The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

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

which works as 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

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. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve Hymn Service, 2016.
Circumcision and Name of Jesus

 The hymn graphics are all from Norma Boeckler.

New Year's Eve Hymn Service, 2016
7 PM Central Standard Time

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The words are linked on the hymn numbers, and the melodies are linked on the hymn titles, for those who want to read and to sing the hymns later.

Hymn #123        Our God Our Help - Isaac Watts

This is Isaac Watts greatest hymn. He is remembered for changing English hymns from Psalm paraphrases (Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow) to religious poetry. This freed English hymns from one strict Calvinistic style, and led to many great contributions. 

The first Calvinist hymns were paraphrases of the Psalms and used only half and quarter notes - no rhythm. In those respects they were quite different from Lutheran hymns of the Reformation.

This was the favorite hymn of my music teacher in Moline, and we played it in a mass memorial band service when Mr. Youngdahl died. His wife Mary was also a teacher, one of the best English teachers I had. 

The hymn contrasts the temporary nature of man with the eternal streng, power, and mercy of God. The hymn is based on Psalm 90.

The Readings 

Galatians 3:23-29
King James Version (KJV)
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Luke 2:21

King James Version (KJV)
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Hymn #246        Holy, Holy, Holy - Reginald Heber

Heber was a brilliant student from childhood and excelled in academics. Although he became a bishop and served very well in India, he died young, at age 42 and then became famous for the hymns he left behind.

Two of the best known, besides this one, are -

Just as the Psalms inspired many hymns of Christianity, Revelation - as a New Testament book of psalms - is a second source of great hymns. Holy, Holy, Holy is based upon Revelation 1:5-6. 

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Holy, Holy, Holy is a hymn about eternal life, with phrases drawn from Revelation and the Old Testament.

Hymn #339               All Hail the Power - Edward Perronet

Persecution often leads to developments in favor of the Gospel. The author's French name comes from his Huguenot (French Protestant) heritage, which I share on the side of my paternal grandmother - the Noel clan. He is famous for giving "the greatest sermon on earth" when he opened his Bible and read the Sermon on the Mount. He is known for this one hymn, one of the greatest descriptions of the risen Christ.

Hymn #175              When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - Isaac Watts

This hymn is particularly powerful because it includes many poetic devices. For example, oxymoron is found twice in the first stanza: “my richest gain I count but loss” and “pour contempt on all my pride.” The third stanza contains a paradox in a crown of thorns, and there are two rhetorical questions in the second half of this stanza: “Did e’er such love and sorrow met, or thorns compose so rich a crown?” The piece ends with a climax, “Demands my soul, my life, my all.” 

Hymn #142              A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth - Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt is an excellent example of bad circumstances creating the best results as the Gospel bears fruit. He spent years as a children's tutor, even though he was one of the best of brightest, a kind and gentle person. This experience doubtless gave him a special facility in expressing profound thoughts in child-like, simple, phrases. 

Verse 5 - in German - my little ship rocks back and forth, from the turbulence of the cross, and You are the anchor.

Gerhardt and Luther are the foundation of all modern Christian hymns, and many clearly try to reach the ethereal beauty of Gerhardt's. He lost all his children but one, and also his wife, to disease. Gerhardt was not one to stir things up, but he was driven from his congregation and city for refusing to give up Lutheran, Biblical doctrine in favor of the Reformed perspective. He could have remained employed by comprising, but refused. He was given another post later.

His many losses and difficulties help explain why his hymns are known for being so comforting. Some of them are:

1.All My Heart This Night Rejoices
2.Awake, My Heart, with Gladness
3.Before Thy Manger, Lord, I Stand
4.Commit Thou All Thy Griefs
5.Evening and Morning
6.Give to the Winds Thy Fears
7.Immanuel, We Sing Thy Praise
8.Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
9.O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?
10.O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
11.Sing, My Soul, to God Who Made Thee

Hymn #651               Be Still My Soul - Catharina von Schlegel

Very little is known about the author of the hymn, who came from the era of Pietism. She lived near Halle. Her poem was matched with Sibelius' Finlandia, and is known as one of the most popular of all time. She may have based her poem on Psalm 46, which is also the basis for Luther's A Mighty Fortress.

Hymn #376         Rock of Ages - Augustus Toplady

This English hymn was written at the time of our Declaration of Independence. One can see a criticism of the extremes of revivalism - "could my tears forever flow" - with its emphasis on the Gospel rather than emotions and works that merit salvation.

The Prayers and Benediction

Hymn 654                Now the Day Is Over - Sabine Baring-Gould

Baring-Gould is known for another favorite, Onward Christian Soldiers, but also for being the most prolific English author of his time:
  1. Thirty novels.
  2. A sixteen-volume of lives of the saints.
  3. Over 100 books, on a wide range of topics.
He wrote this hymn for children at the parish where he was a curate.