The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
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 #45 Now the Hour of Worship
- The roses are for - January 27th - the anniversary of Gary and Alicia Meyer.
- For those suffering from the difficulties of the lockdowns, job threats, anxiety, and depression.
- Guy Johnson, retired police officer, Pastor Jackson's friend since grade school, hospitalized, ICU.
- Doctor's care - Pastor Shrader, Pastor K, Dr. Lito Cruz.
- Our elected President and his supporters, our military justice system.
Third Sunday After Epiphany
|This mint is called Bee Balm for some reason.|
The Word Creates and Builds Faith
KJV Matthew 8:1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Here is an example of the Word creating faith. This leper was present to hear the Sermon on the Mount, and the words of Jesus filled this tortured man with faith in Jesus as divine. The leper's faith is revealed in his struggle to reach Jesus and to worship Him as God. As an outcast having nothing but rejection and avoidance, the leper understood more than modern Biblical critics, who deny this is a an actual sermon. But this disabled and tormented man believed in the Savior and said in humility - "If you will, you can cleanse me from this disease."
This is far from the modern fad of "name it and claim it," where people are instructed that they can have anything they want if they just tell God what they want and when they want it, like ordering from a menu. This shows lack of faith, not faith in Him. It sets people up for disappointment and unbelief.
It is far better to trust God's will than our own, because God can see the future far in advance and knows what lies ahead.
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
People fuss about the ways in which Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. Details matter. Jesus touched someone who was untouchable and utterly shunned and avoided, for fear of the disease. What better lesson than to stop for this leper, with crowds surging around as they left, after the Sermon, Jesus touching the very man who repulsed them
We can imagine a wide expanse around Jesus and the leper as they pressed to move as far as possible away from the untouchable. Even more people witnessed this because of the stage they set for fear of leprosy. A similar effect works today, if a child covers his mouth and a parent says "Let us through - he is sick to his stomach." Crowds will part and space will open up instantly.
The miraculous cure was immediately visible. The worst kind of disfigurement or weakness or disability changed into health. Jesus cured the leper with assurance - I will - and with the Word - Be clean.
Is this different from the Confession of Sin and Absolution? Not at all. In humility we confess our sins and Christ Himself - delegating to the worship leader - speaks the Gospel Word of forgiveness.
4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
People miss the connection between the healing and going to the Temple. The temptation for the healed man is to stop along the way, go to friends, talk about the healing, and so forth. Who could resist? The leper was commanded to head to the Temple as a witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ and give the leaders an opportunity to believe in Him. Many different clear Gospel messages and warning were aimed at official Judaism, to give them the chance to know the Promises of the Old Testament were being fulfilled in their time.
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
I know how this feels. A best friend, from all the way back to grade school, is in the ICU on a ventilator. The centurion is a Roman officer, there because the country is now a part of the Roman Empire. He addressed Jesus as Lord, even though he has great power as a Roman officer in control of professional soldiers .
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
Jesus, knowing the mind of the centurion, offered to come to the man's villa and heal the servant. Thus the Promise is already given, and sincere faith is the response given.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Once again, the humble attitude is expressed first. He is not worthy to have Jesus inside of his house, which is just the opposite of using his house as a symbol of power and wealth. Jesus does not need to be nearby, because the officer knows the meaning of command. The word of the centurion is law. No matter what he orders, it will be done by the men under his command. That is still true today. Unlike any other organization, the military operates by command, from the top down. Knowing Jesus is divine, the officer trusts the power of the divine command, the Word which so many neglect or despise today.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Like the Canaanite woman, this officer serves as a contrast, total trust in Jesus when Pharisaical Judaism rejected Him. The most likely ones to honor the Gospel Promises were resistant, but the outsiders were sincere believers.
That is true today, where the official, ruling Lutheran officials are the most likely to gather at Fuller Seminary, Purpose-Driven Drive, Willow Creek, and Andy Stanley's Babtist Church- and yet they are the least likely to know or like or read Luther.
The Biblical and text scholars of today, if gathered in a great conference, would be mostly Unitarian at best, and very likely to favor Hinduism over Christianity.
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This passage is the truth of that era and ours. Those expected to follow the Scriptures are the most allergic to them, now that Christianity is established everywhere. Those who suffer real persecution value the Gospel the most.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
We cannot measure God's actions by the latest reports, news, predictions, experiences. We can carry out the divine plan, honoring what He has created in us (our special offices, duties) and for us - the basics of Scripture, worship, prayer, and healthy living.
Society truths have to be measured against Scriptural truths. Many times the official claims of the moment are little more than crowd control, the management rather than the truth of the news. We have that truth before us in the traditional Scriptures, translation (singular), text (singular), hymns, worship, and supplemental books.