The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Ash Wednesday, 2016
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
The Order of Vespers p. 41
The Psalmody Psalm 1 p. 123
The Lection Joel 2:12-19
The Sermon – Jesus the Redeemer
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace p. 45
KJV Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14 Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? 18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
KJV Matthew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Lord God, heavenly Father, who didst manifest Thyself, with the Holy Ghost, in the fullness of grace at the baptism of Thy dear Son, and with Thy voice didst direct us to Him who hath borne our sins, that we might receive grace and the remission of sins: Keep us, we beseech Thee, in the true faith; and inasmuch as we have been baptized in accordance with Thy command, and the example of Thy dear Son, we pray Thee to strengthen our faith by Thy Holy Spirit, and lead us to everlasting life and salvation, 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.
Jesus the Redeemer
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The sermons for Lent will be based on titles of Jesus and how they relate to our faith. The process of unlearning what the Bible teaches plainly is both slow and painful. Many denominations are patient enough to spend decades and millions of dollars supplanting what was once taught so that clergy and later the laity accept the new teaching. This has been very successful, which is no different from giving someone bad directions and once the person is completely confused and lost, giving even worse directions.
What does this Gospel lesson mean by distinguishing treasure on earth from treasures in heaven?
The Reformation was quite clear and repetitive in calling the Gospel a treasure, and that Gospel is Jesus as the Redeemer. This was a great change from an accumulation of 1,000 years of teaching. Some was quite gradual, but now it firmly fixed. Jesus is the angry judge, and Mary is the one who appeals to Him to be merciful. According to the Church of Rome, sins are forgiven but not paid for. Thus a life of good works must pay for them, and even then incompletely. The rest of the payment is made by the individual in Purgatory, with help from his friends, relatives, and priests below.
Thus in the Church of Rome, Jesus was not quite the Redeemer, while the Reformation emphasized the redemption in the clearest possible language.
Our language is not subtle enough to include the two different terms used for redemption in the New Testament, so we tend to think of one rather than the other. Both are meant when we say Jesus is the Redeemer.
One is the price paid for all sins, and this word is the one used for buying something at the market. The Greek word remains in our language as agoraphobia, fear of public places, or for men - fear of the shopping mall.
The other term is based on releasing (loosing) slaves from their slavery. Slavery is not that far distant from American history. Some owners set their slaves free, or gave them their freedom. They were no longer owned by someone, property, but free, on their own. And yet Paul calls himself a slave, because he is a slave of God.
Both concepts about the Redeemer are part of the message of the treasure. While all our human frailties make us want to pay for our sins, that cannot be, because the Redeemer paid the price when He died on the cross, accepted the wrath of God falling upon Him, and the scorn and torture of man, plus rejection of almost every single person around Him.