Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Morning Prayer - Reading 38 - Sampson Part 1





Sampson Part 1 
Judges 13-14 
(Selective Verses)



13 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.3 And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him. 

14 Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 3 But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”

4 His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

5 Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson's eyes.

8 After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9 He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion.

10 His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. 11 As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, 

14 And he said to them,

Out of the eater came something to eat.
Out of the strong came something sweet.”

And in three days they could not solve the riddle.

15 On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?16 And Samson's wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?17 She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. 18 And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,

What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?

And he said to them,

If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have found out my riddle.”

19 And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. 20 And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.

Footnotes:
Judges 14:15 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew seventh

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.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Morning Prayer - Reading 37 - Gideon




Gideon 
Judges 6-7 
(Selected Verses)



6 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord.

12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?

2 The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ 3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

4 And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. 7 And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” 8 So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.


16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!21 Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. 22 When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled...

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.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Proper 24 Series C



Proper 24 Series C 
(October 16-22) 
Genesis 32:22–30
2 Timothy 3:14—4:5
Luke 18:1–8

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God and Perseveres in Prayer

Collect for Proper 24: “O Lord, almighty and everlasting God, You have commanded us to pray and have promised to hear us. Mercifully grant that You Holy Spirit may direct and govern our hearts in all things that we may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.” 

Left alone,” Jacob wrestled through the night with the Lord, “until the breaking of the day” (Genesis 32:24). Though “Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him” (Genesis 32:25), he would not let go until the Lord blessed him. At times we, too, strive with God; He strives with us and blesses us by grace. So Jesus teaches us “always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Jesus speaks of “a judge who neither feared God nor respected man” and of a widow “who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary’ ” (Luke 18:2–3). Because of her persistence, the judge agreed to “give her justice” (Luke 18:5). Our Lord dispenses justice generously and swiftly, giving “justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night” (Luke 18:7). He does so according to the Gospel. Therefore, His ministers are to persevere faithfully in their vocation, in what they “have learned and have firmly believed” (2 Timothy 3:14). On the basis of “the sacred writings” (2 Timothy 3:15), they are to “preach the word” at all times and not lose heart (2 Timothy 4:2).

Luke 18:1–8
The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1
Ἔλεγεν [a]δὲ παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς πρὸς τὸ δεῖν πάντοτε προσεύχεσθαι [b]αὐτοὺς καὶ μὴ ἐγκακεῖν,
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 

ἐγκακεῖν, do not...stop, loosing heart. Become weary, loose confidence.


Luke 18:2 
λέγων• Κριτής τις ἦν ἔν τινι πόλει τὸν θεὸν μὴ φοβούμενος καὶ ἄνθρωπον μὴ ἐντρεπόμενος
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.

-Jesus will call him "unjust" in v.6 Arguing from the greater to the lesser he has no regard for God or for man.

Luke 18:3 
χήρα δὲ ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ καὶ ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγουσα• Ἐκδίκησόν με ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου μου
And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 

- continued action. She kept coming to him.

ἀντιδίκου - the "unrighteous" or anti righteous opponent.


Luke 18:4 
καὶ οὐκ [c]ἤθελεν ἐπὶ χρόνον, μετὰ [d]ταῦτα δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ• Εἰ καὶ τὸν θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι [e]οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι
For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,

Luke 18:5 
διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον τὴν χήραν ταύτην ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με
yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”

ὑπωπιάζῃ - blacken my eye, pester, wearing me down...

- "this troublesome widow"


Luke 18:6 
εἶπεν δὲ ὁ κύριος• Ἀκούσατε τί ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει• 
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 

- listen to this one

Luke 18:7 
ὁ δὲ θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ τῶν βοώντων [f]αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ [g]μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 

-God makes justice for His elect

- will he not surely - be slow to help,  delay
Luke 18:8 
λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ποιήσει τὴν ἐκδίκησιν αὐτῶν ἐν τάχει. πλὴν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐλθὼν ἆρα εὑρήσει τὴν πίστιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς;
I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

- The faith see 2 Timothy 4:4 
footnotes
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Lectionary notes LCMS notes
Lutheran Service Book Copyright © 2006, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Time in the Word - Proper 24



Preparation for next week, the 19th Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 24

O Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, You have commanded us to pray and have promised to hear us. Mercifully grant that Your Holy Spirit may direct and govern our hearts in all things that we may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of Your Holy Name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God and Perseveres in Prayer

Left alone,” Jacob wrestled through the night with the Lord, “until the breaking of the day” (Gen. 32:24). Though “Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him” (Gen. 32:25), he would not let go until the Lord blessed him. At times we, too, strive with God; He strives with us and blesses us by grace. So Jesus teaches us “always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Jesus speaks of “a judge who neither feared God nor respected man” and of a widow “who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary’ ” (Luke 18:2–3). Because of her persistence, the judge agreed to “give her justice” (Luke 18:5). 

Our Lord dispenses justice generously and swiftly, giving “justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night” (Luke 18:7). 

He does so according to the Gospel. Therefore, His ministers are to persevere faithfully in their vocation, in what they “have learned and have firmly believed” (2 Tim. 3:14). On the basis of “the sacred writings” (2 Tim. 3:15), they are to “preach the word” at all times and not lose heart (2 Tim. 4:2).

God answering prayer is a theme for this coming Sunday. From the Introduction to the Lord’s prayer Luther reminds us, “With these words, “Our Father, who art in heaven,” God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear Father.”

Almighty God, our creator and guide, may we serve You with all our heart and know Your forgiveness in our lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One god, forever and ever. Amen

Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd, without whom noting is secure. Rescue and preserve us that we may not be lost forever but follow You rejoicing in the way that leads to eternal life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

 Lord, You are just and Your commandments are eternal. Teach us to love You with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves, for the sake of Jesus our Lord.

Prayer for likeness to Christ: O God, by the patient suffering of Your only-begotten Son You have beaten down the pride of the old enemy. Now help us, we humbly pray, rightly to treasure in our hearts all that our Lord has of His goodness borne for our sake that following His blessed example we may bear with all patience all that is adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for spiritual renewal: Almighty God, grant that we, who have been redeemed from the old life of sin by our Baptism into the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may be renewed by Your Holy Spirit to live in righteousness and true holiness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Morning Prayer Readings for this coming week:

October 14 Gideon                 Judges 2-7
October 15 Sampson Part 1 Judges 13-14
October 16 Chapel
October 17 Sampson Part 2 Judges 15-16
October 18 Ruth                 Selected Verses

Catechism Review: 2nd  Article of the Apostles’ Creed 
________________
Lectionary summary on front page from the LCMS Commission on Worship
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas, copyright ©Higher Things.

Monday, 14 October 2019Psalm 74:18-19, 21; antiphon ,Psalm 74:2a—In the Introit for Sunday, we pray, Remember your congregation, which You have purchased of old, which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your heritage. David prays for God to come to the aid of His people and defend His cause in the face of mocking enemies. When we cry out to God, He promises to hear and answer according to our need.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019Psalm 121 — This psalm is a dialogue of confession and assurance. Its use as a pilgrimage song provides the key to its understanding. Key terms are “the Lord” and “watch over” each occurring five times in this psalm 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019Genesis 32:22-30— In these verses Jacob wrestles with God. He will not let go until God blesses him. Often we struggle; asking God to bless us, to strengthen and increase our faith. Jacob is given a new name. It will no longer be “Jacob”. Now Jacob has acknowledged God as the source of blessing and was about to reenter the Promised Land. The Lord acknowledges Jacob as His servant by changing his name.

Thursday, 17 October 20192 Timothy 3:14-4:5— In Palestine, people thought that a time of moral decay would precede the end of the world. The Apostle Paul, the author of this book sees the decadence resulting from false teaching as contributing to this (3:1-9). 

Timothy has Paul’s example to follow, particularly the “persecutions” (3:11) he endured. Suffering for Christ is part of being Christian (3:12). While true Christians will be shown to be godly, false teachers “will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived” (3:13) by the devil.

In 4:6-8, Paul sees his death as being close, so he hands on his ministry to Timothy and other future leaders. The ministry is now Timothy’s (“your”, 4:5). May he, like Paul, remain steadfast (“sober”) as he evangelizes, visiting various cities – even enduring “suffering”.

