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, January 20, 2013

The Second Sunday after the Epiphany. John 2:1ff.




The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, 2013

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn #39     Praise to the Lord                  3.1
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 # 370            My Hope Is Built            3.11

Blessing Marriage – Transforming Word

The Hymn #128            Brightest and Best              3:29
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 #309   O Jesus, Blessed Lord            3.70

KJV Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.



Blessing Marriage – Transforming Word


KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

We only have indications about the family of Jesus. Mary and Joseph are both in the story of Jesus as a boy in the Temple. However, Joseph is not mentioned here.

In the first centuries of the Christian Church there was a growing mythology about Mary. This mythology grew especially after the Council of Ephesus, 431. That does not mean the Theotokos (that Mary bore God) was the cause, but it is a convenient historical marker.

Mary mythology grew after that and the Dormition of Mary (her death) festival turned into the Assumption of Mary, based on spurious “scriptures” such as the Travels of Mary.

The Medieval Church made Mary the kind and gentle savior and Jesus the angry judge. All this grew out of the initial errors that were promoted, doubtless because of pagan influences and sentimental appeal.

The dominance of church and school names – Notre Dame – shows that Mary took over the religious thought of Roman Catholicism. That is also one sign of Lutheran pastors switching to Rome, when they become obsessed with Mary.



and the mother of Jesus was there:

The Scriptures anticipate errors. We can see that in the Gospel of John, which should inform people, since Jesus commended the care of His mother to John. The apostle John and Mary are associated with Ephesus, which was the mother church of the region.

This mention of Mary shows us her role at the wedding. She was most likely a substitute for the couple’s family. The lack of wine indicates that the couple was short of money, too. These facts conspired to establish Jesus’ first miracle and also to show His relationship to His mother.

2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

Jesus’ presence at the wedding shows us His approval of marriage. This is not an accidental detail in this account. John’s Gospel is rather sparse in narrative because so much space is devoted to the sermons and sayings of Jesus. That concise pattern in the narrative makes every detail that much more important.

The Medieval error of despising marriage was anticipated in this passage. Although Christian pastors were married at first, a movement grew to end this practice and make all priests, bishops, and nuns single and supposedly celibate.
The Church of Rome despised marriage and taught that the celibate state was far better. That was a fine way to make the priesthood seem vastly superior, but it was also damaging in many ways.

That idea alone also set aside the meaning of the Epistle for this day, that each position or office in the Church honors God, since everything done in faith glorifies God.

Jesus, by His very presence, sanctified marriage, which was established by the Word. It is not surprising that this Age of Apostasy would be marked world-wide by marriage being despised and rejected. Simply getting married (to the opposite sex) and raising children (both parents) is an act of Christian witness today. What was once the norm in my neighborhood in the 1950s is now a radical departure from what “everyone is doing.”

One reader made the point that severe college debt is one cause of marital delay.  That reason may not be the main one, but it shows how events conspire to trample down God’s Word.

3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

This running out of wine was a clear sign of poverty, because that was the beverage everyone expected.

Secondly, Mary talking to Jesus and the stewards about this was another indication – that she was serving as hostess of this wedding and felt responsible for everything going well. This lack of wine was an embarrassment for the couple, and Mary wanted to spare them, no doubt.

Mary knew the unique nature of Christ and believed in His power. But no one had seen Jesus perform any miracle.

4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

Jesus spoke directly to His mother twice in the Fourth Gospel. Each time He addressed her as “Woman,” something the translators try to change. This address shows everyone that Jesus was her Lord. It anticipates the reversal of roles, which I have tried to point out many times in a graphic – the pope saying that Mary commands Jesus as His mother. So if God does not answer, this implies, the Mother of God will order Him to obey her.

This statement by the pope is blasphemous and leads people away from trust in Jesus.

This miracle proves Luther’s statement – that Jesus always answered the prayers of people, even if His responses seemed rough. So rough here, it seems, that translators add “dear” to woman.

This verse means – Mary does not command her Lord. His time for revelation of His power had not yet come. This is the outward meaning, but we can also see the second part, the explanation, as a test for her.



5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Mary believed in Him, in His power and compassion. In faith, she said to the servants – “Do whatever He says and it will be good.” She did not know what it would be. How could anyone?

