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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Misericordias Domini – The Second Sunday after Easter, 2012

The Empty Tomb, by Norma Boeckler



Misericordias Domini – The Second Sunday after Easter, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn #628            Shepherd of Tender Youth               3:74
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 # 426               The Lord My Shepherd Is            3:81

Pastor Means Shepherd

The Communion 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 #50                 Lord Dismiss Us                3:86

Second Sunday After Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, who of Thy fatherly goodness hast been mindful of us poor, miserable sinners, and hast given Thy beloved Son to be our shepherd, not only to nourish us by His word, but also to defend us from sin, death, and the devil: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that, even as this Shepherd doth know us and succor us in every affliction, we also may know Him, and, trusting in Him, seek help and comfort in Him, from our hearts obey His voice, and obtain eternal salvation, through the same, Thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV 1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

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.

Three of Luther’s sermons on this text:

Pastor Means Shepherd

KJV John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 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. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.

This example of the Good Shepherd should be read as immediately connected with the Keystone Kops chapter, John 9, where the opponents are portrayed with ironic humor as the blind while the man blind from birth sees Jesus as the Messiah.

Lenski:
Without a break or a pause Jesus continues to speak before this audience, namely his disciples, the formerly blind beggar, the Pharisees, and other Jews. The connection of thought is close. Jesus has told the Pharisees in his audience that their wilful blindness entails abiding guilt. That statement deals with them as far as their own persons are concerned. But they posed as men who “see” and who “know” over against the common people  who do “not know” the law, and whom they thus look down upon as accursed (see 7:49), among them being this wretched beggar: “and dost thou teach us (9:34)?” Thus these Pharisees set themselves up as the only true teachers and leaders of the people (Rom. 2:19, 20). In reality they were pseudo-teachers and pseudo-leaders. So Jesus continues and now treats these Pharisees in their damnable influence and work upon others.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 710.

Lenski continued:
In the strict sense of the term a parable relates a definite story or case, it may be one that is ordinary, and again one that is quite beyond the ordinary; while a paroimia describes actions as they are known regularly to occur (the shepherd always uses the door; the robber always avoids the door and climbs over the wall). Moreover, in a paroimia an allegorical correspondence appears between the realities presented and the illustrative features used; in a parable no allegory is found. In explaining his own mashal Jesus gives us the key-point in the allegorical statement, “I am the door of the sheep” (v. 7).
“We see!” say the blind Pharisees. Very well, Jesus puts them to the test. He presents a simple, lucid mashal. Do they see? Not in the least (v. 6). To tell them that they are blind makes no impression on them; perhaps this public demonstration of their blindness will accomplish more. To be sure, blind men cannot see, nor did Jesus expect these blind Pharisees to see what his paroimia means. Part of their very judgment is that they shall not see. Yet for such blind people the use of this uncommon way of teaching does at least one thing: by its very strangeness it remains in the memory and long after challenges the mind to penetrate to the true meaning. Perhaps thus at last the light will succeed in penetrating. In this case Jesus even condescends to explain his mashal and to elaborate it quite extensively (v. 7–18). In the case of many even this was in vain (v. 20), but others began to catch something of the light (v. 21). Read Trench, the first three chapters of The Parables of our Lord.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 710.

Because John’s Gospel is so clear and plain, we can spend even more time in explaining the details.

I know many people appreciate animals as God’s creations, and some are familiar with sheep. This comparison is one of the most loved because we see ourselves as the sheep and Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

He warned in Matthew 7:15ff that false teachers pretend to be sheep but are really wolves. The slavering fangs and sharp claws come out when they are identified for what they are. Until that moment they hide behind the fleece and pretend to be innocent sheep.

We not only have the 23rd Psalm in mind when we read this, but also the passage in Isaiah, describing the Messiah-Shepherd, with a triadic structure:

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.

The shepherd’s role in New Testament times shows how this comparison or parable explains Jesus as the ultimate shepherd.

The shepherds gathered their flocks together in a fenced area, to protect them at night from predators. One would be the night watchman. The shepherd slept in the open doorway, so he was the gate that kept them in and kept others away. Predators and thieves came over the fence to steal and rend the flock. The actual shepherds came to the gate to gather their sheep.

The shepherd knew his own sheep and gave them with such pet names as Black Nose, Fat-Tail, and so forth. The sheep knew the voice of their own shepherd and followed behind him as he called them out in the morning to get their food and water in the pasture, beside the still waters. He walked ahead and they followed him.

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

Once we know the practice of the shepherds at that time we can see where the actual details of caring for the flock match the work of Christ as the Ultimate Shepherd.

Luther makes an important point here, because false teachers are not sent by God. They come on their own and assert themselves. They do not break into a sweat doing any work. They do not shed a drop of blood. They take over the labor of others to steal sheep.

So we see here that Jesus begins by warning against false teachers. He does warn the seminary and college professors, the synodical leaders and circuit pastors. He warns everyone. Therefore each individual has the responsibility to hear the Word and guard it, as Jesus says so many times in this Gospel.

