The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Second Sunday after Trinity - Luke 14:16-24

Altar designed by Norma Boeckler.
Photoshop by Norma Boeckler.


The Second Sunday after Trinity 

The melodies are linked in the hymn name. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 361                                O Jesus King 
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 #371                          Jesus Thy Blood                       

 Wedding Guests

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            

KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Second Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee, that through Thy holy word Thou hast called us to Thy great supper, and we beseech Thee: Quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not hear Thy word without fruit, but that we may prepare ourselves rightly for Thy kingdom, and not suffer ourselves to be hindered by any worldly care, through Thy beloved Son. Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



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KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

Jesus taught this parable to counter the statement, "Blessed is he who eats bread in the Kingdom of God."

The parable says, as Luther relates, "Yes, look at those among you who receive the invitation and yet do not come."

This is an appealing parable in one sense. All cultures can identify with the setting. When we get an invitation to a special event, we want to go. We drop our other plans and typical excuses and figure out how we can get there. For instance, we received an invitation to a training event where we would stay in a deluxe hotel free, have several meals free, and listen to Christians involved in Constitutional conservative support. We had to drive, take care of Sassy, even make alternative plans because it truly clashed with a special job in higher education, revising a course. Special invitations are impossible to ignore altogether, so we drove to Kansas City and drove back the same day, four hours each way.

The parable of the Great Feast is an invitation to believe in Christ as the very Face and Voice of God, the Savior, the promised Messiah, the Son of God. The Jewish people receive the invitation first.

Jesus says, "Yes, you are blessed and yet do not come to the Great Feast." This is a pointed and direct attack on their presumptions and also on those who piously regard themselves as blessed but do not believe. As one Confessional Lutheran said - they more they depart from Lutheran doctrine, the more they consider themselves the true Lutherans. That is even more true today than a century ago. We may think those were the good old days, but the foundations of apostasy were being laid even during and after WWI.

Holy Mother Church in Constantinople
is now a Muslim museum.


17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 

This is the Great Feast because it is in one sense the very last event before the end. How is that so? The reasoning reminds me of chess, because chess is based on life. Mostly I have played against a computer and found myself savagely beaten.  But we learn this in chess and in life - the primary steps we take quickly determine how the rest of our lives go. 

All my friends are saying, "We got married 40+ plus years ago. Where did the time go?" So what people did after high school or college sent them along a certain path. Some chose self-indulgence. Others wanted to join the Revolution, as long as they had plenty of money along the way. Still others thought marriage, family, and worship were very important for them and their children.

Often one spouse marries a person who is indifferent to the Christian Faith. And yet by marriage, this basic conflict is resolved into believing and acting together. In a flash there is a larger family with children and grandchildren who are believers. And if not - they have had the chance at life and faith. One never knows, but the time moves along faster and faster.

The preaching and teaching of the Gospel is the invitation of the Holy Spirit. This is a great feast because the Lord God Himself sends it by way of his servants.

12. This man who prepared this supper is our Lord God himself. He is a great and rich Lord, who also once prepared a feast according to his glorious majesty and honor, and it was such a supper which is called great and glorious not only on account of the host, who is God himself, for it would be a glorious supper if he had only given a vegetable broth or a dry crust; yet the food is beyond all measure great and costly, namely, the holy Gospel, yea, Christ our Lord himself. He is himself the food, and is offered unto us through the Gospel, how he has made satisfaction by his death for our sins, and has redeemed us from all the misery of eternal death, of hell, of the wrath of God, sin and eternal condemnation.

If we recognize this feast for what it is, unique and special, with great blessings, we hunger for it and look forward to it.

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

The excuses were all made at the same time and in the same way, with one person represented first. That reminded me of the time I suggested to a New Testament class that we first say whether we believed in the Virgin Birth of Christ before discussing the birth narratives in the New Testament. This was the somewhat conservative Lutheran seminary, LCA, in Waterloo. And they all began with one consent to explain why that should not happen, led by the Professor of New Testament, the son of an LCA college president, one who had high positions in the past. It was, as we used to say, a firecracker set off in a henhouse, so great was the cackling.

So this parable shows some humor in the contrast between the invitation to the Great Feast and the excuses given at once, each one irrelevant. They not only represent the rejection of the Gospel from Old Testament times, when the prophets taught the people, but also our current excuses.

