Lutheran Worship and Resources

Monday, August 15, 2022

Preface to the King James Version of the Bible


Trinitarian Bible Society


 Preface: 
The Original King James Version

• 22 It is not only an armour, but also a whole armoury of weapons, both offensive and defensive; whereby we may save ourselves and put the enemy to flight.
• 23 It is not an herb, but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medicine.
• 24 It is not a pot of Manna, or a cruse of oil, which were for memory only, or for a meal's meat or two, but as it were a shower of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole host, be it never so great; and as it were a whole cellar full of oil vessels; whereby all our necessities may be provided for and our debts discharged.
• 25 In a word, it is a panary ((bread Pantry)) of wholesome food, against fenowed [mouldy.] traditions; a physician's shop [κοινον ιατρειον. S.Basil. in Psal.primum.] (Saint Basil calleth it) of preservatives against poisoned heresies; a pandect ((a complete body)) of profitable laws against rebellious spirits; a treasury of most costly jewels against beggarly rudiments; finally, a fountain of most pure water springing up unto everlasting life.
• 26 And what marvel? the original thereof being from heaven, not from earth; the author being God, not man; the inditer, the Holy Spirit, not the wit of the Apostles or Prophets; the penmen, such as were sanctified from the womb, and endued with a principal portion of God's Spirit; the matter, verity, piety, purity, uprightness; the form, God's word, God's testimony, God's oracles, the word of truth, the word of salvation, etc.; the effects, light of understanding, stableness of persuasion, repentance from dead works, newness of life, holiness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost; lastly, the end and reward of the study thereof, fellowship with the Saints, participation of the heavenly nature, fruition of an inheritance immortal, undefiled, and that never shall fade away.
• 27 Happy is the man that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrice happy that meditateth in it day and night.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Trinity 9 2022

 



The Ninth Sunday after Trinity, 2022


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Vimeo Player Here:

After the Service, Use This Link





The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

The Hymn #613           Jerusalem the Golden       
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
Behold, God is mine Helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.
He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in Thy truth, O Lord.
Psalm. Save me, O God, by Thy name: and judge me by Thy strength.

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

Collect
Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please Thee; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       
Gradual
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth: 
who hast set Thy glory above the heavens. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: 
that delighteth greatly in His commandments. Hallelujah!

The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
        
Only the Crooks Are Working Hard

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 #46              On What Has Now Been Sown

Prayers and Announcements
  • Diane Popp's brother-in-law died after a long illness. Rest in Peace.
  • Randy Anderson is being treated for a new growth.
  • Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris Shrader; Kermit and Maria Way; Anita Engleman, Zach's mother.
  • The book on the I AM sermons in John's Gospel is near completion.
  • Funds have been donated for KJV Bibles of various types. Six more were shipped this week.

KJV 1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

KJV Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

Ninth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, who hast bountifully given us Thy blessing and our daily bread: We beseech Thee, preserve us from covetousness, and so quicken our hearts that we willingly share Thy blessed gifts with our needy brethren; that we may be found faithful stewards of Thy gifts, and abide in Thy grace when we shall be removed from our stewardship, and shall come before Thy judgment, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Only the Crooks 

Are Working Hard

KJV Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

Introduction -

This is a parable where we stop and wonder why everything seems upside-down. This bears repeating - the Words of Jesus are concise, so a very important lesson is conveyed in just a few sentences. If we resist the passage, and it seems especially difficult or contrary to what we want, a great lesson is there if we study it often enough. Sometimes we have to mature to understand its basic meaning. By mature, I mean having experiences and seeing that what seems mysterious and difficult is really quite obvious and clear.

Hard Sayings Need More Attention

One famous Protestant preacher wrote a book on the Hard Sayings of Jesus. What seems difficult at first is actually hard to forget once the lesson is learned. A good example is Jesus' apparent harness with the Canaanite woman, who only wanted healing for her daughter. Jesus ignored her. The disciples begged Him to give her a miracle and send her home. Jesus reminded her she was an outsider (not Jewish) and asked if He could take away the bread and give it to dogs. She answered "Even the little dogs eat the crumbs from the Master's table." Jesus praised her for her faith and healed her daughter. That is a miracle story about faith when everything seems bleak and one only seems to get rejection and insults from God when pleading for help. The Canaanite woman is a miracle about faith (note ELCA, WELS, LCMS, ELS)!

