Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #9 – Ellacombe
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 Galatians 3:15-22
The Gospel Luke 10:23-37
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 295 M. Loy Erhalt uns Herr
Love Your Neighbor

The Hymn #207 Kingo – Werde munter
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 # 283 Grundwig – Reuter

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Luke 10:23 And he turned him unto [his] disciples, and said privately, Blessed [are] the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard [them]. 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded [him], and departed, leaving [him] half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked [on him], and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him], 34 And went to [him], and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave [them] to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast granted us to live in this accepted time, when we may hear Thy holy gospel, know Thy fatherly will, and behold Thy Son, Jesus Christ! We pray Thee, most merciful Father: Let the light of Thy holy word remain with us, and so govern our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may never forsake Thy word, but remain steadfast in it, and finally obtain eternal salvation; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Click here to find the melodies -

"O Day of Rest and Gladness"
by Christopher Wordsworth, 1808-1885
1. O day of rest and gladness,
O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness,
Most beautiful, most bright,
On thee the high and lowly
Before th' eternal throne
Sing, "Holy, holy, holy,"
To the great Three in One.
2. On thee at the Creation
The light first had its birth;
On thee for our salvation
Christ rose from depth of earth;
On thee our Lord victorious
The Spirit sent from heaven,
And thus on thee, most glorious,
A threefold light was given.
3. Thou art a cooling fountain
In life's dry, dreary sand;
From thee, like Nebo's mountain,
We view our Promised Land;
A day of sweet reflection,
A day of holy love,
A day of resurrection
From earth to things above.
4. Today on weary nations
The heavenly manna falls;
To holy convocations
The silver trumpet calls,
Where Gospel-light is glowing
With pure and radiant beams
And living water flowing
With soul-refreshing streams.
5. New graces ever gaining
From this our day of rest,
We reach the rest remaining
To spirits of the blest.
To Holy Ghost be praises,
To Father, and to Son;
The Church her voice upraises
To Thee, blest Three in One.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #9
Text: Ps. 118:24
Author: Christopher Wordsworth, 1862, cento, alt.
Tune: "Ellacombe"

"The Law of God Is Good and Wise"
by Matthias Loy, 1828-1915
1. The Law of God is good and wise
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.
2. Its light of holiness imparts
The knowledge of our sinful hearts
That we may see our lost estate
And seek deliverance ere too late.
3. To those who help in Christ have found
And would in works of love abound
It shows what deeds are His delight
And should be done as good and right.
4. When men the offered help disdain
And wilfully in sin remain,
Its terror in their ear resounds
And keeps their wickedness in bounds.
5. The Law is good; but since the Fall
Its holiness condemns us all;
It dooms us for our sin to die
And has no power to justify.
6. To Jesus we for refuge flee,
Who from the curse has set us free,
And humbly worship at His throne,
Saved by His grace through faith alone.
Hymn #295
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 19: 8
Author: Matthias Loy, 1863
Tune: "Erhalt uns, Herr"

"Like the Golden Sun Ascending"
by Thomas Kingo, 1634-1703
Translated by George A.T. Rygh, 1860-1942
1. Like the golden sun ascending,
Breaking through the gloom of night,
On the earth his glory spending
So that darkness takes to flight,
Thus my Jesus from the grave
And Death's dismal, dreadful cave
Rose triumphant Easter morning
At the early purple dawning.
2. Thanks to Thee, O Christ victorious!
Thanks to Thee, O Lord of Life!
Death hath now no power o'er us,
Thou hast conquered in the strife.
Thanks because Thou didst arise
And hast opened Paradise!
None can fully sing the glory
Of the resurrection story.
3. Though I be by sin o'ertaken,
Though I lie in helplessness,
Though I be by friends forsaken
And must suffer sore distress,
Though I be despised, contemned,
And by all the world condemned,
Though the dark grave yawn before me,
Yet the light of hope shines o'er me.
4. Thou hast died for my transgression,
All my sins on Thee were laid;
Thou hast won for me salvation,
On the cross my debt was paid.
From the grave I shall arise
And shall meet Thee in the skies.
Death itself is transitory;
I shall lift my head in glory.
5. Grant me grace, O blessed Savior,
And Thy Holy Spirit send
That my walk and my behavior
May be pleasing to the end;
That I may not fall again
Into death's grim pit and pain,
Whence by grace Thou hast retrieved me
And from which Thou hast relieved me.
6. For the joy Thy advent gave me,
For Thy holy, precious Word;
For Thy Baptism, which doth save me,
For Thy blest Communion board;
For Thy death, the bitter scorn,
For Thy resurrection morn,
Lord, I thank Thee and extol Thee,
And in heaven I shall behold Thee.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #207 from
Text: Acts 2: 32
Author: Thomas Kingo, 1689, cento
Translated by: George A.T. Rygh, 1908
Titled: "Som den gyldne Sol frembryder"

"God's Word Is Our Great Heritage"
by Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872
Translated by Ole G. Belsheim, 1861-1925
1. God's Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way,
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure.
Throughout all generations.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #283
Text: Ps. 16:6
Author: Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1817

The Parable of the Good Samaritan has been interpreted many ways, but first we should see the introduction, which may not seem to fit. Still it should be emphasized.

Blessed [are] the eyes which see the things that ye see: 24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard [them].

Whenever we hear the Words of Jesus, we should think those words over. Powerful and wise men lived and died without knowing and seeing what we often take for granted – the Gospel of Christ.

The smallest phrase from the Bible carries Christ to us, and us to Christ, so we should value each Word.

A lawyer stood up to test Jesus with a question. This questioning is an old Jewish custom and is embedded in some of their practices, such as the Seder meal. The idea was to stump the rabbi, so it provided training for the questioner and for the rabbi. In contrast, when the president of the LCA answered questions at one convention, he had them written down so he could read them in advance and prepare and answer. He avoided the most pointed questions, which included one of mine. The same thing happened when merger approached. I had to write my question for another official, so I asked if the two Lutheran insurance companies would be made into an “integrated auxiliary of the new organization.” Some people gasped and the main point was avoided.

What must I do to inherit eternal life? That is a good question.

Jesus asked him a question. How do you read it? The lawyer gave a summary from the Old Testament – love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

The lawyer asked the big question, trying to justify himself, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded with a parable.

The parable has many familiar details. The man was on the road to Jericho when he was beaten and robbed. For social activists, this means we should make the road to Jericho safe, not just bind up the wounds of victims. (For some reason, nothing of the sort is suggested by Jesus. As everyone knows by now, the apostates do not make the road safe for victims, but for thieves, and they definitely do not bind up the wounds of anyone. They do talk about it frequently.)

There are three responses to this man’s predicament. He was a Jew, traveling from Jerusalem, beaten, robbed, and left half-dead.

A priest came by and passed him on the other side of the road. So did a Levite, who also crossed over, although the parable said that he “looked at him.”

These are religious people who know the Torah, yet they do nothing to help one of their own.

Lastly comes the Samaritan, who is not called the Good Samaritan, but “a certain Samaritan.” The wording is a clue that this person symbolizes the Savior.

The irony of this story comes from the religious duties of the priest and Levite, the hatred of Samaritans toward all Jews. Samaritans and Jews had rival temples (John 4, Woman at the Well) and Scriptures very similar to each other. The Samaritan Old Testament is valued as a reference today so scholars can compare readings.

The people we assume will help pass by on the other side. The one with no obligation to help out, has compassion, stops to help, and his help goes far beyond the usual.

And went to [him], and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave [them] to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Oil and wine were used for healing at that time, but Luther sees in those references the proclamation of the Law (wine) and Gospel (oil). Wine disinfected the wound and oil helped the healing. Many times Luther’s explanations seem far-fetched at first, but perfect upon reflection. That is how Christ comes to us today. The Law shows us our sins, killing the germs (causes) but the Gospel provides the healing with God’s forgiveness.

The other details of the parable are significant.
1. The Samaritan took the half-dead (but treated) man to an inn – on his own beast. Christ carries us – we do not meet Him halfway, as the synergists claim.
2. He took care of the man at the inn. Christ does not say, “Be of good cheer,” while leaving us to bleed to death. He stays with us and cares for us in the healing.
3. He gave money to the innkeeper for addition time and care. This shows how God provides a generous amount of care for us, in various ways, directly and indirectly.
4. The Samaritan says to the innkeeper, “Take good care of him. Whatever you spend I will repay when I return.” This shows Christ handing over care to another person but repaying whatever kindness shown.

Some Protestants object to the Means of Grace, because there are so many ways in which the individual receives the forgiveness of sin through the atoning death of Christ. And yet, isn’t that the very lesson of this parable – many different ways Christ helps us?

This is closely related to the strange passage – 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 (Luke 16:9). Now this makes perfect sense, putting it in the framework of this parable. “The Samaritan is an alien, not a friend of our people, but he stopped, took care of my wounds, carried me to an inn, stayed there to care for me, and paid the innkeeper (with unrighteous mammon) for additional care and promised even more when he came back to settle the bill.” And the next verse - He that is faithful in that which is least (money) is faithful also in much (money): and he that is unjust in the least (money) is unjust also in much (doctrine).

Good works necessarily follow faith in Christ. If someone does not show mercy to others, does not help others, then he should question his own faith.

Many people say, “I belong to…” or I am descended from these famous (within my synod) synodical officials, but the issue is, “Do you believe in the Word of God?” The Bible divides the world into two distinct groups, and two only – the believers and the unbelievers. There are no levels of quality within that group of believers.

If a group of people own gold, there is no difference between those who hold their gold in the sock drawer, in safe, or in a bank. It is the same gold. In the same way, the believer holds Christ in his heart, so it is the same Christ, whether He is held in a baby’s heart, a theologian’s heart, or a coal miner’s heart.

Genuine faith in Christ leads to good works.

Let’s return to the parable itself. Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which one of the three proved to be a neighbor to the one who fell among thieves?” That was the original question asked, “Who is my neighbor?”

The lawyer said, “The one who showed mercy.” Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”

The main lesson, then, is that we should show mercy in the same way as the Samaritan. That is how the Bible teaches us.

The Word commands us to do good works (Parable of the Last Judgment), but also gives us the power and motivation to do good works. When we see how Jesus ministers to us through the Means of Grace, in so many different ways, even having other people take part (innkeepers) but repaying them, then our hearts are moved to show some of the same compassion He shows for us on a daily basis, freely and fully forgiving all our sins.

This love should not be telescopic in nature, freely shown to people in Borneo, but kept from those closest to us. Modern fads have us “saving the world” through meaningless gestures, such as having cloth grocery bags! The Word of God has us showing compassion to those closest to us, to our neighbors, family members, co-workers.

We are the innkeepers, not the Samaritan. Jesus is the Savior in charge of all ministry, but He lets us share in it and promises to pay us back when He returns. That is so true. Everything we do in His name is rewarded richly, so the least sacrifice is rewarded many times over, not as money paid back, but as satisfaction, enjoyment, pleasure in seeing the happiness of others. All the sacrifices of parents are stored up as a giant annuity which pays forever as the children grow and reflect the care, time and attention, and doctrinal teaching they receive.

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