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, May 5, 2013

Rogate - The Fifth Sunday after Easter



Rogate, The Fifth Sunday after Easter, 2013


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn #  202                 Welcome Happy Morning                      4:28
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 # 207            Like the Golden Sun     4:76

 Five Parts of Prayer

The Communion Hymn #305            Soul, Adorn              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 #657               Beautiful Savior                    4:24     

KJV James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

KJV John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

Fifth Sunday After Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, who through Thy Son didst promise us that whatsoever we ask in His name Thou wilt give us: We beseech Thee, keep us in Thy word, and grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that He may govern us according to Thy will; protect us from the power of the devil, from false doctrine and worship; also defend our lives against all danger; grant us Thy blessing and peace, that we may in all things perceive Thy merciful help, and both now and forever praise and glorify Thee as our gracious Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Five Parts of Prayer

  1. God’s Promise.
  2. Faith.
  3. Specific petitions.
  4. Asking.
  5. In the Name of Christ.

I am following Luther’s outline in the first of three sermons found here –


The topic of prayer is potentially enormous, especially since the subject has been abused and distorted so badly.

Prayer is based upon the Gospel Promises, not upon the Law. Whenever prayer passages occur in the Bible, they are accompanied by the Promises of God. Therefore the motivation is Gospel rather than Law, believing rather than doing.

Not only do people turn prayer into law, but they make that clear by saying, “You have to pray harder,” which sounds like weeding garden or sanding a tabletop. They should be emphasizing  believing rather than doing, believing in God’s grace and love rather than Olympic level prayer.

KJV John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Lenski:
24) Up till now you did not ask anything in my name. Keep asking, and you shall receive in order that your joy may be fulfilled. In 14:13, 14 the matter of asking in Jesus’ name is stressed as something that is altogether natural for disciples of Jesus. So in 15:16 “in my name” again appears as a matter of course. Now, however, we learn that “in my name” pertains to the Giver as well as to the petitioner; as we pray, so the Father (or Jesus, 14:13, 14) gives “in my name.” Hence the disciples must use this name. They must in all their needs come not merely with the name “Jesus” on their lips or attached to their prayers but with the revelation (name) of Jesus in their hearts by faith. Up to this time, Jesus says, the disciples have not prayed in this manner. Some think that Jesus points to a shortcoming, a weakness, a fatal deficiency in the praying of the disciples. If this were the case, the blame would fall on Jesus himself, since he delayed until this time to impress upon the disciples the necessity of using his name in prayer. Until this time Jesus himself had allowed the disciples to pray as all true Jews prayed in connection with the name of God as it was known to them from the old covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In their prayers hitherto they used the Old Testament promises and prayed in connection (ἐν) with them. But now the fulfillment of these promises had arrived in Jesus; in a few hours the new covenant would be sealed with the blood of Jesus. Thus faith had to advance and to embrace this new covenant, the fulfillment of the old promises in Jesus. It thus had to use Jesus’ name and revelation when praying. The reason for the advance to Jesus’ name is objective. The Spirit will take “of mine” and will report this to the disciples (16:14, 15). Thus subjectively, too, the disciples will now turn to Jesus’ name. Refusal so to do would mean the rejection of the revelation (name) of Jesus.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. John's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 1100.

God’s Promise

This section introduces a problem, but that comes with the wrong emphasis, in my opinion. Jesus is giving His final words to His disciples, before the crucifixion, so He is talking about the future when they pray – an encouragement that will give them hope and strength when they feel alone. They were never alone up until now, so their prayers are going to change in wording.

The power of a name is dependent upon the power of the person named. Government officials issue orders in the name of a governor or a president, the military in the name of a general. In the British Empire, many things are done in the name of the Queen.

How much greater is something done in the Name of Jesus, with God the Father answering petitions? And this is something altogether different, because we are not asking in power but in friendship, as family, because we are brought into God’s family by faith in Christ.

God’s promises are great in this regard. They rest upon the power of the Gospel itself. The beautiful Christmas hymn by Gerhard expresses this well.

Thou Christian heart, whoe’er thou art,
Be of good cheer and let no sorrow move thee!
For God’s own Child, in mercy mild,
Joins thee to Him—how greatly God must love thee!

Likewise, Luther wrote in his Christmas hymn:

Thus hath it pleased Thee to make plain
The truth to us, poor fools and vain,
That this world’s honor, wealth and might
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Here in my poor heart’s inmost shrine,
That I may evermore be Thine.
My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song.
Someone who is loved will not hesitate to ask. Doubting and not praying go together. Doubting God’s love means questioning the grace, mercy, and love revealed in the Scriptures. As Chytraeus wrote, doubting God’s goodness is a sin. All sin begins with lack of faith.

In contrast, joy comes from relying on God’s Promises and asking for His help and guidance.



25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

Faith Explained

The resurrection and ascension of Christ will be those events which will fill the disciples with such faith that they will start applying the lessons taught in those three years. And yet it was not easy to reach that state, because they were scattered by genuine fear and almost in a state of paralysis. God allowed them to go through that agony so they would strong enough to face the opposition of the Roman Empire and the leaders of all other religions. They had the pagan leaders opposing them and the Jewish leaders at their backs. In fact, they expanded the opposition by their mission efforts.

And Paul did not make things better by switching sides. We see that same conflict today when someone leaves the fold of whoopy-entertainment worship or UOJ. The former friends are more bitter in their opposition for losing someone. The closeted apostates do not want someone to discover the meaning of faith, and the rationalist-Pietists do not want someone to take the Confessions seriously.

Faith puts all the emphasis upon God’s power and wisdom, casting away all the arrogance and pride of human vanity. Every time I see people bragging over buildings, I wonder about who will heat and repair them in a few years. They brag about “success” but do not boast about the cross, or even mention fidelity to the Word.

This faith is God’s Creation, because the Holy Spirit works through the Word to convict us of our lack of faith. On one side is all that God has done throughout the Bible. On the other side is man’s doubtfulness and fears, insecurities and anxieties. So –

Thou Christian heart, whoe’er thou art,
Be of good cheer and let no sorrow move thee!
For God’s own Child, in mercy mild,
Joins thee to Him—how greatly God must love thee!

Gerhardt knew that from experience – the sorrow and the joy.

Faith is not an emotion, but faith affects our emotions. That is why our greatest pain is emotional and the best remedy is faith in the Gospel Promises. Faith then changes what we do and how we do those things.

I see that with college students giving a speech. I have to remind them that their stage fright is all in their heads. They can speak to their friends from the front of the room and do a great job. One walked to the front as if to her own execution. We talked that over and the next time she was her bright, funny self and was a perfect example of how to give a speech. It was all in her head.

Luther is especially good about these emotional conflicts, because he experienced them. He was wise enough to identify opposition as a good thing, a sign of God’s blessing, something to be valued rather than regretted.

That is shown in so many ways. The faithful do not experience the material success of the apostates, and the apostates jeer at them for this. Look at how small and unimportant you are, the opponents say. Look at how well we are doing – we have all the big money people on our side.

The things that happen are utterly predictable – the betrayal of so-called friends, the shunning, the people rejoicing in the harm they do. That teaches the faithful that whatever we cling to can be left behind for the greater treasure of the Gospel. And there are many spiritual rewards that come with it.

27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

Specific Petitions

This Father-Son relationship is constantly taught in the Gospel of John, not that it is absent elsewhere. We hear it so often, as if to show us that the Trinity gives us a similar relationship. Just as the Father loves the Son, so the Son loves us, and gives us the same relationship to the Father as his own.

KJV John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

And the Holy Spirit is always at work teaching us about this relationship we share. That is why we can and should make specific petitions, asking God according to our needs and the needs of others.

Luther:
8. The third requisite of true prayer is, that one must name definitely something that he brings to God or for which he prays; as for strong faith, for love, for peace, and for the comfort of his neighbor. One must actually set forth the petitions; just as the Lord’s Prayer presents seven petitions.

This is what Christ means by the words: “If ye shall ask anything of the Father.” “Anything,” that is, whatever you are in need of. Besides, he himself interprets this “anything” and says: “That your joy may be made full.” That is, pray for all things you need, until you have acquired even all and your joy is made full; and his prayer will first be fully answered on the day of judgment.



27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

Ask
What makes ask in prayer? It is the certainty of its value and effect. The Gospel of John emphasizes the love of the Father toward the Son, and the love of the Father for all believers. Fear and doubt keep people from asking, while love encourages people to ask.

Children love and trust their parents, and we know there is no end of asking there. Children will make the most outrageous requests because they are not afraid of losing their parents’ love from asking.

This section of the lesson also reminds us that the disciples were still thinking of an earthly Messiah. The Savior as the Son of God was completely shown to them in the resurrection and ascension. The divinity of Christ then helps us with asking. We are asking from God Himself.

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

In the Name of Christ

We know more about Christ if we have grown up with the Scriptures and had them explained to us. They also grew up with the Scriptures, what we call the Old Testament, but much of the content was obscure to them.

We think in terms of the Trinity, and they had the Trinity in the Old Testament, but not fully explained.

This phrase “in the Name of Christ” teaches us to pray in His Name, because He has that power, that love from the Father, and that love for us.

To avoid the Name of Christ is a matter of joining with all other religions, to give them equal or superior status. When people want to blend in, they drop, “in the Name of Christ.”

When they are banned from using the Name of Christ in a prayer, they should excuse themselves from that association, whether it is the Masonic Temple or the ecumenical gathering of all the right people.



Prayer

"The Christian's faith trusts in the ordinary means.  Prayer is not a means of grace.  Means of grace are divine appointments through which God uniformly offers blessings to all who use them.  Faith is the means by which the blessings are received and appropriated.  God gives us bread, when we ask it, not through the channel of prayer, but through the ordinary channels of His providence.  He gives us grace when we ask it, not through prayer, but through the ordinary means appointed for this end, namely the Word and Sacraments.  He who despises these will as little have grace as he who refuses to accept bread produced in the ordinary way of nature.  Faith asks with confidence, and trusts in the ordinary means of God's appointment for the blessings asked."
Matthias Loy, Sermons on the Gospels, p. 387.


"Prayer is made vigorous by petitioning; urgent, by supplication; by thanksgiving, pleasing and acceptable.  Strength and acceptability combine to prevail and secure the petition."
 Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., VI,  p. 107. Philippians 4:4-7.

"The Lord's Prayer opens with praise and thanksgiving and the
acknowledgement of God as a Father; it earnestly presses toward Him through filial love and a recognition of fatherly tenderness.  For supplication, this prayer is unequaled.  Hence it is the sublimest and the noblest prayer ever uttered."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., VI,  p. 107. Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 6:9-13.

"In like manner, St. Paul says that God's ability is thus proved, in that He does exceeding abundantly above and better than we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20. Therefore, we should know we are too finite to be able to name, picture or designate the time, place, way, measure and other circumstances for that which we ask of God.  Let us leave that entirely to Him, and immovably and steadfastly believe that He will hear us."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III,  p. 179f. Ephesians 3:20.

"Only begin this [prayer, self-examination], I say, and see how you will succeed in the task; and you will soon discover what an unbelieving knave is hidden in your bosom, and that your heart is too dull to believe it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., II,  p. 257. Mark 16:1-8. 

No comments: