Sunday, July 22, 2018

Proper 12 Series B notes


Proper 12
Genesis 9:8–17
Ephesians 3:14–21
Mark 6:45–56

Creation Is Redeemed and Sanctified by the Word of Christ Jesus

Having spared faithful Noah and his family from the flood, the Lord established His covenant with them, “and with every living creature,” that never again would there be “a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:9–11). He signed and sealed this everlasting covenant with His rainbow in the clouds, by which He sees and remembers His promise that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” (Genesis 9:13–16). Although creation suffers under the curse of sin, the Lord preserves and orders creation for the benefit of His Church. In particular, all of creation is redeemed and sanctified by the incarnate Son of God. “Take heart,” and “do not be afraid,” for He is with you on the sea. He is not a ghost, but He has come in the flesh to save you. He has gotten “into the boat” with you, and the wind that was against you has ceased (Mark 6:45–51). For He is the Word and promise of the Father, and His own flesh and blood are the covenant by which you are “strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” (Ephesians 3:16–17).

Mark 6:45-56

Almighty and most merciful God, the protector of all who trust in You, strengthen our faith and give us courage to believe that in Your love You will rescue us from all adversities;

In the lessons for this coming Sunday God's promises are given and the Lord remembers those promises while man might not. The Lord promises Noah and his family that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood. In the Epistle lesson Paul thanks the Lord for the richness of grace which the Lord has established in Christ. In the Gospel Christ comes walking to His frightened disciples on the sea. They do not recognize Him because of fear and hardness of heart. The sermon hymn reminds us that it is the Lord Himself that orders our days.

Faith calls for us to recognize the Lord working in our life especially when we cannot see His hand at work. God will not abandon us to the world we create for ourselves.  God does not withdraw to a contamination-free zone and leave us to get on with it on our own...but enters into the darkness, seriousness and consequences of human wrong-doing … in order to save us.

In Mark 1:16-20 when Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John without any apparent previous knowledge of Jesus, they left everything immediately and followed him. What had they recognized in Jesus? It is remarkable that none of the gospels provide a physical description of Jesus. We will never be able to pin him down by virtue of his appearance. Rather, we will always have to recognize Jesus for who He is and what He does. It is more than the miracles and healings Jesus performed or the things he taught. It may actually take the gift of faith to recognize the one who died on the cross as the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
Following the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus sends his disciples by boat to Bethsaida. Jesus, in the meantime, spends time in prayer. Jesus, aware that the boat is struggling in a high wind, walks out to the boat and is about to "pass them by." The disciples are terrified, but Jesus quiets them and the wind. The disciples response is amazement, rather than faith, for "they did not understand about the loaves."

 
The account of Jesus' walking on water follows immediately on from the feeding of the 5,000. The language is tied closely to the feeding and exhibits the heightened emotions of an eye witness. Like the feeding, this story is full of theological imagery. As in Psalm 107:23-32, where the Lord carries his people to their haven of rest, so Jesus miraculously reveals himself as the one who can take his people across the sea to their haven of rest. The story images Israel's crossing of the Reed Sea and the River Jordan. Yet, as with the feeding of the 5,000, the disciples do not understand the significance of the miracle and therefore do not come to faith.

Jesus Walks on Water
(Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:16-25)
45 Καὶ  εὐθὺς  ἠνάγκασεν  τοὺς  μαθητὰς  αὐτοῦ  ἐμβῆναι  εἰς  τὸ  πλοῖον  καὶ  προάγειν  εἰς  τὸ  πέραν  πρὸς  Βηθσαϊδάν,  ἕως  αὐτὸς  ἀπολύει  τὸν  ὄχλον.  Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
πρὸς  Βηθσαϊδάν John mentions Capernaum. Mark will use Bethsaida. Both are on the northern end of the lake. The disciples are going “toward” in the general direction. Remember this event happens as they are about six miles out. Very easy to get blown off course.
46 καὶ  ἀποταξάμενος  αὐτοῖς  ἀπῆλθεν  εἰς  τὸ  ὄρος  προσεύξασθαι.
      And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

Here are hints of Moses who went off to pray and meet God.

47 καὶ  ὀψίας  γενομένης  ἦν  τὸ  πλοῖον  ἐν  μέσῳ  τῆς  θαλάσσης,  καὶ  αὐτὸς  μόνος  ἐπὶ  τῆς  γῆς.
And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land

This sets the stage for the event. Everyone is where they need to be.
Is “the boat” shorthand for “the Church”?

48 καὶ  ἰδὼν  αὐτοὺς  βασανιζομένους  ἐν  τῷ  ἐλαύνειν,  ἦν  γὰρ    ἄνεμος  ἐναντίος  αὐτοῖς,  περὶ  τετάρτην  φυλακὴν  τῆς  νυκτὸς  ἔρχεται  πρὸς  αὐτοὺς  περιπατῶν  ἐπὶ  τῆς  θαλάσσης·  καὶ  ἤθελεν  παρελθεῖν  αὐτούς.
And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them 

Βασανιζομένους – carries the understanding of eschatological visitation. To be examined, tortured. See Matthew 8:6 the Centurion’s servant is in deep emotional distress.
49 οἱ  δὲ  ἰδόντες  αὐτὸν  ἐπὶ  τῆς  θαλάσσης  περιπατοῦντα  ἔδοξαν  ὅτι  φάντασμά  ἐστιν,  καὶ  ἀνέκραξαν·
but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out 

Jesus sees them and comes to them.
4th watch - between 3am-6am – the time of Jesus’ resurrection - when He will rise. He makes to pass by - showing His divinity.
 ἔδοξαν – to consider
They cry out in fear. They fear not the wind and waves they fear Jesus.

50 πάντες  γὰρ  αὐτὸν  εἶδον*  καὶ  ἐταράχθησαν.    δὲ  εὐθὺς  ἐλάλησεν  μετ’  αὐτῶν,  καὶ  λέγει  αὐτοῖς  Θαρσεῖτε,  ἐγώ  εἰμι,  μὴ  φοβεῖσθε.
for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 

Jesus – λέγει - preaches to them “Take heart, I am, stop fearing!” Be of good cheer, be heartened, fear not, Christ is.
51 καὶ  ἀνέβη  πρὸς  αὐτοὺς  εἰς  τὸ  πλοῖον,  καὶ  ἐκόπασεν    ἄνεμος·  καὶ  λίαν  ἐκ  περισσοῦ  ἐν  ἑαυτοῖς  ἐξίσταντο·
And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded 

They were very much outside themselves astounded.

52 οὐ  γὰρ  συνῆκαν  ἐπὶ  τοῖς  ἄρτοις,  ἀλλ’  ἦν  αὐτῶν    καρδία  πεπωρωμένη. for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened

Time in the Word - Pentecost 10 - Proper 12


Time in the Word

Pentecost 10 –Proper 12
July 23-28 2018




Prayer in time of affliction and distress: Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Home and Family: Visit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep far from them all harm and danger. Grant us to dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, and may Your blessing be with us forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer the Unemployed and Under-employed: Heavenly Father, we remember before You, those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Lead us so to use the wealth and resources of this rich land that all persons may find suitable and fulfilling employment and receive just payment for their labor; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Pray for Peace: O God, whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world simply cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Collect for this Sunday Proper 12Almighty and most merciful God, the protector of all who trust in You, strengthen our faith and give us courage to believe that in Your love You will rescue us from all adversities; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. . Amen

In the lessons for this coming Sunday, God’s promises are given and the Lord remembers those promises while man might not. The Lord promises Noah and his family that He will never again destroy the earth by a flood. In the Epistle lesson Paul thanks the Lord for the richness of grace which the Lord has established in Christ. In the Gospel Christ comes walking to His frightened disciples on the sea. They do not recognize Him because of fear and hardness of heart. The sermon hymn reminds us that it is the Lord Himself that orders our days. Faith calls for us to recognize the Lord working in our life especially when we can not see His hand at work. God will not abandon us to the world we create for ourselves.  God does not withdraw to a contamination-free zone and leave us to get on with it, but enters into the darkness, seriousness and consequences of human wrong-doing … in order to save us.

Monday, 23 July 2018—Psalm 145:1-3, 6-7, Antiphon, Psalm 145:5.On the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.  This is a hymn summarizing the characteristics of God. It is in acrostic form, making it easy to memorize: each verse in Hebrew begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. Vv. 1-3 are the psalmist’s personal expression of praise. In v. 4, he expands to speaking of descendants, of passing on knowledge and experience of God. God is known for his “wondrous works” (v. 5). In vv. 8-20, he expands still further, to “all people” (v. 12). Vv. 8-9 mention his love, vv. 10-13a his kingship over all, vv. 14-20 of his care of all in need.

Responsiveness to his call brings protection (v. 20a) but those who oppose his ways will be destroyed. Finally, v. 21 combines the personal commitment to God with that of “all flesh”.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018—Psalm136:1-9; key verse v26— The phrase “the God of heaven” (v.26) is a Persian title for God found frequently in Ezra, Nehemiah and Daniel. The Psalm is a liturgy of praise to the Lord as Creator and as Israel’s Redeemer. Its theme and many of its verses parallel much of Psalm 135. Most likely a Levitical song leader led the recital which the choir or worshipers responded with the refrain. The Psalm recounts God’s mighty acts as the psalmist devotes six verse to God’s creation acts (Vv.1-3) six to His deliverance of Israel out of Egypt (Vv.10-15) one to the desert journey (v. 16) and six to the conquest (Vv.17-22) The four concluding verses return to the same basic themes in reverse order; God’s action in history ion behalf of His people (Vv.23-24), God’s action in the creation order (v.25) and a closing call to praise (v.26).

Wednesday, 25 July 2018— Genesis 9:8-17— We need to recognize the reality and depth of human resistance to God.  That is seen in killing Jesus.  What we call “sin” is not just the naughty things we do that make the tabloid headlines.  Sin can be deadly and destructive.  It has consequences.  And it offends. There is a deep seriousness to human wrong-doing – sin – that means that consequences cannot simply be bypassed.

We can either turn away from them, or we can wrestle with them. Here we see God’s refusal to be marginalized. The next time instead of destroying the world through a flood He will turn His wrath on His own Son.

Thursday, 26 July 2018—Ephesians 3:14-21 —   This section of the letter offers a bit of relief from the heavy theological portions that have been read up to this point. It presents a moment of tenderness, in which the author speaks directly to his readers about his care for them. He speaks of his prayer for his readers, which he does on bended knee. 

Paul, like other apostles, had been entrusted with revelation by the Spirit. Specifically, it had been revealed to him that Gentiles, who receive the gospel in faith, are fellow heirs of the promises of God. They too are members of the body of Christ, and therefore they have access to God. "For this reason," the author prays that his readers may be strengthened in spiritual power, love, and knowledge.

Friday, 27 July 2015—Mark 6:45-56 —In Mark 1:16-20 when Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John without any apparent previous knowledge of Jesus, they left everything immediately and followed him. What had they recognized in Jesus? It is remarkable that none of the gospels provide a physical description of Jesus. We will never be able to pin him down by virtue of his appearance. Rather, we will always have to recognize Jesus for who He is and what He does. It is more than the miracles and healings Jesus performed or the things he taught. It may actually take the gift of faith to recognize the one who died on the cross as the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the world.

Saturday, 28 July 2015—Psalm 37:5 - Sunday’s hymn of the day Entrust Your Days and Burdens, (LSB 754).  In the midst of our busy and hurried lives it is easy to loose sight that it is the Lord who orders our days and directs our path. Thus the hymn writer will remind us, “For He who guides the tempests along their thunderous ways will find for you a pathway and guide you all your days.” Place you confidence in Him. He can be trusted at His word. We can rely on Him as we recall what He has done.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House and from Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Luther’s Seal © Ed Rioja Higher Things


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pentecost 9 - Proper 11



Pentecost 9 – Proper 11
July 22, 2018
Mark 6:30-44
What is Your Hideaway? V. 31

Even Jesus realized the need to get away from people and work to rest and recuperate for later service. Modern life is often lived under high tension and intense stress. There are the rush of work and the hectic schedule of activities. Everyone needs a hideaway, a place of escape periodically.

Jesus prescribes a retreat for you

  1. Solitariness – “Come away by yourselves.” Returning from their mission. The disciples were tired. Weary. And exhausted. Jesus realized they needed to get away from the place as an escape from the people and the work. They needed rest and refreshment. This indicates that Jesus realized that we are humans and need relaxation and rest.
The Savior chose a solitary place. He bid His disciples “come away by yourselves.”  The Savior calls each of us to be a part of a family.  A fellowship. A community. A congregation. He has placed you here at Friedheim. Where you can grow in faith. And serve God and your neighbor. And be connected with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is important to be connected with fellow believers. One of the advantages of this place. Is that we know each other. You worship with family. Friends. And neighbors.

Yet from time to time it is necessary for each of us to get away. Such was the case with Jesus’ disciples – Even more so with His 21st Century disciples. There is a profound need for us to have a “quiet time” with our Lord. This is what the Savior did in the lives of His disciples. He deliberately took them from the noise and hustle of the world. To a solitary place. Likewise, He desires to take us away from the hurried pace of this world.

Even though the work is of extreme importance. And people urgently need help. These disciples needed some time off. He deliberately sent them away.

We need this solitude in our lives today. We need to take the time. To stop. And have our Savior speak to us. We need to take the time to speak to our Savior in prayer. And then to listen to Him as He speaks to us in His Word. “Faith comes by hearing…” the Scriptures remind us. “And hearing from the Word of Christ.”

Transition: The Lord took His disciples to a solitary place. He took them to a place of seclusion.

  1. Jesus leads them to a place of seclusion – He sent them to a “Lonely place.” Is there a place you can go to not simply to get away from it all? But also a place where you can meet the Lord. This secluded space was designed by the Savior so the crowds could not find them. Once secluded. You can spend that needed time with the Savior. Without distractions. Some have referred to it as a “prayer closet”. It is a physical space. And a real place. That only you know exists.
You go there deliberately. To spend the needed time with the Savior in solitude.   Once you are there. In retreat. You can spend time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer. This pattern the Savior used for Himself and the disciples. Should you find it odd or strange that such recommendation is necessary for you too?

Why go to such a space? So that it is only you and the Lord – the two of you alone.  At such a place there is nowhere for you to hide from God. You go to such a place expecting to meet Him. To speak with Him. Why haven’t some wrestled with God? Possibly because they’ve avoided going to a secluded place. Where they will meet God. And deal with Him. And Him with you.

Transition: The Lord directed His disciples to a solitary place, a place of seclusion and to a place of rest.

  1. The disciples were encouraged to take a Siesta to “rest for a while.” And in that rest. The disciples were strengthened for the journey. And their work. Where do you find this rest?  You are doing what the great physician describes today. This very hour. As you are taking time from your busy schedule. And hurried lives. To spend time with the Savior this morning.
The body can literally shut down. If it is not given rest. Man was not created to be constantly on the go with any time set aside for rest. At creation the Lord established the 7th day for rest and reflection.

You are doing this each time you come to His meal. You are doing this each time you come to Bible class. And in your prayer and devotional times. With the focus on the Savior. You will be rejuvenated. To continue on in the life and plan the Savior has for you. This is why you have come today. To reflect on the mercies and blessings the Savior has given to you. And what are these blessings? Forgiveness. Life. Salvation.

Forgiveness in Jesus Christ. All sin is forgotten and forgiven period! As the Savior traveled to the cross. And rose from the sealed tomb. He has won for you complete and total forgiveness from all sin.

He gives you life. Life to be lived in eternity. But also life which starts now! Because we are forgiven. We are given the opportunity to live transformed lives. A forgiven life is what He gives you – living your life blessing and forgiving others is your gift back to Him.

He gives you salvation. That’s nothing more. Than receiving the gifts of God with thanksgiving. With thankful hearts. You bless and worship God.  

This world will continue to be filled with its own agendas. Plans. Schedules. And programs. Already the summer for most is over. When it appears that life has got you stressed to the limit. When you can be stretch no further. Take a time out. To be with the Savior. As your great physician He has written you this prescription; “come unto Me all ye that are weary and heavy laddered and I will give thee rest. Take my yoke and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart for my yoke is easy and burden is light.”


Tomorrow. We head back into a hectic and stressful world. Are you well rested? There‘s still plenty of time yet today. To reflect.  And be refreshed by the Savior. He’s spoken to you today in His Word. He refreshes you in His Supper. As He draws you to Himself. Take advantage of His offer. To spend time with you.
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Words- 1,200
Passive Sentences –6%
Readability – 82.5
Reading Level – 3.6






Sunday, July 15, 2018

Proper 11 Series B Notes

Proper 11 Series B

Jeremiah 23:1–6
Ephesians 2:11–22
Mark 6:30–44

The Lord Jesus Shepherds His Church on Earth by the Ministry of the Gospel

The Lord rebukes and removes “the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep” (Jeremiah 23:1). He gathers the flock, brings them back to the fold and sets “shepherds over them who will care for them” (Jeremiah 23:3–4). He raises up the Son of David, the great Good Shepherd, to “reign as king and deal wisely” (Jeremiah 23:5). He is “our righteousness,” in whom we “dwell securely” (Jeremiah 23:6).

He has compassion on all of us, who were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). Not only does He teach us many things, but taking the bread, He blesses and breaks and gives it to the disciples “to set before the people” (Mark 6:41).

He abundantly provides for His Church on earth, so that everyone is fed and fully satisfied in body and soul. He preaches peace “to you who were far off,” and “by the blood of Christ.

He brings you near (Ephesians 2:13, 17). Though you were “separated from Christ” by your sin, “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12), now “you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

"Too many times programs fail because the emphasis is on ending the disease of addiction, as if addiction were not connected to an actual person. The other problem we have is that when we label a person-addict, drunk, homeless, gay-it has a direct impact on how we view, or in what sense we see a person, so one’s humanity is lost to a label." - 7.12.2018 homily for Trinity 7  homily - Pr. Ken Kelly Johnstown, PA

In today’s Gospel, Jesus “saw” the crowd and instead of revulsion at their poverty, and hunger his response was compassion...

Mark 6:30-44
Young's Literal Translation

30 Καὶ  συνάγονται  οἱ  ἀπόστολοι  πρὸς  τὸν  Ἰησοῦν,  καὶ  ἀπήγγειλαν  αὐτῷ  πάντα  ὅσα  ἐποίησαν  καὶ  ὅσα  ἐδίδαξαν.
And the apostles are gathered together unto Jesus, and they told him all, and how many things they did, and how many things they taught,

31 καὶ  λέγει  αὐτοῖς  Δεῦτε  ὑμεῖς  αὐτοὶ  κατ’  ἰδίαν  εἰς  ἔρημον  τόπον  καὶ  ἀναπαύσασθε  ὀλίγον.  ἦσαν  γὰρ  οἱ  ἐρχόμενοι  καὶ  οἱ  ὑπάγοντες  πολλοί,  καὶ  οὐδὲ  φαγεῖν  εὐκαίρουν.
and he said to them, 'Come yourselves apart to a desert place, and rest a little,' for those coming and those going were many, and not even to eat had they opportunity,

"Desalt place" see OT lesson. Christ will gather and feed them.

32 καὶ  ἀπῆλθον  ἐν  τῷ  πλοίῳ  εἰς  ἔρημον  τόπον  κατ’  ἰδίαν. and they went away to a desert place, in the boat, by themselves.
  
33 καὶ  εἶδον  αὐτοὺς  ὑπάγοντας  καὶ  ἐπέγνωσαν  πολλοί,  καὶ  πεζῇ  ἀπὸ  πασῶν  τῶν  πόλεων  συνέδραμον  ἐκεῖ  καὶ  προῆλθον  αὐτούς.
 And the multitudes saw them going away, and many recognized him, and by land from all the cities they ran, and went before them, and came together to him,

34 Καὶ  ἐξελθὼν  εἶδεν  πολὺν  ὄχλον,  καὶ  ἐσπλαγχνίσθη  ἐπ’  αὐτοὺς  ὅτι  ἦσαν  ὡς  πρόβατα  μὴ  ἔχοντα  ποιμένα,  καὶ  ἤρξατο  διδάσκειν  αὐτοὺς  πολλά.
and having come forth, Jesus saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion on them, that they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach many things.

ἐσπλαγχνίσθη - His guts were moved for them. He has compassion for them and cares for them. There were as sheep without a shepherd. He shepherds and teach them.


35 Καὶ  ἤδη  ὥρας  πολλῆς  γενομένης  προσελθόντες  αὐτῷ  οἱ  μαθηταὶ  αὐτοῦ  ἔλεγον  ὅτι  Ἔρημός  ἐστιν    τόπος,  καὶ  ἤδη  ὥρα  πολλή· And now the hour being advanced, his disciples having come near to him, say, -- 'The place is desolate, and the hour is now advanced,
  
36 ἀπόλυσον  αὐτούς,  ἵνα  ἀπελθόντες  εἰς  τοὺς  κύκλῳ  ἀγροὺς  καὶ  κώμας  ἀγοράσωσιν  ἑαυτοῖς  τί  φάγωσιν.
Send them away, that, having gone away to the surrounding fields and villages, they may buy to themselves loaves, for what they may eat they have not.'
  
37  δὲ  ἀποκριθεὶς  εἶπεν  αὐτοῖς  Δότε  αὐτοῖς  ὑμεῖς  φαγεῖν.  καὶ  λέγουσιν  αὐτῷ  Ἀπελθόντες  ἀγοράσωμεν  δηναρίων  διακοσίων  ἄρτους,  καὶ  δώσομεν  αὐτοῖς  φαγεῖν; And he answering said to them, 'Give ye them to eat,' and they say to him, 'Having gone away, may we buy two hundred denaries' worth of loaves, and give to them to eat?'
  
38  δὲ  λέγει  αὐτοῖς  Πόσους  ἔχετε   ἄρτους;  ὑπάγετε  ἴδετε.  καὶ  γνόντες  λέγουσιν  Πέντε,  καὶ  δύο  ἰχθύας.
And he saith to them, 'How many loaves have ye? go and see;' and having known, they say, 'Five, and two fishes.'

39 καὶ  ἐπέταξεν  αὐτοῖς  ἀνακλῖναι*  πάντας  συμπόσια  συμπόσια  ἐπὶ  τῷ  χλωρῷ  χόρτῳ.
And he commanded them to make all recline in companies upon the green grass,  see Psalm 23
  
40 καὶ  ἀνέπεσαν  πρασιαὶ  πρασιαὶ  κατὰ  ἑκατὸν  καὶ  κατὰ  πεντήκοντα.
and they sat down in squares, by hundreds, and by fifties.
  
41 καὶ  λαβὼν  τοὺς  πέντε  ἄρτους  καὶ  τοὺς  δύο  ἰχθύας  ἀναβλέψας  εἰς  τὸν  οὐρανὸν  εὐλόγησεν  καὶ  κατέκλασεν  τοὺς  ἄρτους  καὶ  ἐδίδου  τοῖς  μαθηταῖς  ‹αὐτοῦ›  ἵνα  παρατιθῶσιν  αὐτοῖς,  καὶ  τοὺς  δύο  ἰχθύας  ἐμέρισεν  πᾶσιν.
And having taken the five loaves and the two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he blessed, and brake the loaves, and was giving to his disciples, that they may set before them, and the two fishes divided he to all,
  
42 καὶ  ἔφαγον  πάντες  καὶ  ἐχορτάσθησαν· 
And they did all eat and were filled 
  
43 καὶ  ἦραν  κλάσματα  δώδεκα  κοφίνων  πληρώματα  καὶ  ἀπὸ  τῶν  ἰχθύων.
and they took up of broken pieces twelve hand-baskets full, and of the fishes,

 #12 - twelve tribes wilderness wandering.

44 καὶ  ἦσαν  οἱ  φαγόντες  τοὺς  ἄρτους  πεντακισχίλιοιk  ἄνδρες.
and those eating of the loaves were about five thousand men.



Time in the Word - Pentecost 9 - Proper 11




Collect for the time of  Pentecost Grant, Lord, that the course of this world may be so governed by Your direction that Your church may rejoice in serving You in godly peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen  

Prayer in time of affliction and distressAlmighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Prayer for Home and FamilyVisit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep far from them all harm and danger. Grant us to dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, and may Your blessing be with us forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. Prayer the Unemployed: Heavenly Father, we remember before You, those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Lead us so to use the wealth and resources of this rich land that all persons may find suitable and fulfilling employment and receive just payment for their labor; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Pray for PeaceO God, whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world simply cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being def3ended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. 

Collect for this coming Sunday Proper 11 – Heavenly Father, though we do not deserve Your goodness, still You provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may acknowledge Your gifts, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen 

Time in the Word 16-21 July 2018
Preparation for next week – The togetherness of God’s People

In the lessons for this coming Sunday several themes can be seen: that nature of a good shepherd, the functions of a good shepherd, and the togetherness of God’s people through a Davidic king, Christ, and the church. The last is suggested as the theme – togetherness. Jesus in the Gospel takes His disciples, who just returned from their preaching-healing mission, on a retreat. Jeremiah in the Old Testament lesson explains that the exile was due to false shepherds and the scattered sheep will be brought back to Israel under a Davidic king. Jew and Gentile (in the Epistle lesson) are made one through the blood of Christ and their oneness in the church. The Psalm’s refrain, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…” reminds us of the Gospel – “He had compassion on them.” The Hymn of the Day sings of Jesus who is the center of the church’s life and the foundation on which we build.

Monday, 16 July 2018Psalm 147:7-11, Antiphon, Psalm 145:16— You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. Jesus sets the table. Jesus supplies all that we may ever need. The Lord is faithful. We will never be in need. He has promised to supply our daily wants and desires. Daily tells how much God should give us, enough for the day. We do not ask God that He give us now what we need in years to come, but it is sufficient if we get what we need each day. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018Psalm 23; key verse v.6— Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever... Goodness and mercy both refer to the benefits of being a child of God, namely that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Hebrew for this word suggests, “throughout the years”. Because of the relationship with have with Jesus Christ we will live and reign with Him throughout all eternity. What a comfort it is to have a relationship with our Lord and Savior. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018Jeremiah 23:1-6Restoration. Exiles together under a Davidic king. Under new shepherds, God will return His people from captivity, and so a Davidic king will reign. In this passage Jeremiah predicts that because of false shepherds (rulers) the people will go into captivity. This happened in Jeremiah’s lifetime (586 BC) when the Jews were deported to Babylon. Jeremiah goes on to promises that God will raise up true shepherds who will bring back the exiles. In fact, there is to come a Davidic king who will rule with justice and righteousness. Under this Davidic ruler Israel will be restored as a nation. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018Ephesians 2:11-22Reunion. Jews and Gentile together in Christ. Christ has made us one in God and in the church. The heart of Ephesians is in this passage. In Vv. 13-18 we learn of the peace Christ grained between Jew and Gentile. Vv. 19-22 spell out the consequences of that peace. In the person of Christ and His cross, Jew and Gentile are made one. Christ died for both, and they are one in Christ by faith. Thus, they have a oneness in Christ, oneness with God and with each other. Christ’s death has removed the hostility and cancelled the law which separated Jew from Gentile. The two are now one in the church. The practical result is that Gentiles are no longer aliens but members of God’s family. 

Friday, 20 July 2018Mark 6:30-44 — Retreat. Christ and the disciples together. Jesus takes His disciples to a lonely place for rest and teaches the crowd that gathers. This lesson combines the conclusion dealing with the sending out of the disciples and the introduction to the feeding of the five thousand. The disciples return from their preaching journey and are exhausted. People with needs throng around them so that they do not get any rest. Jesus takes them in a boat to a secluded spot that they may rest and be apart from the crowd. But the people will not let them alone. When the boat comes to shore, the people are waiting for them. Seeing the crowd, Jesus expresses compassion for them because they are as sheep without a shepherd. Before Jesus gives them physical bread, he gives them spiritual food by teaching them. This is the only time Mark refers to the Twelve as “apostles.” It is an appropriate name; for they had just returned from a preaching-healing mission. An apostle is one who is sent forth by Christ. Seeing the multitudes might have angered Jesus. He was taking the disciples apart for a retreat so sorely needed. He could have become impatient and told the people to scram. His reaction reveals His heart – compassion. He felt sorry for them because they were in desperate need. He has the heart of God, the God of love. Because of His compassion, Jesus cares about people. 

Saturday, 21 July 2018— Ephesians 2:20 - Sunday’s hymn of the day, The Church’s One Foundation (LSB 644). Paul pictures a house when he speaks of the structure of the church. The foundation is solid as the church is based on the Old and New Testaments the prophets and the apostles. The tested stone on which the church rests is Christ on which everything centers around. With such a structure the church moves forward victoriously. 

Sources:
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut used with permission ©WELS
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH



Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pentecost 8 - Proper 10




Pentecost 8 – Proper 10
15 July 2018
Mark 6:14-29
The Beheading of John the Baptist



O Lord, You granted Your prophets strength to resist the temptations of the devil and courage to proclaim repentance. Give us pure hearts and minds to follow  Your Son faithfully even into suffering and death; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Weak and wicked Herod. Like his father before him. Was more afraid of looking bad in front of his dinner guests. Than he was of God and His wrath. Driven by lust and pride. And in the false name of honor. As though he were a man of his word. He unjustly. And illegally. Executed John. To please the daughter of a harlot. Who was not his wife.”1

We prefer our Bible stories to be pristine. We enjoy readings that are good for food… pleasant to the eyes… desired to make us wise. (Genesis 3:6) We favor music and song that lifts us up. We wish to feel good about ourselves. After spending time in church.

That doesn’t always happen. Nor, should it. A diet consisting only of sweets is not good for you. Nor is it good for you spiritually. If we hear nothing of the consequences of transgression.

Conventional wisdom tells us: “you must first hit rock bottom before you climb up.” Not so! Some hit rock bottom and go splat!

The story of the beheading of John the Baptist reminds us that the way of sin always leads to destruction. Offense casts a web. For which we cannot easily escape. John’s death speaks about the reality in which we live. - A broken and fallen world. – Outside of Eden.

Herod the Great. Who murdered the boys from Bethlehem. Had ten wives and many children. He was a particularly nasty tyrant. Herod's paranoia. About keeping power. And his ruthless suppression of dissent. Earns him a well deserved place alongside the great dictators of history. He trusted no one. Not even his wives. (Remember, he had ten!) Or his many sons. One spouse. And three of his boys. Were all executed. Because he feared they were plotting against him.

Any threat of an uprising. Was put down. With brutal and bloody rage. Encouraged by his Roman masters. Herod believed in singling out individuals for public execution. As well as the mass slaughter of His opponents. Two thousand years later. Not much has changed. As far as brutal dictators are concerned. Herod is the prototype. He set the standard.    

Herod Antipas.3 Governed Galilee for more than forty years. Remember him. He is one the main characters of our Gospel lesson this morning. He is the one who not only executed John the Baptist. (Matthew 14:1; Luke 3:19) He played a crucial role in Jesus' death. (Luke 13 & 23).

Why is the story so important? And why do we spend an entire Sunday to focus on this ugly and brutal death? We do so. Because John is the forerunner of Jesus. His ministry will parallel Jesus.

John has an unlikely birth. So does Jesus. John is found in the desert. Jesus is driven by the Spirit to be tempted – in the desert. John preached repentance. So did Jesus. John confronted the religious authorities of his day as did Jesus. John is innocent yet finds himself arrested. The same happened to Jesus. John is executed as is Jesus.

Jesus rises from the dead. Did John? Scripture does not mention him by name specifically. However. Matthew will give us a hint in his gospel account of Good Friday when he writes: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” Matthew 27:50-53

Could John have been one of those saints who had fallen asleep only to be raised? Was John someone to come out of the tome after Jesus’ resurrection only to appear to many in the holy city? Again. Scripture does no mention John specifically by name. But the pattern fits. So don’t bet the farm insisting that John was one of the first to be resurrected. But I won’t hold it against you. If you wager a few acres.   

(If loving you is wrong) I don’t want to be right! Antipas married the daughter of the King of Arabia. But later he lived with Herodias. The wife of his brother Philip.1 The New Testament gives the reason why Herodias sought John's head.  She had married Prince Philip. But later shacked up with Herod. 2  

Herodias was married to Philip. Antipas took her to be his wife. Yes! Herod married his sister-in-law! “The wife of his brother Philip.” “For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her.” (v.17)

She acted against the law of man and of God in leaving Philip to marry Antipas. John rebuked Antipas. For this adulterous union. And Herodias took vengeance. John called Antipas out. Saying, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

Herodias held a grudge against John. And wanted to kill him. But she could not.  Herod feared John. Knowing that he was a righteous and holy man.  Antipas protected John. When Antipas heard him. He was greatly perplexed. And yet he liked to listen to him.

John was a just man. And a holy man. A complete good man.  Herod knew this. What was lacking in his own character. He saw in John. And this frightened him. John was a man sent from God. A man of God. A man for God.

Antipas wanted to please his guests. He wanted to please his wife. And he was afraid of this desert preacher. So he locked him up. He shut him down. He attempted to silence him. But John’s words still haunted him.

Choose. But choose wisely. An opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his crew. The officers and the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter came in and danced. She pleased Herod and his guests.

He solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” Her reply was expected. “(I desire ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα) the head of John the baptizer.” Deeply grieved. Yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests. He did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head.

So. Do we give a “false witness” when we, for example, compromise clear Biblical principles in order to fit in at work, or at school?  What price will we pay? To acquire acceptance and approval?

So, what about you? Do your sins rise up against you? Of what are you afraid?  Do you crave the praise of men? Do you fear the voice of God? Repent! And claim that forgiveness. Which was won for you by Jesus Christ. This forgiveness has a name. It’s called Absolution.

[Absolution] “Is neither a response to a suitably worthy confession. Nor the acceptance of a reasonable apology. To absolve means not only to loosen. To free. To acquit. it also means to dispose of. To complete. And to finish.

When God pardons. He does not say He understands your weakness. Or makes allowances for your errors. Rather He disposes of. He finishes with. The whole of your dead life. And raises you up. With a new one. He does not so much deal with your failures. As does He drop them down the black hole of Jesus’ death. He forgets your sins in the darkness of the tomb. He remembers your iniquities no more. In the forgetfulness of Jesus’ death. He finds you in the desert of death. Not in the garden of improvement. And in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. He puts you on His shoulders. Rejoicing. And brings you home.3

Words –1,550
Passive Sentences – 4%
Readability – 79.5%
Reading Level –3.8

Sources:
Artwork The Beheading of John the Baptist Schnorr von Carolsfeld © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

1.       Quote taken from an 8.29.2002 sermon by Rev. Dr. David Peterson, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Ft. Wayne, IN, which also gave structure to this manuscript.

2.       Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews Book 18, chapter 5, paragraph 4 comment that Herodias "divorced herself from her husband while he was alive" to argue that it took place before Herod II's death, in about the year 27, thus making it possible for Jesus to have been born in the reign of Herod the Great (as indicated by the Gospel of Matthew) and to have died in his early 30's (as indicated by the Gospel of Luke). See also Stewart Perowne, The Later Herods p. 49, (Bruce 10 n. 16; Schürer 344 and n. 19)

3.       His second son.

4.    Robert Farrar Capon, Parables of Grace, p. 39