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, September 16, 2012

Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity




The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #396   O For a Faith                                                            4:18 
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 #657                Beautiful Savior                                4:24

Creation Unites the Scriptural Message of the Faith

The Communion Hymn # 305:1-5                       Soul, Adorn Thyself             4:23
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 #23    Hallelujah! Let Praises Ring                                        4:77

KJV Galatians 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  5 For every man shall bear his own burden.  6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

KJV Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee for all Thy benefits: that Thou hast given us life and graciously sustained us unto this day: We beseech Thee, take not Thy blessing from us; preserve us from covetousness, that we may serve Thee only, love and abide in Thee, and not defile ourselves by idolatrous love of mammon, but hope and trust only in Thy grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.




Creation Unites the Scriptural Message of the Faith

Because the message of the Bible is one, unified truth, one basic theme can be traced throughout the Scriptures. God reveals so much in the Bible that we gain from seeing the unity of the Word and the many ways this truth is taught.

We often describe this lesson as one about God and mammon, but it could also be called the Creator and Creation.

KJV Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

As Luther wrote, this term mammon is not the same as money. It means having far more than anyone needs to live. For instance, I posed a story about a $500 million mansion on sale in London. The last two owners only lived a few years each in that mansion. One was assassinated. The other died of illness. Luther said mammon was a weak god – who must be protected and guarded. Even then, mammon cannot cure illness or protect someone. I have noticed that the richest people in the world often have lifetimes cut short because of severe illness or someone wanting to inherit sooner rather than later.

We can say that this lesson is about the Creator versus Creation. One sign of the end times is the worship of the Creation rather than the Creator.

KJV Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

We can see how fitting Paul’s verses are today. To suggest Creation invites mockery, but there is a constant worship of the Creation, which must be called Nature, or Mother Earth. People build wooden platforms in trees to protect them from being turned into lumber – the kind used to build the platform.

The tree-huggers have diverted billions of dollars to protect what they worship.

Everything today is explained as evolution or nature, never as God’s design. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written with the assumption of Creation, the rule of law based on Divine Wisdom, the Author of Life. Although not every Founder was an orthodox Christian (Thomas Jefferson, for instance) the concept of Christianity was basic to the understanding of our original documents.

Here the distinction is clear. As Jesus taught, one can serve God or mammon, not both. Serving one means hating the other, for God created everything we have and enjoy.

Sometimes people think of Creation as the hardware – the sun, moon, earth, atmosphere, metals, minerals, water, animals, plants, and so forth. But there is also the software.

Animals show that best of all, because they do not go to school but have instant knowledge of how to build nests, forage for food, and take care of their young. We loved having a bluejay nest outside our window. The parents fed their little jays all day long, with extra treats from me. One day the birds were fluttering their wings in the nest. The next few days saw them fly away. Our son said, “That must be odd. What are these. Oh wings. I will flap them. Flap. Flap. I will fly. Who told them they could fly or how to fly?”

The software in animal behavior is incredibly complex. And it is all coordinated. Everything happens in the right order. Organic material is attacked and recycled in a predictable and “scientific” fashion.

We have some grand theories, but they do not fit Creation. The Great Plains should have been wooded, but the pioneers found them almost completely devoid of trees. This was a great boon for soil creation, because prairie grass generated 10 and 20 feet of rich soil.  Because of that, the soil of the Midwest is the richest in the world.

Likewise, Australia had major problems when the created order was upset by Westerners introducing new creatures, such as rabbits and cane toads.

Thus a major and undisputable revelation of the Bible is that God created the universe through the Word, and Jesus is that creating Word. Genesis 1 and John 1 teach the same doctrine, with more detail added in John 1. Each passage has a different emphasis, but both agree completely.

Creation by the Word is not a matter of indifference in the Christian Faith. In fact, we can see how important it is by the many ways it has been attacked and then ignored.

Creation by the Word unites the concepts of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God being effective, and Creation itself.

So the Bible is not a book about God. It is God’s own book. Every Word in it is inspired by the Holy Spirit in one, unified truth. Because the Holy Spirit is always united with the Word, the Word is the vehicle or means by which God acts and establishes His will.

Therefore it is especially obnoxious to worship the results of the Creation and deny the Creator.  This is good psychology, too, which we expect from the Son of God.

Those who worship the Creation deny God in the name of Nature, Earth Mother, and other nonsense. My favorite video is one where a bunch of hippies moan and cry over a bunch of rocks and dead trees.


