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 CDT.


Midweek Lenten - 7 PM Central Daylight.

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 2, 2013

Trinity 1 - The Rich Man and Lazarus

"To Abrahm's bosom bear me home."
http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com/2013/04/norma-boecklers-new-book-treasury-of.html

The First Sunday after Trinity, 2013


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 427     How Firm a Foundation                 2:18
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 #429            Lord, Thee I Love            2.54

 Faith and Love

The Communion Hymn # 311            Jesus Christ              2:79
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 #347   Jesus Priceless Treasure                     2:77

KJV 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

KJV Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

First Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we beseech Thee so to rule and govern our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not, like the rich man, hear Thy word in vain, and become so devoted to things temporal as to forget things eternal; but that we readily and according to our ability minister to such as are in need, and not defile ourselves with surfeiting and pride; in trial and misfortune keep us from despair, and grant us to put our trust wholly in Thy fatherly help and grace, so that in faith and Christian patience we may overcome all things, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



Faith and Love

KJV Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

This parable is one with significant details, each detail adding to the lesson taught by Jesus about faith and love.

The anti-hero of this story is the rich man. He is not condemned for being rich, but for how he lives and treats others. Marxists love to condemn wealth, as they did with the Tsar of Russia. He had an enormous income, but he was also required to support the entire Russian Ballet by himself, paying all costs. In contrast, the puritanical emperor, called Julian the Apostate, fired all his staff at once, throwing them into poverty.

The way this rich man lived was one of complete hedonism. He dressed in costly garments when such things cost a fortune and most people had one change of clothing. If you want to see how few clothes people had, even when they lived in large homes, look at the size of their closets. Some Civil War veterans wore their uniforms for years because they no other clothes. One LCMS leader was famous for wearing yellow leather pants until they were stolen from him so members never had to see them again.

The rich man also dined sumptuously every day. This detail – every day – is also important. He might have thrown feasts for everyone, as important people do. When they show very large homes on TV, the narrator is always anxious to say how these homes were used to have social/business meetings of several hundred people at once. I have seen articles that discuss whether a home was good for 50 to 100 people for a gathering, or up to 500.

The rich man fed himself very well – but no one else is mentioned.

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Lazarus is sickly beggar in this story. He was placed at the gate, where everyone could see him, coming and going, so he might be given something to eat, something spare to keep him warm. He would have been glad enjoy some of the leftovers from the rich man’s table. The stray dogs, which were loathed by the people of the day (for being scroungers of food and likely diseased) licked his sores, as dogs will. In other words, Lazarus was so lowly that the lowliest animal took pity on him – but the rich man did not.

The rich man led an exemplary life, as Luther noted, because nothing is said about sinful behavior. He was not a Prodigal Son, not a thief or murderer. But he had no faith, which is proven by his complete lack of compassion for Lazarus at his gate. This same behavior is seen today by the clergy who gather the richest rewards for themselves when their own brother clergy are trying to decide between food and medicine when they get their pay.

The WELS and LCMS district presidents dine and live in great luxury on the offerings of members when taking their winter vacations. Church officials make sure they have the highest salaries and benefits. Luther noted the same in his day among the unbelieving church leaders.



Now all unbelieving people are like this rich hypocrite. Unbelief cannot do nor be different than this rich man is pictured and set forth by his life. And especially is this the character of the clergy-, as we see before our eyes, who never do a truly good work, but only seek a good time, never serving nor profiting any one; but reversing the order they want everybody to serve them. Like harpies they only claw everything into their own pockets; and like the old adage runs they “rob the poor of his purse.” They are not moved in the least by the poverty of others. And although some have not expensive food and raiment, yet they do not lack will power and the spirit of action; for they imitate the rich, the princes and the lords, and do many hypocritically good works by founding institutions and building churches, with which they conceal the great rogue, the wolf of unbelief; so that they become obdurate and hardened and are of no use to anybody.

22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

The state of each man in the story is portrayed by their end. Poor Lazarus is a believer who is carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man is tormented in eternity.

How do we know that Lazarus had faith? He accepted his life in humility, instead of sneaking into the rich man’s house to steal from it. I recall a minister in training describing how he stole from the business where he worked – they paid him poorly and they had plenty to spare. That is how Lazarus might have been.

How do we know the rich man did not have faith? If he had genuine faith in Christ, he would have showm mercy to the man that he and his servants saw constantly at his gate. Faith necessarily produces love at its first fruit, and that love cares for the neighbor and seeks to serve him.

Since this is a fictional story, this details are allegorical but easy to apply as the difference between faith and unbelief.

How has Lazarus shown love to others? He was so poor and weak that he could do nothing. Luther noted that Lazarus has been an inspiration to multitudes ever since  - something we can see in our own lives.

