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
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #90 Gerhardt Come, Your Hearts
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 #95 Savior of the Nations
Fourth Sunday In Advent
After Is the One Before
KJV John 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
The Advent season seems to be more about John than Jesus, but there is a reason. John is pivotal for showing the prophet Isaiah to be correct. There was great interest in the prophets being fulfilled, and Isaiah's book was especially influential. That means it was read for 700 years or so, and the transition to Gospel in that book started with the voice crying in the desert - Prepare the way of the Lord.
One sign of liberalism in olden days was to insist on two Isaiahs, because of this big change at Isaiah 40. One WELS professor advocated two Isaiahs and the liberals administration stood behind him. He continued to be quite influential; those who were dismayed at this were disciplined and told to keep quiet.
So one might say that - as Isaiah goes, so goes the synod. Missouri has had many teachers, pastors, and DPs like this - all tolerated and promoted. The ELS had a professor denying a specific prophesy applied to Christ, and the bosses shielded and supported him. Since the three "conservative" synods latched onto the old NIV, which is now considered a classic, the New NIV is even more biased against the faith and is equally supported and promoted. Participants in both were rewarded for their work, and it was considered a great honor. "It must be a good translation, our guys helped out."
Look for notes at the bottom of a modern translation. "A Virgin shall conceive..." A note at the bottom says or "A young woman will conceive..." One is a miracle, the other is a birth announcement.
This was surely done in order to extol the beautiful constancy of John in a sore trial, when he was tempted to a flagrant denial of the truth. And now consider the particular circumstances.
2. First, there are sent to him not servants or ordinary citizens, but priests and Levites from the highest and noblest class, who were Pharisees, that is to say, the leaders of the people. Surely a distinguished embassy for a common man, who might justly have felt proud of such an honor, for the favor of lords and princes is highly esteemed in this world.
3. Secondly, they sent to him not common people, but citizens of Jerusalem, to wit, the capital, the sanhedrim, and the leaders of the Jewish nation. So it was as if the entire people came and did honor to him. What a wind that was! and how he might have been inflated, had he possessed a vain and worldly heart!
4. Thirdly, they do not offer him a present, nor ordinary glory, but the highest glory of all, the kingdom and all authority, being ready to accept him as the Christ. Surely a mighty and sweet temptation! For, had he not perceived that they wished to regard him as the Christ, he would not have said, “I am not the Christ.” And Luke 8:15-16, also writes that, when everybody thought he was the Christ, John spoke, “I am not he who you think I am, but I am being sent before him.”
|Isaiah 40 - "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.|
15. In the second place, the Jews themselves of old understood Malachi to speak of Christ’s coming into the flesh. Therefore they here ask John whether he is Elijah, who is to come before the Christ. But they erred in thinking of the original and bodily Elijah. For the purport of the text is indeed that Elijah is to come beforehand, but not that same Elijah. We do not read, Elijah the Tishbite is to come, as the Bible calls him in 1 Kings 17:1 and 2 Kings 1:13 but merely Elijah, a prophet. This Gabriel, Luke 1:17, explains as meaning, “In the spirit and power of Elijah,” saying, as it were, He will be a real Elijah. Just as we now say of one who has another’s manner and carriage, He is a true!; as I may say e.g., The Pope is a real Caiaphas; John was a real St. Paul. In the same manner does God through Malachi promise one who is to be a true Elijah, i.e. John the Baptist.
|Conceived by the Holy Spirit,|
born of the Virgin Mary.