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, June 17, 2012

Second Sunday after Trinity.
Luke 14:16ff - The Great Feast



The Second Sunday after Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 649                 Jesus Savior Pilot Me                   3:80
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 #471            Jesus Thy Blood                   4.6

 Banquet of Forgiveness

The Communion Hymn # 462            I Love Thy Kingdom             4.21
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 #657            Beautiful Savior                    4.24

KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Luther’s First Sermon on this text –



Luther’s Second Sermon on this text –


Banquet of Forgiveness

This is a parable of judgment and forgiveness. We know it is a parable, because there are several clear introductions to them:
  1. The Kingdom of God is like… KJV Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
  2. A certain man… KJV Mark 12:1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
  3. Jesus taught them a parable… KJV Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

We know from these many examples that a parable will teach a lesson from Jesus that is powerful and significant. The language is very concise and a bit mysterious. Jesus did give everything away for the masses. He carefully taught His disciples so they could teach believers the meaning of the parables.

An unbeliever will say, “That is a clever story, saying so much in a few words,” but he will not get the meaning of the parable. I had a New Testament (liberal) professor who wrote a book about parables and never taught a word of the Gospel in that book. His students waited for the book to come out. When it did, they realized it was a lot of words saying nothing.

A parable can easily be memorized, but its meaning needs to be probed, year after year. Repetition bring added spiritual discernment, and experience adds to the discernment.

We want children to know these lessons because lessons learned will have their context later.  More learning means more pieces of that One Truth put together, coupled with experience that gives dimension and depth to the spiritual learning.

Luther agonized over the topic of forgiveness, but he did not become the Reformer overnight. The system made him a doctoral student in Biblical studies, where he was saddled with all the Medieval traditions and explanations, but also immersed in the Word itself.

Each episode in his life was informed by the Word of God. Not having printed Bibles was an advantage for him. Hand-written books (codex) were so valuable that they were chained to the wall in libraries. Monks and priests had to memorize what they learned, and no one balked at that. Memorizing was the hard drive of the ancient world. The more one memorizes, the easier the task is.

Most college students today have memorized all the trivia about celebrities – movies, TV shows, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.  I learned not to mention a book in a college class unless there was a recent movie based on it. Suddenly CS Lewis and Tolkien could be mentioned – they were in the Internet Movie Database.

Sports experts are similar in their recall of data about players and teams.

Recently I have experimented with reading the same book five or six times. One is an autobiography of my dissertation advisor. Each time I read part of it, something new comes up, such as the death of a classmate in a march against the KKK. He was a divinity student, a physician !, and then a textile worker and radical. I wondered how that happened until I found the crucial datum – he studied in Paris as part of college – Paris, the training school for radical Leftists. He came back changed and that cost him his life. He died at the rally, saying to his radical wife, “Keep shooting.”

The real issue is – how do we spend our reading time? If we read the Scriptures, the Confessions, and a few great Lutheran authors (Luther, Chemnitz, Melanchthon), we will have the hard-won spiritual insights of orthodox Christianity. If not, we will be trained and often deceived by lesser lights, who have this for their defense – they studied more Luther in their lifetimes than so-called Lutherans do today.

So it is no surprise that people are so willing to compromise today, when they have raised themselves on the watered down oatmeal of the Protestant sects. The reaction to false doctrine makes me think this parable is all about how many different dining options are available in the Kingdom, each one designed for the felt needs of the hungry.

The Parable
KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:

This is a parable (a certain man) that answers the earlier comment made – How blessed to eat bread in the Kingdom of God.

KJV Luke 14:15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

The earlier example was about providing for others, so this happy comment is turned into something more profound by the parable that follows.

As Luther was keen to say, this is about the evening meal (mentioned twice in two verses) so the supper applies to what we hear and digest, the final lesson of our lives.

Luther:
And it is here called a supper or an evening meal, because the Gospel shall be the last word or doctrine that will usher in the end of the world.

