The Glory Has Departed


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Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Third Sunday after Trinity. Luke 15:1-10.
The Lost Sheep



The Third Sunday after Trinity, 2015


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


                       

The Hymn # 652                   I Lay My Sins on Jesus               
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 #436            The Lord’s My Shepherd                   

The Shepherd's View Should Be Our Own

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 # 649                        Jesus Savior Pilot Me   

KJV 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Third Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we all like sheep have gone astray, having suffered ourselves to be led away from the right path by Satan and our own sinful flesh: We beseech Thee graciously to forgive us all our sins for the sake of Thy Son, Jesus Christ; and quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may abide in Thy word, and in true repentance and a steadfast faith continue in Thy Church unto the end, and obtain eternal salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end Amen.




The Shepherd's View Should Be Our Own


KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

These two parable introduce the Parable of the Prodigal Son, so we have multiple lessons in a row, each one unforgettable, about God's view of us as sinners. The introduction is not accidental. Jesus' kindly nature caused the obvious (open) sinners to draw near Him. They felt welcomed and comforted.

The publicans were the hated tax collectors, despised for being harsh and serving the Roman Empire with greed and profiting from it. The sinners are identified as open, obvious sinners by the term used. The Pharisees were sinners too, but outwardly they were great saints and scholars.

The tax collectors and sinners came to Jesus to hear Him - to hear His gracious and life-giving Word. To the world they were nothing and worthless, but Jesus showed them their worth while guiding them into a different life.

We should not be shocked that the original Christian Church was made up of former prostitutes, former homosexuals, former thieves and criminals of all sorts. The scum of the Roman Empire were drawn to the Christian Faith, and Christians were hated especially because of this association.

2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

Receiving can be understood as welcoming. Not receiving is more like shunning or rejecting. That language was used in an early dispute.

3 John 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

Receiving and eating with these sinners meant Jesus showed them respect, kindness, and love, which made the Pharisees righteously angry, to borrow a term. This was bound to happen at that time, because Jesus taught the righteousness of faith in Him while the Pharisees exemplified the righteousness of their works.

Jesus, therefore, annihilated the self-worth of the Pharisees and ignited their hatred, simply by being the gracious, promised Savior.

This also applies to us, where we see the same kind of Pharisaical shunning among Christians, which serves their political purpose but does not serve God. Lutherans do this. Baptists practice it with great zeal. Pentecostals outdo the Baptists, leaving the room when the odious (to them) doctrine of infant baptism comes us. One might add the glaring, the seeing through people they know but no longer acknowledge, and other such tactics that we puzzle over when we hear about untouchables in India.

One Lutheran discussion page had people grandly announce they would not post if I did, but they had no such qualms about a trans-sexual posting.

3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

The parable was aimed at the Pharisees, who took great pride in their works and despised others. Thus it is also aimed at all those who take great pride in their outward righteousness, based on belonging somewhere, while ignoring the righteousness of faith in Christ.

Nothing seems more true of the visible church today. I was thinking of the gigantic ant colony that exists overseas. Here is one from Brazil.  For some reason one particular group got established and grew because their recognized their own and do not go to war against their own DNA. However, Lutherans are just the opposite. They delight in driving out and killing their own with words, slander, and various actions. That ant colony is enormous in size, through welcoming their own, while the Lutherans are in a death spiral from abusing their own.

Those who survive the abuse in Lutherdom are very proud of belonging, but many times they are also tossed under the bus, as mobsters find themselves in the lap of luxury but only for a short time.

In this parable, the 1% is that sheep that wanders away, not those who rule and grab the grants for themselves. When we think of gently, helpless animals, we do not question that we would leave the sheep being tended and look for the helpless one lost in the wilderness.
How often have we gone out in the rain or darkness to find a pet that slipped out? Once I found our Sheltie, sound asleep in a storm, using a pile of plastic sheets as her bed, but safely under the patio roof. 

For walks I take a big branch to use to warn off big dogs, who look at Sassy as vulnerable and easy to attack. In close quarters she had no defenses with her lack of balance. Inside, she reverses the role and watches over us, warns us about animals on TV, and alerts us to UPS drivers (who often leave her a Milkbone).

Looking for the lost sheep - until he finds it. This is the Good Shepherd who pursues the lost and provides so many ways to draw them into the Kingdom or return them to the fold. Thus the first Gospel, infant baptism, lays a claim on a soul, and the Savior does not forget. When the Gospel Word is heard later, the baptized soul responds.

