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 8, 2013

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity. Matthew 6:24-34

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


The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 2012


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




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

Loving Mammon Means Hating God

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 5:25 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.

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

Loving Mammon Means Hating God


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.

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mounts sets up a comparison that is impossible to ignore, and yet this comparison is constantly ignored, especially in the visible church, which copies the unbelieving world at its worst.

Mammon is not just money but means having an overabundance of wealth and the desire to place one’s security and happiness in that wealth. One person explained it not long ago as someone flying to a destination and being unhappy about not going by private jet instead. Commercial flights are so bothersome. Or having a billion dollars and wishing for several billion dollars, since that is so much better and secures all the happiness one might wish for.

Wealth itself is not condemned in the Bible, although the socialists think so (as long as this lesson does not apply to them). Lydia used her position as a wealthy merchant of the purple dye to help the early church.

There is no question that the unbelieving world worships mammon rather than God. This offends many Christians today, but it is to be expected. Since the True God offends unbelievers, the powers of this age keep believers from having a voice or influence in public affairs. Every form of unbelief is treated with great respect because unbelievers honor unbelievers – they all have the same god – mammon.

Luther himself was faithful to this lesson. He was given a monastery to live in, so he turned it into a motel for visitors. Everyone was welcome, including his enemies. They were welcome at his table, too. Katy had to cope with all the work and even acquired two farms so she could support this enterprise. Luther never took money for his best-selling books and gave away gifts that came to him. Once he gave a gift of gold to newly-weds, who needed it more than he did – Katy was not so sure (Bainton – Here I Stand).

In contrast, the Lutheran Church of today worships mammon. Congregations joke that their new pastor should be independently wealthy - and someone who tithes. Great honor and seriousness surround someone with a lot of money, even when people know it was gained dishonestly through greed and deception. Instead of faith bringing all forgiveness to an individual, money without faith absolves from any and all sin.

To show that money does not accomplish anything by itself, God has displayed for our edification – many congregations die away with great wealth in land and cash, having no members left - or in most cases, no Gospel left at all. The most notorious for promoting false doctrine have monetary wealth in abundance, which attracts the greedy who often rob the endowment for themselves.

But individual cases are overlooked or forgotten. The Lutheran synods of today are great examples of worshiping mammon and hating God. Oddly enough they are united by a common need from long ago. Lutherans were suspicious of insurance companies and insurance itself, so they created their own lodges (AAL and LB and Lutheran Mutual) to provide insurance benefits to members only. Catholics and Masons have the same type of lodge insurance.

The two biggest lodge or fraternal companies merged (due to financial problems) and became Thrivent. Now Thrivent rules ELCA, WELS, LCMS, and ELS with money.

When WELS was challenged for participating in the Snowbird Leadership Conference with ELCA, the official explanation was, “They were going to spend the money, so we did not want them to get our share of it.” In other words, mammon, the delusion that money buys happiness, made them work, worship, and study with ELCA. This was not the virginal ELCA with no history, but Chilstrom’s ELCA that was working hard to ordain and marry homosexuals, as he revealed in a recent article.

Participation by WELS and LCMS meant an endorsement of all that ELCA stood for, but greed and deception rule over the mammon synods. LCMS and WELS together bear false witness against ELCA 24/7, participating in all the ELCA agenda items while pretending to oppose them.

One cannot love God and Thrivent together. A synod cannot love God and Thrivent equally, because that synod will love one and hate the other.

What does it take to buy a synod’s loyalty? LCMS Synd President Matt Harrison said that Missouri got $50 to 60 million a year from Thrivent. I am guessing twice as much (at least) for ELCA and smaller amounts for the ELS and WELS.

What they do not count is what they might have if they stopped relying on selling themselves out for mammon. I have worked with a pan-Lutheran and “independent” Lutheran periodical that were both critical of Thrivent loot – until they got their own grants. Then they were silent.

This silence is the whole problem today. The Christian Church is a mouth church, as Luther said, or a mouth and ear faith, as he described in the healing of the deaf mute. When people silence themselves for fear of offending mammon, they hate God and distrust Him, because they think, “If mammon gets angry with me, I will be denied what I need, but God will understand.” Thus they hate God and honor mammon.

The Gospel is spoken and heard. If no one will teach the Gospel, then no one will hear the Gospel. This ends the creation and sustaining of faith, so the fruits of the Spirit (alternately of the Gospel, of the Word) are no longer in production.

God converts with the Word, not with love, not with money.

God has shown throughout history that those churches and individuals with the least money and power have been the most productive of Gospel blessings for others.

Loehe was confined to a small parish because his supervisors did not want to give him the kind of influence he deserved. What did he do, deprived of money and influence? He started five foreign missions and founded two Lutheran seminaries in America. He did not do this alone, but his influence and Christian leadership combined to initiate all these things that benefited many people.

Passavant, in America, went through a confessional crisis and became a Book of Concord Lutheran. He collected money from all over and used it to help hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and synods get their start. He was not Swedish but became the patron saint of the Augustana Synod. He emphasized sound doctrine and applying the Word of the Gospel. He was also more like a denomination by himself – he even ran the original Lutheran magazine, which he used to fight the anti-Confessional liberals (the Church Growthers of the day). But he bypassed the mammon of a large congregation and income to help Lutherans who needed his support, encouragement and fund-raising abilitities.

Likewise, the Lutheran hospitals and orphanages and similar institutions came from a man whose parish was so poor that he traveled around to raise money to keep it going. From the travels he was inspired to imitate the Catholic nuns and Mennonites to establish deaconess training, which influence Florence Nightingale and modern nursing. That man was Fliedner - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Fliedner

So thank Fliedner’s poverty next time you meet a nurse in a hospital.

Wichern is another pioneer in Christian good works arising from tremendous needs. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Hinrich_Wichern

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

Luther is criticized for teaching faith, against works, but these critics have not read Luther. Here is the connection:

5. We find very few, who do not sin against the Gospel. The Lord passes a severe judgment and it is terrible to hear that he should say this of us, and yet no one will confess, yea, no one will suffer it to be said that we hate and despise God and that we are his enemies. There is no one, when asked if he loves God and cleaves to him? would not reply, yes, I love God. But see how the text closes, that we all hate and despise God, and love mammon and cleave to it. But God suffers us to do this until his time; he watches the time and some day he will strike into our midst with all violence, before we can turn around. It is impossible for one, who loves gold and earthly possessions and cleaves to them, not to hate God. For God here contrasts these two as enemies to one another, and concludes, if you love and cleave to one of these two, then you must hate and despise the other. Therefore, however nicely and genteely one lives here upon earth and cleaves to riches, it cannot be otherwise than that he must hate God; and on the other hand, whoever does not cleave to gold and worldly goods, loves God. This is certainly true.

6. But who are they that love God, and cleave not to gold and worldly possessions? Take a good look at the whole world, also the Christians, and see if they despise gold and riches.
It requires an effort to hear the Gospel and to live according to it. God be praised, we have the Gospel; that no one can deny, but what do we do with it? We are concerned only about learning and knowing it, and nothing more; we think it is enough to know it, and do not care whether we ever live according to it. However, on the other hand, one is very anxious when he leaves lying in the window or in the room a dollar or two, yea, even a dime, then he worries and fears lest the money be stolen; but the same person can do without the Gospel through a whole year. And such characters still wish to be considered as Evangelical.

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?

This is quite an introduction to the Creation comparison Jesus is about to offer. That must have been especially startling to people of that age, when clothing was quite valuable by itself and food was a major consideration each day. But this leads into a picture of Creation that no one can deny.

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?

No one can deny this. The birds have almost no storage. Blue jays do a little of this, but it has been shown that a lot of their work actually builds oak forests, since they bury far more than they care to eat. They must be programmed by the Creator to do this.

Each bird wakes up in the morning without a clue about where the next meal will come from. It is possible to gather some birds together with feeders, which is fun to watch. But birds do not favor the snack food of feeders. Humming birds like insects more than sugar water and other birds keep their feeder food down to about 15% of what they eat.

But these birds cheerfully sing with nothing in the bank while we worry and fret with so much – and many safeguards besides.