Friday, 18 October 2019Luke 18:1-8 — Some Pharisees have asked Jesus when the kingdom of God will come; he has answered: it is already “among you”. Using examples from the Old Testament, He has warned His disciples that its full coming will be sudden and unexpected; many people will miss it, being preoccupied with worldly affairs.

In Jewish society, a “widow” (v. 3) had no legal status; she was powerless. The story tells us twice that the judge is a rogue: he neither respects God nor cares about other people (vv. 2, 4). So why would Jesus tell an absurd story? Because such stories are easily remembered and are likely to be retold.The point, never give up when searching God’s grace and favor.

Saturday, 19 October 2019Psalm 31:1-5- The Hymn of the Day is I trust, O Lord, Your Holy Name, (LSB #734). We trust God’s promises, which are found in the clear promises of God’s Word. We trust only in which God has promises. When searching for God’s promises - go to the source - where His truth is found – the clear Word of our Lord.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pentecost 18 - Proper 23


Pentecost 18 – Proper 23
12 October 2019
Luke 17:11-19
How you can be made well



From the Catechism we read, “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.” [1]

On the way to Jerusalem, on the road that would ultimately lead to His death, Jesus encountered ten pitiable men. He had mercy on them, and, foreshadowing the restoration of all creation at the Last Day, healed them of their dread disease. Only one returned to Jesus to give thanks—a foreigner, the Samaritan.

Christ came into the world to save all people, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, or other outward characteristics. We ought to fall at Jesus’ feet and give thanks for having rescued us from the far more dread disease of sin and its consequences of eternal, and not just temporal, death. 

Jesus – whom Himself was a descendant of a foreign, Moabite woman (Ruth) has made us clean. He Himself is the High Priest who declares us clean to His Father, and gives us a place in His kingdom.

There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans. Had they been healthy, the nine Jewish lepers would have had had nothing to do with this person whom they considered a half-breed, little better than a heathen. 

But leprosy had made them all outcasts from society, depending on the kindness of strangers in for daily sustenance.

The faith of the Samaritan had grown – for he not only believed in the power of Jesus to heal but he saw Jesus as the only one through whom the Father was working. It was his faith which made him whole. Our text answers a basic question of faith – how you can be made well.

1. What are you are saved from – ingratitude.

A.      In a word we call this selfishness.

1. We live in a world where everything seems to be centered on self. We’ve been trained by our culture to believe in ourselves. Not only do we want to be wealthy and famous, we’ve been oriented to feel we deserve it.

2. This focus on self leads some to become self-serving and spoiled. Thinking they should get whatever they want, they will torment anyone who doesn’t give into their demands. Thus, a man all wrapped up in himself becomes quite a small package.

B.      Taking things for granted.

1. Possibly we’re so focused on self because we’ve never had it so good. What is there that is lacking in our lives? Do we not live in the lap of luxury?We’re comfortable. And yet there are persons living in misery - feeling unfulfilled, frustrated, disgruntled, angry. 

2.  We don’t know how good we’ve had it until it is taken away from us. We do not know how these men lived before leprosy became their lot. But we do know what they had become –exiles, untouchable, shipwrecked. 

C.     Negativism.

1. Blessings are not a guarantee. No one is immune. Do we count our blessings or our problems?  Have we grown to expect them?

2. Negativism can possibly be a result of being spoiled.“A selfish man is a thief.” [2}  He will steal your heart, your money and your livelihood if you let them.

Transition: We have been saved from ingratitude – yet as we count our blessings we return thanks to the Savior.

2. What we are saved for – gratitude.

A. Counting you blessings. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praise God in a loud voice.” Vs. 15 The lepers left for the temple and to the priest because Jesus had commandment them to do so. The Samaritan returned. To give thanks to Jesus. He did this because of His faith. Faith always responds with gratitude. That is how you respond. With gratitude and thanks, and a grateful heart.

1. God has blessed us in so many ways. Look around you. Everything is a gift. Consider the open hand of your Merciful Master.  “Forgiveness, life, salvation.” These three come from your heavenly Father. How do you respond? “For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.”

