Lutheran Worship and Resources



Traditional Lutheran worship services, using The Lutheran Hymnal and the KJV.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

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

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works asgregjacksonedlp@gmail.com 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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Actual Third Sunday after Easter



Note – I skipped a week because I was not paying attention to the shift from “after Easter” to “of Easter.” Everyone else seems to be following the Roman Catholic three-year calendar. I am repeating the Easter 3 lessons today and using the Second Sunday after Easter Gospel lesson for the sermon.

Jubilate, The Third Sunday after Easter, 2011


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 1 Open Now 3:33
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 # 307 Draw Nigh and Take 3:72
The Good Shepherd
The Communion Hymn #
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 #628 Shepherd of Tender Youth 3:74

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER 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.

The Good Shepherd

KJV John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

We all know instinctively that the term Good Shepherd is a special title for Jesus. The title is not used for any other person, unlike “Lord,” which is also used in pagan religions.

The Greek word for “Good” in this verse really means noble, and the combination is meant to say – The Shepherd above all shepherds, the unique shepherd.

This term is especially compelling because it associates Jesus with the role of Good Shepherd and us with our role as wandering sheep.

When Luther preached on this text, he cited the great passage in Ezekiel:

KJV Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

Many people also think of this passage from Isaiah:

KJV Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Everyone recalls this passage from memory:

KJV Psalm 23:1 {A Psalm of David.} The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

The Old Testament has 500 references to sheep and shepherding, including the often repeated (in the NT) Isaiah 53.

An English teacher would say, “Do not mix metaphors. A man cannot be a Good Shepherd and a spotless lamb.” But we can see the eloquence of the Bible in being able to teach us the wisdom of the Holy Spirit without being bound by human rules. There is nothing else like it, because many authors, inspired by the Holy Spirit, use many styles and backgrounds to teach us God’s will.

This Good Shepherd passage is the one place where all of this comes together. Every single verse about sheep and shepherding leads to this passage, and this passage explains them all.

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

The Good Shepherd (compared to the evil shepherds of Ez 34) will lead his flock in love and grace (as the sheep in Psalm 23 stated). The Good Shepherd shows His love by being the spotless Passover lamb (Isaiah 53).

John 10:12
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

This verse distinguishes between the weak leaders, like the District Presidents, who allow the wolves to rend the flocks, and the wolves who rip, and tear, and scatter the sheep.

The Lutheran Church is in such sad shape that the District Presidents, Synod Presidents, and Circuit Pastors use all their resources to protect and promote the wolves while they persecute and threaten faithful pastors. Example, in WELS the Intrepid pastors have been threatened with firing “if they step out of line.” However, absolutely nothing is done about the clear cases of pastoral abuse they have carefully and patiently described. (I might even add “meekly, conformedly, quietly”.) After playing by all the rules set down by the false teachers, they are still threatened.

One constant citation is Matthew 18, about going to someone first, then taking witnesses, then telling it to the church to win over the erring brother. But the bullies of Fox Valley (DP Englebrecht included) ran away from meetings, refused to answer emails, and ignored face-to-face efforts. And yet, they (and DP Englebrecht) had no compunction about excommunicating a member behind his back, secretly, deviously, dishonestly. I am sure the bullies began their slaughter sessions with a fervent prayer. Their Father Below loves such devotion, coming from flinty hearts, blinded eyes, perverted brains.

The hirings here are also the weak pastors who will do nothing because they might lose their income. They are confessing as a group that flabby DPs have more power than God. The DPs are their Good Shepherds, they dream, leading them to green pastures (parishes in rich suburbs, with rolling lawns untainted by a single dandelion). God will abandon these pastors and let them starve, they fear, if the speak the truth, if they say, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed.” John 8.

The wolves are those pastors who always work in a pack. They chase down and devour the sheep. What they cannot kill, they scatter. Their chief strength comes from working in a pack, so they can surround and bring down the prey. In the Wisconsin Sect they have started many of their own wolf organizations, such as Church and Change, Prayer Warriors, Men of the Word, Feet of Clay, Women’s Ordination Movement – all with synod offering money and their own picked leaders.