The host of this great and final feast is God the Father. “He bade many” or invited many can be applied to the Jewish people. Repeatedly the Gospel is aimed at the Jews first and then the Gentiles. Although we often think about those Jewish adherents who rejected and persecuted the Gospel, there were also many who believed in Christ and joined the despised group.

17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

This is the second time that “supper” is named, so the time is significant. First of all, people knew a supper was being prepared  - a great supper, like a royal banquet. We could compare it to the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee in Britain. Everyone knew about the preparations long in advance. The formal invitations to the events came at the proper time.

Why only one servant? There were many prophets, then Jesus and the apostles. There is only one Message. When one prophet was killed, God sent another, who had the same message about the Messiah. Then he was killed, and the people said, “We heard that before from the other ones,” proceeded to kill each one.  The early Christians were mowed down the same way. So all of them together are one servant. Faithful pastors today are that one servant, too.

This compares to the Biblical calendar. Many were invited to believe in the Messiah, from the beginning, Genesis 3:15, when Christ’s victory over Satan and the crucifixion were both foreshadowed.

From that time on the ministry of Christ was preached in great detail. I was working on graphics and found a painting of Abraham at Mamre (Genesis 18:1). Three men appeared before the patriarch – representing the Trinity. Abraham believed God’s Promised and he was justified by faith.

David’s Psalms are full of Messianic references, not to mention the major and minor prophets.

Everything concerning the Exodus and Moses is Messianic, from the spotless lamb to the bread from heaven – especially the serpent raised up, a strange foreshadowing of Christ lifted up in crucifixion. John 3:1-16.

After all that time of preparation, the House of David prepared, the prophecies given, the preaching of John the Baptist, Christ began His public ministry.

When Jesus began His preaching of the Gospel, the End Times began, because His appearance and atonement had to come before all things could be fulfilled. We are living in the End Times but do not know how long they will last. Many different lessons are aimed at keeping us awake and aware that it could be at any moment.




What is this Great Supper?
Some see this great supper as Holy Communion, and that is a good image, but it does not include enough. The Great Supper includes all that the Gospel has to teach us, all the spiritual food that we need to survive and prosper as members of God’s Kingdom.

The great supper is a fine image, because no one forces us to a supper. We receive a gracious invitation. In some areas, where hospitality is overwhelming, the presence of a visitor near mealtime is necessarily an invitation to stay and eat. “We cannot let you go hungry.”

The Gospel is the same, urging something good and satisfying on someone. That means faith in Christ as the Savior, trust in God’s Word, not membership in an organization.

That is one indication of things gone wrong in Lutheran groups, when they put 99% of the emphasis on organizational rules rather than faith in the Gospel.

The supper is a good image because people hunger for righteousness, and they desire the right food, sound (healthy) doctrine, not toxic (false) doctrine.

Yesterday I was asked this question on the Net – “Protestants teach that all their sins are forgiven. What do Lutherans teach?”

This came from a Lutheran – I am not sure about his background.

“All sins are forgiven.”  - That would come from “Once saved, always saved.” That would be confusing for a Lutheran on a discussion board. I don’t know the history of that motto. It is not exactly like UOJ, but it is another twist on the simple Gospel message, one that leads to carnal security – I am saved so I can do anything I please. Luther called that using the Gospel as a pillow to fall asleep on.

I pointed out to this person that believers in Christ are forgiven each and every day, fully and freely, as the work of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel – Small Catechism, Third Article of the Creed.

This Lutheran’s problem was not unique to him. So much bad teaching goes on that people do not know with certainty what the Bible teaches, what Luther taught.

The great supper includes all those ways (means) by which the Gospel Promises of forgiveness, peace, and salvation are conveyed to individuals. The supper includes those teachings where we view the Law as reflecting the Gospel. We should so fear and love God... Fearing means we do not kill our neighbor, but out of love we protect him, share with him, and do everything for his good. Love does not ask “how little can I do?” but “how much can I do?”

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

There is no word “consent” here, so the original text is even more vivid. They all spoke as one in making their excuse.  These excuses have more to do with indolence and indifference than hostile and violent opposition. Each excuse has some validity on the surface, but each one is also shallow and a bit humorous. 