2. His mercies cannot be counted. Says the Psalmist: “You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.” Psalm 40:5

B. Recognizing God as the healer. The lepers cried, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Vs. 12 Which moved the hymn writer to inscribe these words, “Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; leave, ah! leave me not alone, still support and comfort me. All my trust on thee is stayed, all my help from thee I bring; cover my defenseless head with the shadow of thy wing.”  [3]

1. Lepers had to follow a specific prescription – after being quarantined they had to report to the priest. Before they even arrived at the temple behold they were cleansed. The priest’s inspection would verify they were whole. 

2. God still works through means. The doctor might hand us the bill but it is the Savior who heals. Christ not only died for all. He died for each.

C. Praising God for His goodness “he came back, praising God in a loud voice.” Vs. 15b Says the Psalmist in Psalm 107:8-9, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

1. He heals our diseases. When Jesus says, “Go!” That’s a complete sentence. It is one thing to feel grateful; it is another thing to express it. The louder you called for help, all the louder you should praise God. The Greek word used to describe his giving thanks εὐχαριστῶ is the word that is translated as Eucharist. The Eucharist is public thanks! Jesus is the true healer. Live your lives in perpetual thanksgiving and praise. At His table. And in your life.

2. Christ forgives our many sins. And it is the message of the cross which tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering, for He took them upon himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. From the cross God declares, 'I love you. I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pain that you feel. But I love you.'

With that lone leaper we can say, for all our Your tender mercies Lord, we give You thanks and praise.
___________
Words – 1,220
Passive Sentences – 11%
Readability – 80.3%
Reading Level – 4.7

Footnotes
1. Luther's Small Catechism "Explanation of the First Article" copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
2. The famous Cuban poet Jose Marti 
3. Jesus, Lover of my Soul, stanza two copyright © 1942 The Lutheran Hymnal, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Morning Prayer Reading 36 - 1st Conquest





First Conquest 
Joshua 6 
(Selective Verses)


6 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”

15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction.Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent

 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father's household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Footnotes:
Joshua 6:5 Hebrew under itself; also verse 20
Joshua 6:17 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verses 18, 21

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.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 35 - Entrance into Cannan





Entrance into Cannan 
Deuteronomy 34 - Joshua 3 
(Selective Verses)


34 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo,4 And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. 8 And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.

9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, 2Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."



7 The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8 And as for you, command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 14 So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest),

17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.

Footnotes:
Joshua 3:4 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
Joshua 3:11 Hebrew the ark of the covenant, the Lord of all the earth

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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 34 - The Spies



The Spies 
Number 13-14 
(Selective Verses)


13 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel. From each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a chief among them.” 17 Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan and said to them, “Go up into the Negeb and go up into the hill country,21 So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath.28 However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there.

30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height."

14 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

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.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 33 - The Golden Calf


Golden Calf 
Exodus 32 
(Selective Verses)


32 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.2 So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”

15 Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.19 And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.


Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord's side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell.

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.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Proper 23 Series C


Proper 23 Series C 
(October 9 -15)
Ruth 1:1–19a
2 Timothy 2:1–13
Luke 17:11–19

Faith Returns Thanks to God and Worships Him in the Person of Christ Jesus

Collect for Proper 23O God, our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness, by Your grace hear the prayers of Your Church. Grant that those things which we ask in faith we may receive through Your bountiful mercy; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

A quick outline based on the collect:

A proper perspective 
1. God is our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness.
2. He hears the prayers of His people. 
3. As dear children ask their dear Father we always ask in faith.
4. The Lord always responds from His bountiful mercy.  

Jesus comes in mercy and, by His Word, heals you in body and soul. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” for you are cleansed (Luke 17:14), and you are granted access to the Lord’s Temple. It is “at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks” (Luke 17:16) that you worship God, for Christ Jesus is your great High Priest; His body is the true Temple. In Him, you “find rest, each of you in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:9), for the Lord has “visited his people and given them food” (Ruth 1:6). The person of Jesus Christ lodges Himself in holy food — bread and wine for believers to eat and drink. You lodge where Jesus lodges; His Father is your God, His people are your people. Death cannot part you from Him because His death and resurrection are eternally yours through Holy Baptism. 

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8). As surely as death could not hold Him, so surely “the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9). His Gospel is entrusted “to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2), so that you “may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:10). Such is the confession of faith for all the saints, who believe, teach and confess the one Lord and Savior — Jesus Christ.