How do we take over management of the world from God? No one is capable of the first step, but many who “market the Gospel” think that business statements (Mission Vision, etc) are useful in ordering God to give them what they want. If they put a business goal into stained glass language, it will work. No?

One Episcopal church said, “We are praying for 10% membership growth each year for the next three years.” The priest just came back from Fuller Seminary.

When we get to the point where we do not even know what to do next, God steps in and provides His own answers. It happened to me on Reformation Day. Everything was settled on the next day, All Saints.

6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

This answer was completely mysterious and certainly not what anyone would think or imagine. But He gives us more than we can think or imagine.

This was the first miracle, and it showed that no manipulation was possible. There are ways to make water change colors. One could also put a concentrate in other jars, if the idea was to fool others. We used to have straws with a chocolate or strawberry insert. If we sipped milk with them we got a strawberry or chocolate sweet flavor. We wanted them, but Mom said no.

This began with water in jars. If they were fixed, that would have been obvious as soon as they were filled and they changed color. Nevermind how huge water pots could become wine, taste like wine, look like wine, smell like wine. Wine always has a strong aroma, impossible to miss.

The servants only had water at first, filled to the brim. What does that look like? It is transparent and anyone can see to the bottom if the light is good.

8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

Water went into the huge pots, but they drew something out for the master of ceremonies.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

This is an example of the subtle humor of the Gospel. The miraculous water-into-wine caused the master of ceremonies to criticize the groom for holding back the best wine. It is another way of saying, “No matter what man can devise, God can provide something far better, more than you can imagine.”

11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

This miracle, like all others, happened through the transforming Word. When God commands, all the basic rules are set aside (since He made them) and miracles happen.

Those who rationalize these miracles away also get rid of the power of the Word, the power and compassion of God.



Transformation
By making marriage purely secular, our society has taken the Gospel out of marriage.

If there is a marriage, the ceremony itself is a great show, as TV programs indicate.

The concept of marriage is based upon selfish desire rather than glorifying God and raising children in the Word of God. That alone is changing our society for the worse.

In contrast, a Christian marriage is based upon the Gospel and forgiveness, faith and the fruits of the Spirit.

Apple growers have discovered a very popular strain, called Honey Crisp. Demand is very great, because of the flavor and keeping ability of Honey Crisp apples.

The answer to meeting the demand is obvious. Plant more trees. There are no apples without the trees.

But in life, people desire the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, self-control.

But the are no fruits of the Spirit apart from the Means of Grace and faith. As Luther said, faith makes the tree good. Nothing else. God sanctifies the believer. From justification by faith will always come the fruits of the Spirit.

We need not wonder how, since God provides the results with the effect of the Word, especially since God’s power is made known chiefly in His mercy.



Justification


“...God in His purpose and counsel ordained [decreed]:
1. That the human race is truly redeemed and reconciled with God through Christ, who, by His faultless [innocency] obedience, suffering, and death, has merited for us the righteousness which avails before God, and eternal life. 2. That such merit and benefits of Christ shall be presented, offered, and distributed to us through His Word and Sacraments. 3. That by His Holy Ghost, through the Word, when it is preached, heard, and pondered, He will be efficacious and active in us, convert hearts to true repentance, and preserve them in the true faith. 4. That He will justify all those who in true repentance receive Christ by a true faith, and will receive them into grace, the adoption of sons, and the inheritance of eternal life."
Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #15. Of God's Eternal Election, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1069. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff  

"On this account, as the Augsburg Confession in Article XI says, we also retain private absolution, and teach that it is God's command that we believe such absolution, and should regard it as sure that, when we believe the word of absolution, we are as truly reconciled to God as though we had heard a voice from heaven, as the Apology explains this article. This consolation would be entirely taken from us if we were not to infer the will of God towards us from the call which is made through the Word and through the Sacraments."
Formula of Concord, SD, XI. #38. Of God's Eternal Election, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1075.       

"The Third Article the adversaries approve, in which we confess that there are in Christ two natures, namely, a human nature, assumed by the Word into the unity of His person; and that the same Christ suffered and died to reconcile the Father to us; and that He was raised again to reign, and to justify and sanctify believers, etc., according to the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, III. #52. Of Christ, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119. Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.       

"Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 48, Of Justification Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135.         

"Now we will show that faith [and nothing else] justifies."{that faith justifies italicized} Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 69, Of Justification
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.  

"We do not believe thus {that faith is just a beginning of justification} concerning faith, but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because 'to be justified' means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term 'to be justified' is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous.] Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i. e., receives remission of sins."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 71, Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.     

"It is, therefore, needful to maintain that the promise of Christ is necessary. But this cannot be received except by faith. Therefore, those who deny that faith justifies, teach nothing but the Law, both Christ and the Gospel being set aside."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #70. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.

"In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul discusses this topic especially, and declares that, when we believe that God, for Christ's sake, is reconciled to us, we are justified freely by faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 87, Of Justification Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.

"But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy." Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #86. Of Justification.
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147.

"The Gospel teaches that by faith we receive freely, for Christ's sake, the remission of sins and are reconciled to God."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XV. #5. Human Traditions, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 317.  

"Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably conjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."
Augsburg Confession, III. 1. Of the Son of God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45.       

"Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it). But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness."
The Large Catechism, The Lord's Prayer, Fifth Petition, #88, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 723. Matthew 6:12        

"This article concerning justification by faith (as the Apology says) is the chief article in the entire Christian doctrine, without which no poor conscience can have any firm consolation, or can truly know the riches of the grace of Christ, as Dr. Luther also has written: If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted. (Tom. 5, Jena, p. 159.) And concerning this article especially Paul says that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
Formula of Concord, SD, III. 6, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917.     

"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 10, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919.       

"Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered us in the promise of the Gospel."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 31, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925.

"For good works do not precede faith, neither does sanctification precede justification. But first faith is kindled in us in conversion by the Holy Ghost from the hearing of the Gospel. This lays hold of God's grace in Christ, by which the person is justified. Then, when the person is justified, he is also renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, from which renewal and sanctification the fruits of good works then follow."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 41, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 929.        

"But to believe is to trust in the merits of Christ, that for His sake God certainly wishes to be reconciled with us."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #69. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. p. 141.  

"#305. Why do you say in this article: I believe in the Forgiveness of Sins? Because I hold with certainty that by my own powers or through my own works I cannot be justified before God, but that the forgiveness of sins is given me out of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also true justification. Psalm 130:3-4; Psalm 143:2; Isaiah 64:6; Job 25:4-6 (Q. 124)."
Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.       

"#306. What is justification? Justification is that activity (Handlung) of God by which He out of pure grace and mercy for the sake of Christ's merits forgives the sins of a poor sinner who truly believes in Jesus Christ and receives him to everlasting life."
Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.





"The third controversy which has arisen among some theologians of the Augsburg Confession is concerning the righteousness of Christ or of faith, which God imputes by grace, through faith, to poor sinners for righteousness."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 1 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917. 

"If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted."
Dr. Luther, Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. 4 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917.

"Accordingly, the word justify here means to declare righteous and free from sins, and to absolve one from eternal punishment for the sake of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed by God to faith, Philippians 3:9. For this use and understanding of this word is common in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Proverbs 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Isaiah 5:23: Woe unto them which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Romans 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, that is, absolves from sins and acquits."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 17 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921 Philippians 3:9; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; Romans 8:33.   

"For when man is justified through faith [which the Holy Ghost alone works], this is truly a regeneration, because from a child of wrath he becomes a child of God, and thus is transferred from death to life, as it is written; When we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, Ephesians 2:5. Likewise: The just shall live by faith, Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 20 Righteousness Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921.         

"Here belongs also what St. Paul writes Romans 4:3, that Abraham was justified before God by faith alone, for the sake of the Mediator, without the cooperation of his works, not only when he was first converted from idolatry and had no good works, but also afterwards, when he had been renewed by the Holy Ghost, and adorned with many excellent good works, Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8. And Paul puts the following questions, Romans 4:1ff.: On what did Abraham's righteousness before God for everlasting life, by which he had a gracious God, and was pleasing and acceptable to Him, rest at that time? Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III 33 Righteousness.
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 927. Romans 4:3; Romans 4:1ff; Genesis 15:6; Hebrews 11:8.     


No comments: