28 April 2010

These Wednesday Evenings

find us studying together how the Apostles preached the resurrection in the book of Acts. I love doing these studies. So much to learn about preaching. The importance of stating clearly the events of the Kerygma, but above all driving to the point of it all: forgiveness of sins. Amazing how Peter does this in Acts 2 and 10 and Paul in Acts 13. I'm convinced you don't have a decent sermon if you short either side. Tonight was Acts 13 and I was struck how the Holy Spirit taught two truths in the end:

YOU judge YOURSELF unworthy of eternal life, when you reject the Gospel.


All those who were appointed to eternal life believed the Gospel.

On the last statement, I wonder sometimes if we hear it correctly. The emphasis, I would think, is upon believing the Gospel discloses one to be an heir of the life that does not end.

Afterward, some of us gathered in the chancel to pray Compline and to ask the Lord's blessings on the end of the day - I always think of Compline as a practice run of my funeral. What joy and peace come to us through those wondrous psalms, hymn, and prayers.


Anonymous said...

That is interesting that you prayed Compline at the end of your study. I am just a layperson, but started a Book of Concord group at my church and we ended our first session with Compline. It is my intention to end every session with Compline as it is a perfect ending to studying God's Word at night and a solemn way to end the day.
-Peter Sovitzky

William Weedon said...

God bless you, Peter. I couldn't agree more. It's the perfect closing prayer.

Anonymous said...

Will, two weeks ago in Weekday Church School, we were studying what the Easter message meant for the church in Acts... my conclusion was that folks were sharing the forgiveness of sin. Normally I would say that the sharing the Easter gospel was sharing the resurrection from the dead, but really forgiveness is a resurrection from the dead and it is a resurrection that we can enjoy, live and thrive in before the grave. Around these parts there is a semi-Lutheran group that sings Compline at Heinz Chapel on the Pitt campus every Sunday night and in their advertising they say that Compline is "the church's way of saying goodnight." Harvey Mozolak

Bishop Robert Lyons said...

It has not been unknown for me to offer Compline with a dying patient, sharing the assurance of Psalms 4 and 91 in particular, together with Jesus' reminder of rest in him with patients who are dying... at 2 PM or 2 AM, sun, rain, moon, or shine. I just insert the Litany for the Dying into the order... and I always make sure to chant the Nunc Dimittis.


William Weedon said...

Harvey and Rob,

Amen! When it comes to Compline those ancient melodies just breathe a beautiful peace like nothing else. "Guide us waking, O Lord..."

On the forgiveness, it's amazing how utterly clear that is! And how the Apostles tied the Lord's resurrection to the Father's begetting His Son into a whole new life and age where forgiveness reigns and death/corruption is history.