There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans. Had they been healthy, the nine Jewish lepers would have had had nothing to do with this person whom they considered a half-breed, little better than a heathen. But leprosy had made them all outcasts from society, depending on the kindness of strangers in for daily sustenance.

On the way to Jerusalem, on the road that would ultimately lead to His death, Jesus encountered these ten pitiable men. He had mercy on them, and, foreshadowing the restoration of all creation at the Last Day, healed them of their dread disease. Only one returned to Jesus to give thanks—a foreigner, the Samaritan.

Christ came into the world to save all people, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, or other outward characteristics. We Gentiles, too, ought to fall at Jesus’ feet and give thanks for having rescued us from the far more dread disease of sin and its consequences of eternal, and not just temporal, death. This Descendant of a foreign, Moabite woman has made us clean. He Himself is the High Priest who declares us clean to His Father, and gives us a place in His kingdom. This Gospel lesson will be read on Thanksgiving Day.

Hinting at His Deity (Luke 17:11-19)
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

Of course every time Jesus performed an out-of-this-world miracle—like calming the stormy sea or speaking the dead to life—such miracles hinted at his deity.  Similarly every time Jesus was named the Son of God, or when He declared Himself to be the Son of the Father, these hinted at His deity (The Jews understood this to be more than a hint; see e.g. John 5:18; 10:33.).

In Sunday’s gospel when Jesus healed the ten lepers, one returned “praising God with a loud voice.  He fell facedown at Jesus’ feet in thanksgiving to Him.”  This in itself seems to indicate Jesus is God, as the healed leper praises God by giving thanks to Jesus.  Jesus then confirms this understanding as He asks, “Was no one found except this foreigner to return and give glory to God?”  The Samaritan, cured of his leprosy, returned to Jesus and at His feet he gave glory to God—to Jesus.  Another apparent hint at the deity of Jesus occurs in the command of Jesus that the lepers go to the temple—God’s unique dwelling place on earth.  But as this former-leper returns to Jesus, Jesus is not critical of his failure to go to the Temple, for the man is indeed going to the Temple, the place where God dwells among men—in the person of Jesus Christ.   The following are a few other hints of the deity of Jesus peppered throughout the Gospel of Luke.

When Saint Luke explains the identity of John the Baptist in Luke 3, the evangelist is inspired to point to him as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that describes the way-preparer as “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord…’”  Though “Lord” as a title for Jesus may not always be speaking of His deity, it must here be speaking of His deity, because in Isaiah’s prediction the Hebrew word for Lord is the unique name for God—Yahweh.  John the Baptist was preparing the way of Yahweh, the way of Jesus; Jesus is God (Yahweh).

In Luke 7:16, after Jesus had raised to life the dead youth from the town of Nain, the people exclaim, “God has visited His people.”  One might understand this to mean that God, through a great prophet, has visited His people.  But one can also take it as a confession by the people that Jesus is God, because God as a man was literally visiting His people—for who except God can speak the dead to life?

We find the record in Luke 8:26ff of another merciful, miraculous deliverance as Jesus cast the legion of demons out of the cemetery-residing man of the Gerasenes.  The man then begs to go with Jesus, but the Lord responds to him, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” What does the exorcised man do?  “So the man went away and proclaimed all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.”  These are in back-to-back sentences in which the parallel is obvious:  “…tell how much GOD has done for you…[he] proclaimed how much JESUS had done for him.”   Hint:  Jesus is God.

In Luke 18:18ff the rich young ruler petitions Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus replies, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.”   There is here a hint that if Jesus is the Good Teacher, and because only God is good, then Jesus must be God.

Thanks be to God that in Jesus the fullness of deity dwells bodily, for only God’s death could redeem mankind out of sin, death and the devil’s domain.   Truly, as proleptically prophesied by Zechariah, “…the God of Israel….has visited and redeemed His people.” (Luke 1:68)

A hint of trivia - The Armadillo has an antibody for leprosy. - The bacteria that causes leprosy, a chronic disease that can lead to disfigurement and nerve damage, is known to be transmitted to humans from nine-banded armadillos. A new study in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases reports that 62% of the armadillos in the western part of Pará state in the Brazilian Amazon are positive for the leprosy bacteria. June 28, 2018 See Science Daily 

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

Luke 17:11 
Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ [a]πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ αὐτὸς διήρχετο διὰ [b]μέσον Σαμαρείας καὶ Γαλιλαίας.
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.

