The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Ash Wednesday Service, March 1 - 7 PM Central
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM, 2017

Saved worship files 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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve, 2016. Ustream Broadcast




Thanksgiving Eve, 2016


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 558      All Praise to Thee 4.44      
The Order of Vespers p. 41
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 4.9


Thankful To God

The Prayers and Lord’s Prayer p. 44
The Collect for Peace p. 45
The Benediction p. 45
The Hymn #361                 O Jesus King  4.1                                         

KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 7 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. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

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: 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.



Thankful To God

KJV 1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 

An attitude of thanksgiving toward God is directly related to our concept of the cross and afflictions. There is a difference between the two.

When we experience distress, physical harm, economic punishment, shunning, and insults, and all kinds of pain because of the Word - that is bearing the cross. When the disciples were asked, when seeking glory, if they would bear the cross. they said yes. Jesus replied in Mark that they would indeed share His cup of woe and be baptized in the same baptism.

But there are afflictions that are not the result of bearing witness to the Gospel of our Savior. They are physical ailments, loss of ability, and economic hardship caused by incompetent and greedy political leaders. They are tough to bear, and they pile up during difficult times. For instance, medical costs easily impoverish people. Disability means loss of income and an increase of cost, not matter what the insurance may be. If it is all government paid, then it is often the Soviet style of medicine - free with very little of it. Or we could say - the Veterans Administration style of medicine in the last 8 years.

Paul in this letter exhorts Timothy and others to be thankful. Today, that means to be thankful for material blessings, but the Bible treats all good as coming from God. Even a harsh and tyrannical government is part of God's rule. The alternative is often a bloody revolution or anarchy where no law is upheld at all.

As much as we hate government at times, God has instilled in man a desire to govern and order the affairs of others. We benefit from that and should be grateful for the blessings that come from it. In America we can work together, vote, and change the direction of the country with God's rule and wisdom. If we do not do that as a country, then the worst leaders punish us the way false teachers punish their followers, by increasing the cost and treating everyone harshly.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

My professor at Yale, Malherbe, argued that Paul was writing from a quietistic point of view. Christians were living in the Roman Empire, which sporadically persecuted them. But he did not organize riots to have them take up arms and overthrow the government.

The Jewish Zealots did that and earned the destruction of Jerusalem twice for doing so. The famous date is around 70 AD, but there was another revolt around 60 years after that, making the Jerusalem area a wasteland.

The Christians were often treated as an illegal branch (not accepted by Rome) of Judaism, so they suffered from both sides. Jewish leaders vexed them at times, certainly in getting rid of Paul. And Rome persecuted them.

Nevertheless, though Paul paid the ultimate price, he urged them to see the good in government and to pray for all leaders. In fact, Roman government was the single most important factor in moving Christianity around the world at that time. 
No one had the spread of shipping and roads that the Empire had, with two universal languages. The language of literature and culture was Greek, so that was the international language - as we see in the Greek New Testament and the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint.

The Roman language was another unifying part of the Empire, because Latin was the language of the Middles Ages, law, and medicine. The spread of man's wisdom would have been impaired by hundreds of languages and dialects and governments.

This great unity kept the Muslims from Europe until after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. That date should make you think about the Reformation. When the great barrier to Islam fell, Luther was born a few years later. The distraction of Islam allowed the Lutheran Reformation to take root and grow when the Catholic Emperor wanted to smash it. Instead, he had to round up the troops and fight Islam - everyone together against a common enemy.

1530 - smash the Reformation or fight Islam at the gates of Vienna? That was an easy choice. That goes well with the next verse. The Reformation causes the growth and spread of the Gospel, not by itself, but along the governmental lines created by the vast Roman Empire.

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

God's gracious will is that all people come to the knowledge of the Gospel, receive forgiveness through faith in Him, and be saved. Vast disruptions cause these developments, because all things are in God's hand, and He will bring forth His will in due time.

People often make others feel guilty because so many are unbelievers, so it is their duty to tilt the figures toward the Christian Faith. But that overlooks God's gracious will at work. He does not say, "Meet your quota," but "Teach the truth."
The truth is revealed in God's Word and that will accomplish His will, in stirring up faith and in generating hate, blindness, hardness of heart, and rage.

When people are upset (a crime in this generation) they think about what they value. The people I know who value the Gospel the most are ones who have gone through many difficult years. They have seen people throw away the truth of the Word for their own gain or simply from intellectual curiosity. 

I have seen higher learning plunge into decay because of the various societal fads, and reversing this is very difficult indeed. That only means we have created in America a second Roman Empire, with its good and bad characteristics. The power is there for the good, but also for evil.

Rather than figure all this out, we are to pray for the wisdom of our leaders and be thankful for what they can accomplish.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 

I had a youth group paint this across the wall in the church basement. I did not suggest it. They jumped into and I thought, "Trouble ahead." They are all nearing retirement, and that building was torn down to become an apartment house.

At one point they were picking that verse and debating it, then painting it and showing it to all their parents and grandparents, a German church in Cleveland.

The truth of that verse is compelling as a confession of faith, probably part of Paul's catechism for the early Christians. 
  • There is one God - the unity of the Three Persons.
  • One Mediator - Jesus is God.
  • Between God and men, the man Jesus. The Incarnation - the Virgin Mary and Jesus born in Bethlehem, all implied in one phrase.
  • Who gave Himself a ransom - died on the cross
  • for all - the atoning death always, always assures us that He died for all people, all sins, the great Treasure of the Gospel, so that those who believed in Him (John 3:16) would receive forgiveness and salvation.
  • To be testified - that is the Gospel Christians teach and preach.
7 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. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Paul's only mission was to teach the truth to all people. Jesus ordained him to be an apostle to the Jews and to the Gentiles. He was just a man organizing a few small congregations. He was executed for his trouble. But God used him to lay the foundations for the Christian Church for all time. Was Paul often distraught over all his troubles - his thorn in the flesh? Doubtless he was, for overwhelm anxiety and depression are messengers from Satan to keep Christians from trusting in their Savior's love and kindness.

He turned negativity into peace and calm, not only for himself, but for all who fall into the same state of mind. God gave him the answer, which is one of the great passages in the entire Bible - 

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.