Service Times
Service Times & Directions

 

There are two regular weekly services:

Early Sunday Morning: 9:00 am. This service is very personal, contemplative and devotional. Sunday School begins upstairs in the 9am service with a message for the Children and then continues downstairs during the rest of the service. 

Sunday Morning: 11:00 am. 9 and 11am services follow the same format. 


For all services there is a fully functional nursery for young children,


All worship services are held in the sanctuary. Holy Communion is celebrated on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays of the month at both services on those days.

 

 

There are two additional monthly services:

 

Evening Prayer Services: 7:30 pm, with Holy Communion offered each month on the first Wednesday.

 

Morning Prayer Services: 8:00 am, with Holy Communion offered each month on the third Wednesday.

 

Mount Olive Lutheran Church
2015 4th Avenue North
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
S4R 0T5

Office Hours 9am-12pm, 1-4pm

Mon to Fri - Except Holidays


 


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Christmas Services:

Dec 24th Christmas Eve 5pm & 7 pm 

Dec 25th Christmas Day 10am, (Communion) 

 

Holy Week & Easter Sunday:

Maunday Thursday 7:30pm, (Communion)  

Good Friday 10am

Easter Sunday 7:30am & 10am, (Communion) 

 

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Sermon / Pr. Ted Giese / Sunday June 19th 2016 - / Psalm 3 / A Father Calls For Help!


Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Rev. Ted A. Giese / Sunday June 19th 2016: The Season of Pentecost, Psalm 3. "A Father Calls For Help!"

          O LORD, how many are my foes!

                   Many are rising against me;

          many are saying of my soul,

                   there is no salvation for him in God.

 

          But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,

                   my glory, and the lifter of my head.

          I cried aloud to the LORD,

                   and He answered me from His holy hill.

 

          I lay down and slept;

                   I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.

          I will not be afraid of many thousands of people

                   who have set themselves against me all around.

                   Arise, O LORD!

                   Save me, O my God!

          For You strike all my enemies on the cheek;

                   You break the teeth of the wicked.

          Salvation belongs to the LORD;

                   Your blessing be on Your people!

Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.

Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. People are more apt to pray to God in a day of trouble than they are everyday. Not everyone prays every day. The entire book of Judges in the Old Testament shows this pattern; most people in those days, while times were good, would seek after their own desires, they would forget the law of God “[doing] what ... [seemed] right in [their] own eyes.”[1] But once things grew very bad, once they (after following their own sinful desires) did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD, once their situation became unbearable, and they found themselves under the foot of their enemies, they would cry out to God for help. Then God would hear their call and send them their help. This is the pattern in the book of Judges but not just in that one book of the Bible – In fact we even see this today in the lives of people, prayer comes when troubles come.
 
The help God sent the people in the book of Judges was generally, but not always, a man who would defeat their enemies and give them peace and security: You’ve likely heard of judges like; Gideon and Samson. And yet there are more; more whom you're not as likely to be familiar with, judges like; Ehud and Shamgar. These Judges raised up from the people by God were like a combination of Moses leading the people from their captivity and Joshua leading the fight to secure their promised land.
         
In the midst of their trouble (much of it, self made) the people would call out to God for help because they still believed that God would answer their prayer, they still believed that their personal lament would reach God’s ears and that they would be saved. They also knew that God had saved them in the past and that He would save them in the future. In Deuteronomy they had the promise that God would send one like Moses only better than Moses.[2] 
         
King David was such a one. He wasn’t the complete fulfilment of that promise but he was anointed by the Judge Samuel under God’s direction to be the helper of the people. David was raised up by God to save God’s people in the same sort of way that God raised up the Judges: David was a spiritual and military leader, yet David at times needed God’s help too. In fact there were many times where David needed the help of the LORD and he himself had to call out like the people had called out, “God Help Me!” Psalm 3 is one of those personal laments, we spoke it together today between the Old Testament reading and the Epistle Reading. In this prayer David the mighty warrior and man of God says,


"O LORD, how many are my foes!

Many are rising against me;

many are saying of my soul,

there is no salvation for him in God."

It's interesting that this is one of our readings today, as today is the day designated to remember Fathers in North America. Now relationships between fathers and sons can, at times, be strained for one reason or another but I'm guessing for most of you Dads out there listening to this sermon your relationship with your son, or sons, won't be as difficult as David's relationship with his son Absalom. The occasion that prompted the writing of psalm 3 was the rebellion of David's son Absalom against him. David’s very own son, Absalom, sought David’s death. Absalom sought to have David’s crown, David’s throne, David’s life. David had had trouble with his son Absalom before: Absalom had taken matters into his own hands following a family tragedy between siblings.

Absalom's half-brother Amnon raped Absalom's sister Tamar.  Absalom dissatisfied with how his father David dealt with Amnon following this tragedy claimed the he, Absalom, should be judge over Israel and not his father David. While Absalom had no authority to do so he privately judged his half-brother Amnon and when Amnon didn't expect it Absalom had Amnon murdered as retribution for raping Tamar. Absalom added tragedy onto tragedy and sorrow onto sorrow for David and the whole family. You can read more about this in 2 Samuel 13.

What was David to do? What is a father to do in such a horrible circumstance? David didn't condemn his son Absalom to death for his act of vigilantism, he endeavoured to forgive his son and restore him. David showed Absalom the grace, mercy and forgiveness that Absalom had not shown to his older half-brother Amnon. And then just as this previous episode seemed to be behind them it erupted into an even worse conflict. Absalom again came to declare himself a more just judge than his father; In fact this time Absalom declares himself king of Israel and people gather around Absalom and the true King (King David) then had to escape across the Jordan river to hide with a small band of loyal and faithful men. And so it was that David wrote psalm 3, he wrote down this prayer reflecting on this painful time when his own nation and its people, when his own son Absalom was hard against him, accusing him of being unjust. From the heart of those dark days David writes: “O LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.”      

Consider The Fourth Commandment: "Honour your father and your mother." The Small Catechism asks; What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honour them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them. 

David was both father and king to Absalom and in both cases Absalom failed in honouring, serving and obeying David. In fact Absalom despised his father and acted against him in anger. David for his part desperately wanted to forgive his son and reconcile. 

In the midst of all of this distress David didn't rely on himself, no David placed his hope, his trust, in the LORD saying of God in psalm 3: “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and He answered me from His holy hill.”       

Moses and Joshua, and the Judges of Israel like Gideon and Samson, Ehud and Shamgar, and even King David they were all helpers sent by God to save their people in trouble, but they were all people in need of God's help, as we clearly see exampled in David's relationship with his son. These men were not the be-all and end-all "Help of God," no they were all people pointing forward to the ultimate Saviour the one who would save the people like no other, not just the people of Israel but also people like us, all people. And who is this Saviour who was David's help when David's son had turned against him? The true and everlasting "Help of the Lord" was found in a man who perfectly loved His heavenly Father, who faultlessly honoured, served and obeyed Him, this man is Jesus. We confess His Saving work each Sunday! Jesus is the One who answered David's call for help in Psalm 3 when David says in his prayer, "He answered me from His holy hill.” God’s Holy Hill is Golgotha, the place of Jesus' crucifixion, where Jesus was nailed to the cross for the sins of others, for my sin, for yours, for every time a son fails to honour his father, for every time a father exasperates his son. From that Holy Hill victory flows into the past, victory flows into the present, victory flows into the future. From that Hill, made holy by His precious blood, Jesus "The Help of the Lord" defeats the enemies of sin, death, the devil and the world. And it is this Jesus (Jesus who is the same yesterday, today and forever) who David is calling for when David prays in his personal day of trouble. Jesus is David’s Shield, Jesus is David’s Glory; Jesus is the One Who lifted up David’s head. Not just for David but for you too!       

Before the sermon we raised our voices in song, singing, "We worship You, God of our fathers, we bless You; Through trails and tempest our guide You have been. When perils o're take us, You will not forsake us, And with Your Help, O Lord, our struggles we win."[3] With Your Help O Lord - essentially, "with Jesus Your Son, O Lord, our struggles we win." No matter what difficulty you find yourself in, no matter what trouble you end up in; if we were to be invaded by foreign occupiers, if we were to be betrayed by family, if someone was seeking to kill us. ... no matter the trouble, we like the people of Israel in the Book of Judges, we like king David can call out to God in prayer “Save Me!” "Help Me!" And we can do this with confidence because the One Who Saves, the One Who Helps is with us. We can call out to Jesus, “I need You like You would not believe!” All the while knowing that Jesus the Only Begotten Son of the Father does know how much we need Him. King David, in psalm 3 recalling how his life was hanging in the balance, how each night might have been his last, as Absalom - his rebellious son - pursued him with an army of men seeking his life, wrote these words:

"I lay down and slept;

I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.

I will not be afraid of many thousands of people

who have set themselves against me all around."

And with no certainty outside his faith in God David prays,

"Arise, O LORD!

Save me, O my God!

For You strike all my enemies on the cheek;

You break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the LORD;

Your blessing be on Your people!"

“Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God!” Each time we pray The Lord's prayer we pray for some of the very things that David prayed for in psalm 3. When we pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven," we pray for God to arise and save us, to help us by spreading His kingdom and hindering the will and actions of the wicked. When we pray, "deliver us from evil," we most certainly are praying for God to help us in the face of trouble, even in the face of death. We pray these things for today, but we do so with an eye on the future looking forward to The Day of complete Salvation in Christ Jesus, the final victory over everyone, and everything, that is set against us; The Last Day - when the Day of Judgement arrives and Jesus descends from on High with the sound of the trumpet - on That Day no one can stand against us, no one will ever stand against us again, "For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever! Amen. " We will be free from Sin, Death, and the Devil, free from the corruptions of the World that tempts us into sin. On That Day Fathers and Sons, Mothers and Daughters, all people will be remade in perfection. In eternity, with Christ, there will never again be a fight or argument between fathers and sons, between mothers and daughters. The temptations of our own sinful flesh: Pride, vanity, anger (all that we struggle against day in and day out) will be transformed into perfection, the heart will be made clean once for all. David writes in Psalm 3, "Your blessing be on Your people!" And on That Day it will be: The Father's blessing, in Christ Jesus His Son, will be on His adopted children, it will be on His baptized, it will be on you and me and all Christians, forever!

What happened with King David and his rebellious son Absalom? God gave David just enough time to prepare for the attack mounted by Absalom and David with his loyal and faithful men were given the victory against a much larger army of men in the woods of Ephraim. Absalom seeking an escape for himself road off on his mule and ended up caught in the branches of an oak tree, his handsome head and flowing auburn hair caught in the branches. Absalom unable to free himself was trapped in his own desire to escape; his cousin, David’s nephew Joab the commander of David’s Army put three spears into Absalom’s heart and shortly thereafter Absalom died. David had great sorrow at the death of his son, for all the while he had desired reconciliation as before: David did not seek out the death of his enemy, lest of all when it was his son who sought out his death. Before Joab had ridden out to confront Absalom David, the king had given Joab orders, saying “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.”[4] And when David heard of his sons death he wept saying, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would [that] I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”[5]

St. Paul has some advice for our families, in Ephesians chapter 6 Paul writes about the Fourth Commandment saying, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."[6] Therefore consider a day like today, Father's Day to be a day to think about the spiritual and religious dimension of Fatherhood in your life. You have, or you have had an earthly father, Luther in the Large catechism talks about fathers and mothers when he says to children, "remember that however lowly, poor, frail, and strange [your] parents may be, nevertheless, they are the father and mother given to [you] by God." he continues to say that, "Parents are not to be deprived of their honour because of their conduct or their failings. Therefore, we are not to consider who they are or how they may be, but the will of God, who created and ordained parenthood."[7] Consider this, Consider that while a father may in his best moments reflect the love and forgiveness of your heavenly Father, if he in his worst moments does not, then do not let your earthly father reflect poorly on your heavenly Father. Your heavenly Father is perfect and He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. For each of us whether we have a good relationship with our dad or we don't, we each have our heavenly Father and in this way none of us are fatherless on Father's Day or on any day for that matter. 

David prayed in his day of trouble, while his family was being torn apart at the seams, and while God says to each of us, "call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”[8] This does not mean that we have to wait for the day of trouble before we call, before we pray.

Fathers pray each day for your children, for your daughters for your sons. Pray too for your wife and for your whole family. As a man baptized into Christ Jesus, as a man who is clothed in the righteousness of Christ, your prayer, "has great power as it is working,"[9] remember this, and be encouraged. Children take up the task of honouring your father and mother, and forgive each other within your families just as Christ has forgiven you, keeping in mind that where we fail in doing so Jesus did not. Jesus honoured His Father perfectly and because of His keeping of this law, without fault, you now have forgiveness in Him when you break the Fourth Commandment and fall into sin. Ask Jesus for His forgiveness each day, He will hear your prayer, He will forgive you without fail. Amen.   

Let us pray: Lord, have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

________________________________________________________________ 

[1] Judges 17:6
[2] Deuteronomy 18:15-18
[3] "We Praise You, O God" Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House 2006, Hymn # 785 verse 2.
[4] 2 Samuel 18:5
[5] 2 Samuel 18:33
[6] Ephesians 6:1-4
[7] "Luther's Large Catechism", Concordia The Lutheran Confessions Readers Edition, Concordia Publishing House 2006, Pg 511.
[8] Psalm 50:15
[9] James 5:16

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