The disease is what unites them. Jesus is going to Jerusalem. He will only stop for them.

Luke 17:12 
καὶ εἰσερχομένου αὐτοῦ εἴς τινα κώμην [c]ἀπήντησαν δέκα λεπροὶ ἄνδρες, οἳ [d]ἔστησαν πόρρωθεν,
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,[a] who stood at a distance 

Going into a village, ten men, lepers met him standing afar off. Whole cities would come out to meet ἀπήντησαν a conquering King. This is a leper colony. Jesus is going into the leper's village. They come out to greet them.

Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13

"Ten" is a perfect number. All together. They cry out for mercy but at a distance. They have nothing left to lose. 

Luke 17:13 
καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες• Ἰησοῦ ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.  
and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

They” (plural) lifted up “their” (singular) united voice saying, "Jesus, Master have mercy/pity!" ἐλέησον

Luke 17:14 
 καὶ ἰδὼν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς ἐκαθαρίσθησαν.
When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.

And seeing as they saw (being there present with them) he said "go, show yourselves to the priests. 

(To go back to your family. Uncleanness separated them. Cut off from community. The OT statement of original sin.) . Sin is unbelief given flesh and bones. 

Sent to the priests think Judas 

As they went they were healed. 

Luke 17:15
εἷς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν, ἰδὼν ὅτι ἰάθη, ὑπέστρεψεν μετὰ φωνῆς μεγάλης δοξάζων τὸν θεόν,
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice

One from them, seeing right here and now, seeing he was healed, returned with a great voice glorifying God. 

He goes to the priests. (Because Jesus sent him. He had to. He went, was examined, then returned.) 

Both he and Jesus knew the drill.  

Luke 17:16
καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ• καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρίτης
and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

He threw himself at Jesus' feet.  See Ruth 4:7, Christ is the kinsman redeemer. John the Baptist, "I am unworthy to untie his sandals."

The Greek word used to describe his giving thanks εὐχαριστῶ is the word that is translated as Eucharist.

Luke 17:17 
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν• [e]Οὐχὶ οἱ δέκα ἐκαθαρίσθησαν; οἱ δὲ ἐννέα ποῦ
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine

Ten were cleansed, were there not? Expecting a positive answer. Ten were cleansed, 

Luke 17:18
 οὐχ εὑρέθησαν ὑποστρέψαντες δοῦναι δόξαν τῷ θεῷ εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀλλογενὴς οὗτος;
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 

Luke 17:19 
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Ἀναστὰς πορεύου• ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε.
And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.

has made you well” - has saved you.

Rise up, go and keep going, your faith has and continues to save you. Faith is busy and active.

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
Photo © Greg Gallmeyer



Time in the Word - Proper 23


Time in the Word 
Preparation for
Pentecost 18 – Proper 23
October 7 – 12, 2019

Faith Returns Thanks to God and Worships Him in the Person of Christ Jesus

Jesus comes in mercy, and by His Word heals you in body and soul. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” for you are cleansed (Luke 17:14), and you are granted access to the Lord’s Temple. It is “at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks” (Luke 17:16), that you worship God, for Christ Jesus is your great High Priest; His Body is the true Temple. In Him you “find rest, each of you in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:9), for the Lord has “visited His people and given them food” (Ruth 1:6). The person of Jesus Christ lodges Himself in holy food—bread and wine for believers to eat and drink. You lodge where Jesus lodges; His Father is your God, His people are your people. Death cannot part you from Him, because His death and resurrection are eternally yours through Holy Baptism. “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Tim. 2:8–9). As surely as death could not hold Him, so surely “the Word of God is not bound” (2 Tim. 2:9). His Gospel is entrusted “to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2), so that you “may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:10). Such is the confession of faith for all the saints, who believe, teach, and confess the one Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ.

