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 9, 2012

Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

http://www.normaboecklerart.com
The Thankful Leper



The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn # 292                 Lord Jesus Christ               1:2
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 # 192               Awake My Heart            1:22 

Thankful to God

The Communion Hymn # 480            Lord of the Worlds            1:62
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 # 511     Jesus Shall Reign                1:80

KJV Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Fourteenth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, who by Thy blessed word and Thy holy baptism hast mercifully cleansed all who believe from the fearful leprosy of sin, and daily dost grant us Thy gracious help in all our need: We beseech Thee so to enlighten our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may never forget these Thy blessings, but ever live in Thy fear, and, trusting fully in Thy grace, with thankful hearts continually praise and glorify Thee; through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Thankful To God

KJV Luke 17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

Lenski:
Luke does not keep to the chronology as we have seen hitherto. He has already brought us far on this journey to Jerusalem where Jesus was to die, as far as southern Perea, but he now reverts to the start of this journey, when, after being refused hospitality by the Samaritans (9:51, etc.), Jesus passed along the border of Samaria and Galilee to cross the Jordan into Perea. Luke, who is seldom specific about the localities of his narratives, is so here in order to explain how one of the ten lepers happened to be a Samaritan. We conclude also that Jesus is on the Galilean side of the border, for it would be hard to account for the presence of nine Jewish lepers in Samaria and much easier to have one Samaritan leper associated with nine Jewish lepers in Galilee near the border.
Luke places this incident of the lepers at this point in his Gospel as a continuation of 15:1, 2. The entire piece from 15:1–17:10 is a unit. It referred to publicans and open sinners in chapter 15, and Luke now brings in even a Samaritan, one who did not come in contact with Jesus in vain.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 874.

There are two kinds of thankfulness, as Luther observed more than once. If a man inherits a vast estate, he rejoices and tells all his friends how fortunate, how blessed he is. But the same person is not thankful for the spiritual blessings given to him by God.

The irony is this – God provides for us, even for unbelievers. Lenski said we often pray for what God gives anyway – our daily needs. We should elevate our prayers beyond that level of anxiety.

This is a miracle story with an emphasis on thankfulness. Oddly, we once heard it preached at Community of Joy (ELCA), in Phoenix, the premier Church Growth congregation in ELCA. However, they left ELCA for the LCMC, about 10,000 members in all. The minister (a Fuller D. Min. and substitute preacher for Schuller at the Crystal Cathedral) wore a Hawaiian shirt and joked around like a night club entertainer. The message was on this text but so vague that I do not remember a word of it. The congregation enjoyed his little jokes, like wearing a birthday gift shirt but not his birthday suit.

The message of every CG congregation is, “Look at how great we are! Look at our size. We are so successful.” They thank God for having such good numbers. They never talk about faithfulness to the Word of God. A phenomenal success, Rob Bell, was so infatuated with his numbers that he wrote a book about not believing in much at all. His congregation ousted him, even though he tried hard to manage the firestorm that erupted after publication of Love Wins. Bell believes in universal reconciliation. Where have I heard that before?


Bell is a good example of being misled by fabulous numbers and overwhelming material success, only to go deeper into spiritual blindness and a free fall. His latest gig was speaking at the nightclub where River Phoenix died – The Viper Room. So appropriate.

This miracle is short and simple.

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

Ten lepers gathered their weak voices from afar to cry out for mercy from Jesus. This is one of the saddest plights. They were exiles from society. Their disorder was so frightening that no one wanted to be near them. But they knew about Jesus and had faith that He would cure them. Together they had enough strength to make a commotion from a distance, because they would not get near Him or any crowd. That would not be allowed.

Of all the requests made to Jesus, were any turned down? As we know from the ending, the nine did not show any thankfulness. All were cured, not just one.

14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

The description of the cure is concise, allowing for the ten to show themselves as cleansed when they came to the priests (note the plural) for ritual cleansing. The cleansing baths were very important in Judaism. They are often found in archeological digs. They are ritual baths for symbolic cleansing, so the transition to baptism as a cleansing from sin is all the more significant.

Ten lepers arriving cured at the baths, showing themselves to various priests, means that many more people witnessed the miraculous power of Jesus. We are much more aware of the externals. Nothing would be quite as astonishing as a leper cleansed before the ritual began, not to mention 10 lepers cleansed at once. Like the water turned into wine, there is no chance for someone to say, “That was a coincidence. One leper underwent a spontaneous cure. That could happen.” But 10? That is impossible to explain away, except through the power of unbelief.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Certainly all of the lepers were rejoicing. Lenski observed that they called Jesus “Master,” which was only a confession of His role as a rabbi. Rabbis were also known for healing, and some of our current remedies are derived from rabbinic cures, such as extended periods of sleep, now called the medically induced coma.

But this cured man came back and worshiped Jesus as God. This was true faith and a genuine acknowledgement of the source of the cure.

17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Where are the nine is a good way of summing up all that God gives us and the response given by mankind.


77. However, Christ here comforts his poor Samaritans, who for his name’s sake must risk their lives with the priests and Jews, and strengthens their hope with the sentence and judgment that he demands the nine and judges them as God’s thieves, who steal God’s glory, and justifies the Samaritan. For this hope gives them strong courage, that their cause before God will be rightly maintained and will stand, but the opposite cause will be condemned and will not stand, it matters not how great they were and what right they had on earth.

78. Therefore observe, before Christ justifies the Samaritan, he judges the nine, that we should be certain not to hasten or desire revenge, but leave it only to him, and go our way. For he is in himself so careful to defend the right and punish the wrong, that he first takes up the latter before he rewards his Samaritans.

Thankfulness is for our spiritual blessings. The material blessings come and go. They are often the target of those who want revenge for feeling slighted or challenged. It was said at the community college where I taught, “Only atheists can teach in the religion department, and that includes part-timers, like adjuncts.” Sure enough, one Baptist minister got in there part-time. He was shooed away. Those atheists cannot stand the mention of God. They would gladly see the minister starve while they earned $100,000 for teaching 9-12 hours per week.

The hymn-writers of our Lutheran tradition were not rewarded with security or a pleasant life. Gerhardt is the greatest writing of comforting hymns, and he had the hardest life, in every way possible, because he would not compromise with non-Lutheran doctrine. Those who hailed his anniversary made me laugh, because they made a show of admiring Gerhardt while being one with those who made his life difficult.

Difficulties open our eyes to spiritual blessings, because only the Gospel can comfort and strengthen when nothing else is available.

What moves people to work on obscure doctrinal texts and Latin/German translations, when no money is there to pay them, no easy academic positions? They are so energized by opposition that they pounce on each new find as a treasure almost lost.

When they try to  take away Biblical faith, Biblical faith is more valuable.

When they offer a counterfeit and say, “Here is your faith, which is so bad and evil!” then Biblical teaching is that much more important.

I read about a truly gifted team of counterfeit money-makers. They were great, until they got to tropical areas. There the paper divided because it was perfect, except for being glued together to be thick enough.

We are always in the process of having our faith tested and purified. We learn to give up what is shallow and material for that which is lasting. The more we see the real Gospel of the Bible, of Luther and the Confessors, the more we can detect the counterfeits.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

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