Lutheran Worship and Resources



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

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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

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

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Transfiguration Sunday, 2012.
Matthew 17:1ff

By Norma Boeckler



Transfiguration Sunday, 2012

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 10 AM Central Time

The Hymn #495               From Greenland’s Icy Mountains            3:23
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             2 Peter 1:16-21
The Gospel           Matthew 17:1-9
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #135            Tis Good              3:81

Transfigured – God Incarnate

The Hymn #307   Draw Nigh                3:72
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 #283   God’s Word                           3:90


KJV 2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

KJV Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

Sixth Sunday After Epiphany

O merciful and everlasting God, heavenly Father: We thank Thee that Thou hast revealed unto us the glory of Thy Son, and let the light of Thy gospel shine upon us: We pray Thee, guide us by this light that we may walk diligently as Christians in all good works, ever be strengthened by Thy grace, and conduct our lives in all godliness; through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Transfigured – God Incarnate

The Transfiguration is universally known among Christians. More than any other event, this one showed the chosen disciples that Jesus was God in the flesh, God Incarnate, far beyond a teacher, or rabbi, a miracle-worker, or a prophet.

Peter already confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” This event portrayed what that confession meant. And it happened soon after.

Matthew 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

Three disciples witnessed the Transfiguration. That became important later when they told the others about the Transfiguration. It was not just one or two who saw it, but three.

The resurrection was witnessed by all the apostles, and this was a fore-runner to that victory over sin, death, and the devil. The ministry of Jesus consisted of teaching and building up their faith.
It is sad to see faith disparaged by the “Lutheran” ministers who cling to the recent past, ignoring the Word of God and the Confessions.

The purpose of the Bible is to create faith. The Word alone creates that faith in God, specifically trust in the love and mercy shown to us in Jesus. Trust is slowly built and deepened, but easily dampened by our emotions, our fears.

 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Jesus changed completely before His three disciples. His face was as brilliant as the sun, and His robes were shining brightly. That was one indication of His divinity.

This was not a slight change in appearance, but a complete change in form. With ultra-violet we can make something white glow in a supernatural way. Some rocks will glow in various colors when bathed in black light. But that is superficial compared to what the text says. This was letting the divinity of Christ shine through, to give the disciples a way to comprehend what was before them.

This glory came from the Father, for the Son always did what the Father commanded. It was not needed by Jesus but desired for the disciples. It is another instance of showing us how the divine nature of Christ was revealed at times but often not known and not fully appreciated.

We are tempted to say, “How could they not know from one example alone?” And yet we have all the examples, the complete story, from the beginning of time until the resurrection and ascension. And still we doubt and fret.

Either we doubt the divine power to help us or we doubt the personal interest of God in us. We have souls created by Him. We are baptized, owned, and redeemed by Him. Each believer has a name, and He knows us by name.

We should consider the irony of God the Father taking the time to show three disciples, citizens of a minor colony in the Roman Empire, the true nature of His Son. And yet He did and this is the Gospel. The Transfiguration goes together with the Confession of Peter, the cross, and the resurrection.

It was the power behind the apostolic preaching and teaching, as Peter wrote.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
What is more important than eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses?

The Apostle John expressed much of the same in his first letter.

KJV 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Just as God revealed His Son’s divine glory, so He revealed Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus.

This reminds us of – “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Jesus is the eternal Son of God, now in flesh, active in the Old Testament – God speaking in the burning bush, the miraculous plant with two natures, burning and yet not consumed. As you recall the Angel of the Lord called Himself God.

Moses and Elijah were the most prominent in Old Testament – Moses as the giver of the Law of God, Elijah as the prophet taken into heaven. For Jesus to speak with them meant that the disciples were witnessing something impossible without God’s intervention. It gave them a view of eternity itself and God’s unlimited power.

4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Lenski:
Peter felt as though he and his fellow-disciples were very near to heaven. Though they were filled with deep awe they felt themselves in the presence of heavenly glory, with Jesus being glorified so unspeakably in divine majesty (2 Pet. 1:16), and two dwellers of heaven also appearing in glory (Luke 9:31). Peter’s one desire is to prolong this experience; hence his foolish suggestion that, if it please Jesus, he will erect three booths, one for each of the three glorious persons. The foolishness lies in the idea that beings who are in such an exalted state would need shelter for the night like men in the ordinary state of human existence. He says nothing of a shelter for the disciples; perhaps he felt so humble that he and the other two disciples would lie out in the open.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Matthew's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN. : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 657.

I have always connected the tabernacles or shelters with Jewish religious observance. In one of the festivals, outdoor shelters are set up. While impulsive Peter is offering a suggestion that shows his piety, it is strangely out of place for such an event. Mark, associated with Peter, wrote that the apostle did not know what to say. And who would?

5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

God the Father spoke to the disciples, and the message is especially significant. When Jesus was baptized, the Father said – “In whom I am well pleased.”

But hear He said, “Listen to Him.” Peter referred to both occasions in his letter. One is indicated by the words spoken, the other by the expression – the holy mount.

How do we know the Father sent the Son? – the initial believers asked as they were being taught. Peter, James, and John answered, “Because we heard the Father’s voice from heaven saying “This is My beloved Son.”

And so we are constantly reminded of the Trinity: the Father/Son relationship revealed by the Holy Spirit.

6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

I recall a church member who was angered by the concept of fearing God. I suggested thinking of it as respecting the unlimited power of God. There are consequences to going against God.

That is where I conclude that most church leaders today are unbelievers. They imagine they can do and say anything they want, without consequences. They are not God-fearing. They have forgotten the Small Catechism in rejecting the Word of God itself.

Children are like that. They will play around farm animals as if horses do not kick and cows do not trample. Their lack of fear is foolishness. People, in their greed, attack large power lines, to steal the copper, because they have no respect for the amps of electrical power about to surge through their fragile bodies.

The moment I toy with the Word of God, to distort it or prove it wrong, I am doing the same thing as the men tearing out live power lines. There will be consequences.

On the positive side, the power of God’s Word is so great that it can and does achieve His will constantly. The Word of the Gospel will settle in wherever it lands, and work faith or blindness, love of Christ or anger against the Christian faith.

I really try to avoid controversy about religion on Facebook, in my normal conversations with people. I link Ichabod but seldom go beyond that. However, atheists always have their fists up for a fight against religion. I had two atheists in class once and they went silent when I said “Merry Christmas” to them.  As I mentioned recently, “Merry Christmas” made one of my classmates furious.  

The power of the Gospel means that pronouncing us forgiven in Christ through faith gives us absolute certainty. To a believer, that is comfort and peace. To an unbeliever, it is an irritation and a source for bickering about the Word. How can that be?

All the miraculous events of the Bible coalesce in showing us how such things can be true. The Holy Spirit teaches us to realize that God’s love and power make forgiveness a reality.

We have only one book in the world where God speaks directly to us. It is His Word and He guides us as we read and study it. Augustine looked down upon the Bible as too plain, compared to the classical literature he knew so well. One day he heard a child's voice say "Take and read," because of a game. He picked up the Scriptures and was converted by the Holy Spirit at work in the Word. He did not debate inspiration, inerrancy, efficacy, because he knew and experienced it.

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