Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Trinity 7, 2022

 


The Seventh Sunday after Trinity, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Vimeo Player:

The Permanent Link is here, after the live service Vimeo.

The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
The lyrics are linked from the Bethany Hymnal Blog.

The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
Oh, clap your hands, all ye people! 
Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psalm. He shall subdue the people under us: 
and the nations under our feet.

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

Collect
O God, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth, we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       
Gradual
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: 
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
V. Look unto Him and be lightened: 
and let your faces not be ashamed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Oh, clap your hands, all ye people:
shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Hallelujah!


The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
           
Days Without Food - God Provides Miracles

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 #216          On Christ's Ascension                  


In Our Prayers
  • Alicia Meyer's birthday was July 27th. Happy Birthday and God's Blessings, Alicia.
  • Glen and Esther Kotten have returned from their honeymoon. Their wedding was blessed by three MDivs, in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
  • Tests and treatment - Kermit Way, Pastor Jim Shrader, Callie and her parents, C.

Norma Boeckler's Christian Art Books

KJV Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Lord God, heavenly Father, who in the wilderness didst by Thy Son abundantly feed four thousand men besides women and children with seven loaves and a few small fishes: We beseech Thee, graciously abide among us with Thy blessing, and keep us from covetousness and the cares of this life, that we may seek first Thy kingdom and Thy righteousness, and in all things needful for body and soul, experience Thine ever-present help; through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Days Without Food - God Provides Miracles

Introduction - Miracles and the Word

The two miracles of feeding are closely tied together with the Lord's Supper as miracles, so those who deny the Real Presence in Holy Communion - making it merely symbolic - are going to deny or alter the Feedings of the Four Thousand and Five Thousand - they are separate miracles. As Lenski says, the 4,000 is more about basic needs. The 5,000 is more about Jesus as the Bread of Life.

If the feedings are denied, then the divine nature of Christ is also rejected, sometimes later once the excuses are taught. He is a great teacher but not the Son of God in their minds.

I recall hearing, as a child, church adults say, "The days of miracles are over." That is a sign of rationalism among Christians. If human reason is the judge, there is nothing to support faith from studying and hearing God's Word. Why would miracles be gone? The angels - are they on strike? Is not Holy Communion the weekly miracle?

One Calvinist saying is that the Word is like an inert statue in the garden - that only points the way to Christ. That non-Biblical saying means the Word itself does not have the power to convert, to teach us forgiveness, to be a light to our paths.

Calvinists imagine that someone has to make the Scriptures real, relevant, appealing, germane. That attitude, with a trust in marketing, has ruined Protestantism today. People look for a mood or an exciting place - they are looking outside of the Word.  The Scripture is where all the power is. I respect congregations that can run all kinds of high-powered streams of video across the world, but what really matters is the unified Truth of the Scriptures. That should continue to make us thrilled.

Lenski, Gospel of Mark, p. 314.
The critics regard the two miracles by which multitudes were fed as one despite the differences in time, place, numbers fed, numbers of bread-cakes and of fishes and of baskets full left over. Matthew and Peter (Mark’s source) were present in person at both miracles and are reliable authorities. The inner difference between the two miracles is not discussed by the critics. The feeding of the 5,000 intends to reveal Jesus as the Bread of Life as John 6:26-65 show in extenso; the feeding of the 4,000 does not go beyond showing the care of Jesus for our bodily needs.

KJV Mark 8:1 In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 

The Gospel of Mark is long on events, especially the miracles, which explain the crowds of people following Jesus and also the antagonism of the Jewish leaders. As Jesus explained in the Gospel of John, the miracles were intended to show people His divine authority. If they did not believe His Word, at least trust in the miracles. Of course, the miracles themselves inspire faith because no one had that power just as no one had the power of His teaching and preaching.

Calling over the disciples meant Jesus already had a plan for the multitudes who had nothing to eat

2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far.

The crowds would have gathered initially carrying their food, but they ran out. Jesus knew this and expressed His emotional anguish for their hunger and their distance to their houses. Many had come a long distance and could not make the journey back, so great with their faith in Him, drawn to hear more and more of His wisdom and encouragement, but also His warnings if they did not repent and believe in Him.

Compassion - σπλαγχνιζομαι επι τον οχλον   - My guts ache for the crowd (Jackson Literal Translation). Harvard has just published about the strong relationship between our innards and our brains (expressed elsewhere in the New Testament).
What we think can upset our stomachs and digestion, and our internal organs can kidnap our brain.

Lenski, Mark, p. 315
The fact that Jesus is speaking of their physical needs is plain; note “fasting," “they will be completely unloosed” like a bowstring when it is unstrung, metaphorically, “they will become exhausted.” This would likely be the case especially in the case of some who had come from a great distance.

Jesus as the Teacher was offering a clear need that had to be addressed. The people must have food in a place where no food was available - or even possible.

4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?

Descendents of the disciples have joined the building committees and finance committees of many congregations. Their message is clear and unanimous - "It cannot be done!"

