Friday, August 30, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 13 - The Binding of Isaac


Morning Prayer Reading 13 - Binding of Isaac

Binding of Isaac 
Genesis 22:1-18 



22 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy[a] will go over there and worship and come again to you.6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide”;[b] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”[c]

15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his[d] enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Footnotes:
a. Genesis 22:5 Or young man; also verse 12
b. Genesis 22:14 Or will see
c. Genesis 22:14 Or he will be seen
d. Genesis 22:17 Or their

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, August 29, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 12 - Sodom & Gamorrah


Morning Prayer Reading 12 - Sodom & Gamorrah

Sodom & Gomorrah 
Genesis 19:1-3, 12-15, 24-26


19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 

24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

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. 

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, August 27, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 11 - The Promise of Isaac




Morning Prayer Reading 11 - The Promise of Isaac

Promise of Isaac 
Genesis 18: 1-15


18 And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks[a] of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. 2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord,[b] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, 5 while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.”6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs[c] of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

9 They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’14 Is anything too hard[d] for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it,[e] saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

Footnotes:
a. Genesis 18:1 Or terebinths
b. Genesis 18:3 Or My lord
c. Genesis 18:6 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters
d. Genesis 18:14 Or wonderful
e. Genesis 18:15 Or acted falsely

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. 

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.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 10 - Call of Abram



Morning Prayer Reading 10 - Call of Abram
Call of Abram 
Genesis 12-17 (Selected Verses)



12 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak[d] of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him

15 After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”2 But Abram said, “O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue[j]childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations."

9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised."

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. 

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.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Proper 17 Series C



Proper 17 C 
September 1, 2019

Proverbs 25:2–10
Hebrews 13:1–17
Luke 14:1–14

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ

O Lord of grace and majesty, teach us by Your Holy Spirit to follow the example of Your Son in true humility, that we may withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds avoid ungodly pride;

“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,” Jesus proclaims, but “he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). For your hope is in the name of the Lord, who humbled Himself unto death on the cross and was exalted in His resurrection. So are you humbled by His cross, and “at the resurrection of the just,” He will say to you, “Friend, move up higher” (Luke 14:10; 13–14).

By His grace, the King will honor you “in the presence of a noble,” where your eyes will gaze upon the Prince, His dearly beloved Son.” (Proverbs 25:7).

As He has dealt so graciously with you, “do not neglect to do good and to share what you have” (Heb. 13:16) and “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrews 13:2). Humble yourself and exalt your neighbor.

Humbled Then Exalted
Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Brege

Consider the following somewhat theoretical discussion.  In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus declared, “…he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Reflecting on the entirety of Holy Writ, one can conclude this to be an axiom of God’s kingdom.  It is repeated in similar wording in verses such as 1 Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”  And again from the mouth of our Lord in Luke 18:14b: “…the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

This axiom is apparently foundational behavior even for God!  Strange as it may sound, our God, the Triune God who is the Lord of heaven and earth “naturally” humbles Himself.  This condescension, we believe, is axiomatic concerning His relationship to His creation—even outside man’s fall into sin.  Psalm 113:5,6 nicely summarizes this reality: “Who is like the LORD our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?” (NASB).  Yes, to behold the lofty fabric of the heavens, their Creator must stoop and humble himself.  Thus also the Lord of the universe humbled himself to behold the things in the earth, personally forming the various animals and uniquely humbling himself to “form,” “breathe into” and “build” the first man and woman. Such humbling is a loving condescension, making Himself approachable, appearing to be something less than infinite. Personally encountering this humbled God, sinless man would have exalted Him by glorifying Him in word and deed. Some conjecture that God would have become a man even if humanity had not sinned! And after the original sin, God—apparently in human form—humbled himself to “walk in the garden in the cool of the day,” which one could recognize as His “normal” humble behavior.

