Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Easter 1 2022

 The First Sunday after Easter, 2021

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Bethany Lutheran Church, 10AM 
Central Standard Time


This is the Vimeo Link, after the service, for those with lower bandwidth.


The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

As newborn babes: desire the sincere milk of the Word.
Hear, O My people, and I will testify unto thee: 
O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto Me.
Psalm. Sing aloud unto God, our Strength: 
make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the solemnities of the Lord’s resurrection may, by the help of Thy grace, bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conversation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us. Hallelujah!
V. The angel of the Lord descended from heaven: 
and came and rolled back the stone from the door 
and sat upon it. Hallelujah!

The Gospel               
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22 
    
The Sermon Hymn #188       Halleluia Jesus LIves
         
       

I AM the True Vine


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
Hymn # 400              Take My Life and Let It Be



Prayers and Announcements
  • Medical care - Kermit Way, Pastor Jim Shrader, Chris Shrader, Callie and her mother Peggy, C.
  • Pray for our country as the major trials continue. And help all those suffering from economic difficulties.
  • The Bethany Lutheran Hymnal Blog was finishing up two years ago, with many enhancements and Norma Boeckler art since. 34,000+ views.
  • In our memories - Walter Boeckler, Carl Roper, Gary Meyer, Christina Jackson, Gladys Meyer, Lorie Howell's mother, Bethany Joan Marie, Erin Joy, and many others.


KJV 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

KJV John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


First Sunday After Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that of Thine ineffable grace, for the sake of Thy Son, Thou hast given us the holy gospel, and hast instituted the holy sacraments, that through the same we may have comfort and forgiveness of sin: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily believe Thy word; and through the holy sacraments day by day establish our faith, until we at last obtain salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.





I AM the Vine



John 15:15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 15:15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 

εγω ειμι η αμπελος η αληθινη και ο πατηρ μου ο γεωργος εστιν


This is another I AM sermon, and Jesus makes His relationship with the Father very clear. So many clever skeptics want to erase the divinity of Jesus so they make the Resurrection symbolic or - as one future Disciple of Christ put - "not very important."

Gardeners identify with this image. The previous centuries all understood the relationship between a farmer and his crops. They were life itself. Once upon a time, America was mostly rural, and people came here for vast acres of farming - and freedom. Those who garden today have a similar relationship. Sassy and I went out to the porch yesterday, as the sun was setting. I looked at each rose bush in the row next to the porch, watching how the buds were starting to form already. I woke up to thunderclaps, knowing they would be fed nitrogen from the rain, and cultivated by the vast system of soil creatures below.

The initial phrase is like the original Good Shepherd passage: I AM the Shepherd the Good = I AM the Vine the True. In Greek, this is saying "I  AM the one and only True Vine, not just a vine, not one of many.

Everything in our lives is connected to the Risen Christ, the one true Vine. TLH #400 is related to everything in this passage. Just as the Father/Son relationship is basic, so is our relationship with the Son basic. Everything is connected to Him, whether someone is a believer or not, a believer or an apostate. Nothing separates us from that reality, even though we are taught almost every day that we chart our own destiny, that we are free of any possible authority over us. That bizarre portrayal of freeing is designed to make us slaves of the Father Below so we can be fodder.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

παν κλημα εν εμοι μη φερον καρπον αιρει αυτο και παν το καρπον φερον καθαιρει αυτο ινα πλειονα καρπον φερη

I had trouble understanding this verse, because it was intended for believers only. It seems obscure and when considered over time - the verse could not be any clearer.

A rose is the same, so I will use that. Most people neglect their roses by not pruning them (taking them away). A brown stem is already dead, so it will not produce. Nota bene - a pruned rose is far more productive. It must be pruned to be healthy.

Someone who has a vague and partial relationship with Christ is not fruitful. In time, that person becomes a non-believer and no longer belongs in the Kingdom of God. The two verbs which seem alike are not, and rose growers know the difference.

A rose farmer like me will look for those brown stems, called dead wood, and cut them away with sharp shears. But when a bloom starts to fade to form a seed, the gardener also prunes with the same shears. The rose wants to produce a hip, a seed pod, and go to sleep for the season. The rose farmer wants to make it bloom more, branch out more, and deepen its roots.

(Rugosa - raggy - roses are grown for their hips, which the birds love.)

Cleansing refers to our confession of sin and declaration of forgiveness through faith. That is enhanced by the continuing power of Holy Baptism and the individual experience of the Last Supper, where forgiveness is so personal, as an action, that we cannot easily overlook it. That is in keeping with the Jewish tradition of re-enacting the Exodus and the miracle of bread from heaven (likewise John 6).

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

The first phrase annoys some people when the pastor leads the confession of sin and pronounces forgiveness in the Name of Christ. Jesus established the continuation of His role among the congregations formed after His resurrection. They are His words being repeated, even though we could just read them and just think about them. The spoken Word is more effective, and Jesus exemplified the practice of repeating the same basic truths.

According to Jesus, God's own Son, no one is fruitful apart from Him. The only way to be fruitful is to abide with Him, to remain with Him and not wander off into humanism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the occult. Many celebrities love to identify with two religions at once. They are no longer on the Vine, no longer fruitful.

The vast majority of ministers today think about the myths of Karl Barth and his aide Charlotte, or about the pantheism of Tillich, or about the marketing world of Fuller Calvinism. They are no longer on the Vine. They are not flourishing but being removed. 

The first four verses are repeated in a lightly different form here - 

5 I AM the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

That is a good, clear summary of what Jesus taught in the verses above. It could easily be a catechism response to "What Did Jesus Say about the Vine and the Branches?"

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Energy is a popular world today, and it is directly related to the New Testament concept (in Greek) - energy - works in, or active in. Jesus' teaching is powerful and effective in answering our prayers. This glorifies God = that Christians pray and become fruitful. What Jesus teaches is His love for us and our love for Him.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This summarizes His sermon, in such a brief and concise way. Keeping is also used as guarding, so we should guard the treasure and not be lax and lazy.


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