Collect for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Keep, we pray You, O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable for our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for the sick: O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need, look with favor upon Your servant. Assure him/her of Your mercy, deliver him/her from the temptations of the evil one, and give him/her patience and comfort in his/her illness. If it please You, restore him/her to health, or give him/her grace to accept this tribulation with courage and hope; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for deliverance from sin: We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishments that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for agriculture: Almighty God, You bless the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper the work of farmers and all those who labor to bring food to our table. Grant them seasonable weather that they may gather in the fruits of the earth in abundance and proclaim Your goodness with thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Morning Prayer Readings for this coming week:
October 07 Golden Calf - Exodus 32
October 08 Spies - Number 13, 14
October 09 Chapel
October 10 Into Cannan - Deuteronomy 34- Joshua 3
October 11 1st Conquest - Joshua 6

Catechism Review: 1st Article of the Apostles’ Creed


Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
Luther’s Seal © Ed Rajas Higher Things

Monday, 07 October 2019Psalm 34:2–4, 17; antiphon, Psalm 48:1—The Introit calls upon us to praise the Lord for His deliverance of His righteous ones out of all their troubles. Who are the righteous? We learned in the Old Testament reading from last week that those who place their trust in the Lord are the ones who are righteous—by their faith.

Tuesday, 08 October 2019Psalm 111—Psalm 111 is a song of high praise to the LORD for His many and continued blessings upon His people—physical and spiritual blessings. The LORD’s great works and His provision of food are recounted before the His greatest blessing is extolled: He sent redemption to his people. In the face of the mighty deeds, awesome power, and goodness of the Lord, the psalmist concludes, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Wednesday, 09 October 2019Ruth 1:1–19a—Sunday’s Old Testament reading is the opening portion of the book of Ruth. Ruth was not an Israelite, but a Moabite woman, whose husband had died. During a famine, Ruth’s husband died, as did his brother. When Naomi, the brothers’ mother, planned to go to Bethlehem, because she had heard there was food there, she urged her daughters-in-law to remain in Moab where, as still-young women, they might find husbands. Orpah did, but Ruth remained with Naomi, resolutely declaring, “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” This strong foreign woman, who took the Lord GOD of Israel—the true God—as her own God, would become an ancestress to the Christ, the incarnate Son of the only true God (Matthew 1:5

Thursday, 10 October 20192 Timothy 2:1–13—Our reading through Paul’s second letter to Timothy continues with encouragement to remain a good soldier of Christ Jesus, even in the face of suffering. But, this is no advice to Timothy simply to look deep inside himself for strength, or keep a stiff upper lip. 

No, the Christian’s source of strength in the midst of adversity always comes from the fact that we are strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (v. 1). Paul then quotes what he had written in his epistle to the Romans, in connection with Holy Baptism: If we have died with him, we will also live with him. Our Baptism into Christ gives us strength daily to face whatever hardships we may face in this life.

Friday, 11 October 2019Luke 17:11–19—There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans. Had they been healthy, the nine Jewish lepers would have had had nothing to do with this person whom they considered a half-breed, little better than a heathen. But leprosy had made them all outcasts from society, depending on the kindness of strangers in for daily sustenance.

On the way to Jerusalem, on the road that would ultimately lead to His death, Jesus encountered these ten pitiable men. He had mercy on them, and, foreshadowing the restoration of all creation at the Last Day, healed them of their dread disease. Only one returned to Jesus to give thanks—a foreigner, the Samaritan.

Christ came into the world to save all people, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, or other outward characteristics. We Gentiles, too, ought to fall at Jesus’ feet and give thanks for having rescued us from the far more dread disease of sin and its consequences of eternal, and not just temporal, death. This Descendant of a foreign, Moabite woman has made us clean. He Himself is the High Priest who declares us clean to His Father, and gives us a place in His kingdom. This Gospel lesson will be read on Thanksgiving Day. 

Saturday, 12 October 2019—Sunday’s Hymn of the Day is Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old (LSB #846). It also makes the connection between Christ healing disease and infirmities of the body when he walked the earth and His redemptive work in cleansing us from our sins. The last stanza asks that we, too, may be delivered from the sickness of sin, that we might offer up our praise and thanksgiving, as the Samaritan did in the Gospel reading.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Pentecost 17 - Proper 22


Pentecost 17 – Proper 22
06 October 2019
Luke 17:1-11

"Lord increase our faith"

The disciples upon hearing Jesus’ instruction cry out, “Lord, increase our faith!” These demands the Savior places upon them is nothing we should not expect. The faith that the Savior demands of us to be disciples dedicated to His cause should call each of us to pray this petition also, “Lord, increase my faith.”