Because God thus humbles Himself, It should come as no surprise that God would actually become a man!  Though becoming man is in itself not equal to entering the State of Humiliation, yet, we believe, simply becoming man would have been an act of humbling Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth.  But the Son of God did not just become man. By becoming man the Son of God could and did—for our salvation—enter the State of Humiliation, thus enabling Him as a man to cease fully using His divine powers.  In this State of Humiliation Christ could really suffer and die in our place.  St. Paul thus wrote to the Philippians (2:6,8):  “[Christ,] Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,…And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.” Recall now the axiom:  “He who humbles himself will be exalted.”  For us the Lord Jesus as a man humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross. For us He would then begin His State of Exaltation by being exalted in His resurrection.  Thus to the baptized—those connected to Him—He gives the gifts of salvation accomplished by His being humbled and then exalted.

Relate all of this now to worship. Are not acts of humiliation and exaltation foundational acts of worship—on God’s part and on our part?  Does not God in worship still come to us in humility—through the mouth of a sinful pastor and through the humble water, bread and wine— that we may “exalt Him” by glorifying Him in our Pneumatic petitions, offerings and praises?  And concerning our own humiliation and exaltation in worship, do we not gather in humility—with contrite hearts—that God the Spirit may exalt us by forgiving and strengthening our faith in Jesus through Word and Sacrament?  Indeed, he who humbles himself will be exalted.

© 2019 Indiana District - Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod


Healing of a Man on the Sabbath
Luke 14.1-14

Luke 14.1
Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἐλθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς οἶκόν τινος τῶν ἀρχόντων τῶν Φαρισαίων σαββάτῳ φαγεῖν ἄρτον καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦσαν παρατηρούμενοι αὐτόν.
One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully.

:1 - they are watching because it was the Sabbath. 6:1, 13:10ff

Luke 14.2
καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν ὑδρωπικὸς ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ.
And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.

:2 - right then, in time and space, right there, right here, right now. A man with dropsy (edema) was in front of him.

Luke 14.3
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς νομικοὺς καὶ Φαρισαίους λέγων• Ἔξεστιν τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεῦσαι ἢ οὔ; 
And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?”

:3 - Jesus addresses the teachers of the Law and the experts, "is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?"  Is this a set up? If so, whom?

Luke 14.4
οἱ δὲ ἡσύχασαν. καὶ ἐπιλαβόμενος ἰάσατο αὐτὸν καὶ ἀπέλυσεν.
But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away.

:4 - Silence is their answer. Taking hold of him He healed him and sent him away. The answer is Jesus. He heals on the Sabbath as the Lord of the Sabbath.

Luke 14.5
αὶ πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἶπεν• Τίνος ὑμῶν υἱὸς ἢ βοῦς εἰς φρέαρ πεσεῖται, καὶ οὐκ εὐθέως ἀνασπάσει αὐτὸν ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ σαββάτου;
And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son[a] or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?”

:5 - which one of you, having a son or ox into a well falling will not immediately raise him up on the Sabbath. How many of the Pharisees would leave a son? He condemns them. They turned the Sabbath into a work and a law. Jesus was left in the well (grave) on a Sabbath. His father left him there.

Luke 14.6
 καὶ οὐκ ἴσχυσαν ἀνταποκριθῆναι πρὸς ταῦτα.
And they could not reply to these things.

:6 - they were not able to speak back to Him concerning these things. They are not strong enough. They are still striving. They have not despaired of themselves.

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

Luke 14.7
Ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς κεκλημένους παραβολήν, ἐπέχων πῶς τὰς πρωτοκλισίας ἐξελέγοντο, λέγων πρὸς αὐτούς•
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,

:7 - noticing how they chose the first places he told them this parable.

Luke 14.8
Ὅταν κληθῇς ὑπό τινος εἰς γάμους, μὴ κατακλιθῇς εἰς τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν, μήποτε ἐντιμότερός σου ᾖ κεκλημένος ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ 
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him,

:8 - when someone invites you to a  wedding feast, don't sit in the place of honor in case someone with more honor is invited.

Luke 14.9
καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας ἐρεῖ σοι• Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον, καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ μετὰ αἰσχύνης τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον κατέχειν.
and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.

:9 - if so, the host who invited both of you will say to you give this place and you will begin to have shame.

Luke 14.10
ἀλλ’ ὅταν κληθῇς πορευθεὶς ἀνάπεσε εἰς τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον, ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ κεκληκώς σε ἐρεῖ σοι• Φίλε, προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον• τότε ἔσται σοι δόξα ἐνώπιον πάντων τῶν συνανακειμένων σοι. 
But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.

