The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Advent Services - 7 PM Central Time in December.

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

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com 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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Service - Wednesday 9 AM




Thanksgiving, 2015

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 9 AM Central Standard Time 

The Hymn # 203                                Morning Breaks Upon the Tomb 
The Order of Matins  p. 21
The Psalmody Psalm 100 p. 144
The First Lection 1 Timothy 2:1-8
The Second Lection Luke 17:11-19 
The Sermon Hymn # 574                         Come Ye Thankful  


Thanksgiving 

The Prayers and Lord’s Prayer  
The Collect for Peace p. 45
The Benediction p. 45
The Hymn #361                                      O Jesus King  

1 Timothy

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.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Luke 17
11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Thanksgiving
KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
This Gospel answers whether God cares about our faith and our appreciation for what He does for us.
Many people know what it means to be a leper - using that as a metaphor - to be shunned, alone, blamed, and helpless about the conditions that oppress.
These lepers knew about the healing power of Christ and placed their trust in Him. They were forced to live apart. They had no medical care and suffered from the disease while being blamed for the disease. 
I know people who have not been visited by friends and family because they had cancer, as if cancer were contagious. I know a pastor who was shunned by other clergy for leaving Holy Mother Synod, then welcomed back later - like the Prodigal Son. The art of shunning has been polished to fine sheen by Lutherans, who shun for the wrong seminary attended (ELCA and LCMS), the wrong prep school (WELS) and for reasons unknown (WELS-ELS-LCMS-ELCA-CLC sic). Questioning Holy Mother Synod is always grounds for shunning - as a warning - and then for expulsion. The power of shunning is so great that some clergy apologize in public and offer their exclamations of joy that they are indeed in an infallible sect.
Facebook offers a method for shunning that can be used in steps. In romance it is called being friend-zoned, no longer in a relationship. Others can unfriend and then block others. It is a revelation that someone who has phoned, written, and visited is now an unfriend.
Of course, with the lepers it was far more serious, a constant life-threatening weakness and the penalty for having the disease. This miracle teaches us about giving thanks because there is a difference between feeling the need and expressing gratitude for the cure.
The lepers gathered in a group to give them more visibility, to help them gain attention in a world that shut them out.
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 
"Lord have mercy" was part of a plea that was offered to traveling rulers. Petitions included "have mercy" and people still use that in conversation when they hear of horrible government work or disasters.
They called Him Master, to show Him honor and to concede His power over life and health. The Word about Jesus traveled quickly and people believed in Him. Vast crowds followed Him and this incited jealousy, rage, and fear. No one is more fearful than one living in apparent peace and temporary comfort, enjoying the perks of works-righteousness. 
They were weak, so they lifted up their voices. Many people know instinctively how to project their voices. They do that when calling their kids, when issuing a warning when something is about to happen. I used to teach children in programs how to project by imagining their friend a half-block away, trying to get their attention. Yes, they knew that method of projecting quite well. 
The 10 lepers were weak, helpless, and calling out in their feeble voices, as a group.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 
The context of every meeting between Jesus and others was this - He knew already what was in their hearts. This is often mentioned in the text. Also implied in many cases - Jesus sent the Gospel into the midst of Judaism. That meant that many leaders, priests, and Pharisees had direct contact with the power of the Messiah. This caused conversions and evoked hatred and revenge.
The Jewish ritual bath was so important that archeologists look for them as evidence of Jewish occupation. Because the lepers were unclean, untouchable, they would go to the priests for the ceremony. In the process they would explain how they were healed by Jesus the Messiah. In simple words, Luke says, on the way to the priests, they were all healed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 
The Samaritan giving thanks is factual, but also symbolic. The Samaritan worshiped Jesus as God and glorified Him, thanking Him. He was but one of ten, and an outsider. Therefore, he was doubly-shunned, first as a leper and then as a Samaritan, yet he showed genuine faith in thanking Jesus, unlike the others, who asked and received, and yet did not thank.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
This answers the opinion that God does not care whether people believe in His Word and does not worry about being thanked. Also, if faith is "a work of man," then why does Jesus commend faith when people respond with faith. 
It was God's Word and God's healing that took away this dread disease. What motivated them at the beginning was "hearing the Word" (Romans 10) the good news that the Messiah was teaching and healing.
Luther suggested that Jesus should have turned the nine back into lepers, to teach them about gratitude.
Giving Thanks
Luther often criticized his audiences and readers for not being thankful about the spiritual treasures offered during the Reformation. Everyone had lived under the oppression of salvation by the Law, hoping they might spend only a few thousand years in Purgatory for all the good works they had done to relieve their future misery. Or perhaps they only heard about weeks or months in Purgatory. The time was stretched out as the stories were told, much the way justification by faith has gone faster than a fisherman's tale about the one that got away.
The most important gift God gives us is faith, and that happens from the teaching and preaching of the Word. God's Word can overcome any barrier and break down the strongest fortress against it. 
The problem is not that people do not hear and believe. The lepers are symbolic of those who hear and believe, but quickly turn away from that initial faith for various reasons. The Parable of the Sower is a good example of those reasons.
I often think of Luther's explanation of staying away from the Means of Grace for a year. In that time people lose their appreciation for the Gospel and listen to the wrong voices, which are all around us.
When we are not thankful, we lose those blessings so generously given use, especially the spiritual ones. God takes care of all people - and believers especially well, so people pray for the wrong things, as Lenski wrote.
People do not value the liturgy, creeds, and great hymns enough to thank God for them and keep them safe from the theivery of the Church Growth charlatans. The lack of thankfulness led to these things becoming extremely rare. They were partially stolen - but even worse - given away and even thrown away.
The Lutheran Hymnal is still the best Lutheran hymnal in English, but they are given away free all the time. Clearly they are not valued by entire congregations.
The Book of Concord (Triglotta edition) is in the public domain, but who wants it enough to read it? Certainly it is a reference book and not a dime novel, but it deserves to be studied by everyone, especially clergy and teachers. Lutherans confess (Large Catechism) that those who are too lazy to study the Word should be denied food, chased out of town by dogs, and pelted with manure.
And what is easier to read and study than the Word itself. We have a clear translation and good commentaries from Luther, Gerhard, Melanchthon, and Chemnitz.
The Word is a treasure we can explore for a lifetime and only gain more from as time passes.