How many have noticed that one WELS church after another has gone into expensive remodeling projects, far too expensive for the parish? What do they have in common? Church and Change consultants (paid huge fees) followed up by Cornerstone Church and Changers, also charging far too much money. The pastor builds a monument to his ego, as Buchholz did, and leaves the members holding the bag of debt.

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
This verse is especially important, because it reveals how the Word connects the Good Shepherd with His true flock, the Invisible Church. The visible church has many who do not believe or think they do while using the Gospel to feather their nests. An enormous congregation will always attract business people who realize they have an automatic base of customers to rely upon, for example.

Some people live to persecute the Gospel, and there is no other place than a congregation to do that. Others nurse old grudges.

The Word converts and binds together all those who sincerely believe in Christ as their Savior. There would be a lot more Christians, except for the cross, as Luther mentioned. The world would be packed with believers if they never ran into any pain, inconvenience, or hardship because of the Word. One of the best methods of the hireling pastors is to remove all teaching about bearing the cross. They teach triumphalism instead, so they serve Satan in their weak, self-centered way. When someone runs into any kind of hardship because of the Word, that person is easily lost to Gospel. The same is true of personal misfortunes, such as difficult diseases.

John 10:15
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

The Gospel of John emphasizes especially the Father-Son relationship. The Father and Son’s relationship is revealed through the Holy Spirit. That alone is worth many chapters, even books. People long for spiritual wisdom, and here it is, directly from the Word of God. We understand through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is taught through the Holy Spirit at work in the preacher or teacher. It was originally revealed through the Holy Spirit in the Gospel writer.

And yet the blind cannot find the Trinity in the Bible. Nowhere! And the feminist ministers will not say “The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.”

John 10:16
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

No shepherd in Israel ever died for his sheep. He protect them and led them. Only Jesus can say, as the Good Shepherd, he lay down His life for the sheep. As we hear those verses and connect them with the others we know so well, we believe in His love, grace, and mercy. In believing we receive forgiveness.

This is the marvel about the Word of God, which is powerful and effective whenever we:
1. Read.
2. Hear.
3. Or remember it.

"For him who believes and keeps Christ's Word heaven stands open and hell is locked. The devil is also taken captive, sin is forgiven, and the believer is a child of life eternal. This is taught by this Book, Holy Scripture, and by no other book on earth. For this reason let him who would live forever study in it diligently. He who does not do so and does not want to do so is and remains in death eternal." What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. p. 82. John 8:51.

Quotations

"Christians should not, and cannot, have their glory in the things the world esteems and honors; for the world will not, not can it, honor even God and His Word. Christ's followers, then, should not be terrified at such treatment as Paul received nor feel disgraced. Let them rather rejoice, deriving comfort and glory therefrom, as did the apostles. We read (Acts 4:13) of their boldness, and (Acts 5:41) that they rejoiced in being 'counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.' So it fared with Christ Himself, and Christians ought to be grieved if it be otherwise with them and if the world regard them in a kindly way. In proportion as the world persecutes them and heaps upon them its malice, should they rejoice. Let them accept persecution as a good indication, regarding themselves blessed, as Christ teaches in Matthew 5:11."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 266. Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Ephesians 3:13-21, Acts 4:13; Acts 5:41; Matthew 5:11

"This will show that 'redeem' here is a matter not of morality but of faith, that it includes faith." Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 1535, ed., Jaroslav Pelikan, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1963, 26, p. 294 Galatians 3:14

"As soon as the Word of God appears, the devil becomes angry; and in his anger he employs every power and wile to persecute it and wipe it out completely. For he is the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44); he plants his lies in the world through false teachers, and he murders men through tyrants." Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians, 1535, ed., Jaroslav Pelikan, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1963, 26, p. 455. Galatians 4:29

"For him who believes and keeps Christ's Word heaven stands open and hell is locked. The devil is also taken captive, sin is forgiven, and the believer is a child of life eternal. This is taught by this Book, Holy Scripture, and by no other book on earth. For this reason let him who would live forever study in it diligently. He who does not do so and does not want to do so is and remains in death eternal." What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed. Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. p. 82. John 8:51.

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