Lutheran Worship and Resources

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Easter 1 2022

 The First Sunday after Easter, 2021

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Bethany Lutheran Church, 10AM 
Central Standard Time


This is the Vimeo Link, after the service, for those with lower bandwidth.


The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

As newborn babes: desire the sincere milk of the Word.
Hear, O My people, and I will testify unto thee: 
O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto Me.
Psalm. Sing aloud unto God, our Strength: 
make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

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

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the solemnities of the Lord’s resurrection may, by the help of Thy grace, bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conversation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us. Hallelujah!
V. The angel of the Lord descended from heaven: 
and came and rolled back the stone from the door 
and sat upon it. Hallelujah!

The Gospel               
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22 
    
The Sermon Hymn #188       Halleluia Jesus LIves
         
       

I AM the True Vine


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
Hymn # 400              Take My Life and Let It Be



Prayers and Announcements
  • Medical care - Kermit Way, Pastor Jim Shrader, Chris Shrader, Callie and her mother Peggy, C.
  • Pray for our country as the major trials continue. And help all those suffering from economic difficulties.
  • The Bethany Lutheran Hymnal Blog was finishing up two years ago, with many enhancements and Norma Boeckler art since. 34,000+ views.
  • In our memories - Walter Boeckler, Carl Roper, Gary Meyer, Christina Jackson, Gladys Meyer, Lorie Howell's mother, Bethany Joan Marie, Erin Joy, and many others.


KJV 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

KJV John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


First Sunday After Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that of Thine ineffable grace, for the sake of Thy Son, Thou hast given us the holy gospel, and hast instituted the holy sacraments, that through the same we may have comfort and forgiveness of sin: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily believe Thy word; and through the holy sacraments day by day establish our faith, until we at last obtain salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.





I AM the Vine



John 15:15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 15:15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 

εγω ειμι η αμπελος η αληθινη και ο πατηρ μου ο γεωργος εστιν


This is another I AM sermon, and Jesus makes His relationship with the Father very clear. So many clever skeptics want to erase the divinity of Jesus so they make the Resurrection symbolic or - as one future Disciple of Christ put - "not very important."

Gardeners identify with this image. The previous centuries all understood the relationship between a farmer and his crops. They were life itself. Once upon a time, America was mostly rural, and people came here for vast acres of farming - and freedom. Those who garden today have a similar relationship. Sassy and I went out to the porch yesterday, as the sun was setting. I looked at each rose bush in the row next to the porch, watching how the buds were starting to form already. I woke up to thunderclaps, knowing they would be fed nitrogen from the rain, and cultivated by the vast system of soil creatures below.

The initial phrase is like the original Good Shepherd passage: I AM the Shepherd the Good = I AM the Vine the True. In Greek, this is saying "I  AM the one and only True Vine, not just a vine, not one of many.

Everything in our lives is connected to the Risen Christ, the one true Vine. TLH #400 is related to everything in this passage. Just as the Father/Son relationship is basic, so is our relationship with the Son basic. Everything is connected to Him, whether someone is a believer or not, a believer or an apostate. Nothing separates us from that reality, even though we are taught almost every day that we chart our own destiny, that we are free of any possible authority over us. That bizarre portrayal of freeing is designed to make us slaves of the Father Below so we can be fodder.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

παν κλημα εν εμοι μη φερον καρπον αιρει αυτο και παν το καρπον φερον καθαιρει αυτο ινα πλειονα καρπον φερη

I had trouble understanding this verse, because it was intended for believers only. It seems obscure and when considered over time - the verse could not be any clearer.

A rose is the same, so I will use that. Most people neglect their roses by not pruning them (taking them away). A brown stem is already dead, so it will not produce. Nota bene - a pruned rose is far more productive. It must be pruned to be healthy.

Someone who has a vague and partial relationship with Christ is not fruitful. In time, that person becomes a non-believer and no longer belongs in the Kingdom of God. The two verbs which seem alike are not, and rose growers know the difference.

A rose farmer like me will look for those brown stems, called dead wood, and cut them away with sharp shears. But when a bloom starts to fade to form a seed, the gardener also prunes with the same shears. The rose wants to produce a hip, a seed pod, and go to sleep for the season. The rose farmer wants to make it bloom more, branch out more, and deepen its roots.

(Rugosa - raggy - roses are grown for their hips, which the birds love.)

Cleansing refers to our confession of sin and declaration of forgiveness through faith. That is enhanced by the continuing power of Holy Baptism and the individual experience of the Last Supper, where forgiveness is so personal, as an action, that we cannot easily overlook it. That is in keeping with the Jewish tradition of re-enacting the Exodus and the miracle of bread from heaven (likewise John 6).

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

The first phrase annoys some people when the pastor leads the confession of sin and pronounces forgiveness in the Name of Christ. Jesus established the continuation of His role among the congregations formed after His resurrection. They are His words being repeated, even though we could just read them and just think about them. The spoken Word is more effective, and Jesus exemplified the practice of repeating the same basic truths.

According to Jesus, God's own Son, no one is fruitful apart from Him. The only way to be fruitful is to abide with Him, to remain with Him and not wander off into humanism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the occult. Many celebrities love to identify with two religions at once. They are no longer on the Vine, no longer fruitful.

The vast majority of ministers today think about the myths of Karl Barth and his aide Charlotte, or about the pantheism of Tillich, or about the marketing world of Fuller Calvinism. They are no longer on the Vine. They are not flourishing but being removed. 

The first four verses are repeated in a lightly different form here - 

5 I AM the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

That is a good, clear summary of what Jesus taught in the verses above. It could easily be a catechism response to "What Did Jesus Say about the Vine and the Branches?"

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Energy is a popular world today, and it is directly related to the New Testament concept (in Greek) - energy - works in, or active in. Jesus' teaching is powerful and effective in answering our prayers. This glorifies God = that Christians pray and become fruitful. What Jesus teaches is His love for us and our love for Him.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This summarizes His sermon, in such a brief and concise way. Keeping is also used as guarding, so we should guard the treasure and not be lax and lazy.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Sunday 2022

 


Vimeo Broadcast Link

Easter Sunday, 2022

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Use this link after the service, which is good for slower Internet bandwidth.

The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

He is risen, Hallelujah! 
Why seek ye the Living among the dead? Hallelujah!
Remember how He spake unto you, Hallelujah! 
the Son of Man must be crucified and the third day rise again. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Psalm. Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor: 
Thou madest Him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands.

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

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who celebrate Thy Paschal Feast, kindled with heavenly desires, may ever thirst for the Fountain of Life, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual       

The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #192 Gerhardt                Awake My Soul with Gladness                               

The Ending of Mark Is Real

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 #205            The Day of Resurrection

Announcements and Prayers
  • The Easter lilies are in memory of our members, friends, and family who have passed into everlasting life, Gary Meyer, Christina Jackson, Gladys Meyer, Lorie Howell's mother, Bethany Joan Marie, Erin Joy, and many others.
  • Treatment and recovery - Kermit and Maria Way, Pastor Jim Shrader and Chris Shrader, Callie and her mother Peggy, C., and many others.
  • Pray for our country as the major trials continue. And help all those suffering from economic difficulties..
  • We expect a camera for RESI on Monday and refunds from Vimeo, which refused to work as a new account last night.



KJV 1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

KJV Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. 9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. 12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.


Easter

Lord God, heavenly Father, who didst deliver Thy Son for our offenses, and didst raise Him again: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that He may rule and govern us according to Thy will; graciously keep us in the true faith; defend us from all sins, and after this life raise us unto eternal life, through the same, Thy beloved Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Ending of Mark Is Real

Background
I just ran across an Internet article which claimed, in the name of archeology, that the "earliest and best" sources did not have an ending for Mark's Gospel. That was the proof, those unnamed sources, serving as a demolition of Mark in the Majority Text, and the King James Version.

There are only two problems with this assertion. One is that Codex Sinaiticus (correctly dated about 1840 AD) is a forgery, not "the earliest and best." The other source is Codex Vaticanus (with no precise date or origin), which was kept under wraps until Tischendorf, who found Sinaiticus as if by magic, promoted the Church of Rome's bound volume, modestly named Vaticanus. Neither one of these major "sources" have a certified date or "descendants" copies of their work, said to be so pure and good.

The author's tone reminded me of the astronomer who was angry that planetarium managers used the Star of Bethlehem as a draw to visit their expensive and elaborate display of the sky when the Star of Bethlehem appeared. He could not deny the facts, but he disliked the suggestion that the story was real, that it appealed to Christians.

As someone wrote, "When no evidence is provided, no refutation is needed." However, the LCMS printing press, Concordia Publishing House, has rejected the original ( or "long") ending of Mark through its massive Gospel of Mark commentary. The author stated clearly that his two-volume attack is based on Codex Vaticanus. No wonder LCMS pastors become Roman Catholic priests.

KJV Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 

We have four clear apostolic accounts of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and a fifth - Mark - which is used as an attack against His resurrection. Basic to the Resurrection are the women going to the tomb, the appearance of angels and one speaking, the disciples' scepticism!, and His appearance to them in the upper room. Instead of fogging over the scene with angry repudiations of the Gospel of Mark, the scholars without faith should note that Simon Greenleaf, a noted scholar in evidence (Harvard Law), became a Christian believer while trying to refute the evidence of the empty tomb.

Why is St. Paul included as one who saw the risen Christ? He was on the road to Damascus when the Son of God appeared to Him, appointed him an apostle, and trained him. Jesus Christ planted faith in his heart, because Paul was not only an unbeliever but also fierce opponent of the Christians.

So we have five accounts, with the details varying but in harmony with each other. From that point, the cloud of witnesses grew as the risen Messiah established the Christian Church to 500 before His Ascension. The apostles trained pastors and the Christian Church grew enormously, without worrying about demographics and the felt needs of the various countries where they worked. (Fuller Seminary is all about measuring the population, dangling answers for the worries of people - such as time management.) Luther wrote - Wherever the Gospel is preached, eternal life springs up.

3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 

The women were so eager to finish their work, assuming Jesus was lost to them forever, that they never considered moving the stone placed over the entranced. Given the upper body strength of most women, they had no chance of moving it at all. Then they looked as they approached, they saw it was no longer blocking the entrance. Those stones were more like a very large lid rolled into place, and they could be moved by rolling them to the side, given enough muscle power. 

5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

I had no less than two LCA New Testament professors emphasize the "contradiction" of one or two angels, because only one angel talked. One professor was a Harvard ThD, and the other was a Princeton ThD. This comes from listening to the university authorities, who were against the divinity of Christ and His resurrection. They carried that unbelief around with them, teaching hundreds of college and seminary students. 

As I have written before, the details overlap, and they fit together quite well if one does not start out with bias. One foolish statement, often repeated, can influence a generation. For example, saying that the original New Testament texts are lost (a lie), opens up every verse to scrutiny. The Greek Christian Byzantine Empire outlasted the Western Roman Empire and protected the Greek treasures, including the New Testament. The Jewish scholars protected the Old Testament books. How bizarre, to think the Christian Church was so careless that they let the New Testament fall into contradictory and false versions. The 5,000 copies of the Majority (Traditional) Greek New Testament agree with each other, but five items were used by the modern rationalists to overturn the basic text of the King James Version.

6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Notice how poetic this is, a series of brief descriptive phrases. This makes me think the Holy Spirit intended it to be a confession and catechism, easily memorized by adults and children. In contrast, we are used to long, subordinated sentences, where the the words are so complicated and numerous the average writer or reader gets lost. (I tell students to chop those sentences into halves - or even thirds.)

8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.

In the Greek lectionaries and even today, this part was marked by "telos" - the end of the reading for the day. In ancient and Medieval times, the celebration of Easter lasted for days and the Sundays following, to establish the basics of Jesus Resurrection and Ascension. The Christian Church had readings for Easter Monday and so forth.

The sceptics want us to believe that all the accounts of the Resurrection were mythical. That is because denying the God in God's Word neuters all the mysteries (treasures) of the Gospel. After all, an unbelieving PhD in theology can always teach world history. A pastor told me, "You are the only world religion teacher I know who is a believer."

9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.

In fact, no one believed the great Resurrection at first. The women ran away. When Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, she believed and told the disciples, who were weeping and mourning His death. It is good to remember, when we have doubted, that the followers were stunned and disbelieving at first, even though they were taught in three separate addresses that Jesus would be arrested, tortured, and killled, and rise again. God conquers death with eternal life, and Jesus Christ is the proof. The entire Bible is one great Book of the Holy Spirit teaching us the revealed truths of the Holy Trinity.

12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 

Most people are aware of the Emmaus appearance in Luke (Easter Monday reading), but it is here in Mark as well, in abbreviated form. There are two agreeing examples for the sceptics, but they brush it aside. The grief-stricken disciples rejected what the women and Emmaus disciples had witnessed, and they were all together in the upper room when Jesus appeared before them, risen from the dead.

As Luther and Lenski like to say, Jesus upbraided His disciples often and primarily for their lack of faith in Him. After all, they did not even believe eye witnesses to the empty tomb and to Jesus Himself. And finally, as John records, Doubting Thomas did not believe his fellow disciples because he was not there for the first appearance in the upper, locked, bar the door room.

Why not pray for all things needed, no matter how trivial? If God can conquer death with the Word, then anything else is trivial in comparison. Prayer is asking, not demanding, and God answers according to His wisdom and loving determination.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

As Lenski says in Mark, p. 770, the part about serpents is not snake-handling, as a few do as their weird kind of sacrament, daring and defying God. There were deliberate poisonings in those days as the death penalty and also accidental because of scorpions and dangerous snakes. As one sainted member said, "Any excuse will do" in rejecting the Gospel.

For those fooled and seduced by Fuller Seminary, this Great Commission in Mark does not feature "making disciples" (which is typical of the sociological method) but preaching the Gospel, the only way to plant faith in unbelievers.

The disciples were given the miracle powers evidenced by the Son of God in His ministry, to establish  the Gospel and its power. Miracles have not stopped. The power belongs to God and should be the object of our prayers. Doubtless many angels do their work without a hint of gratitude from us. When considered after a remarkable turn of events, God and His holy angels should receive the thanks and praise.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs [miracles] following. Amen.

And we also have the Ascension in Mark 

(and Luke-Acts), which should make all the pastors have a separate event on the calendar, for three proofs - Mark, Luke, and Acts

KJV Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

This is a great passage to read, mark, and inwardly digest. 




Friday, April 15, 2022

Good Friday, 2022

 

Preludes -




350 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
 


Good Friday Vespers, 2022
7 PM Central Standard Time

The hymn tunes are linked to the name of the hymn. 
The words are linked to the the hymn number,

Live Streaming Service Here

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran  Church, Springdale, Arkansas
7 PM Central Standard Time

Use this link after the service for lower bandwidth




Hymn # 172:1-5         O Sacred Head             
The Order of Vespers                                             p. 41
The Psalmody                   Psalm 22                    p. 128


KJV Psalm 22
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.       
                        

Sermon Hymn #143   O Dearest Jesus 
    

The Sermon – The Gospel of the Old Testament, Psalm 22

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                           p. 45

Hymn #153         Stricken Smitten 



Prayers and Announcements

  • Prayers for Pastor Jim Shrader and his wife Chris, Kermit Way and his wife Maria Ellenberger Way, Callie and her mother Peggy, C., and others under medical treatment.
  • Those who are dealing with medical issues and loss.
  • Our country, leaders, and military.



The Gospel of the Old Testament, Psalm 22


KJV Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

Starting an Old Testament class, one student, the son of a minister, said, "I am looking forward to learning about the Gospel in the Old Testament." The son is also a pastor.

Jesus said these words from the cross, which along with Isaiah 53, make up the longest Gospel passages in the Old Testament. This statement could be viewed two ways at once. One is that Jesus fulfilled what King David wrote a thousand years before. The other view is that of Jesus expressing His own anguish. He was not removed from pain, from desertion and betrayal. He felt this deeply, just as many have. This is called the cry of abandonment, experienced in many situations, in war, poverty, long stretched-out disease, and in bearing the cross.

Jesus was in every way as vulnerable as we are, and yet was without sin.

KJV Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

That is one of the greatest passages in the New Testament.

KJV Psalm 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

This next section counters the despair with faith and hope in deliverance. The Bible often emphasizes the worst, the greatest of our fears and then re-assures us of God's love and compassion. That means when things are at their worst, at the rock bottom - good news - they will soon turn around. The story of Israel and the New Israel of Christianity is this - God delivers time and time again, but people abandon the Promises, forget the Ten Commandments, and worship idols. 

KJV Psalm 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

Yes, the crowds said to Jesus, "You are the great healer, the miracle-worker. Now show us what you can do!" And they say to believers today, "Why does God hate you and desert you?"  Even worse, the great pseudo-intellectuals demean and ruin the Gospel by mixing in their pagan and rationalistic eyes, and they do it where they are protected, within the visible church and within the academic fortresses of our land. 

Their faith was so weak that their heroes encountered German rationalism and loved it. They came back from studying in Europe and taught the same nonsense in America. Here is the prime example - "The original documents are gone. We no longer know exactly what the Apostles wrote." Yet God promised in many places and in many ways that His Word would last forever. As Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Word will never pass away."

KJV Psalm 22:9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

Where is this relationship found which is so close and intimate, the one between Father and Son? In the Gospel of John, the disciple Jesus loved.  So this expresses the trust of the Son for the Father, and also our trust in Him through Holy Baptism.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.1They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

This is a perfect scene of the Roman cross, though written 300 years before Rome began. The crucifixion is so clear that students who go over it again-  thinking about Jesus - are stunned by the precision. This is the suffering of the cross that Jesus endured for us. The soldiers gambled for His robe! He was dehydrated to the point of death. He had no strength. They nailed Him to the cross, hands and feet, horrible pain making everything else worse.

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. 25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. 26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations. 29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul. 30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. 31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

The promise given to Abraham in Genesis 15:6 and related passages is here too - the Kingdom promised would be more numerous than the sand on the shore. All nations will worship before God, and they do. And the faithful witnesses of the past are preserved in the King James Version today. 

One Old Testament student said, "Poetic passages in the Bible are more difficult to read." That is true because poetry came first, making transmission easier through those who memorized poetry. The meaning is more dense, so we must meditate day and night on the Teaching (Torah) of the Bible. Then the difficult passages came through with great clarity and power. That is the work of the Holy Spirit when we read the Scriptures, hear them read and explained, and recall them in our memories.