Stumbling Blocks are Inevitable. Vv. 1-2 “Temptations to sin are sure to come.

It will happen. What will happen is also unsettling. It is not possible. That those stumbling blocks will not come. Temptation to sin is inevitable.  Those that will seek to entice you to spiritual and moral failure are unavoidable. The danger is serious. Salvation as taught in the Bible is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Adding anything to this foundation of faith poisons it. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10) Because of sin and its allure Jesus addresses how we need to deal with one another.

Forgiveness Must Be Extended Vv. 3-4 “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

The Savior’s words are strong. But not harsh. Be humble. Recognize of your own weaknesses and sin.  Be motivated by love. Take the log out of your own eye so that you can help your brother with the speck in his own. Trust in Jesus. Who became a man. Lived a sinless life. Then voluntarily died on the cross as the sacrifice and substitution for your sin. His resurrection proved His sacrifice was sufficient. All His claims and promises are true. His price of redemption is applied to all who believe in Him. They are forgiven. And adopted into God’s family. Assured of eternal life with Him.

Christians forgive in the same way that God in Christ has forgiven them. As a reflection of what God has done for you in Christ.  Offer forgiveness. To those who have offended you.

To Rebuke. (ἐπιτίμησον) To Repent. (μετανοήσῃ) To Forgive. (ἄφες) Are each serious. And difficult. But until that person repents. That is. They change their mind and accept the responsibility for their offense. They will not accept your forgiveness. For they have no recognition they have done anything wrong. The relationship will remain hindered. Or even broken. Although forgiveness remains offered. But until that person repents. That is. They change their mind and accept the responsibility for their offense. Repentance. And forgiveness. Are a serious business. But not impossible.

Someone will argue. “It can’t be true repentance if they keep doing the same sin!” Perhaps. But how often does God forgive you for the same repeated sin? Some sins are easy to turn from. And not repeat. But be honest about those you have difficulty with. And keep repeating. What about lying? Less than gracious language? Selfish attitudes? Pride? Coveting? Idolatry – letting something else be more important to you than God?

Failure to fulfill the many “one another” commands the Lord has given you – Love “one another.” Be devoted to “one another.” Be patient with “one another.” Be kind with “one another.” Be hospitable to “one another.” Comfort “one another.” Encourage “one another.” etc. We are to forgive in the same manner and same frequency as God. As a reflection of Him controlling our lives.

Faith Must Increase Vv. 5-6 5 “The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!

Faith is not a commodity. By which you fill a larger bucket. Faith is belief and trust in God Himself that grows stronger. 

The measure of faith is its trust in Christ. It grows stronger as knowledge of Him and His promises increase. It strengthens. With greater trust in Him. That He will fulfill His promises.

Christians do not need additional faith. They only need to exercise what they already have to make it stronger.

Service is Expected Vv. 7-10 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?  But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?  Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’

Perhaps the greater tragedy is that sin blinds people to the truth of God’s character. Though He owes us nothing. Not even a thank you for service rendered to Him. Yet out of His own character. He provides for all of creation. He sustains life. 

The Lord is longsuffering. Patient. And kind. He then goes further. To redeem sinful man. By paying the penalty of sin Himself in Jesus Christ offering forgiveness, eternal life and adoption into His family to all that will believe.

I do not understand such love. But I am very glad it is true. I am but a creature. Redeemed by Christ. An unworthy slave. Whose every service is at best only what I should do. Yet my Lord forgives my sins against Him. And invites me to join Him at His table as His adopted son forever. To which we each must say, “Lord increase our faith!

Recognize the danger of stumbling blocks. And those who set them. People will sin against you. And you will sin against others. Forgive others as God has forgiven you in Christ Jesus. Forgive others. The same way you would want them to forgive you. Seek to grow in the knowledge of Christ. And His will so that your faith will grow.  And exercise it. So that it may become stronger as your trust in God grows. Seek to follow and serve Christ. Grateful for the opportunity and in praise of Him that He is a merciful master who loves and cares for those who belong to Him.
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Words –1,060
Passive Sentences – 2%
Readability – 77.3%
Reading Level -4.4