Likewise the wildflowers bloom with great beauty even though they show this glory for a day and fade away soon after.

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?

This style of arguing from the lesser to the greater is part of Jewish teaching. The comparison is impossible to miss. God takes care of everyone, especially those of the household of faith. If we can see Him taking care of His Creation so well, how can He not care for our bodily needs?

It is in this area alone where so many lose faith, so Jesus addresses us all this way – o ye of little faith. This is put into one scathing address – You Littlefaiths.

Compound words are fun, and Greek can form them easily. We use them and forget they were compound words until we look at them closely. My favorite from Pilgrim’s Progress is Hategood. The name says it all.

Littlefaith is important because it is a rebuke based upon the principal teaching of the Scriptures – to have faith in God, whose Son died for our sins and rose from the dead.

If we sincerely believe that God removes our sin by His declaration of the Gospel, which causes and increases faith, then we should not doubt His ability and desire to care for our bodily needs.

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

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.


The admonition to “seek first the Kingdom and its righteousness” can be translated as “seek first the Kingdom and the forgiveness of the Gospel”. I favor my own paraphrase because the Word is clear but people take “righteousness” to be a creation of man rather than one from God.

The righteousness from outside of us, from Christ, is the forgiveness of sin, justification by faith.
I went over the basics of UOJ with some Evangelical college students. I described how people believe they are born forgiven and saved, having no sin. I asked how they would respond to that. One said, “If you told me you believed that, I would start praying for you.”

Another person walked in on the discussion and said, “What? You don’t believe that?” I said, “No, but Universalists do.” The students were just shocked that anyone could get such ideas from the plain Word of God. But of course, being born forgiven and saved, and Edward Preuss wrote, was a philosophy alien to Christianity but appealing in an age turning from Pietism to Rationalism. When people are united by works-salvation, they soon explain away the rest.

28. As if the Lord would say: You have never yet seen a bird with a sickle, with which it harvested and gathered into barns; yea, the birds do not labor like we; and still they are nourished. By this the Lord does not however teach that we are to be idle; but he tries by this example to take all anxiety from us. For a bird cannot do the work of a farmer as we do; yet, it is not free from labor, but it does the work for which it was created, namely, it bears its young, feeds them and sings to our Lord God a little song for the privilege of doing this. Had God imposed more labor upon it, then it would have done more. Early in the morning it rises, sits upon a twig and sings a song it has learned, while it knows not where to obtain its food, and yet it is not worried as to where to get its breakfast. Later, when it is hungry, it flies away and seeks a grain of corn, where God stored one away for it, of which it never thought while singing, when it had cause enough to be anxious about its food. Ay, shame on you now, that the little birds are more pious and believing than you; they are happy and sing with joy and know not whether they have anything to eat.

29. This parable is constantly taught to our great and burning shame, that we cannot do as much as the birds. A Christian should be ashamed before a little bird that knows an art it never acquired from a teacher. When in the spring of the year, while the birds sing the most beautifully, you say to one:

How canst thou sing so joyfully, thou hast not yet any grain in thy barn! It would thus mock you. It is a powerful example and should truly give offense to us and stir us to trust God more than we do. Therefore he concludes with a penetrating passage, and asks: “Are not ye of much more value than they?”

30. Is it not a great shame that the Lord makes and presents to us the birds as our teachers, that we should first learn from them? Shame on thee, thou loathsome, infamous unbelief! The birds do what they are required to do; but we not. In Genesis 1:28 we have a command that we are to be lords over all God’s creatures; and the birds are here our lords in teaching us wisdom. Away with godless unbelief! God makes us to be fools and places the birds before us, to be our teachers and rule us, in that they only point out how we serve mammon and forsake the true and faithful God. Now follows the other example of the flowers in the field, by which the Lord encourages us not to worry about our raiment; and it reads thus: “And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? And why are ye anxious concerning raiment?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God doth 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. As if to say, your life is not yours, nor is your body, you cannot make it one cubit longer or shorter; neither be anxious as to how you are to clothe yourself. Behold the flowers of the field how they are adorned and clothed, neither do they anything to that end; they neither spin nor work, yet they are beautifully clothed.


No comments: