Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
5 October 2014

418, 426, 51, 396, 297, 358, 580.


Exodus 20: 1-4,7-9,12-20
'The Ten Commandments'

And God spoke all these words:
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
"You shall have no other gods before me.
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below....
"You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Six days you shall labour and do all your work.
"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
"You shall not murder.
"You shall not commit adultery.
"You shall not steal.
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
"You shall not covet your neighbour's house.
You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour."
When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."


Philippians 3: 4b-14
'Everything loss compared to Christ'

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


Matthew 21: 33-46
'Parable of the tenants in the vineyard'

Jesus said: "Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard.
He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.
"The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them.
'They will respect my son,' he said.
"But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
"Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
"He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:
"'The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed."
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they knew he was talking about them.
They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.

Notes on the Bible Readings and The Ten Commandments:

The Ten Commandments preach Repentance; that is, by them God shows us our sin and how much we need a Savior.

You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean?

We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.
My God is that which I love, trust and fear most in my life. I expect my comfort, good and delight from my God.
Do I look to God my heavenly Father, for all love, good and joy? Is everything measured for me by what pleases me?
In all things am I self-centered and selfish?
Do I see my worry and fretting as sin against trusting God?
Do I complain about the troubles, people, work and suffering God lays on me?
Do I love the things God gives me more than I love Him? And do I cling to what God takes away, even though He gives me Himself?

You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

Do I curse? Have I cursed?
Do I use God's name cheaply for oaths that are frivolous or false?
Do I stand up and swear by God's Name when it is for the truth of the Gospel or for the benefit of my neighbor in need?
Do I pray with fervor in times of trouble? Am I bored and indifferent in prayer?
Is it so that I cannot speak about God truly because I am bored with God's Word, neglect the study of the Catechism, doctrine and God's Word?
Is my heart and life in the praise of God in worship? Am I mouthing things while my heart is far away?
Is my life, marked with the Name of God in Baptism, characterized by thanksgiving and praise?

You shall sanctify the holy day / Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy (1).
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it.
Do I strive to make the day of rest holy? Do I care about holy living?
Do I use the Word of God and prayer to make my time, work, study life holy day by day?
Am I lazy and bored with the Word of God? Have I any fear of God over this neglect?
Do I honor the Word of God highly by studying it gladly, learning it by heart, and living it? Do I despise the Word of God by neglect, paying no attention to it when it is read or preached?
Do I love my fellow Christians by being present with them in worship to sustain them?
Am I quick to make excuses for neglecting worship because of what someone else has said or done, or to do other things I like more?
Do I spend time complaining about the worship, the pastor or other people? Do I learn the Word gladly so that I may teach others?

You shall honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you and you may live long upon the earth.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not despise nor anger our parents and masters, but give them honor, serve, obey, and hold them in love and esteem.

Has the fear and love of God shaped my honor and obedience to parents and others in authority?
Have I trusted God to bless me and make my life good when I submit to the authority of parents and those over me, or have I been angry with them, rebelling, fighting against them because I was afraid I was not getting what I had a right to get?
Have I been insolent, sullen and disrespectful to my parents, teachers, employers or other authorities over me?
Have I been on good behavior when they are present and mocking them when they are absent?
Have I given honor and respect to the pastoral office?
Have I helped those who carry responsibilities in governing? Do I pray for parents, leaders of the nations, schools and church? Do I grumble about work given me to do?
Have I helped make it easier for those who carry responsibilities for governing?

You shall not kill.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need.
Have I treated my neighbor's body and life as gifts of God to him?
Have I injured my neighbor with violent actions, hitting and beating on my neighbor, spoken debasing and insulting words, using foul or dirty words to describe the neighbor, or murdered him with thoughts of anger, contempt, and hatred?
Have I injured my neighbor by ridicule, by neglecting to feed or clothe him, withholding compassion and comfort from him?
Have I avoided giving help to my neighbor, avoiding involvement with him in his difficulty?
Do I abuse my own body with neglect of health, care, excess use of food, drink, tobacco, or drugs?

You shall not commit adultery.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may lead a chaste and decent life in words and deeds, and each love and honor his spouse.
Have I used for my own pleasure my ears to hear stories or my eyes to incite cravings for the body of one who is not my spouse, or my mouth to speak such words and stories?
Have I indulged my eyes with longing for my sexual satisfaction from a man or woman who is not my spouse?
Have I dishonored marriage by ridicule, divorce, or neglecting to encourage others to be faithful to their spouses in the fear of God?
Have I had intercourse with a man or woman who is not my spouse?
Have I dishonored my spouse by neglecting to care for the body, mind, feeling, needs of the other, withdrawing faithfulness from the spouse?
Have I failed to trust God to bless us in our marriage, even in times of trouble?
Have I neglected to pray for my spouse, to worship together, and to live in the fear and love of God in times of sexual temptations?
Have I practiced thoughts, words, or deeds, or given support of homosexual activity?

You shall not steal.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor's money or property, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and business.
Have I been lazy at work, doing poor work in school or at the job, or working hard only when the teacher or boss is around?
Have I been stingy in paying my workers?
Have I been greedy, demanding best pay for poor work?
Have I worked for myself rather than for Christ and for the benefit of my neighbor?
Have I cared for the property in the neighborhood, school, or church, so that it was improved?
Have I stolen from the office, school, or the church, or stood silently by while others took what was not theirs? Have I stolen information from another's work?
Have I wasted time and food and money or caused others to waste time, food and money by my neglect?
Have I been stingy when it comes to giving the Lord a generous portion as thank-offering for what he has given me?
Have I stolen from my neighbor by not helping him in time of need?