The Gospel of John is the Gospel of love, where that word is use more than anywhere else. But love does not exclude guarding against error. Love means confessing the truth and denouncing error.

What we have now are lazy, false shepherds
  • who lead their flocks into fields of deadly nightshade (belladonna) because it is the thing to do – (Valleskey urging people to read Church Growth books in a Lutheran magazine article).
  • Who lead their flocks away from water and food – (emergents like Ski and Gunn, not having communion and hiding the baptismal font)
  • Who make themselves the object of worship and lead many into shame and disgrace (typical CG gurus).
They are thieves and robbers.

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
We know that to be true of animals we know and love. We call them by name and they follow.

A genuine pastor will not sneak over the fence to steal but gather his own. I have urged many men to use the Word to gather a congregation and continue their work without Holy Mother Synod. The more one believes in an organization, the less he trusts in the Word.

Luther has some strong words about that, and they are worth borrowing from one of his sermons. The least God does for us is to provide food, water, shelter, and clothing. That is small change and He does that for believers and unbelievers alike.

Being anxious about the basics is akin to distrusting God about His automatic provisions for us, the small change.

Forgiveness of sin is a great provision, very special, a treasure. If we doubt the small change (the necessities of life) how can we trust Him for the treasures of the Gospels?

That is why so many have gone off the shallow end, thinking that mammon would give them the big church that would make them feel good about themselves. If only they could have lots of money and the latest thing in church fads.

Norma Boeckler pointed out that we do not need a church building to reach the world and to provide books (free) everywhere. I am going to explore more ways of providing Luther’s materials on the blog for instant access around the world. When I began copying Luther’s sermons onto the blog, page-reads increased by 50%.

5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

The true flock will not follow false teachers, so the abundance of followers is not proof of success. The pastoral epistles make it clear (as 2 Thess 2 does) that the Era of Apostasy will mean people running to false teachers. What Lenski and others say happening in the 1930s was only a prelude to what we have now.

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

Verse 11 tells us what makes Jesus the Good Shepherd (which really means the noble, the unique, or ultimate Shepherd). No shepherd on earth died for his flock.
But Jesus gave up His life for his wandering sheep, that He might gather them with the Gospel and keep them with the Means of Grace.



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.

Now the Lutherans (and the other confessions) are saying they have no confession. They have no denomination, so their lack of confession quickly leads to rejection of the Scriptures. Thus, because they eyes glow with dollar signs, they are hirelings who only see the flock as a way to feed their appetites (not just their mouths). They are not shepherding but scattering, and their work will soon be scattered. Every parish and denomination that abandons its beliefs for “peace” and “growth” will find itself an empty shell in one or two generations.

Note that the Schuller flock, which started all this, is already scattered, with the founding family going in all directions.




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.

The Bible only knows two categories. One belongs to the flock or does not. One believes in Christ or does not. The hired hand runs away from the wolves, because he has no ownership in the flock and is only interested in wages. Synod Presidents’ salaries and benefits are the best, but they are hirelings. They prove it by running away from the wolves or by feeding the sheep to the wolves. SPs Harrison, Schroeder, and Moldstad are hired hands for Thrivent. They sell insurance policies, using their church bodies as promotional vehicles in exchange for millions of dollars.

Missouri gets $50 to 60 million, so ELCA must get $100 million. They love working with ELCA and going to those fancy retreats for free.

WELS must get about $6 million. In spite of their claims and denials, they work with ELCA and have for decades. They just the truth a little better.

The ELS gets free napkins and a bouquet of plastic flowers once a year, because they are so small.

These con artists were at work in the Reformation too, and it seemed as the flock would never be spared. But God knows who belongs to Him, and that is not measured with statistics.



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.

This is an important part of the Gospel. Jesus knows us, and we know Him – just as well as the Son knows the Father and the Father knows Him. This is the unique relationship between the believer and the Savior.

How is sin conquered? Through faith in Jesus.

The entire ministry of the Holy Spirit is summed up as damning the world for its unbelief. That is why people denounce the Christian Faith and Christians. Today I heard Tim Tebow, who began doing missionary work when he was 15 years old. He wanted to play football, but he wanted to help others through his Christian faith. Why do people pour abuse on him? Because they feel damned for their unbelief.

When we encounter that we should say, “Good. They are getting the message.” The first thing I hear from such people is this – “You are a bad person.” They are usually quite articulate and say much, much more. What agitates them? They are damned for their unbelief, so they strike back.

But it is this process of calling and enlightening that separates the flock, the sheep from the goats.

"For we can definitely assert that where the Lord's Supper, Baptism, and the Word are found, Christ, the remission of sins, and life eternal are found. On the other hand, where these signs of grace are not found, or where they are despised by men, not only grace is lacking but also foul errors will follow. Then men will set up other forms of worship and other signs for themselves."    What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., II,  p. 914. Genesis 4:3.

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