:10 - when you are invited, take the lowest place, in order that when the one who invited you will say, 'beloved, come up higher' then you will have honor among all the others. Remember it's about Jesus. Continuation from last Sunday. You are unworthy you are the least. He makes you first and greatest.

Luke 14.11
ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται. ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτὸν ταπεινωθήσεται καὶ ὁ ταπεινῶν ἑαυτὸν ὑψωθήσεται.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Parable of the Great Banquet

Luke 14.12
Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν• Ὅταν ποιῇς ἄριστον ἢ δεῖπνον, μὴ φώνει τοὺς φίλους σου μηδὲ τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου μηδὲ τοὺς συγγενεῖς σου μηδὲ γείτονας πλουσίους, μήποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι. 
He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.

:12 -14 - this is what righteousness looks like. It must be about Christ. Being called up is all grace. It is Christ who exalts.

Walther, "Faith is a synonym for Christ."

Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and all who are humbled will be exalted. There is only one who has entered through the narrow door only one who has been humbled - Christ. See Philippians 2, " Let This mind be among you..."

Don't give a checklist... proclaim the humility and exaltation of Christ.

Note: Now Jesus is host. Notice whom He invites. You will be blessed in the resurrection of the righteous.

Luke 14.13
ἀλλ’ ὅταν δοχὴν ποιῇς, κάλει πτωχούς, ἀναπείρους, χωλούς, τυφλούς•
 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 

Luke 14.14
 καὶ μακάριος ἔσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἀνταποδοῦναί σοι, ἀνταποδοθήσεται γάρ σοι ἐν τῇ ἀναστάσει τῶν δικαίων.
and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
--------

What does it take to invite the lowly? It takes humility and grace.

1. Humility - To invite those who bring us no advantage.

2. Grace - To invite people because they are unworthy and cannot help us.

Make no mistake. This is more than mere manners. Christ humbled Himself To the point of death. He bore your sin and took your misery to Himself. In exchange for your sin you receive the righteousness of God in Christ. If this is how the Savior deliberately choose to treat you how much more should we demonstrate the same hospitality to your neighbor. 

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Time in the Word - Proper 17


Pentecost 12 – Proper 17
26 – 31 August 2016

We Are Humbled and Exalted by the Cross of Christ


Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,” Jesus proclaims, but “he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Your hope is in the name of the Lord, who humbled Himself unto death on the cross and was exalted in His resurrection. So are you humbled by His cross, and “at the resurrection of the righteous,” He will say to you, “Friend, move up higher” (Luke 14:10; 13–14). By His grace, the King will honor you “in the place of great men,” where your eyes will gaze upon the Prince, His dearly-beloved Son (Proverbs 25:7). As He has dealt so graciously with you, “Do not neglect doing good and sharing” (Hebrews 13:16), and “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrews 13:2). Humble yourself and exalt your neighbor.

Collect for Proper 17: O Lord of grace and mercy, teach us by Your holy Spirit to follow the example of Your Son in true humility, that we may withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds avoid ungodly pride; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Collect for Pentecost 12: Almighty and everlasting God, always more ready to hear than we to pray and always ready to give more than we either desire or deserve, pour down un us the abundance of Your mercy, forgiving us the things of which our conscience is afraid and giving us the good things we are not worthy to ask but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,

For the mission of the Church: Almighty God, You have called Your Church to witness that in Christ You have reconciled us to Yourself. Grant that by Your Holy Spirit we may proclaim the good news of Your salvation so that all who hear it may receive the gift of salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord

Prayer for humility: O 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. Amen.

