Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Sunday after New Year 2022

  


The Sunday after New Year

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time





The Hymn #131           The Star Proclaims               
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh Thine house, O Lord, forever.
Thy throne is established of old: Thou art from everlasting.
Psalm. The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty: the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith He hath girded Himself.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, direct our actions according to Thy good pleasure, that in the name of Thy beloved Son we may be made to abound in good works; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.
The Epistle and Gradual 
Gradual
Save us, O Lord, our God, 
and gather us from among the heathen: 
to give thanks unto Thy holy name and to triumph in Thy praise.
V. Thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer: Thy name is from everlasting. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless His holy name forever. Hallelujah.
      
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #128           Brightest and Best  - Bishop Heber

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 #657            Beautiful Savior  
  

Prayers and Announcements
  • Denver suffered a catastrophic fire last week.
  • Randy Anderson is doing very well.
  • Doctor's care - Pastor Shrader, Pastor K, Dr. Lito Cruz.
  • Kermit and Maria Way have ongoing medical issues.
                                  

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. 16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. 19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. 21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Fiery Trial

1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

The apostle Peter began this section of his letter with a word play that also appears in English. An alien or foreigner or someone from another synod might be called "stranger," someone we are not accustomed to. The term xenophobia is taken from that Greek word - and it means a fear of strangers.

In spite of all that has happened before, they should expect new challenges and trials in the future. The Roman Empire was in decline, and that made persecution of the Christians more appealing. Someone had to be blamed, because this was going to be unthinkable to the Romans, which so strong, powerful, armed with full-time troops. 

Lenski, Peter, p. 202
They are on the way. The introduction explains how the situation has changed completely, and how this change prompts Peter to write to all these people in the provinces mentioned in 1:1. Nero and the imperial government in Rome are taking a hostile attitude to-ward Christianity, are treating it as a religio illicita,   The Roman authorities in the provinces will soon adopt the same attitude. When they do, the readers are not to be surprised but are to rejoice that they are called upon to fellowship the sufferings of Christ who was put to death by the Jews (3:18).

13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The early Christian Church was persecuted as an illegal religion and scapegoat until Constantine issued the Edict of Milan 313 AD, after his victorious Battle of the Milvan Bridge.
The Holy Spirit inspired Peter to warn the beloved members of this upcoming threat and the gravity of the persecution. This was also the time when the Christian Church also began opposing heresies within.

Various writers complain that there is both a message about the return of Christ and one about not knowing when. But some were already tempted to think the end was near and work was not necessary. It is best to be warned and able to deal with the unknown with faith in Christ and His mercy.

Luther talks about light in his sermon on the Day of Epiphany. The light of revelation is harsh to those who do not believe, but pleasing to those who do. When Jesus was transfigured before the eyes of certain disciples, they wanted to stay there and enjoy the experience, and build a memorial.

14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Outright persecution of the Faith is not practiced here, as it is in many countries, but the disloyal opposition is skilled at denigrating Christianity, faith in Christ, and the values of being a Christian. There is no better position for mischief than within the ranks, as has happened over the centuries. The Antichrist is at work, along with the efforts of little Antichrists, all serving their Father Below. They do not love the Light of the World, so they are keen on adjusting everyone to their version.

Reproach for the Name of Christ should make us more keen about the truth and answering why we have this hope within us, as Peter himself taught. That is one reason I emphasize Creation in gardening and also in becoming Christian, since we are literally new Creations when the Gospel converts us to faith in Him.

Creation makes many people uneasy, at least on the surface, because everything scientific is measured and explained by evolution. However, evolution is a denial of God's work and also convenient but wrong way to look at everything around us. How strange to be awed by what a generation of men decided in removing God from every issue, ignoring what is clearly beyond our comprehension if we look closely at what is happening in our own garden, and lacking that, in our lawns.

Falsehood is often wrapped up in layers of very sophisticated philosophy. However, truth is voiced by the smallest children who have never studied Kierkegaard and Thomas Aquinas. 

Fellowshipping with the suffering of Christ, as Lenski wrote, is a great honor. His denomination did their best to silence him about inerrancy, because it would interfere with the merger of 1930. Almost 100 years later, his commentaries are still in demand and people ask about how to get them. The publisher, after two mergers, abandoned the commentaries but decided no one else could print them. They are public domain.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

This is a an interesting combination - three great crimes, and one which is a common problem and a gradual destroyer of others. Suffering as a Christian glorifies God. But now we are in the time predicted in this section. Major figures have revealed their false character and have become pariahs for those crimes. If they are found guilty of crimes, how much worse will it be for unbelievers. 

If the righteous scarcely be saved - that is a challenge for us to live in peace and in obedience to the Word of God.

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Our faithful Creator will accomplish everything according to His will and compassion, so we are to trust in Him.








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