The key word is - until. Not for a time, not for months and years, but until that shepherd finds the lost sheep.

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

God view of finding and rescuing the lost sinner is not berating the sinner for being lost, but to increase the help for that person. And many times that individual has been found and reclaimed - or found and converted to the Gospel by the Gospel. 

Rejoicing - God condemns unbelief and convicts us of that weakness. The Spirit's primary work is to say to each and every person, "You may have some faith, but do you utterly trust in Jesus as your Savior? And if you have no faith, I will show you the true nature of God, because the Son of God teaches the grace, lovingkindness, and mercy of the Father."

We often tell stories about our lost pets and finding them. Our tiny Sheltie Precious liked to escape from time to time. Once she ran out the door. And I told Sassy, "Find her." Sassy ran out, tracked her, and cornered her in a minute. It has been a fun story every since. Because when that happened in a motel, I had to look in various rooms being cleaned until I found the delinquent hiding in an end table.

This parable helps us see how God is gracious in seeking us and delighted to find and help us. On our own we dash into destruction and are best served when we stop and realize our condition.

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

We know this is our nature with animals that depend on us, so we can see this is God's nature. He is not the pagan god of wrath and appeasement, that we must pay and satisfy to reduce His rather. This is the true God who is revealed by the Holy Spirit and represented and taught by God Incarnate.

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

The last verse is a humorous climax to the parable, because the Pharisees do not generate joy in heaven - happy as they are in their pen at home. "We have have been in this pen for five generations!"

21. Therefore, when you feel your sins gnawing at you, and feel your heart trembling and agitated, place yourself beside the publicans where they are standing. These are the very ones who shall receive the Gospel. Do so joyously, and say: “Oh, God! it is thy word that says there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance, and that all the righteous and angels are to interpose and cover up sins. Now, Oh, God! I have come to this that I feel my sins. I am already judged. I need but the one Shepherd who seeketh me; and I will therefore freely venture on thy Gospel.”

22. It is thus that you come to God. You are already the sheep placed upon his shoulders. You have found the Shepherd. You are the piece of silver in the hand. You are the one over whom is joy in heaven in the presence of all the angels. We are not to worry, if we do not experience or feel this at once. Sin will daily decrease, and its sting will drive you to seek God. You must struggle against this feeling by faith, and say: “Oh, God! I know thou hast said this, and I lean upon thy Word. I am the sheep and the piece of silver; thou the shepherd and the woman.”






Third Sunday after Trinity Quotations
                                            
"If the question is put, 'Why did God ordain so many means of grace when one suffices to confer upon the sinner His grace and forgiveness?' we quote the reply of Luther who writes (Smalcald Articles, IV:  'The Gospel not merely in one way gives us counsel and aid against sin, for God is superabundantly rich in His grace.  First through the spoken Word, by which the forgiveness of sins is preached in the whole world, which is the peculiar office of the Gospel. Secondly through Baptism.  Thirdly through the holy Sacrament of the Altar. Fourthly through the power of the keys and also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren, Matthew 18:20.'"        
          John Theodore Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, 1934, p. 447. SA, IV, Concordia Triglotta, p. 491. Matthew 18:20.        

"We further believe that in this Christian Church we have forgiveness of sin, which is wrought through the holy Sacraments and Absolution, moreover, through all manner of consolatory promises of the entire Gospel.  Therefore, whatever is to be preached, concerning the Sacraments belongs here, and in short, the whole Gospel and all the offices of Christianity, which also must be preached and taught without ceasing.  For although the grace of God is secured through Christ, and sanctification is wrought by the Holy Ghost through the Word of God in the unity of the Christian Church, yet on account of our flesh which we bear about with us we are never without sin."
          The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #54, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 693. Tappert, p. 417.          

"The second argument is that 'God desires all men to be saved' (1 Timothy 2:4), and He gave His Son for us men and created man for eternal life. Likewise:  All things exist for man, and he himself exists for God that he may enjoy Him, etc.  These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one.  For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Timothy 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.'  For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because He says: 'This is My blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many'‑‑He does not say:  for all‑‑'for the forgiveness of sins.' (Mark 14:24; Matthew 26:28)
          Martin Luther, Luther's Works, 25  p. 375.  

"No more splendid work exists than receiving and hearing the Word of God." 
          What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I,  p. 302. Luke 10:38.