For those outside the Church: Almighty and everlasting God, You desire not the death of a sinner but that all would repent and live. Hear our prayers for those outside the Church. Take away their iniquity, and turn them from their false gods to You, the living and true God. Gather them into Your holy Church to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ our Lord

A Morning Collect: 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, and let Your blessing remain throughout this day. Preserve us in Your righteousness, and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord

Monday, 26 August 2019Psalm 75:1–2, 6, 9; antiphon, Psalm 75:7—The readings for Sunday speak of being humble, and the Introit sets the tone by reminding us that we are not to judge people according to worldly standards; rather, It is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019Psalm 131—This psalm of David is the psalm of a humble man, one whose heart is not lifted up by himself and one whose eyes are not raised too high. Instead of relying on himself, David has calmed and quieted his soul with the knowledge of the LORD and that all our hope is in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019Proverbs 25:2–10—About 250 years after the death of Solomon, blessed by God as the wisest man ever to have lived, King Hezekiah’s men collected some of Solomon’s wise sayings from a larger collection. The first section used for Sunday’s Old Testament reading (vv. 2–7) relate to earthly kings. Whereas part of God’s glory is due to the fact that He is beyond our understanding, it is the glory of earthly kings to search out and discover. When he became king, Solomon humbly asked God for “an understanding mind to govern Your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9). To search out justice and enlightenment is to a ruler’s glory.

The second portion of the reading (vv. 8–10) teaches us humility in relations with our neighbor. We are not to be hasty in pursuing litigation to elevate ourselves over our neighbor; he may thereby put us to shame. Neither should we engage in gossip, warns v. 9. Similar warnings are also given in Proverbs 11:13, 20:19, and, of course, the Eighth Commandment.

Thursday, 29 August 2019Hebrews 13:1–17—How does a person’s humility manifest itself with regard to those around us? The writer to the Hebrews exhorts us to care for the needy: Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers . . . remember those who are in prison . . . and those who are mistreated. 

We ought always to bring to mind Christ’s example, who suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Furthermore, we ought to recall those heroes of the faith whom we heard about in the epistle readings a few weeks ago and imitate their faith. In the Church, we are to humble ourselves and obey our leaders and submit to them, for God has appointed them to keep watch over your souls.

Friday, 30 August 2019Luke 14:1–14—Sunday’s Gospel speaks of Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath, but first challenging the puffed-up Pharisees to show Him why this would be wrong. They could give no answer. 

Jesus then tells a parable which exhorts those puffed-up Pharisees—and us!-–to humble ourselves. One who has the mind of Christ will not seek to exalt himself over others, but will put himself in their service, as Christ did for us when he bore our sins to Calvary. When we bow in humble submission to the Lord, He shall exalt us. Indeed, He has already, by making us His children through the washing of Holy Baptism and giving us a seat at His heavenly banquet.

Saturday, 31 August 2019—The first stanza of the Sunday’s Hymn of the Day, Son of God, Eternal Savior (LSB #842), proclaims the salvation that Christ has won for us. It then beseeches the Lord to reign among us that here on earth, His will be done. Our example is Christ, who lived for others, our plea, then, is So may we for others live. The hymn beautifully proclaims in song the theme for the day: that we are humbled and exalted by the cross of Christ, and our lives reflect His humility.

This week’s Morning Prayer Readings:

August 26 #10 Call of Abram- Genesis 12-17 selected readings
August 27 #11 Promise of Isaac- Genesis 18:1-15
August 28      Chapel
August 29 #12 Sodom & Gamorrah- Genesis 19:1-3, 12-15, 24-26, 29
August 30 #13 Binding of Isaac -Genesis 22:1-18

Catechism Review: 4th & 5th Commandments with meaning
Review the Bible story &  Catechism  with your student each day
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Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Face of Christ:
http://spiritlessons.com/Documents/Jesus_Pictures/Jesus_Christ_Pictures.htm



Saturday, August 24, 2019

Pentecost 11 - Proper 16

Pentecost 11 – Proper 16
Luke 13:22-30
25 August 2019
“The Door which leads to God

O Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting live, grant us without all doubt to know Your Son Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth and the Life that, following His steps, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leads to eternal life; [1] 

Many will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:29)  But only by the narrow way of the cross.

Those who would be saved must enter the kingdom through a narrow door. 


All people are prospects for the Kingdom, but only those who go through the narrow door of righteousness will be saved.

This message of Jesus may be found to be too restrictive to many of our time. For many in our world, “whatever differences religions might have are not as important as the fundamental similarities.” [2]

Well, what are the “fundamental similarities” among religions today? There are only two; first, all religions believe that man is sinful. And second, religions believe that God will somehow broker some sort of deal to make up for man’s sin.

