The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

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
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Third Sunday after Easter. Jubilate, 2016.
John 16:16-23


Jubilate, The Third Sunday of Easter, 2016


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Note - the hymn lyrics are linked on the hymn number, the tune on the hymn's name. 

The Hymn #  536                            Awake My Soul 
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 # 
518    If Thou But Suffer God To Guide Thee

A Little While - Jesus' Sermon of Comfort


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 #231                               We Now Implore                     


THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER

Lord God, heavenly Father, who of Thy fatherly goodness dost suffer Thy children to come under Thy chastening rod here on earth, that we may be like unto Thine only-begotten Son in suffering and hereafter in glory: We beseech Thee, comfort us in temptations and afflictions by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not fall into despair, but that we may continually trust in Thy Son's promise, that our trials will endure but a little while, and will then be followed by eternal joy; that we thus, in patient hope, may overcome all evil, and at last obtain eternal salvation, through the same, Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV 1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

KJV John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. 17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? 18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me? 20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.




Jesus Sermon of Comfort

KJV John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. 

I was going to use the epistle lesson instead the Gospel lesson, but then I heard of a young family with three auto accidents in a row, each time where they were innocent victims and suffered.

This text is strange in the constant repetition of the same phrase, a little while, for a total of seven times. Luther even commented on it seeming to be excessive. But we see that John's reporting gives us a glimpse at Jesus' method of teaching, using repetition to get the lesson across, so we connect suffering to this little phrase all it means in the entire Gospel itself.

Here Jesus deals with His disciples and their upcoming sorrow. Luther correctly states that we tend to forget the anguish experienced by the disciples and if we lose sight of that we can also lose the Gospel.

That is so easy to see in modern churches when they portray in publicity that theirs is a fun place for the whole family on Easter Sunday. They will have games, bouncy houses, prizes, and live bunnies. And those are the "conservative" Lutherans, the Wisconsin Synod, too pure for anyone else - as they pretend.

This fun and games approach to Easter is the losing of the Gospel itself. When people go to church on Sunday, it is for healing about grief, not for games and pets. And this is so true of Easter in the mainline churches that it gets worse. At my Disciples of Christ church in Moline, the minister had the people reading this litany that he made up - a selection.

People: Are we having a sermon today?
Minister: No.
People: Good.
Minister: You are sermon enough for Easter Sunday.

Perhaps he was trying to locate enough bunnies for that holiest of days to write a sermon or copy one from a book.

A Little While
Jesus prepared His disciples for His crucifixion, but no preparation was enough. Not that anything He said was insufficient, but they had to experience the loss to realize what he was saying. When we go through times of shock and sorrow, it is hard to comprehend what is being said and done. If the warnings are given in time, even then we say, "What are we going to do."

17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?

Eventually we see that the point of this sermon and parable, and this lesson, is to teach "a little while" so clearly that our memories call up everything Biblical centered in this phrase.

Jesus foretold His suffering and resurrection at least three times, as recorded in the Gospels. And yet the disciples scattered (except for John) when it happened.
The disciples even had trouble grasping the meaning of the resurrection and were fearful afterwards and wrestled with doubt about it. Luke - they disbelieved for joy. As we say, too good to be true.

If we say, how could they not know, being with Jesus for three years, the Apostles could easily say back to us, "How could you turn Easter into a petting zoo, when you have had Jesus in the Scriptures taught to you for 20, 40, 80 years - for 2000 years - and yet you make a mockery of it and tolerate the clowns who lead the circus!"

18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. 19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

This is setting up the disciples for the meaning of "a little while." I have found that a memorable graphic (even if I have done a bad job on the graphic) is ideal for making a concrete point. The abstract is easily recalled when connected with something we can see in our minds (the cross), or taste (Holy Communion), or smell (the Old Testament sacrifices and incense), or hear (hymns and chanting).

I have a lot of trouble teaching this to graduate students, who want every assignment to be an essay, black and white, no color, no graphics, not even an anecdote. One student asked me, "Why do we have so many graphics assignments?" I said, "We don't have enough. Some are still giving me black and white text instead of graphics."

The next stage in this lesson is connecting "a little while" to death and resurrection and childbirth, associating the known with the unknown.

 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 

This one verse parable is based upon universal experience, especially then, but still valid today. One young mother said, "I would not trust myself to a home birth, because I want all the hospital services available in case something develops."

And we all know and have experienced those difficulties. God gives laboring women special strength and endurance, but it such challenge that the woman can feel on the precipice for what seems forever.

Men know that bouncing down a hospital corridor on a bed is enough to make anyone feel helpless and weak - and that is before anything happens.

But with a child being born, the fears are transformed into joy and even the challenges are told with some relish rather than fear.

As Luther stated in his sermons on this text, there are many kinds of sorrows, such as loss of property, loss of dear friends and family, loss of reputation. The worst is the thought of no longer having God's love and favor. 

Luther often talked about this silence of God, and Gerhardt wrote his hymns of comfort about the same thing. A layman can easily think, "Can't anyone stand up for a traditional Christian church today?" A pastor can wonder the same thing about congregations, who seem to covet the latest fad the way Israel coveting having a king "because everyone has a king. Why can't we have a king?"

No matter what the trouble, it seems endless at the time. For some, with a disability or accident or chronic illness, it is permanent. For others, a syndrome is so bad that it is always getting worse and not even treatable. We knew an engineer whose bones were so brittle he could not walk without crutches. That meant he could not walk down the hall with his crutches and a cup of coffee. Try that some time. The hands have this stabilizing system that works unless engaged in using crutches. Then it is splash time. 

That little item is not bad in itself but it stands for all the other problems associated with that degenerative disease.

When a crisis comes, we feel like that mother to be in labor, wondering if it will ever end and how badly it will turn out. Satan loves to attack us through our emotions where we are weakest.

But when we see the results of our sorrow, our crisis, our troubles, the joy of realization wipes out the memories of the difficulties - at least the pain embedded in those experiences.

22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. 23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

Sorrow is a given in life, because we must lose our dearest friends and family members. We must suffer reverses and difficulties. Health problems can plague us or let us alone until we are older and get our fair share. And most of all, anyone faithful to the Word will experience the cross - shunning, revenge, etc.

Whatever difficulty it might be, it is for a little while. Believers see Christ bearing their sins and rising to His Father to work on our behalf in Heaven. After teaching us the necessity of sorrow, He also promises to give whateve we ask in His Name.