  1. God does not seem to care.
  2. God is silent in the midst of pleas for mercy.
  3. The crowd is insulting, saying, "You are not worthy." (Jesus is testing her.)
  4. Instead of giving up, the woman will do anything to help her daughter.
So the Canaanite woman's miracle is not a downer but a great boost to show that faith receives the grace and mercy of God.

Back to the Crooks
The owner represents God - having extensive wealth but not bankrupted by the manager's cheating and lying. The steward or manager has wasted his master's wealth and admits it. The term steward means someone who has authority to carry out the owner's wishes but is not the owner and must answer to that person about his conduct.

In the olden days, steward kings were men who had the throne but only until the royal child was old enough to rule.

"Wasting his goods" is a phrase that makes us think of sure-fire ways to make a fortune - bitcoin, hemp oil, lottery tickets, gambling. 

The steward is not "about to be fired" - he is fired on the spot. He has to turn over the books, which will reveal the exact amount lost.

3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

Since he was a hard-working thief, he did not know what to do, because his extra income came from wasting the estate, contrary to his job description. Two alternatives are unwelcome - he is too ashamed to beg (everyone would say "Weren't you the steward for the Jackson Creation Gardens? Besides, he was not strong enough to dig.

4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

The steward had two very good qualities - 
  1. hard-working and 
  2. shrewd.
Had he only been pilfering a little at a time, no one would have noticed or cared. Food emporiums always allow a certain amount of food and drink to be enjoyed. One of our friends stopped drinking colas as a waiter and lost 40 pounds. He could have as much as he wanted, so he was not dishonest - just foolish.

8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 

The owner of the estate was no slouch. He knew what it took to keep a vast enterprise going. He was like the person who could buy goods at the bottom of the market and hold them for high profits. The emphasis here is on hard work and shrewdness.

This is a perfect case of ironic humor, which makes us think about this parable many times before getting the real picture. It is a way of saying, "Isn't it odd how hard the unbelievers work to take care of themselves?"

More than one gang has acquired the tools, made plans, and burrowed into the safety deposit boxes of a bank. They pick a weekend when the bank in closed, follow maps available for underground work, buy high-powered tools, and enter where the vault is weak. 

In many large church corporations, there are dozens of titles, jobs, plans, studies, and so forth. One person worked at a synod headquarters. They had a fund-raising campaign with no particular goals. People wrote in and asked for money for various things. Because the money was pouring in, they sent it away just as fast, to impress everyone. But what was accomplished?

Colleges and universities have become greedy endowments where they expect $72,000 a year for room, board, and tuition (with some kickbacks) while going back to donors to invest even more money to make money.

Of course, taxes have to be raised everywhere to "pay for the needy" but they end up with the greedy instead.

9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

Mammon means having more than enough money. Some guard it like it might evaporate. Others see the value of caring for their neighbors. Many times some help will make an enormous difference for someone. 

I have always enjoyed being a volunteer para-legal, where someone with no power in society needed someone with some clout. Picking up the phone, dropping by the billing office, or sending a note can change matters instantly. The reaction may take a few days. I have seen large amounts of money erased from an individual's bill. Other times, I just asked, "You expect to be paid?" (Yes, I do.) "You expect that person to keep his word?" (I definitely do.) "Then shouldn't you keep your word?"

The idea in this parable is to use the surplus of what we have for others. We can work shrewdly to accomplish things for almost no cost, too.

Our Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry is #1, instead of "Lutheran Libraries" from multi-million dollar publication houses. Alec Satin has done that on his own.

I do not know of any parish that distributes Christian art at the volume Norma A. Boeckler publishes it for free. No one knows where that influence stops - it continues for generations.

In faith, we know that the good tree must produce fruit, so individuals and congregations will emphasize faith in Christ as the way to generate the most good.

The person who believes will enter eternal life welcomed by those who were helped, comforted, visited, fed, clothed, housed, and helped with illness.