The Jewish people had hundreds of chances, directly, to hear the truth from the prophets of God and yet they built an edifice around the Old Testament, the Talmud, to protect people from ever believing in the Word itself.

We find the same today among those who carefully explain what has no relationship to the Word of God. Some of them are Biblical scholars who do not believe. Others are church leaders who do not believe. And they have more excuses than the Bible has words, because the Bible is quite concise and clear. They, in contrast, are obtuse, prolix, and baffling in their twists and turns.

False teachers offer what itching ears want to hear, so the truly gifted con artist reads that from the audience and concentrates on what is appealing, not on what is true. That varies with the denomination today, but there are similarities, such as taking comfort in the denomination itself - "Our father is Abraham. Are you greater than he is?"

Or there is comfort in the style of the denomination. The Episcopalians have always been upper class, so there is a style they appreciate and one they expect. They look down on the blue collared class and the farmers.

Likewise, this looking at piece of ground excuse is hilarious.

20. For Christ here treats of these three parties. The first says: I want to see my farm. These are the foremost and best among them, among the Jews they were the entire priesthood and the chief rulers. These said: We priests must work, cultivate and harvest the land, that is, we must rule the people, and wait upon the priesthood God has entrusted unto us, as Christ also calls ministers cultivators of the soil who sow the Gospel. But as the teachings of the Apostles are opposed to this, it is wrong, and we are justly excused when we do not accept their doctrine.

19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 

Luther connects this excuse to serving the government where all the power is. This is true of people who identify with the religion of the rulers. The first consideration is "How can I remain in power?" The answer has been clear for a long time in America - secularism rules and our Christian heritage is an embarrassment. All the political and educational trends are aimed at extinguishing Christianity and removing the Biblical God from our country altogether. All other gods are tolerated, just like the Rome Empire, but the One True God is not - once again, just like Imperial Rome.

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 

Earthly considerations are used to excuse absence from the Great Feast.

The doctrine is right, of course, but we must still adhere to the Church and her orderly government. Again, we must above all things maintain obedience to the worldly power, so that there may be no disturbance and insurrection. Thus they are troubled just like the Jews. If they would accept the Gospel, they fear they might lose their Church and government, whereas the Gospel alone builds up the true Christian church, and prevents all injustice, violence and insurrection. Besides covetousness is also present; since they see nothing in the Gospel but mere poverty and persecution, so that it goes as it does here, that they simply and without fear refuse to obey the Gospel and say, they have taken wives and cannot come, and still they want to be Christians and claim to have done just right, and want to be regarded as pious bishops, good princes and good citizens.

That just happened in a conversation with a Lutheran who said, "I won't use my wealth to criticize the synod." I said, "You only need the Word for that."

As long as we think in terms of the material, that is all we see. As I keep mentioning in the gardening articles, I did not see the tiny ichneumon wasps until I studied them in a beneficial insects book. Suddenly they were in front of my eyes.

On TV they are selling an electronic bug zapper that pulls every flying insect out of the air and kills it, up to one acre. I said, "Most of them are beneficial. It would kill the ichneumons, the big-eyed bugs, the lace wings..." Chris said, "OK. OK."

So those who think materially will conclude, "This will hurt me and not help. I have to make peace with those disturbed by the Word and find help and comfort from them. The cross is over-rated and really obsolete today."

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

The conclusion is great and terrible at the same time. The fearsome part is the revelation that the country rejecting the Great Feast will suffer as the Gospel rain moves on. There is still room.

The great and thrilling part is the Gospel going out among the poor, the maimed, the halt and the poor. That is how the Europeans got the Gospel, because the Jews largely turned the Evangelists away - though many believed the Gospel at the start. And that is how America got the Gospel, because the Stuart kings persecuted the Gospel as secret Roman Catholics. The Protestants fled to America for religious freedom.

I know many individuals who deeply appreciate the Gospel and the Book of Concord because of their bad experiences with false doctrine. They are mocked for not staying with the original denominations, but one event after another drove them to the plain simple truths of the Bible, which are clearly confessed in the Lutheran Symbols (a cool name for the Book of Concord).

If we look for approval from the apostates, we can only achieve that by adopting their disbelief.
Unbelievers say this bird evolved.
Believers say this hummingbird was designed by the Lord of Creation.