being of our neighbors;
  • for schools, colleges, and seminaries;
  • for good government
  • for peace.

Lord's Prayer
C Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Benediction (Pauline)
P The grace of the Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
C Amen.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.