The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Seventh Sunday after Trinity, 2017.

 From Norma A. Boeckler


The Seventh Sunday after Trinity, 2017
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

The Hymn #11                     Safely Through another Week                                     
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 #427                    How Firm a Foundation                  

Compassion and Faith


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 # 199                    Jesus Christ Is Risen Today                 


KJV Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Lord God, heavenly Father, who in the wilderness didst by Thy Son abundantly feed four thousand men besides women and children with seven loaves and a few small fishes: We beseech Thee, graciously abide among us with Thy blessing, and keep us from covetousness and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things needful for body and soul, experience Thine ever-present help; through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Compassion and Faith


1. Beloved friends, I hope you thoroughly understand this Gospel; for you are now sufficiently established in the truth to know what we should expect in the Gospel and what is presented to us there, namely, the true nature and life of faith. Because of this Christ is pictured and represented so lovingly in all the Gospel lessons. Although his history and works are ever changing, yet the plain, simple faith remains ever the same. To-day’s Gospel paints to us the Lord in a way that we may fully know how we should esteem him, namely, that he is merciful, meek and loving; that he gladly helps everybody and freely associates and deals with all people. And such a picture as this faith really craves.

KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

This is a miracle for those who are wondering about how they will survive. I know there are ministers and teachers who are faithful who were recently fired for being faithful to the Word and their professions of faith. Their superiors said, in a sense, "We didn't really mean that." And these people wonder why the reward for doing the right thing in the Christian Church is unemployment.

Others are displaced for a variety of reasons. Or their livelihood is now being threatened by conditions beyond their control. There is nothing quite like having that threat, because it looms over everything for a long time. Society changes rapidly and often in the wrong direction. We are powerless to change that.

As Luther says, this miracle presents Jesus as He is, friendly and compassionate, not merely offering help for His own flock but for others as well. That may be why the great and wise get confused about forgiveness and salvation. Jesus provided for the needs of the entire multitude, not just for those who would remain faithful. He died for the sins of the entire world, with no limitations. The worst reprobate, when he believes in Christ, receives the same forgiveness and salvation as anyone else.

The rationalists are so clever that they make up facts that are not in the text and ignore what any junior detective could figure out. They want to present this as everyone sharing his lunch. But they were following, that is, on the move for three days, and a multitude would be well out of food by that time. We have all seen a conference break up for lunch - not after three days - and pounce on the food provided like a wolf on the fold. These details magnify the truth of the miracle - people were at the point of starvation and unable to get home safely without food.

I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:

This shows that Jesus cared deeply for the material needs of the multitude, not just for a few. He taught the multitude first for days, and they showed their interest in following and listening. Naturally, the larger group weeds itself out as some only want to see one miracle and then another. The fake miracle workers today always get thousands to come and see them, until fraud is proved. Then no one comes at all and the tents are folded up. What did they come for? - entertainment, a spectacle, a rush in participating in a big show.

That is why the disciples had so much preparation. They saw the most and still they had difficulties with the entire message, as we do today. That is why so many want everything except the cross. But if Jesus called the cross blessed, as He did in the Beatitudes (not the Be Happy Attitudes), then we do not agree with the Savior until we also call the cross blessed. 

The cross is that pain inflicted on us on behalf of Jesus and the Gospel. Here is a Romans commentary passage that cites the cross. It is worth reading and remembering.


So Jesus' mission was not primarily to give people food, but He did that after they listened to His Word. Sometimes we have to listen to His Word to understand why such things are happening and what we should think about them.

What appears to be God's neglect and indifference is actually building us up spiritually for future challenges. 

3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 

Jesus fully understands the plight of the entire multitude and there is no human solution for it. We have seen busloads of people pour off into a plaza, as if the food is already running out. We were at the end of a line renting cars once. Every single person said, startled, "You need my driver's license?!" and fished around for the license, causing more delays. We had everything ready when it was our turn. The agent said. "You did not say one word of complaint or make demands. You get a free upgrade." I said "We were busy chuckling as each young person said - You need my license?"

The disciples did not confess, "You are God. You can perform a miracle." They said, "This is impossible in the desert!" Compassion is nice, but be realistic.

