The Glory Has Departed

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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, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Sermon - 2015

Thomas Cole - The Good Shepherd

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn #628            Shepherd of Tender Youth                
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 # 426               The Lord My Shepherd Is  

 The Christian Home

The Communion Hymn # 307            Draw Nigh                 
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 #50                 Lord Dismiss Us                 


Lord God, heavenly Father, who of Thy fatherly goodness hast been mindful of us poor, miserable sinners, and hast given Thy beloved Son to be our shepherd, not only to nourish us by His word, but also to defend us from sin, death, and the devil: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that, even as this Shepherd doth know us and succor us in every affliction, we also may know Him, and, trusting in Him, seek help and comfort in Him, from our hearts obey His voice, and obtain eternal salvation, through the same, Thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV 1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

KJV John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

The Christian Home

KJV 1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 

The liturgical scholars, the same brave souls who caved into the Vatican to follow the three year cycle of readings, frown upon the recognition of Mother's Day. They also frown on the way I skipped over this set of readings this year, which made me wonder why Ascension Day was upon us a week early - when it was not.

But I take refuge in Luther's example of using theme sermons from time to time, when something needed to be emphasized.

This Mother's Day came about because mothers were not getting enough appreciation, and the custom grew. I can vouch for my high school class in saying that all my contacts miss their mothers very much and often talk about each other's, because we tended to live in the same homes from Kindergarten through high school graduation. There may be one or two mothers still alive among my class, but that is all.

Many say on Facebook, "I miss you every day, Mom."

We are the first generation to have so many mothers living to be 90 years old and beyond. Therefore, we take for granted what was so rare years ago. Social Security assumed that we would live a year or two beyond the 65 year old retirement age.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps...

This is the text that led to the writing of one of the all time best-sellers in America, called In His Steps.

The text reminds us that Jesus is not only our Savior but also our Example. Luther used mothers as an symbolic of Christ's love. A mother's love moves downward and is self-sacrificing.

Giving birth is by itself a special health risk for others, although God also provides the special blessing of stem cells that seek out ways to strengthens the mother's body (as I understand). Having children is the greatest possible blessing, matched only by having grandchildren.

And what do we see in the raising of children? First of all, they start out as demanding babies who seldom make life easy. Many little ones have special problems that double the cost of being a mother. As they grow older, children often see their mothers as roadblocks on the path of happiness.

And in all these years, believing mothers look at their children with love and have special love for those with special needs. 

Believing mothers always teach their children about Jesus, which leads to a strange situation today. Paul admonished men to be spiritual leaders because they seldom are. In their absence, women will always take over, such as teaching Sunday School and taking their children to church when the fathers stay home. So the trend is to destroy Paul's inspired wisdom and enforce women as running the congregation. One liberal noted that men will not take roles that they see as women's roles. 

In my first congregation, which was German, men ran the Sunday School and taught Sunday School, with the exception of the nursery class. Men knew they did not have the talents for that age group. One liberal church guru said that women pastors and council members always lead men to step down and stay at home. There are many all-women congregations where men hardly show up. This has all come from the "rights" attitude.

No matter what, believing mothers have a great influence on their children. When that is lost, the essential building block of society is lost and the foundation weakens. We are seeing the results of that after about 90 years of Prostestant apostasy, following one intellectual fad after another.

One does not learn if there are no teachers, so the Christian home has become a minority situation in a hostile land, just like the Roman Empire.

Christ also suffered for us
Self-sacrifice is giving oneself for others, and finding purpose and peace in that role. One mother said, "I stopped working when I had our first child." I said, incredulously, "You stopped working?"

I interrupted a fellow sales agent (a bachelor) when he asked a husband, "Does your wife work or does she just stay at home?" I advised him later that he was all messed up.

Being a mother is a lot of work and we do not let many mothers do that work. And worst of all, we diminish the most important work in favor of making money. That is absolutely crazy.

Women have been apologetic to me when they stayed at home to raise their children. That was my first significant question on a date, because I was not interested in a double income and the luxuries provided by that arrangement. The first one I asked was also the last one I asked, because we got married with the thought of working at home being far more important than an extra job.

But many women have no choice in the matter, and we have to respect them for doubly working as breadwinners and mothers.

The meaning of the Christian life is to serve others and find enjoyment in that service. Mothers are the best example of that.

Just as Christ was gracious and welcoming and forgiving, so are mothers. Those who hold up past mistakes against their children for 20 years are not very much in tune with the Gospel.

No honest parent will say, "I am a perfect parent," so how can imperfect people have perfect children? That cannot be.

We come into this world as sinners and the chief difference is faith in Christ.

Faith gives us the gracious forgiveness of Christ and makes us forgiving if we are truly repentant. That is the big challenge of mothers and all parents - to teach the faith and live the faith.

23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 

We should also admit that there are irregular parents. I have known a lot of them, and I have seen their victims, their children. One time I wondered about the hostility of one church council member. He always seemed to have knives shooting from his eyes, not matter what. Then I met his father and I knew. In fact, I have known several council members like that. One confessed how horrible his father was, and I recalled how awful he was, and how his daughters married men like him.

There are obnoxious, hateful mothers - and they go to church. They are a mixture of hatefulness and craziness. And how is this God's plan?

That gives children a chance to break the pattern as much as possible, to understand their emotional scars and take care not to scar others the same way.

Christ is the best example of that - not taking revenge, not getting even, but letting God take care of justice.