There are many like Lazarus around us. I see one on Facebook. He is a friend of my friends, who became friends because I know the father, who is a pastor. This modern Lazarus is a boy in a wheelchair. He has obvious physical problems and that will probably shorten his life. But in every photo he is beaming with happiness and love, and so is this married couple with him.

Many people are impoverished physically, so they invite help in various ways, often simply in providing company. This is a great experience to learn from such individuals. Those who help often say, “I gain a lot more than I ever give.”

The rich man wanted the relief in eternal life that he never gave Lazarus in that man’s short life:

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Jesus often pointed out those who took comfort in their riches and power, little realizing how such were not the treasures of life. Today the false teachers gather around the rich to get great riches for the church by selling them forgiveness for their sins. The rich love the adoration and foolishly think that the absolution of unbelieving clergy will do them some good beyond the grave.

The fawning clergy pretend they are doing good, but they use this gain for themselves and to build fancy buildings so everyone can admire their good deeds. The SynCons went through this with the Schwan Foundation money on top of Thrivent grants, and still they are just as poor financially as they are spiritually.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

This is one of the classic passages about the efficacy of the Word. The rich man now wants Lazarus sent as an evangelist to teach his brothers the true meaning of life, to warn them and teach them about faith. Abraham, the Biblical symbol of justification by faith (Romans 4, Galatians, Genesis 15) says, “They have Moses and the prophets.”

The Christian Church does not teach that spirits come to earth to teach and protect. That is a Roman dogma designed to deceive the faithful. Besides, angels protect us and the Word teaches us.

The rich man’s plea is that something spectacular will convert his brothers, an interesting foreshadowing of the resurrection. But Abraham teaches, “If they do not pay attention to Moses and the prophets, they will not pay attention to someone rising from the dead.”

So it is today. This parable teaches us to regard harsh, cruel, and deceitful church leaders as unbelievers, because they lack the primary fruit of faith, which is love.  A man who is so vindictive that he will ruin a man’s family to get even – that leader has no faith and cannot love anyone except himself.

When people become angry at the thought of faith in Christ, when they are furious about the Scriptures being quoted – those people have demon-faith, as described by James. “They believe, but their hides bristle.”

SERMON NOTES
The First Sunday after Trinity
             
"But Christ was given for this purpose, namely, that for His sake there might be bestowed on us the remission of sins, and the Holy Ghost to bring forth in us new and eternal life, and eternal righteousness [to manifest Christ in our hearts, as it is written John 16:15: He shall take of the things of Mine, and show them unto you. Likewise, He works also other gifts, love, thanksgiving, charity, patience, etc.]. Wherefore the Law cannot be truly kept unless the Holy Ghost is received through faith...Then we learn to know how flesh, in security and indifference, does not fear God, and is not fully certain that we are regarded by God, but imagines that men are born and die by chance. Then we experience that we do not believe that God forgives and hears us. But when, on hearing the Gospel and the remission of sins, we are consoled by faith, we receive the Holy Ghost, so that now we are able to think aright.
            Augsburg Confession, Article III, #11, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 159.

"Therefore, do not speak to me of love or friendship when anything is to be detracted from the Word or the faith; for we are told that not love but the Word brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures."
            What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f. Ephesians 6:10‑17. 

"In matters concerning faith we must be invincible, unbending, and very stubborn; indeed, if possible, harder than adamant. But in matters concerning love we should be softer and more pliant than any reed and leaf and should gladly accommodate ourselves to everything."
            What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 412f. Galatians 2:8.

"Doctrine is our only light. It alone enlightens and directs us and shows us the way to heaven. If it is shaken in one quarter (in une parte), it will necessarily be shaken in its entirety (in totum). Where that happens, love cannot help us at all."
            What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 414. Galatians 5:10.

"The Christian doctrine of Purgatory was not finally worked out until the sixteenth century by the Council of Trent. Rejected by Protestants, it was an exclusively Catholic doctrine. After Trent, Bellarmine and Suarez, who were responsible for Purgatory, put forth several Biblical references in support of the newly approved doctrine." [references: 2 Macc. 12:41-46; Mt. 12:31-32; Lk. 16:19-26; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; the Corinthians passage played a crucial role in the development of Purgatory, p. 43]
Jacques Le Goff, The Birth of Purgatory, trans. Arthur Goldhammar, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984, p. 41f. 

"All believers are like poor Lazarus; and every believer is a true Lazarus , for he is of the same faith, mind and will, as Lazarus. And whoever will not be a Lazarus, will surely have his portion with the rich glutton in the flames of hell. For we all must like Lazarus trust in God, surrender ourselves to Him to work in us according to His own good pleasure, and be ready to serve all men."
 Sermons of Martin Luther, IV, p. 24.   

http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com/2013/04/norma-boecklers-new-book-treasury-of.html



No comments: