The Glory Has Departed


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Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Third Sunday after Trinity: The Lost Coin and Lost Sheep.
Luke 15:1-10


The Third Sunday after Trinity, 2017


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


                       

The Hymn # 652                   I Lay My Sins on Jesus    
           
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 #436            The Lord’s My Shepherd               

For the Publicans and Lost Sheep


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 #123             Our God, Our Help

KJV 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 

3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Third Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we all like sheep have gone astray, having suffered ourselves to be led away from the right path by Satan and our own sinful flesh: We beseech Thee graciously to forgive us all our sins for the sake of Thy Son, Jesus Christ; and quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may abide in Thy word, and in true repentance and a steadfast faith continue in Thy Church unto the end, and obtain eternal salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end Amen.




For the Publicans and Lost Sheep


KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 

These two parables were taught in connection with the publicans (tax collectors), obvious sinners, scribes and Pharisees.

The tax collectors would be better described as tax farmers. The tax collectors had a quota to fulfill, but they were in a position to extract as much as possible for the Roman occupation government. That made them doubly hated. For one thing, they were a burden on the population, greedy, and dishonest. But the worse part was that the extorted taxes paid for the government and soldiers that oppressed them.

The tax collectors were universally loathed. The open sinners were despised for another reason, everyone sought to justify himself by shunning their company, making faces, and sticking their noses up. I have a neighbor who kids me when I drive by and do not wave - "Your nose was so high up, if it had been raining, you would have drowned."

Jesus drew these terrible sinners to Him because they only heard good from Him. He healed many people and gracious spoke about teaching His Father's doctrine. But worst of all, He welcomed their company instead of forcing them away, lest they pollute His righteousness. This is an important fact in this narrative, because Luther speaks of using our righteousness for our neighbor's good, which is a play on words and a way of seeing this parable anew.

The obvious sins are the sins of the flesh, because everyone can see them and talk about them. The dangerous ones are sins that cannot be seen and yet they are more dangerous and damning. Coveting is an evil desire for something or someone belonging to another person. Someone can use cunning words to get property, money, employees, and even another's spouse away - feigning ignorance about how all that happened. Some methods are perfectly legal, especially when the rules are bent and the right people are rewarded for helping out. Thus unpaid taxes can be used to grab property, which is easy when the government employee happens to forget sending the notice out to the absentee property owner.

The scribes and Pharisees represent those whose inner righteousness is so great that they can look down on everyone else and even lecture Jesus about His work.

3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Jesus began by skillfully reminding us about our affection for animals. Pets and livestock are dependent upon their owners, and yet they can foolishly or obstinately wander away. Once they are away from their food, shelter, and protection, they are vulnerable and in big trouble. 

Even if only one out of a hundred sheep is missing, the shepherd will leave the secure sheep and look for the lost one. This is no accident, because the example reminds us of Jesus being that Good Shepherd who persistently seeks His own until He finds that one.

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 

This idea shepherd is not angry with the sheep and berating it for its foolishness, but rejoicing and giving His strength to help the weakened, frightened sheep. This encourages all of us about the gracious love of the Shepherd. 

One reader asked about Luther referred to all mankind as "mummers," who are costumed actors. We can still find mummer parades around the world, where the individuals are dressed up in wild costumes. And yet beneath they are ordinary people. The costume we assume may be businessman, professional person, technical expert, craftsman, etc. No matter what the outward appearance is, we are still the same inwardly with similar weaknesses and sins.

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

We are certainly like that when we have found a lost animal. Rather than being upset with it, we are so happy we tell others about it. 

Our neighbor's dog tends to get away. Once Sassy found the little dog hiding in a bush and brought the dog out. The dog ran toward his house as he saw his owner drive home, probably out looking for him. She was overjoyed with Sassy for finding her dog and helping it get home again (two houses away). 

This directs our attention to the wider community, which should rejoice when someone is restored, happiness that all should share. This also encourages those who feel lost and bewildered and suffering from the Satanic delusion that these particular sins cannot be forgiven.

Any doubts about this rejoicing will have to be set aside from the first conclusion - 

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

Lenksi:
This corrects those explanations which refer the ninety-nine only to the legally righteous, meaning the scribes and the Pharisees; also those which consider
exclusive: only over the one and not at all over the ninety-nine. These ninely-nine are thought to need no repentance in their own estimation, they are like the self-righteous Pharisees who justify themselves (16: 15). But the phrase "in their own estimation" is not in the text, nor is it implied. It is barred out by the fact that there is joy in heaven over the ninety-nine who cannot therefore be self-righteous Pharisees. The view that Jesus speaks as he does of "righteous who do not need repentance" because he wants to raise the question in the minds of the Pharisees whether they are truly righteous before heaven, is misdirected because, if Jesus had meant them, his words would do the very opposite, namely make them think themselves truly righteous, men who actually did not need repentance. Jesus, indeed, wanted to jar these Pharisees in regard to their righteousness before God; and he chose the right way, namely by speaking of men who are actually righteous before God. Since there is joy over the many as well as over the one, it becomes plain why the one needs repentance and the others do not need it—they already have it!

So here we see reason to value those who are justified by faith, but also those who wander and need the same help we have had at various times in our lives. Since we are mummers, playing our different parts, we can see that what we have in common is not our inner righteous - but the righteousness of Christ that comes to us through the Means of Grace.

8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

My high school classmates can identify with this parable. They are always losing things and posting about their loss. They complain about their clever hiding places - and forgetting where that was. 

They lose their one and only checkbook and begin the work of making changes to protect their account. And then they find it.

They cheer me with how obvious that hiding place was, once they stop really looking. I laugh with them because I have done the same things.

For those who have not lost an animal, not even for a minute, here is a parallel example that includes everyone. The more we value something, the greater the hurt when it is lost. Or we do not value it until we feel its loss.