Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, February 20, 2022

 


Bethany Lutheran Church 

Sexagesima Sunday, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
10 AM Central Standard Time






The Hymn #350               Jesus the Very Thought                      
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16


Awake, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? 
Arise, cast us not off forever.
Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face: 
and forgettest our affliction?
Our soul is bowed down to the dust: 
arise for our help and redeem us.
Psalm. We have heard with our ears, O God: 
our fathers have told us what work 
Thou didst in their days.

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

O God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do, mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, 
who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual    

Let the nations know that Thy name is Jehovah: Thou alone art the Most High over all the earth.
V. O my God, make them like a wheel 
and like chaff before the wind.
Tract. Thou, O Lord, hast made the earth 
to tremble and hast broken it.
V. Heal the breaches thereof, for it shaketh.
V. That Thy beloved may be delivered, save with Thy right hand.

The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 339          All Hail the Power
 
The Seed Is the Word of God

The Hymn # 308                    Invited Lord                          
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
  • Medical care - Norma Boeckler, Randy Anderson, Pastor Jim Shrader, Chris Shrader, Lito Cruz and Pastor K - diabetes.
  • Children - Callie, seizures; C. therapy.
  • Pastor Jackson's eyes: 20/20; 20/25.
  • RESI training will finish this week, starting early.
Finishing the New Book - The King James Version: Apostolic Text, Precise Translation versus Fraudulent Text and Heretical Translations


 Norma A. Boeckler

2 Corinthians 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.  21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.  22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.  23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen,in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?  30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.  32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:  33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)  4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.  5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.  6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

By Norma Boeckler

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:  5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.  6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.  7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.  8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?  10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 Norma A. Boeckler designed the Bethany altar
and created this photograph of it.




The Seed Is the Word of God
Introductory

One of the most important lessons from Luther is the concise nature of the Spirit at work in the Word. That means that every phrase and nearly every Word has meaning, because God works efficaciously through His Word.

So people (or maybe pastors) grew bored with a one-year cycle of readings and followed the Vatican's example of a three- year cycle. No one thought Rome was an enemy of the Gospel - they have their people in all the top positions in Bible societies.

Repetition means we should examine these lessons closely, because that was intended, especially with the parables. One example is Luther's point that the seed is the Gospel alone - from Christ - because there are no weeds that grow in this parable. That has greater and greater meaning as we study this short parable. 

I can say with great confidence that hardly anyone understands or teaches this parable as intended, because we see all kinds of salesmen running around selling Unstuck programs, or phone programs, or fun-and-games-and-popcorn instead of worship. It is good that fools spend all their money on foolishness and end up with nothing of value. They are precisely and remorselessly described in this parable.

KJV Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

Vast throngs came to Jesus because of His healing miracles. They might have heard of other miracles (the wedding at Cana) but healing was clearly an attraction for everyone. Jesus spoke through parables, as Matthew and Mark say, because His Word was not for superficial people looking for the fad of the moment. 

It is so true today - "to see and not perceive, to hear and not understand," 

KJV Mark 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

The central point of this parable - the Seed is the Word of God. As Luther points out, this Seed is Gospel only because the parable only speaks of seed fruiting. Weeds do not grow useful fruit, only more of the same weed - ragweed, poke weed, hemlock, poison ivy, etc.

The Bible teaches us that the Seed is the Word of Christ, accompanied by the Holy Spirit. That means it is is good, useful, powerful, and effective all by itself. Man does not add to the Word or improve it. The purer the teaching, the more power it has. However, because the Word belongs to God alone, the Word is not our plaything, tool, or device needing ideas and false teachings from other religions and from destructive, false Christian teachers, who are more destructive than outsiders. 

Why hide His truths in parables? Because we also keep power tools, motors, and high voltage lines under lock and key. More than one child has caused harm from playing with them. I found a way to engage the clutch in my mother's car when I was alone in the front seat. I watched as a man ran along the downhill slope to get inside and stop it. 

Parables are so compelling because we can learn from them all the time. They are short enough to remember and mysterious enough that we have to be serious to understand them.

No one who gives away soft drinks, coffee, and popcorn before a worship service comprehends this parable. The very act of using food and entertainment is a repudiation of the Word. Why so ashamed of the Gospel and so enamored of food. 

All those using sociology to explain the Church today are blind to this parable. They bemoan empty churches but fail to see their Internet writings never touch on faith in Christ. No, they love demographics (an aging population), sociology (who still likes to go to church?), history (blaming people of the past and getting rid of traditional books and the Apostolic Majority Text (KJV). Sometimes, when tempted by one forum, I want to post something and realize they cannot deal with the Gospel. One group of Ovaltine drinkers ran like scalded dogs - away from my endorsement of the KJV.

5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 

This is living seed. The Word is imbued with life, just as plant seeds are. Even more today, food seeds are valuable and expensive because they are practical and ready to burst into germination.

The seed of the parable is the Gospel Word.

Luther:

2. The first class of disciples are those who hear the Word but neither understand nor esteem it. And these are not the mean people in the world, but the greatest, wisest and the most saintly, in short they are the greatest part of mankind; for Christ does not speak here of those who persecute the Word nor of those who fail to give their ear to it, but of those who hear it and are students of it, who also wish to be called true Christians and to live in Christian fellowship with Christians and are partakers of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. But they are of a carnal heart, and remain so, failing to appropriate the Word of God to themselves, it goes in one ear and out the other. Just like the seed along the wayside did not fall into the earth, but remained lying on the ground in the wayside, because the road was tramped hard by the feet of man and beast and it could not take root.

When people were looking at the Church Growth numbers, and denouncing others for not making membership charts, they were playing the role of the outwardly Christian leaders who had no faith. They can have a vast knowledge of Christianity and not believe. In fact, that makes them more attractive and college and seminary teachers and especially world religion professors in state schools (all ardent atheists, but very knowledgeable).

When I emphasize the efficacy of the Word (last chapter of Liberalism: Its Cause and Cure) using the concepts of this parable, two leaders in missions stood up to denounce me with all their might. They were joined by a future missionary to the Ukraine, who swore and flung my paper across several pews. That is when I decided it would be the last chapter of the book. When Liberalism was published by WELS, a meeting was organized to get rid of me in a surprise attack meeting.

So the parable is a perfect example of those who have an outward expression of Christianity but really hate the Gospel and can never be productive of the Gospel. When birds come across seed on shallow or packed soil, they quickly snatch it up and devour.

Satan attacks the Word through these skirmishes, which are artfully designed to uphold the impression of the Faith while undermining it. The use of modern "translations" based upon fraudulent texts (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus) is a good example of something outwardly good to most people but loaded with falsehoods from the anti-Christian Christian leaders of the 19th century KJV "revision." Hort loved "Mary religion" in his own words and partner Bishop Westcott combined Hinduism with Christianity. One day the entire world would be Christ incarnate in every person (Westcott).

6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

This emphasizes the superficiality of making people excited over the Gospel without any depth to their knowledge or any suggestion of bearing the cross. If they are exuberant on a special positive, inspiring day and run into terrible difficulties soon after, joy fades and they turn to other amusements. 

People often give in because of opposition. Clergy get very discouraged because they try to do the right things and get hatred for it. In God's Creation, opposition is good for trees and plants. They even flourish because of storms and freezes. 

We have to remember this is God's Gospel Word, so it is always good and powerful, but it will meet opposition and outright persecution. 

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 

I planted honeysuckle, which is loved in the South and often considered obnoxious in growth. I was warned. I said, "I hope so in the back yard." But another weed-like plant said, "This water is mine." and engulfed the supposedly fast growing honeysuckle and choked it with leaves surrounding and absorbing the sun's energy.

One could easily say (and be shouted down) that the pastor's job is only the Word, not serving the synod or organizing baseball or building a new, even larger chapel. All the seemingly worthwhile activities engulf the entire congregation so the least important area is the Means of Grace while imitations of secular fun take over.

8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The nature of sowing means that the seeds, equal in life, take hold best in fertile soil and can even overwhelm other plants with their growth. (Buckwheat did that when I scattered them through the rose garden.)

So the briefest part of the descriptions is the plain truth. The Gospel Word will fall on good ground and increase beyond anyone's imagination. Although there are many ways in which the Word is opposed, hindered, and suffocated by bad alternatives, the power of the Gospel Word is shown in more than making up for the difficulties....

15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luther writes about hatred, opposition, and persecution. Wycliffe's body was burned after he died and his ashes thrown into the river in 1415. 

Tyndale was murdered, then burned in 1536. Luther knew of many Christians killed by the papacy - and the Word only grew faster, especially because few had heard of Justification by Faith - just as few hear it today.


The Mysteries
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

The term mystery is used here (and with Paul) to describe those spiritual truths which are only given to us through the Spirit in the Word. That encourages all kind of mockery because those blind to the mysteries will make fun of them and wonder about the intelligence and understanding of the believer. The mysteries include:
  • The Holy Trinity 
  • Creation
  • God's grace
  • The inerrancy of the Word and its perseverance
  • The divinity, Virgin Birth, miracles, atoning death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.
  • Forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Eternal life
Ministers are (1 Corinthians 4:1) "stewards [caretakers] of the mysteries of God" so they are obliged to teach the truth of the Scriptures, no matter what others may say, no matter how the supposed great men of the visible Church react against it. 



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