When people face their mortality, they see how minor those other concerns are.

I have to see the land I just bought – That will not matter now.

I have to test my new oxen – They will not do me any good now.

I just got married – My spouse is soon to be a widow.

Our son was talking about how everything moved up a notch in the summer. His children were going into new grades. He was married an additional year and became another year older. The little girl holding the ball in one of my favorite photos is now a junior in high school. The little baby is now in first grade.

Time moves us quickly forward to the ultimate question.

So the excuses to set aside the Gospel invitation are simply concerns about daily living, but concerns that choke or block out the Gospel itself. Many philosophers deal with this but they have no real answer. They can stoke the hunger but cannot provide the meal, not even rolls and butter.

Although it is unthinkable that someone would reject an invitation to a royal banquet, many set aside the invitation to the King’s Banquet in His Kingdom, one with no cost and many blessings.

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

When grace is met with rejection and indifference, there will be divine wrath. That is the sin against the Holy Spirit, to die without faith. Some do this with a life of rejection. Many starve their faith with unhealthy doctrine and false tolerance, so they end up virtual unbelievers.

I posted a good statement about closed communion and a long-time friend from the first Lutheran church I joined was jumping on that quotation like a hobo on a hotdog. She trotted out all the arguments for open communion – she was deeply offended. A massive investment in ecumenism and open communion, by all denominations, will always end up with that kind of liberal orthodoxy – until there is nothing left of faith.

Some think it cannot happen to them, but I have seen in happen to clergy I know. Did they imagine they would end up as unbelievers when they went to seminary and were ordained? Not likely.

We are the object of these verses. Many Jews converted to Christ in the first generation, but opposition and excommunication began and limited that to a great degree. Paul, the ardent Jewish Pharisee, turned his attentions to the Gentiles. We are the pagans, the Druids, the tattooed wild men (Picts, England) who inhabited Europe. The Gospel went to our ancestors. And still the banquet hall was not full.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.



Luther:
40. This constraining, however, is necessary in preaching both repentance and forgiveness of sins; for without repentance we remain too hard and obdurate under his wrath, in our sinful nature and in the kingdom of the devil. And moreover, when the terror of divine wrath strikes us, we are again too fearful, modest and disturbed, to take this to heart and believe, that he will show us such great grace and mercy, and we are always full of anxiety that we do not belong to them, and that he will reject us because of our sins and great unworthiness. Therefore he must himself command and work that men continue and persevere evermore to constrain and urge as much as possible, both by holding forth wrath for the wicked and grace for the faithful Wrath and repentance urge man to run and cry for grace. This is then the right way a person goes to this supper, and thus from Jews and Gentiles there will be one Christian church, and all will be called alike poor, miserable people, lame and crippled, for they accept the Gospel heartily and with joy.

Therefore, various people and congregations have done whatever they can to spread the Gospel. And that is odd in many ways. One website seemed devoted to selling ads, so they posted all of Luther’s sermons. Whatever the motive, the sermons are there and easy to convert – so I did.

Some opponent wrote, “No fair. Of course you have a lot of page-reads. You posted Luther.” But he did not.

And the Reformed – they are the bad guys. (Pause for the booing and hissing to subside.) They have been selling Luther from Grand Rapids for decades – his sermons and Galatians lectures. What is better than to have Luther’s sermons, the best of his efforts, in constant printing and distribution? So God works.

When people know the content of the great supper, they do not want anything else. They remind one another of how good and satisfying sound doctrine is. Tonight I saw an appropriate quotation from the Formula of Concord, and I thought, “That should be a graphic.” And then people take my graphics and Norma’s and spread them to hundreds of friends, who can scatter them even more.

Fathers have a great opportunity because they have the best deal in this world today. Nobody expects anything. If the father stays and provides a home where marriage and the Gospel are honored, it is almost a miracle. If does more than notice his children, another miracle. If he teaches his children the Word of God – even better.

