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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mid-Week Lenten Service




Mid-Week Lenten Vespers


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 6 PM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #268   Zion Mourns                                   4:98 
The Order of Vespers                                             p. 41
The Psalmody                   Psalm 23                    p. 128
The Lection                            The Passion History

The Sermon Hymn #657            Beautiful Savior                    4:24

The Sermon –     Believe as a Child
 
The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45

The Hymn #361   O Jesus King                             4:1

KJV Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. 32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. 33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. 35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. 36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Believe as a Child

I have had the misfortune of reading hundreds of theological books and parts of many more. Recently I read the autobiography of the most famous of all my professors.

One thing really stands out in all that reading. The vast majority of all the modern theology writers are loyal to a philosophy, in many cases to philosophy itself as the ultimate expression of human thought. (Most philosophy professors are atheists, today.)

On one side of this gulf are all the modern theologians, who write to please the philosophers, perhaps their previous professors.

On the other side of the gulf are those who write with child-like faith, even though many of them are quite learned. Herman Sasse comes to mind as the only modern theologian who fits this category. Of course, his conservative Lutheran associates in America treated him like a rented mule, and he finished his career in Australia.

The Lutheran Reformers and the Book of Concord editors/authors wrote with a child-like faith, and this continued for some time after the Book of Concord.

Children are not simple. They devote all their intelligence to learning, exploring, and assimilating. They are quite intuitive and read people fast. They do not have a vast background of learning and experience, but that really liberates them from a lot of bad concepts, bad experiences, and false teaching.

Many people I know, for instance, come from a background that is Pentecostal, Catholic, Evangelical, and finally Lutheran. The worst off are those who were born and raised in a synod, trained in parochial schools, and shackled with a church vocation. There is a lot to un-learn! When I hear someone say, “What does synod say about this?” I groan and wonder about the brainwashing that turns a political entity into an infallible pope.

A Concise Gospel
KJV Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

This might be called an introduction to the passage about children, or the part about children might be called an application of this saying. They go together.

Mark 9:31 shows (as Mark 8 and 10 also do) that Jesus would suffer and die and be raised from the dead on the third day.

32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. 33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.

The saying, verse 32, was a formal utterance or announcement.

Lenski:
Mark points to the lack of comprehension, which Luke stresses still more by using three verbs. Yet the disciples did not in this instance do what they usually did: inquire of Jesus and let him help them to understand. They were afraid to do so. Both verbs are imperfect tenses and state continuous conditions of ignorance and of fear. We are too familiar with the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus properly to place ourselves into the position of the disciples when Jesus foretold these things. His words concerning his resurrection seemed as strange and incredible to them as those about his death. To the last their minds struggled against the plain meaning of what was dinned into their ears, and thus what they did not want to know, what they were afraid to know, they actually did not know or grasp.
                Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Mark's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 388

As the New Testament reveals so often, the disciples got one message and often reacted as if they never heard it. They were disputing who would be the greatest among them.

Jesus was teaching them that He would become sin for all mankind, taking on the sins of the world, with all of the hatred and abuse dished out in such punishment. But the disciples argued who would be the greatest and refused to answer when asked.

Jesus did not need to ask to find out the answer. He knew what was in their hearts. There are many times when He rebuked them for their lack of faith. This time He offered children as their example.

35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

We have people stand up for formal talks. The Jewish tradition is sitting down. The disciples would have been seated around Jesus to listen to Him.

This verse is an example of irony. They wanted to decide who would be the greatest.
Jesus said (Jackson Living Bible) “If anyone wills to be first, that person  will be the last of all and the servant of all.”

The helping verb (to will, to desire) emphasizes this attitude an act of will. To be first means to be last. The greatest is the servant.

Jesus also said that normally people lord it over others, using “lord” as a verb, just as we do today. And isn’t that the truth.

KJV Luke 22:26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

Jesus Himself is the example, washing His disciples feet and becoming the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. Those passages were so alien to the popular understanding of the Messiah that the Jewish people did not see the Suffering Servant passages as Messianic. Liberals today always reject that, too.

I once received some Sunday School materials from the LCA which went out of their way to say the Suffering Servant was not Christ. I mailed them back spoke to Fortress. They said, “That one has been coming back in droves.”

But when children hear those verses, they say, “That is Jesus.”

His suffering death for our sins was the greatest of all servant acts. There is nothing we can do to match that, but we still have that as our example.

36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

A common claim is that children do not have faith. The term used here is significant, because “receive” is used in the sense of membership.

KJV 3 John 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

KJV Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Receiving – means being taken in as a member of the Kingdom of God. Forbidding is expelling or keeping from membership.

KJV Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

A child-like faith means grasping the truths of Scripture as the mysteries of God. My classmates from grade school (a close group) were talking about our experiences at Garfield 50 years ago. Everything looked so large and impressive. Simply drinking from the water fountain was fun.

Gerhardt’s hymns are great because they are written in child-like language. He was a children’s tutor for years. That does not make them silly like most children’s books today. They are colorful and easy to remember.

The Gospel of John is the easiest to read with the simplest vocabulary, but it is also the Evangel with the deepest message.

A child-like faith means letting people make fun us for believing what the Bible says, mocking us for not having an adult understanding of everything.

The modern theologians and philosophers like to be adults. They are up to date with the latest thoughts, but they still use the old words when convenient. They just turn them around, to sanitize them and make them nonembarrassing. So these things are hidden from the wise but revealed to children.


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