One way to expand the benefits is to name the needs of individuals in daily prayers and ask God for help, healing, peace, comfort, and joy in their lives. We should always pray for the little ones in our congregation and circles. 

(Luke 18:1-8) Jesus has a parable about that - the woman who keeps asking the unrighteous judge for help.

Luke 18: 18 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Trinity 8 2022

 


The Eighth Sunday after Trinity, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Vimeo player here:


Permanent Vimeo link here, after the service.

The melodies are linked in the hymn titles.
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit
We have thought of Thy loving-kindness, O God: 
in the midst of Thy Temple.
According to Thy name, O God, 
so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: 
Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
Psalm. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised: 
in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.

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

Collect
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech Thee, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without Thee, may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth...

The Epistle and Gradual      

Gradual
Be Thou my strong Rock: for an house of defense to save me.
V. In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: 
let me never be ashamed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Give ear, O My people, to My Law: 
incline your ears to the words of My mouth. Hallelujah!
 
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Hymn #268             Zion Mourns   

The Scriptures - Either Objective Truth or Subjective Opinion

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 #511                         Jesus Shall Reign




                        In Our Prayers
  • Randy Anderson has a mass needing medical treatment.
  • Zach's mother, Anita Engleman, in our prayers.
  • Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris Shrader; Kermit and Maria Way.
  • Honest, elections and renewed dedication to the US Constitution, where state legislatures control their elections.
              
 Norma Boeckler's Christian Art

KJV Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.


Eighth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast caused us to come to the knowledge of Thy word. We pray Thee: graciously keep us steadfast in this knowledge unto death, that we may obtain eternal life; send us now and ever pious pastors, who faithfully preach Thy word, without offense or false doctrine, and grant them long life. Defend us from all false teachings, and frustrate Thou the counsels of all such as pervert Thy word, who come to us in sheep's clothing, but are inwardly ravening wolves, that Thy true Church may evermore be established among us, and be defended and preserved from such false teachers, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Scriptures - Either Objective Truth or Subjective Opinion

Introduction

There are only two stances on the Scriptures. One is common to most readers, the other is hidden, recused, but dominant in today's world - 
  1. Objective Truth - The Bible is the infallible, only revealed Word of God, without error or contradiction, and judges all books. 
  2. Subjective Opinion - The Scriptures are the work of man, from many different sources, and are judged by the scientific knowledge of scholars who alone can bring clarity to the Word.
The Bible as Objective Truth is the proclamation of the Reformation. That Luther Bible was first translated in Germany for all the people, by churchmen who believed in the power, efficacy, and clarity of the Scriptures. Likewise, the King James Bible in England was translated by Tyndale and others to give the Holy Scriptures to everyone, no matter how poor and lowly they might be. 

The Bible as Subjective Opinion is the plague visiting us today, because churchmen let businessmen take over translating and publishing - embarrassed about miracles, the Virgin Birth, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The modern Bible factories are willing to please any faction, to see more Bibles they can sell for profit.

Many people do not realize that our American Bibles, thrust upon us, are lacking in those verses removed or corrupted by the Bible business and the rationalistic "scholars." Ministers are often trained by unfaithful professors to change the meaning of the clear, powerful, and gracious Word of the Gospel. 

Subjective opinions about the Bible:
  • Miracles are only wonders in the eyes of primitive, ignorant onlookers. We know better. Rauschenbusch, The Social Gospel, was publishing this in 1917 at Yale. This approach began in the Biblical department of Halle University, where rationalism replaced Biblical Pietism.
  • The Virgin Birth is a wonderful story for Christmas, expressing the hopes of all mankind. However, Joseph or someone else was the actual father of Jesus. That is why Isaiah 7:10 was changed by the RSV to - "a woman will conceive" - which is something less than a miracle from God Himself. 1950s - RSV - this was moved to a footnote then moved back into the current text.
  • Jesus died on the cross to show solidarity with other suffering people. Rauschenbusch, hippies, and the movie Godspell.
  • The Bible is only a human book - it "did not float down from heaven." (That sarcastic statement about floating down is a rejection of something never claimed by believers, who know that God Himself preserves His Word.) Therefore, the modern, scientific scholars can study and present the "real truth" of the Bible, minus "the roses," as Braaten-Jenson wrote in their whale-sized Christian Dogmatics, 1984.
The false teachers, wolves wearing cashmere, soften their message but only want to rend and butcher the flock. We see examples of these daily - the Scriptures are rejected, members robbed, and the reverend lupines make merry with the ewes and kids. Thus they must have their modern Bibles.

KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come* to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

*They come on their own - they are not sent by God.

Contrary to the apostates, the Sermon on the Mount is a real sermon with a definite structure, beginning with the Beatitudes, one of the most glorious passages in the Bible. The Sermon ends with the house built on sand-or-a rock-parable and the ravening wolf illustration. The house built on a rock illustrates whether our faith is based upon the eternity of God's Word or the current fads.

This warning relates to that house today - Western Civilization's repudiation of the Biblical message and mocking of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior, our Good Shepherd. The Lutherans - including the so-called conservative ones - and the rest of the mainstream Protestants and Roman Catholics - are that bad example. They welcome the false prophets and feed the flocks to the wolves, knowingly, happily, gleefully.

In any given situation, the wolves enter like little kittens, softly and winsomely announcing they are there to help everyone. False teachers are not called - they send themselves. In one situation, they "discovered" that each parish needed a fellowship hall - very expensive. They suggested their friends would help raise the money for a large fee. When that was done, the church was deeply in debt with a big room that by itself did nothing at all. Was that mass stupidity or greed? 

Jesus' warning is to carefully examine what false teachers are claiming for themselves. Discernment means to compare what is claimed to what is clearly taught in the Scriptures. When the wolves find they are being exposed as frauds, they howl and begin to snap, bite, and devour. When Sassy and I were being troubled by a very large dog on our walks, I carried a big elm walking stick. I shook it in the dog's face and said, "Go HOME!" The next time he saw me, he disappeared faster than a July frost.

False teachers come to stay. Like wolves, they are rather weak alone but very destructive in packs. False teachers band together, form societies, and endlessly praise each other. The Lutheran Forum issue on Robert Jenson praised him throughout and treated his writing as the very Word of God, though he participated in denigrating all the articles of faith we confess in the Creeds. A far more famous wolf, Karl Barth, has his own Center for Barth Studies devoted to him at Princeton University.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

This is simple and plain. As Lenski says, the fruits of the false teachers are their doctrine. That is what naturally comes from the source. The tree is a good visual because we do not ask a tree to be friendly, nice, smiley, or working 18 hours a day. We expect a good tree to bear good fruit. 

For example, a Church Growth pastor said everyone had to be in a cell group studying a book. He did not care what the book was - each one had to be in a cell group, period.

Some people have said, "It worked for a while." Yes, LCMS members joined WELS to flee from the LCA-ALC apostasy, so there was no real numerical growth, which does not matter anyway. The issue is whether someone believes in Christ and remains on the True Vine (John 15) bearing fruit. Thorns and thistles do not produce anything worthwhile. They produce more thorns and thistles - which cling to our clothing and find new places to infest. But no one makes thistle pie or a cake full of thorns.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Crepe Myrtle on the altar is a good example of this comparison which the Lord of Creation taught. The flowering bush, often as tall as a tree, cannot do anything but bear good fruit. First it flowers and bees, butterflies, and Hummingbirds fly in and out to obtain what they need. Next the fruit forms as a round seed loved by Cardinals and Robins. Those birds love the plant so much that they build their nests there and warn intruders who approach.

Someone once called these colorful plants "weeds," but weeds are sterile - never producing anything worthwhile. Weeds are prolific, but in the wrong way, which is good to recall when a false teacher names his gatherings, buildings, and money. No matter what his or her boast is, nothing good is coming from it.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

One famous Evangelist said he "owned Toronto," but became obsessed with rationalism and lost faith in Jesus Christ entirely. That ate away at him but he seemed unable to return to faith.

Broadcasting fake piety is not the same as trusting in the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave, ascending to Heaven.


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.