Given the power and mercy of God, it is foolish to reduce our trust in Him for all things and to rely on ourselves instead.

It is probably true that someone who dedicates himself to making money will accomplish that goal. One person asked for advice on how to do that and got this answer on the Net – “I will tell you everything I did in the last 20 years. If you do the opposite you will be a millionaire by Tuesday.”



25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

The consequence of trusting in God is not worrying about the necessities of life. We still do, especially in such unsettled times, but to be perfect in this regard is the same as saying we never sin. Our nature inclines us to worry and all the messages around us say we should worry.

But this is an area where human emotions are especially fragile. It is easy to be carried away. Often the least vulnerable are the most inclined to panic. When people panic, they lose all perspective. So we live with a need to have our frail emotions balanced by trust in God, through His promises.

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

For a period of time I did not feed the birds around our home. But now it is time for them to migrate, so we expect a lot more birds coming through. Plenty of natural food is available but sunflower seed gives them more protein and minerals for their needs.

Birds would rather forage on their own, unlike squirrels. They routinely get into my sunflower seeds and make a feast for themselves.

A bird wakes up singing each morning, but he does not know where breakfast is coming from. During nesting season he is busy making a nest, taking care of his children, and trying to feed himself. They do so without storage (for the most part – blue jays store acorns and help spread oak forests).

God stores plenty of nutritious food for birds for the winter. The insects pupate in hidden places in tree bark and in bushes. Birds eat that fast food all winter, except when a sleet storm covers their supply. That is when they need human provided food the most.

The insect cycle provides food for the parents and worms for the babies in spring. The birds provide insect control while feeding themselves and their young.

The examples of Creation show us that God has already provided for us. Our burden as humans is that we have to think about our lot in life. Human reason makes us proud if things go our way or despairing and jealous if they do not.

So much is established by what God gives us and by what God provides. He even gives us faith by Creation. The Word of God  creates faith in our hearts so that we trust the Promises of God and receive forgiveness of sin through that trust.



28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

The Scriptures constantly remind us of the passing of time, how flowers and grass grow and wither. There is that moment many people reach when they say, “Time is fleeting. All the important things of the past no longer matter so much. Lasting and eternal values matter the most.”

The beauty of Creation, so often portrayed by Norma Boeckler, teaches us that God is the ultimate artist and designer. I remember seeing the look on the faces of children when I pointed out that every single element in life was created by the Word, by Jesus the Creating Word.

KJV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

That is all around us and yet denied by so many.

When Lutherans neglect the efficacy of the Word, the Creation of the universe by the Logos, they necessarily deny everyone the tools to understand the Gospel, the Means of Grace, forgiveness, justification by faith.

What God declares is true. The Gospel says, Christ has died for your sins. In believing this Promise you have what the Son of God did for you.



30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Jesus often said, “O ye of little faith.” It is often repeated today.

When parents and children are together, trust builds all the time. The children learn that trusting the word of their parents is key to having a good, productive, and chaos-free life. Sadly, many do not know that. They see parents out of control and emulate that condition as they grow up.

The ideal, as established by Creation, is to have the home serve as the essential building block of all society. Parents learn as they raise children, listen to their children communicating needs. Children mature to the point where they say, “My parents were a great influence on me. I really value their wisdom.”

God as Father is no accident. He cares for us and pours out His wisdom in so many ways, providing for our knowledge and spiritual growth so lavishly that we can hardly miss it – unless we consciously reject it.

When there is trust, even more trust builds up. Where trust is lacking, the emotions are even more influential in destroying the remnants of trust.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness – that means the Gospel comes first. Whatever is first will displace anything else from first place. If material concerns are first, the Gospel must be second, or third, or last. If the Gospel is first, that alone informs how we think about everything else.

At the Crystal Bridges Museum is a rather simple work of art. It is a red lens that is also convex, curved inward. It is suspended over a glassed area, so the viewers can look through it and see people moving back and forth on the other side.

The lens changes everything in that view. Everything takes on a red glow and the view is smaller, taking in a larger field than plain glass.

God has given us the Gospel so we have that Gospel lens to view the world. Everything is different. Forgiveness dominates. We give God credit for everything, from the smallest blessings to the greatest miracles.

It is far more than Creation itself. The red lens is the Gospel, and everything connects to that Gospel.

How can a crucified man rise from the dead? How can we? The Gospel sets aside the law of sin and death and gives us forgiveness and eternal life in its place.


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