I am quite sure, based on experience, that church council members are picked for their rationalism. Nothing is ever possible, even when the facts are in front of them.

One Christian visionary had a messed up life, but he had one thing straight. He said, "Give God room." That was a simple way of saying we should pour out our troubles to God, in the Name of Jesus, and let Him manage things for us.

Many will say they have faith, and they do have faith in the basics. But isn't it a lack of faith shown when troubles are not handed over to Christ in prayer and we figure things out for ourselves? Prayer requires trust both in the power and mercy and wisdom of God. We should not reject any part of that triad.

Does He have the power? Answer - He can solve problems overnight while we are sleeping.

Does He have mercy? Answer - We have many examples of that, even from Christ answering before someone begins to ask, as this miracle shows.

Does He have wisdom? Answer - His wisdom is so far beyond ours that we cannot hope to fathom His thoughts. And yet we know He has managed things well for thousands of years and will continue to do so until the end of time.

6. Now let us observe in this example, what the life and nature of faith are.

The apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews 11:1, writes thus: “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.” That is as much as to say, faith is the means by which one trusts in possessions he does not see, namely, that I should expect temporal things which I can neither see nor hear, but I must only hope for them; as is the case in today’s Gospel. There were many people together, about four thousand, who with their wives and children had had nothing to eat for the space of three days (I judge that can be called fasting), but were extremely hungry, far from home, without any provisions on which the body lives. Now the apostle says, faith is that through which I hope for things I cannot see.

Such a faith the great multitude of people here has; they see no food and yet they hope that God will nourish them.

7. Now, what does Christ do in this case? What attitude does he take to this transaction? He must not have had much tact, for he goes to the disciples and asks, how shall one feed all these? They reply, Oh, who will be able to feed such a great multitude of people with bread in the wilderness? But here you see how little human thoughts and faith harmonize; here you see, the wiser reason is, the less it accomplishes in the works of God. Therefore Christ asked his disciples that everyone might learn to know by experience what reason is, and acknowledge how reason and faith in no way agree. Here we learn to blindfold reason, when we begin to believe, and then give reason a permanent furlough.

The congregation in Midland did not want to give up their subsidized mortgage, so they could only build with cash to maintain that deal. They did not think that was possible, though they all worked in the best-paying industry in America. That is why I called their finance committee The Bad News Bears. When they were done with the report, everyone thought, "What's the use? We won't make it until Christmas."

5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 

The details show us that there is only a tiny amount of food, perhaps only enough to feed the disciples a little. So the facts overwhelm us if we set aside faith. 

The miraculous abundance is shown when people easily and happily take part in the spiritual aspects of a congregation. Our little group publishes, and we get help from all over the nation for editing Luther. The Word of God is cast here and there, and it bears fruit. Gifts have made it possible to send free copies to people so they can easily give them away. CPH has trinkets and Gerhard for $40. We have no trinkets for Reformation and Luther for $5.

One rabbi said, "The best gift is one where the person does not know who is getting it and the recipient does not know who gave it." Paul wrote something similar to the Corinthians, when He said the poor in Jerusalem will thank God for the help provided.

One school hired me to teach among the poor in the area. I said, "I live there." I could see the gears grinding and overheating among the full-time staffers, who live a bit higher on the hog, as we used to say in Illinois. They could not imagine living there, and yet we have an ideal life in this little neighborhood. 

7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

Even Jesus prayed before meals. The Eucharist - Holy Communion - means Thanksgiving. 

We should listen to those Words of Consecration in the Sacrament - He gave thanks.

Abundance follows thanksgiving. It is not for us to decide what that abundance will be. I met a very impressive missionary to China long ago. He told me his security guard was an executioner who carried his axe with him. (That was before Axe was a men's fragrance.)

I thought about being a foreign missionary. I wanted to go to Israel and do archeology work too. I discovered my missionary work was to teach the Word of God to atheists and rationalists who lead the Lutheran denominations. They are almost as dangerous as pagan head-hunters. They are coarse, brutish, and ignorant. But several of them have said, "I finally got what you have been trying to say to us." When one person said that, he lost his cushy position and was shipped off to a non-Lutheran position in another country. 

  From Norma A. Boeckler