Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
The Introit p. 16
O almighty God, who hast knit together Thine elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Thy Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, grant us grace so to follow Thy blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living that we may come to those unspeakable joys which Thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love Thee; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
Believers Are the Saints
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 #341 Crown Him with Many Crowns
|By Norma A. Boeckler
- Pastor Jim Shrader has been doing better. Randy Anderson is doing well with his therapy. Callie just had surgery to help with her seizures.
Believers Are the Saints
KJV 66:66 Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
If we rely on God's Word and will, the necessary things come to be and show what God can do. As Ephesians 3 teaches us - He answers us before we even begin to ask. This is a faith passage -
KJV Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Lenski points out two categories of mourning. One is the pain we feel at the loss of a loved one. We experience that all our lives - parents, children, relatives, friends, people we loved and respected. This separation is profound and we experience that loss. But we have this from Ephesians to give us hope and confidence:
- We know the love of Christ, which is so great and undeserved that it remains beyond all knowledge - grace only through faith in Him, not because of our virtue but because of His death and resurrection. Ephesians 3:19
- According to the power [efficacy of the Word], through the Spirit, He gives more than we can ask or think. 3:20. This is literally through the faith of Him (3:12) which is more powerful - not our faith in Him, which is the result of the Gospel Promises. The KJV is precise, but most of the other translations change the actual wording of power from Him (the priority, also in Romans 3 and other places) the faith of Jesus.
- Thus eternal life comes to us from the Holy Trinity, the One God, and nothing can keep us from that singular blessing. Note that false teachers always end up talking about our works being the cause of salvation.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
This is an age of opposing and rejecting the Law. Often the lawless mourn only their suffering from the results of their hedonism and self-centeredness. There is much howling and gnashing of teeth repentance in this world (either self-centered or showing off for others) but godly sorrow for sin is true repentance (his pun - without repentance). King David is our stellar example in his Psalms of repentance.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Meek and lowly are two attributes of Jesus. See Matthew 11:29f. The public ministry of Jesus took place in a land where the Roman Empire ruled, charged taxes for being ruled, and would spend plenty of time destroying Jerusalem and the Temple only 40 years after His death and resurrection. We can safely say that the Christian religion which lost Jesus Christ, His Apostles, and so many leaders have inherited the world, especially in contrast to Rome, which was the empire of the world and is now a tourist spot.
Many church leaders are bullies who have power but little faith. They rule for a few years and are soon forgotten -- or else they are remembered for their destructive actions and dogmas. They serve to wake up the meek and lowly to honor, respect, and love the Word of God. Without the bad and faithless leaders (denominations, professors, famous pastors) we would lack the energy and the will to stay with the true Word of God.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
This is such a beautiful and comforting verse. Growing up in a bakery, after a side-gig at Dairy Queen, I learned that one can be surrounded by desserts and still be hungry. Working shifts where I could eat anything I wanted, we were happy to go out and enjoy a real meal, or buy sausage from a nearby grill.
This righteousness is the righteousness of faith. The contrite long for forgiveness, and this reminds us of the great mercy and love of God, who pours out His love and grace on all those who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, dying for our sins and rising from death, ascending into heaven.
The parallel between the Feedings of the Multitudes and Holy Communion are impossible to ignore. Just as Jesus mulitplied the loaves and fish, so He gives us His body and blood miraculously with the elements, for forgiveness of sin, suporting our faith, and preparing us for eternal life. Just as food is received individually, so is this Means of Grace received one by one.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Mercy multiplies mercy, and evil multiplies evil. The only way to stop the bad cycle is our own contrition for sin. There is too much bullying, slander, and coldness in our society.
Lenski, Matthew, p. 191
The first four beatitudes look toward God, the next three toward men. These treat of three virtues which mark the godly as blessed. “The merciful” are, of course, the same persons as those referred to in the previous beatitudes. Luther well says that in all the beatitudes faith is presupposed as the tree on which all the fruit of blessedness grows. This, then, is not mere natural mercy as it is occasionally found among men generally but the mercy growing out of our personal experience of the mercy of God.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
There are many Biblical references to this, which we might call "sincerity." The Latin of sincerity means "without wax" because broken clay pots were patched with wax and melted in the sun. They looked good on the outside but fell apart in the sun. The Greek word was "tested by the sun," which is another way of looking at the same deception. Some who pretends to care and then is the opposite - that person is not sincere and may fall into all kinds of trouble and godly wrath.
God's will is that we believe in Jesus Christ and His Word, following in His steps. There is no loss in keeping His commandments and teaching, no matter what others say and do.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Life is paradoxical, a seeming contradiction. Those who advance themselves with deception and guile are called good company men and women. Those who establish peace through sound (healthy) doctrine from God are called trouble-makers, disturbers of Zion, heretics, and suitable for expulsion. The Reformation began with pastors and laity cruelly imprisoned and killed for teaching the Scriptures. In England, it was against the law (Henry VIII) and men were executed for that time.
The Bible seldom uses peace in relation to murder or warfare. The main reason to use peace is to express the result of forgiveness through Christ and fidelity to God's Word. People can use the Law all day long, and many do that with man-made laws, but the only true peace comes from access to the grace of Christ through faith in Him, knowing the good news is from the faith of Jesus first of all.
God's Word establishes and enlightens believers while hardening the unbelievers.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
I have often heard that questioning Church Growth is "slander" and worse. I never realized that the Eighth Commandment was intended to support and protect Calvinism, marketing, and lawlessness. That is always a shock, to realize that those who swore allegiance to the Scriptures were so hardened against the Scriptures and the Reformation. Mockery of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was a clear sign that the leaders had no use for the historical watershed. Now they must endure the bitter taste of institutional failure, since they have set up this scenario in the last 50 years (or more).
I hear what the Fuller Lutherans are saying (so much like the other denominations, the most vocal, the Church of Rome -
- Institutional success.
- Good managers.
- Borrowing business methods.
- Looking for things that appeal to people.
- Ancestor worship - the ultimate test (yes, even in Rome, where cousins, nephews, and other relatives are automatic leaders).