And fathers get the best deal, the most rewards with the fewest difficulties. A good son is a source of pride to the father, but a foolish son is grief to the mother. No balance there, but Proverbs are God’s wisdom.

Fathers have the most impact on their children, positive and negative. The reason is – mothers are generally pretty good and sacrifice for their children. That is a constant. But when a father is absent, there is nothing but trouble. When he is present, there are countless advantages. In other words, a father can do a lot by being better than the ordinary louse. Mothers do not get much better because they cannot. There are many exceptions, which I know about from teaching college students.

The Word of God teaches men to be the spiritual leaders of their families. It is never too late for that rule to apply. It is a rule with countless blessings.


By Norma Boeckler


The Efficacy of the Word

"Christ compares the Word of God to a seed, to a grain of wheat sown in the ground. (Matthew 13:3-23) A seed possesses power and life in itself. Power and life belong to the properties of the seed. Power is not communicated to the seed only now and then, under certain circumstances, in peculiar cases. But the Word of God is an incorruptible seed, that is able to regenerate, a Word which liveth and abideth forever. (1 Peter 1:23)"
            E. Hove, Christian Doctrine, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1930, p. 27. Matthew 13:3-23; 1 Peter 1:23.

"Hollazius (993) uses the following figures: 'It possesses and retains its internal power and efficacy even when not used, just as the illuminating power of the sun continues, although, when the shadow of the moon intervenes, no person may see it; and just as an internal efficacy belongs to the seed, although it may not be sown in the field.'"
Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans., Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs, Philadelphia: United Lutheran Publication House, 1899, p. 506.

"'The Word is in itself the living seed of regeneration; the hand which does the sowing can add to it no further efficacy.' (Philippi, V, 2:15)."
Henry Eyster Jacobs, A Summary of the Christian Faith, Philadelphia: General Council Publication House, 1913, p. 291.

(1)   Almighty God, thy word is cast Like seed into the ground, Now let the dew of heaven descend And righteous fruits abound. (2) Let not the foe of Christ and man This holy seed remove, But give it root in every heart To bring forth fruits of love. (3) Let not the world's deceitful cares The rising plant destroy, But let it yield a hundredfold The fruits of peace and joy. (4) Oft as the precious seed is sown Thy quickening grace bestow, That all whose souls the truth receive Its saving power may know."
John Cawood, 1775-1852, "Almighty God, Thy Word Is Cast," Service Book and Hymnal, Philadephia: Board of Publication, 1958, Hymn #196. TLH Hymn #49. Mark 4:3-9.

(1)   "Preach you the Word and plant it home To men who like or like it not, The Word that shall endure and stand When flowers and men shall be forgot. (2) We know how hard, O Lord, the task Your servant bade us undertake: To preach your Word and never ask What prideful profit it may make. (3) The sower sows; his reckless love Scatters abroad the goodly seed, Intent alone that men may have The wholesome loaves that all men need. (4) Though some be snatched and some be scorched And some be chocked and matted flat, The sower sow; his heart cries out, 'Oh, what of that, and what of that?' (5) Preach you the Word and plant it home And never faint; the Harvest Lord Who gave the sower seed to sow Will watch and tend his planted Word." Martin H. Franzmann, 1907-76, "Preach You the Word,"
Lutheran Worship, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982, Hymn #259. Mark 4:;

"What business is it of mine that many do not esteem it? It must be that many are called but few are chosen. For the sake of the good ground that brings forth fruit with patience, the seed must also fall fruitless by the wayside, on the rock and among the thorns; inasmuch as we are assured that the Word of God does not go forth without bearing some fruit, but it always finds also good ground; as Christ says here, some seed of the sower falls also into good ground, and not only by the wayside, among the thorns and on stony ground. For wherever the Gospel goes you will find find Christians. 'My Word shall not return unto me void.' Is. 55:11"
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 118. xagesima Luke 8:4-15. Isaiah 55:11.