They answered Jesus by saying it was impossible. There is a bit of humor in this, because they used their reason instead of their faith in the Son of God. 

Is this not true today? Quoting many small children when I asked them about Jesus' walking on water, turning water into wine, healing the sick and raising the dead, "Jesus is God. He can do anything."

But we look at our needs from a purely rational viewpoint. And we get anxious, confused, angry, and fearful - all powerful messages between our brains and guts. That is one of the wonderful things about marriage. One partner balances the other with sound advice, humor, and faith in Christ. Once an expert in England was driving Christina crazy over his database versus hers. This was an engineering firm in Columbus and in Britain. I said, "You are getting messages. They are just ink on paper. Messages should not anger you at all. He will find out that you have the better program - it came from my setup. British things often do not work well." Soon after they canned the broken British database and Chris had hers working smoothly." 

The bigger traumas in life were leaving the LCA, leaving WELS, and being removed from the CLC (sic) for hosting a pancake supper - not a joke. If those events were not enjoyable, they at least sent us along the way to Phoenix and Springdale. People in this congregation got the congregation going, adding video services and publishing. The bad events happened with God's guidance so that good came from it, impossible within a dictatorial apostate synod's structure.

Lenski, Mark, p. 316
The disciples remember the other miracle. Thus they are not again worried. They have learned that Jesus does not mean that they might possibly find a supply of bread somewhere. Yet they do not tell Jesus what he should do; they have learned to leave everything in his hands to act when and how may seem best to him. To say that the reply of the disciples betrays no knowledge of a previous miraculous feeding and nothing but complete perplexity is to misread not only this reply but also the word of Jesus that elicited the reply. 

5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.

This increases the anxiety level - for the New Testament professors. They "know" that Jesus cannot feed the multitude with seven loaves, so they claim that the boy - by sharing his food makes everyone ashamed, so they take out their spare food and share it, satisfying everyone and leaving many baskets of leftovers.

The "miracle of sharing" is rather comical, because it assumes an enormous amount of food was hidden in the robes of the adults (the ones who did not share at first). The idea is too unpleasant to explore. 

The mythical interpretation is simpler. If a rationalist does not believe it, then it is a myth like the Greek and Roman myths, stories that teach a lesson.

The number of loaves distinguishes this miracle from the previous feeding of 4,000.

6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them.

The miracle of feeding the multitude is in harmony with the miracle of distributing the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ with the earthly elements. Both are merely symbolic or both are the effect of God's Word.

Here we see that the Logos - the Creator - has the power to multiply the loaves and fish. The Son of God takes the little things (in the eyes of the world) and makes miracles from them. We can and should pray for all our needs - "Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." But we should never order God to give according to time, manner, or amount. That is tempting God, and will never end well.

If you have faith that God hears and responds to the least of our anxieties, pray for yourself and others by name. God will respond and do more than we can imagine. I do not fall asleep until I have spoken aloud the cares of everyone in the congregation and beyond. 

The Lutheran Reformation emphasized the clarity, power, and efficacy of the Word, because the Spirit never works apart from the Word, and the Word never apart from the Spirit.

We are starting to distribute the KJV in various print sizes and also in Spanish. I gave a neighbor two super-sized KJVs, then six more, and now more on the way. I sent several to long-time members recently. It is good to have one that is the right sized for reading. It is such a pleasure to see the how much people value the Apostolic writings over the distorted Bible-business people, who bribe synod leaders and stores to use their third- rate paraphrases.

8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away.

The closing of this miracle reminds us that God not only provided food for everyone, but with such an abundance that they had baskets of bread leftover. It was not left there as garbage but taken back as food for the journey home (we can assume). 

Many people look upon believers as so few in number, so weak in their ability to throw their weight around, so insignificant. That is true, but God fills the faithful with an abundance of heavenly treasures and spiritual weapons. I heard from a severely handicapped person on Facebook today. She is hoping she can get to church. Her wishes are not always met with the ability. She values that connection. Brenda used to say, "Jesus Christ is all I have in the world." Brenda brushed aside the home she was offered because she knew an eternal home was not far away. She was correct.

When we feel we are alone in the desert, even with a crowd around us, and nothing seems to be right, the miracles are on their way. The Bible is known for many things, as it should be, as God's only book. One of the greatest aspects of the Scriptures are their power to comfort and encourage us. 

Those pilgrims starved for the Word and found themselves in the desert with only water to drink. Jesus gave them all they needed and more, so people mock that today. Jesus described the miraculous feedings in one sentence - "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (the righteousness of faith) for they shall be satisfied." Sermon on the Mount. Those who do not believe think it is the righteousness of works, so they dedicate libraries and chapels in their own names (a swan song if I ever heard it). 

But this is the righteousness of faith, to honor God by receiving earthly food when needed and the heavenly food of Holy Communion, which is always powerful in giving us the physical act of receiving God's grace and forgiveness through Christ.



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