Thursday, February 21, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 97

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman
Matthew 15:21-28

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.[e]


Matthew 15:28 Greek from that hour

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 96

Jesus Walks on the Water
Matthew 14:22-33

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way[b] from the land,[c] beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night[d] he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind,[e] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:24 Greek many stadia, a stadion was about 607 feet or 185 meters
Matthew 14:24 Some manuscripts was out on the sea
Matthew 14:25 That is, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Matthew 14:30 Some manuscripts strong wind

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Monday, February 18, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 95

The Feeding of the 5,000
Matthew 14:13-21

13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Epiphany 7 Series C

Epiphany 7 
Series C
24 February 2019
Genesis 45:3-15
Psalm 103:13 (antiphon v.8)
1 Corinthians 15:21-26, 30-42
Luke 6:27-38

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in You, mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity;

So what does God do for me? That will be the question asked by each of the lessons used in service next Sunday. In a nutshell God uses the events of this world and also in the world to come to shape and form our lives. Sometimes the going gets tough; there are troubled and dangerous waters that we have to forge through life. But as the old hymn “Jesus Savior Pilot me” reminds us He will chart and compass our course through life. This we can depend upon He will direct us.  

Genesis 45:1-7
So you think that you’ve had it rough? Joseph was abandoned by his brothers; left for dead, sold into slavery, arrested tried, convicted and imprisoned on false charges all for one purpose. That purpose was to save his family from starvation so that they could find safety in Egypt. God used extreme adversity to preserve life. Life will not always be easy and often times it’s simply unfair. Yet God is in the business of turning tragedy into triumph and disaster into miracle. All He asks of us is to trust Him and keep to His Word.

1 Corinthians 15:35-38a, 42-50
God is the source of everything that we are. He has gone so far as to prepare for you a new body in heaven. “How will the glorified body be…what will it look like…will it be different?” These are just some of the questions asked about this topic. 

The answer is that we do not know how it will look because we have yet to go to heaven. But of this we can say, the glorified body will be free from sin. It will be perfect. The wonder of it all is that God has designed our body so that it will be fit for His purposes.

Luke 6:27-38
The point that all three of our lessons make is the fact God is the source of our being and doing. Thus our lives are a reflection of the character of God.  It’s easy to say, “I love God” Jesus shows us the example of loving God by loving those who hate and cure us. Jesus says love your enemies, be merciful, and forgive. This we cannot do in and of ourselves. We need someone stronger then ourselves to do this. We need Christ in our lives to work in us; strengthening us to do His good and perfect will. 

Luke 6:27-38
Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:27
Ἀλλὰ ὑμῖν λέγω τοῖς ἀκούουσιν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν, καλῶς ποιεῖτε τοῖς μισοῦσιν ὑμᾶς
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 

Luke 6:28
εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους [a]ὑμᾶς, προσεύχεσθε [b]περὶ τῶν ἐπηρεαζόντων ὑμᾶς.
bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 

Luke 6:29
τῷ τύπτοντί σε ἐπὶ τὴν σιαγόνα πάρεχε καὶ τὴν ἄλλην, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντός σου τὸ ἱμάτιον καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα μὴ κωλύσῃς
To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either. 

[a] Greek χιτῶνα  "chiton," a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin

Luke 6:30 
παντὶ αἰτοῦντί σε δίδου, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σὰ μὴ ἀπαίτει.
Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 

Luke 6:31
καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Luke 6:32
Καὶ εἰ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ γὰρ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας αὐτοὺς ἀγαπῶσιν.
If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 

Luke 6:33
καὶ ἐὰν ἀγαθοποιῆτε τοὺς ἀγαθοποιοῦντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν;  καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 

Luke 6:34
καὶ ἐὰν δανίσητε παρ’ ὧν ἐλπίζετε λαβεῖν, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; [i]καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς δανίζουσιν ἵνα ἀπολάβωσιν τὰ ἴσα
And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 

Luke 6:35
πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε καὶ δανίζετε μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες• καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς, καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ Ὑψίστου, ὅτι αὐτὸς χρηστός ἐστιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀχαρίστους καὶ πονηρούς
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 

Luke 6:36 
γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες καθὼς ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

Luke 6:37 
Καὶ μὴ κρίνετε, καὶ οὐ μὴ κριθῆτε• καὶ μὴ καταδικάζετε, καὶ οὐ μὴ καταδικασθῆτε. ἀπολύετε, καὶ ἀπολυθήσεσθε
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 

Luke 6:38 
δίδοτε, καὶ δοθήσεται ὑμῖν• μέτρον καλὸν πεπιεσμένονσεσαλευμένον ὑπερεκχυννόμενον δώσουσιν εἰς τὸν κόλπον ὑμῶν• ᾧ γὰρ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν.
give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Time in the Word - Epiphany 7

Time in the Word – Epiphany 7
February 18-23, 2019

 Collect for Epiphany 7– O God, the strength of all who put their trust in You, mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

As the Son of God Is Merciful and Forgives Your Sins, You Also Be Merciful and Forgive

Your inheritance as a child of Adam is sin and death, but in Christ you are made alive through His resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:21–22). As you have died with Him in Holy Baptism, so are you raised with Him to newness of life. Therefore, “do not go on sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34). Instead of serving your desires and harming your neighbors, live as “sons of the Most High,” and “be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35–36). Deal with others as you would have others deal with you (Luke 6:31, 37–38). As Christ loved you when you were at enmity with Him, as He blessed and prayed for those who abused Him, and as He did good to those who hated Him and hurt Him, so also “love your enemies, do good” (Luke 6:27–29, 35). For God sent His Son to bear the cross and suffer death, not to condemn the guilty, but “to preserve life.” So does He provide a place for you within His Church, where He is near and deals kindly with “you and your children and your children’s children” (Genesis 45:5–10).

Monday, 18 February 2019 Psalm 37:1-5 (antiphon, Psalm 37:7)– Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019 Psalm 103:1-13 (antiphon; v.8) – This week’s Psalm reminds us the Lord is plenteous in mercy. Rich in it, quick in it, overflowing with it; and so had he need to be or we should soon be consumed. He is God, and not man, or our sins would soon drown his love; yet above the mountains of our sins the floods of his mercy rise. "Plenteous grace with thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin; Let the healing streams abound, Make and keep me pure within."
 In our lessons for this week, God is the sources of our being and doing. Our lives are to reflect the character of God. In the Old Testament lesson, Joseph explains to his brothers that God used his adversity to preserve life. Paul in the Epistle explains and describes the resurrection body, which God provides for us. In all of these we see God as the source and ground of our being: His goodness prompts our goodness, He uses our misfortunes to bless others, He gives us a new body to dwell in a spiritual heaven.  

Wednesday, 20 February 2019 - Genesis 45:3-15– Each of our Lessons for this coming Sunday give an answer to the question what can God do for you? God uses adversity for our ultimate good. Joseph was a God-conscious and God-oriented man to the point that he saw God working in his life. If we do not say the Devil made us do it, do we explain our experiences as “Luck” or “coincidence?” Joseph teaches us that God is alive and is guiding, working, and directing the events of people, whether individuals or nations.   

Thursday, 21 February 2019 1 Corinthians 15:21-26, 30--42 – God will provide a new body for life in heaven. Even Christians can become confused on the matter of the body after death. Is the body to be preserved at the high cost of burial? Will the body be resurrected on the last Great day? If there is no body, can we exist as spirits? If there is a body what is it like These questions troubled the Corinthian church: ‘How are the dead raised? With what body do they come? In this lesson Paul helps us understand the resurrected body.

Friday 22 February 2019 Luke 6:27-38 – For the most part Christians are ordinary people. As Paul has said, not many of us are wise nor wealthy. We are plain, simple people with faith and love for God in Christ. But, Christ calls us ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He expects more of us than non-believers. What are we doing more than others? The extraordinary things Christians do is love those who do not love them (v.32), they help those who will not help them, (v.33) they lend to those who do not repay. (v.34)

Saturday 23 February 2019 Psalm 103 - This week’s hymn of the week, LSB 820 “My soul, now praise your Maker” John Poliander (pen name of John Graumann, 1487–1541) was at one time the secretary of Luther’s great opponent, Dr. Eck. But after the Leipzig Disputation in 1519, he was convinced by the Gospel and joined the Reformation. He spent his life furthering the Reformation and combatting errorists such as the Anabaptists, especially in Prussia. He wrote this hymn in 1525 at the request of Margrave Albrecht, who loved Psalm 103, of which this hymn is a summary.

It is a song of praise that matches the closing of the Gospel, “He has done all things well.” Jesus is our maker as much as is the Father and the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus opened the deaf-mute’s lips, and those lips spoke plainly, so we open our lips to praise and bless God for all the benefits we have received from him. It is always through Jesus that we receive not only health for our bodies, but for our souls as well. It is in the person and work of Christ alone that we truly come to worship our maker in spirit and in truth.

A prayer for newness of life in Christ – Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon ourselves the armor of life, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility, that in the last day, when He shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal.

This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings

Read and review the following Bible stories for each day…
Monday,  February 18-Jesus feeds 5,000 – Matthew 14:13-21
Tuesday,  February 19–Jesus walks on water – Matthew 14:22-33
Wednesday,  February 20– Chapel Day
Thursday,  February 21-The Faith of the Canaaite woman Matthew 15:21-28
Friday, February 22 – Jesus feeds 4,0000 – Matthew 15:29-39
From the Catechism; “ Who receives the Sacrament worthily?”

Collect for the Morning – Faithful God, whose mercies are new to us every morning, we humbly pray that You would look upon us in mercy and renew us by Your Holy Spirit. Keep safe our going out and our coming in,m and let Your blessing remain with us throughout this day. Preserve us in Your righteousness, and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Collect for humilityO God, You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Grant us true humility after the likeness of Your only Son that we may never be arrogant and prideful and thus provoke Your wrath but in all lowliness be made partakers of the gifts of Your grace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C – John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
Luther’s Seal © Higher Things

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Epiphany 6

Epiphany 6 Series C
February 17 2019
Luke 6:17-26
“Blessed are you”

Lord Jesus, bless Thy Word, that we might trust in Thee.
Sadly, in this world true happiness eludes so many. All too often, some give up. Others, despair of ever finding it. Jesus shows us a better way. As He gives us a remedy for true happiness.
O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we who justly suffer the consequences of our sin may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name.
1.  The key to finding true happiness is to possess an honest and realistic understanding of your true self.
A.  Jesus rightly describes hypocrites and the people of this world. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” Jesus does not mean a person's financial bottom life. He observes the heart. He discloses a deeper malady. The condition of the human soul. 
1.   Jesus reminds the Pharisees, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” –Luke 5:31-32  Trusting in themselves, they are convinced - they lack noting.
The rich young ruler responds to Jesus, “‘all these commandments I have kept…what do I still lack?’ Jesus answered, ‘IF you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away troubled, because he had great wealth.” – Matthew 19:20-22
2.  They are full of their own imagined righteousness. They consider themselves to be well spiritually. They don’t need the healing touch of the Great Physician. They cannot understand the words of the Savior when He spoke, “But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  - Matthew 9:13
3.  Instead of coming to Christ in humility and meekness they laugh. David reminds us in Psalm 73; “They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.” (v.8)
4.  In short, the entire world speaks well of them; for the world simply loves its own.
B.  The Savior rightly describes the children of Christ’s kingdom.
1.  They are poor in spirit. David writes in Psalm 32: “Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord and Thou forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (v. 5)
2.  They hunger after a righteousness that they do not have. The quest of Luther, to find a merciful God was a journey, which took him a lifetime. His last known written sentence was simply put, “We are mere beggars before God!” The dying thief simply cried, “Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.” The prodigal son cried out to his father, “I am unworthy to be called your son…
3.  They weep, as did Peter, when he remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times.” – Matthew 26:75
4.  They bear the cross patiently. Jesus rightly predicted what the 1st Century church would be up against when He said, “Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify, others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.” –Matthew 23:34
And what do we find? Luke describes the persecution, which unfolds in the book of Acts. “[The Sanhedrin] had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them,By what power or what name did you do this?” (4; 7) And again, in chapter 12, “It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.” (Vv.1-2)

Transition: The road to happiness begins with unhappiness over of waywardness and sin. The Law condemns. The Law always accuses! Each of us. In its mirror, you daily discover your sin. Then, in true repentance, you turn to God. As you come to Him with repentance and contrition, the Lord responds with grace.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
2.  True happiness is found when we discover the Savior’s amazing grace.
A.  Skeptics and cynics might well disparage and detract but they do not find it.  
1.  Relying on their riches, they become paupers. The rich man dies. Jesus describes his condition, “in hell where he was in torment he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.” – Luke 16:23
2.  As for the full - they end up hungry. The rich young man went away sorrowful, because of his wealth. (Matthew 16:22)
3.  Those who decline; who beg to be excused, receive what they ask for. They are denied. Jesus said, “Do no suppose that I have come to bring peace to this earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword…anyone who love any more than Me is not worthy of Me.” –Matthew 10.34

B.  Yet, children of the kingdom discover grace.
1.  These poor receive the riches of the kingdom.”Do not be afraid, little flock, for your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” –v.32  
2.  Christ has won righteousness for you at the cruel and bloody cross. Isaiah, the prophet of old, reminds you in chapter 53. “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us have turned to his own way; and the lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (v.7)
3.  Yet in exchange for your sin your heavenly Father in turn gives you Christ’s righteousness.”This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ.” –Romans 3.22
4.  Those who now weep will one-day laugh. “Those who sow in tears will reap with joy! – Psalm 126.5
5.  Those who bear the cross will be glorified. “And I in righteousness I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.” –Psalm 71.15 The old song sings, “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King!”  Now you hear the Savior’s voice. Soon you’ll see His face!
Paul would remind us, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, O say, Rejoice!” God’s grace - turns your poverty in the riches, your hunger into satisfaction, your weeping into laughter; you suffering into a crown of glory that does not fade away!
Words – 1,145
Passive Sentences -7%
Readability –78.8%
Reading Level –5.2

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 94

The Sign of Jonah
Matthew 12: 38-45

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Luther's Seal © Higher Things  permission granted for personal and congregational use