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.
Have I told the truth in court or in school before authorities or before my parents when I knew the truth? Have I been afraid to bear witness when I knew the truth and it was necessary to speak up against a wrong-doer or to speak for a victim?
Have I gossiped, delighted to tell others about the faults or mistakes of another, excusing myself especially by saying that I spoke only the truth?
Have I gone to others to make peace if I wronged them or they me, or to correct them if I knew of their wrong?
Have I flattered others, or put on a front to make them think of me differently from what is true?
Have I slanted stories to my benefit or deceived others by withholding some evidence of the story?
Have I found ways gladly and willingly to explain, in the best possible way, those words or actions of others that hurt me?
Have I defended my neighbor when things said about my neighbor have made others think badly about him or her?
Have I learned to hear with the weaknesses and faults of others, covering their shame?
Have I been faithful in keeping the secrets of another's heart entrusted to me in confidence?

You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor's inheritance or house, and obtain it by a show of [justice and] right, etc., but help and be of service to him in keeping it.
Have I longed for the honor, wealth, happy life, or what seemed the ease of the lives of others? Has my life been full of craving for these things?
Have I been stingy and self-indulgent with my money, trying to keep up with what others had?
Have I tried, by claims of various rights, to make the property of others my own, saying they do not really deserve it and I do?
Do I have to keep wishing for and dreaming about things I do not have before I can work with a diligent and glad heart?
Have I lived in grudging discontent with whatever God has given me, restless about what I do not have and neglectful of thankful generosity with what I do have?

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his.
What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor's wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.
Have I wanted my neighbor's spouse, his workers, or his property to be mine?
Have I tried to win the affections and loyalties of my neighbor's spouse or children or friends away from the neighbor to me?
Have I urged friends and spouses and workers to go back to their calling, holding their marriages, friendships, families, and work together?
Have I fostered discontent with the congregation, its pastor or leaders, and failed to urge members to stay and do their duty in worship, praying, giving and serving?

What does God say of all these Commandments?
I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
What does this mean?
God threatens to punish all that transgress these commandments. Therefore we should dread His wrath and not act contrary to these commandments.
But He promises grace and every blessing to all that keep these commandments. Therefore we should also love and trust in Him, and gladly do according to His commandments.

God demands our hearts and minds, not merely our outward actions. Therefore, examine the heart as well as the life, connecting the fear and love of God with each commandment. Let the broken heart fear him. God loves, and does not despise, the sacrifices of the broken heart. Rather, he joins the broken heart to his mercy for forgiveness and healing, for peace and purity.

Prepared by Dr. Kenneth Korby, Zion Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minnesota, based on the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and Martin Luther's Small Catechism.
1 The same commandment is given in different forms in Exodus 20:8 and Deut. 5:12.

Bible readings for Sunday 12th October 2014:
Exodus 32: 1-14, Philippians 4:1-9, Matthew 22: 1-14

This week in the Lord's Service - 5th -12th October:
1. This evening: - Singer/songwriter Robin Mann at St John's Yarra St. Meal - 5.30 pm - (bring along food to share) - Sing-along -6.30 pm. All welcome!
Tuesday - 7.30 pm - Deacons.
Thursday - 10.30 am - Ladies Fellowship Group.
Friday - 9.30 am - Worship Team.
Saturday - 10.00 am - 11.00 am - 'Sing - along' time. 11.00 am to 12 noon - Choir practice.
Next Sunday - 9.30 am - Public Divine service - (H.C.)

2. Nominations/Elections 2015:
The Nominations Committee, in the lead up to the congregational 2015 elections on Sunday 23rd November, 2014, has emailed to those members
and placed in member's church boxes, a general explanatory letter, 'Proposed Office Holders 2015"
listings and advance copy of "Ministry Opportunities 2015' form s a guide.
The "Ministry Opportunities 2015' form will then be presented to members following worship on both Sunday's 19th and 26th October, 2014, so that this may be completed and handed in before leaving church that morning.
Sufficient pens will also be available for the purpose.
If members are planning to be, or may be away on either Sunday, this form may be obtained in advance upon request from Wayne Schulz.
Similarly, an opportunity exists for members to nominate other eligible members, subject to their consent, by completing page 3 of the 'Proposed Office Holder 2015' listings and likewise hand in to the church office by Sunday 26th October.
Beforehand, however, an opportunity exists for interested members, if they wish, to gain an understating of the various roles on offer from the nominated persons (bracketed) willing to be points of contact. Also, a brief overview of some of the
positions/ committees may be sourced from the current (1999) "Our Redeemer" Constitution/By- Laws, copies of which may be obtained upon request from Wayne Schulz.

Each voting member (18 years +) is therefore encouraged to give prayerful consideration to serving God and other members in some capacity during 2015 in the various opportunities on offer.
3. District Convention - Offering: Owing to time constraints, a gift is being arranged on behalf of the congregation to be given at the District Convention, Werribee. Any member who may wish to contribute to this, may do so by
placing a donation in an envelope marked "District Convention" on the offering plate or place donation the offering bowl in the front foyer next Sunday.

Coming up for your diary:
Tuesday 14th October - 7.00 pm - Church Council.
Sunday 19th October - Sunday School.
Tuesday 21st October - Kaffeestunde
Thursday 30th October - 2.30 pm - Reformation mid - week worship service (with Holy Communion), followed by fellowship afternoon tea. All welcome to come along!