"Not that they shall preach that we shall not understand them; but it naturally follows that wherever the Spirit does not reveal them, no one understands them."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 123. Sexagesima Luke 8:4-15

(1)    "Flung to the heedless winds Or on the waters cast, The martyrs' ashes, watched, Shall gathered be at last. And from that scattered dust, Around us and abroad, Shall spring a plenteous seed Of witnesses for God." Martin Luther, 1523, "Flung to the Heedless Winds,"
The Lutheran Hymnal, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941, Hymn #259. Acts 7:59.

"The first class of disciples are those who hear the Word but neither understand nor esteem it. And these are not the mean people of the world, but the greatest, wisest and the most saintly, in short they are the greatest part of mankind; for Christ does not speak here of those who persecute the Word nor of those who fail to give their ear to it, but of those who hear it and are students of it, who also wish to be called true Christian and to live in Christian fellowship with Christians and are partakers of baptism and the Lord's Supper. But they are of a carnal heart, and remain so, failing to appropriate the Word of God to themselves, it goes in one ear and out the other, just like the seed along the wayside did not fall into the earth, but remained lying on the ground..."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 114. Sexagesima. Luke 8:4-15 (par. Mark 4: Matthew 13:)

"The second class of hearers are those who receive the Word with joy, but they do not persevere. These are also a large multitude who understand the Word correctly and lay hold of it in its purity without any spirit of sect, division or fanaticism, they rejoice also in that they know the real truth, and are able to know how they may be saved without works through faith...But when the sun shines hot it withers, because it has no soil and moisture, and only rock is there. So these do; in times of persecution they deny or keep silence about the Word and work, speak and suffer all that their persecutors mention or wish, who formerly went forth and spoke, and confessed with a fresh and joyful spirit the same, while there was peace and no heat, so that there was hope they would bear much fruit and serve the people."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 116. Sexagesima. Luke 8:4-15 (par. Mark 4: Matthew 13:)

"Therefore they [fallen among thorns] do not earnestly give themselves to the Word, but become indifferent and sink in the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, so that they are of no benefit to anyone. Therefore they are like the seed that fell among the thorns...They know their duty but do it not, they teach but do not practice what they teach, and are this year as they were last."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 II, p. 117. Sexagesima. Luke 8:4-15 (par. Mark 4: Matthew 13:)


(1)   "Almighty Father, bless the Word Which through your grace we now have heard Oh, may the precious seed take root, Spring up, and bear abundant fruit. (2) We praise you for the means of grace As homeward now our steps we trace. Grant, Lord, that we who worshiped here May all at last in heaven appear."
Scandinavian, The Lutheran Hymnary, 1913, Lutheran Worship, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982, Hymn #216. Mark 4. 

"The efficacy of the Word, unlike that of the seed, always has a result. The man to whom the Word of God comes, and who repels it, is not as he was before. Where long and persistently refused, hardening at last comes, Exodus 8:15; 9:12; John 12:40; Hebrews 4:1, and the Word becomes a 'savor of death unto death,' 2 Corinthians 2:16. Every word heard or read, every privilege and opportunity enjoyed, leaves its impress either for good or for evil. It is not so properly the Word, as man's abuse of the Word; not so much the efficacy of the Word, as the sin taking occasion of the efficacy that produces this result, Romans 7:8."
Henry Eyster Jacobs, Elements of Religion, Philadelphia, Board of Publication, General Council 1919 p. 155. Exodus 8:15; 9:12; John 12:40; Hebrews 4:1; 2 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 7:8.

"Just why the fact of our regeneration should prove such a strong motive to us to give evidence of our faith in love is shown in the description of regeneration, when the apostle states that this new birth in our hearts is not the result of perishable, corruptible seed, as the growth of earthly plants would be, but of an incorruptible imperishable seed, the Word of God, the Gospel of the Savior Jesus Christ. This Word of God is in itself living, full of life and of life-giving power. And it abides in eternity; even after the form of the Word, in Scripture and in preaching, has passed away, the content of the Gospel will remain in eternity."
Paul E. Kretzmann, Popular Commentary of the New Testament, 2 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, II, p. 523. 1 Peter 1:23.

No comments: