The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Second Sunday after Christmas, 2015.

The Second Sunday after Christmas, 2015

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time

The Hymn # 131           The Star Proclaims                4:89
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 305:1-5                   Soul Adorn Thyself                4:23

 Planned from Eternity for Us

The Hymn #305:6-9               Soul Adorn Thyself             
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #657            Beautiful Savior                                       4:24      

Ephesians 1:3-16
King James Version (KJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;


Matthew 2:13-23 (King James Version)

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.


O Lord God, heavenly Father, who didst suffer Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, to become a stranger and a sojourner in Egypt for our sakes, and didst lead Him safely home to His fatherland: Mercifully grant that we poor sinners, who are strangers and sojourners in this perilous world, may soon be called home to our true fatherland, the kingdom of heaven, where we shall live in eternal joy and glory; through the merits of Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Revealed in History

We can take one thing for granted in the Christian Faith - all this happened in history and through history. That sounds obvious, but it is a dramatic contrast to the rest of world religion.

Judaism is the exception, because Judaism is the first stage of Christianity. From the Promise of the Savior in Genesis 3:15, the Old Testament is full of promises and blessings based upon Jesus as the Son of God, Messiah, and Savior.

God determined to surround His message of His Son in historical facts. The rest of the world teaches something that must be believed in spite of the facts. For instance, magical numbers play a role, or the influence of where doorways are placed. If a a lot of nonsense is added together, it is a world religion that takes years to study.

People need money in the world to come, they say, so money is burned to provide it. No one wants to burn real money, so they burn play money. The person who hesitates is seen as breaking with tradition and the family.

The significant matters of the Christian Faith are revealed by the Holy Spirit and not proven with facts, but all these things take place in history.

The center is the birth of Christ in the Roman Empire. Before that, all the details were recorded in the Old Testament prophets and Psalms, studied and learned for centuries.

King David was a model for the Messiah, but the central message was lodged in Isaiah 53, so important that many Jewish people become believers because they see that Jesus is prophesied in those few verses.

The Star of Bethlehem.
The Star is so remarkable because the phenomenon in the sky fills people with wonder or with scorn. I grew up with people openly doubting such a thing existed, because it was an event that could be studied and rejected.

Kepler wrote about it, but he was dismissed as a "mystic," a term used in Germany for anyone who believed anything. Mystics have no credibility.

But modern man created machines for tracing back the movements of the stars and planets, using ancient observations as well. When they did, the Star emerged again.

I favor the conjunction of planets as the Star, but there are other candidates as well. For believers, the Star of Bethlehem makes them say, "Of course." And how wonderful it is that the celestial marvel brought Wise Men to Jesus, so they could take the Gospel message back to their pagan land.

The Star also brought terror to Herod, as God's judgment will to those who oppose Him. 

Joseph and Mary had trust in God, believing in His guidance in the midst of hostility and violence. They traveled where God led them, just as the Apostles did later.

Each person had a role to play, and with that role came hardship and self-denial. 

Purpose of the Gospel
When we sing the hymns of Gerhardt, or those that emulate him, there is a clear message of God's love wrapped in the midst of difficulties and doubts.

The hymns assume doubts or questions. God's own Son took on our flesh to bring His message to us. How surely God must love us. He cannot despise our humanity, because He took on our human nature.

In his hymns are a combination of the Nativity and the Atonement.