Learn more about the readings, music, and worship-service planning helps for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (July 29, 2018).
Season & Preparations
The season of Pentecost moves onward through the summer. Depending on what part of the world you live in, summer might be a time when you get to enjoy some time at a local lake. It also may be a time when thunderstorms roll through and leave rainbows in the sky. The experiences of time at the lake and seeing a rainbow may seem rather ordinary, but they connect to the readings and theme for the day on this the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost.
Readings & Theme
The Old Testament Reading is from Genesis 9. This section occurs immediately after the floodwaters have begun to recede. Noah and his family, along with the creatures on the ark, have been saved by God’s grace. God makes a covenant with Noah, Noah’s offspring, and all of the creatures that He will never send another flood to destroy the world. As a sign of this promise, God places a rainbow in the sky. It is a sign we still see to this day all around the world for we are among Noah’s offspring and the covenant is still valid with us. While floods today may destroy property and even claim lives, never again will God destroy the world through a flood.
The Gospel for the day is from Mark 6. Last week, we heard the familiar passage of the feeding of the five thousand. This week, we hear another familiar passage, about Jesus walking on the sea. Mark notes that the disciples are struggling to make their way across the lake. They are terrified when they see Jesus and mistake Him for a ghost. Jesus removes their fear with a few words, but they remain “utterly astounded” (v. 51). Mark notes that the disciples still “did not understand about the loaves” (v. 52). In other words, they still did not comprehend who Jesus truly was: God’s Son sent from the heavens with all power and authority.
The connection between these two readings exists in God’s authority and control over nature, even over things that seem chaotic and uncontrollable like the weather and the sea. Hopefully you find time this summer to enjoy a rainbow and to enjoy time on the lake. Hopefully in those times you will recall the grace and authority of our God.
Today’s Epistle continues our look at the Book of Ephesians. In this section of chapter 3, Paul offers a prayer for strength for the Ephesians so that through Christ’s presence in their lives they might know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge. Like the covenant after the flood, this prayer extends to you as well. May you be strengthened through the Holy Spirit to know the love of Christ and be filled with the fullness of God.
Hymns & Music
The Hymn of the Day is “Entrust Your Days and Burdens” (LSB 754). This Paul Gerhardt hymn brings the theme of the day into focus in the opening quatrain:
Entrust your days and burdens
To God’s most loving hand;
He cares for you while ruling
The sky, the sea, the land.
Other hymns to consider that open the theme of God’s grace and authority as He guides us and provides for us include “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” (LSB 809) and “Be Still, My Soul” (LSB 752).
Additional Resources for Worship & Study
As you work through Mark’s Gospel in this Pentecost season, I highly recommend using James Voelz’s Concordia Commentary: Mark 1:1–8:26.
If you plan to work with the Book of Ephesians, I also recommend Thomas Winger’s Concordia Commentary: Ephesians.
The Arch Book Jesus Walks on the Water provides Matthew’s extended version of the story of Jesus walking on the sea, which may be helpful in teaching this familiar story to children.
Looking for additional information on planning for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost? Download our planning sheet to help you get started!
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Hymn text is from LSB 754:1 and is copyright © 1982 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.