But here is where the world’s religions differ among themselves. Some believe that God will somehow make up for man’s inability to keep the Law. Others say that God will somehow turn His back on man’s sin. But that sort of scrutiny will not measure up to the test of every man.

What separates Christianity from every world religion is the fact that Christianity is not a religion at all. Rather, Christianity is a connection, an association, a link - established with the person of Jesus Christ.

While most religions focus on man working his way up to God the Bible claims that God has come down to man through the person of Jesus Christ. John will tell us in his gospel, “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” – John 1 

These words of Jesus are difficult to be sure. Jesus has a narrow focus. He has turned His signs on Jerusalem. Although the disciples might not see or understand - Jesus has 20/20 vision. The cross looms before Him.

Jesus’ desire is that man would find a bond with Him so that He can dwell with him.  How this connection with Christ is made possible? We enter through the narrow door of righteousness.

1.  We enter through the narrow door. “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” Vs. 24. Though God wants all to be saved, not all qualify. 

It is the narrow door of obedience to Christ and Him alone that grants entry into the Kingdom. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus is the door. Only through Him can you enter. You cannot force yourself through.  He is the door. Only through Him can you enter. The temptation is this; “Try harder.” “Produce more.” “Do more.” “Achieve more.”  Yet, “not the labors of my hands could fulfill the Law’s demands.” The way to the Father is through a narrow door. Only Christ can open it. Jesus is the way –the narrow way.   

2.   It will be open- but only for a time.  “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.” V. 29 The door to the Kingdom is open to all regardless of nation or race. Christianity is a universal faith. God desires all people to be saved. If this is the case, why not evangelize? 

Notice - A reversal. Those who think they are close are out. Those afar are included. Those who consider themselves as first will become last. And those regarded as last, finish first. 

3.   The closed Door. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers.’ Vv. 25-27

The door is closed to religious people who thought they could get in on their own terms – playing by their own rules – “We ate and drank in your presence” they will say.

The door is closed to the wicked, “workers of iniquity,” whether they are in or out of the church. Some will be shut out of heave by their own evil condition. Once the door is closed it will be too late.
There are no more frightening words in Scripture. Jesus says bluntly, “You come from the wrong family. I don’t know you!” They call Him “Lord.”  They prophecy in His name. “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ - Matthew 7:22 

Salvation is dependent on Christ knowing you. And He knows you! “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me… My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.’ (John 10:14; 27-28) 

God's faithfulness is stronger than your faith.  “Even if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” -2 Timothy 2:13 

4.   But those on the inside – there will be bliss and peace forever. There is the glass door. “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.” V. 28

With the cross of Christ, the time has come “to gather all nations and tongues” (Isaiah 66:18). The sign of the cross is set forth in the preaching of the Gospel, the declaration of the Lord’s glory “among the nations.” (Isaiah 66:19) Many “will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:29)

But only by the narrow way of the cross. Christ’s disciples, called from all the nations, will eat and drink with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God. They will come into “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” (Hebrews 12:22)

A door is a means of entrance and a way to exclude. It matters whether the door is open or closed, whether it is wide or narrow.

The question asked of the Savior, “Will those who are saved be few?” is still being asked today.  During this week. Ponder the Savior’s response.
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Words- 1,200
Passive Sentences –10% 
Readability – 82.9%
Reading Level – 4.2

1. Collect for Pentecost 14, Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publish House, St. Louis
2. BOBO’s in Paradise by David Brooks


 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 9 - Tower of Babel


Morning Prayer Reading 9 - Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel  
Genesis 11:1-9


11 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” 8 So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused[a] the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Footnotes:

a. Genesis 11:9 Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused

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. 

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.

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Morning Prayer Reading 8 - The flood
The flood 
Genesis 6-9 (Selected verses)


Increasing Corruption on Earth

6 When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”

5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Noah and the Flood

9  Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh,[c] for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.[d] Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits,[e] its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof[f] for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you.  22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

7 Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.  4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing[i] that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5 And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.  10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, 14 they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature.15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.


17 The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.  22 Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.

The Flood Subsides

8 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2 The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3 and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, 4 and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.

6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. 9 But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark.11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.

13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.  19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

God's Covenant with Noah

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse[k] the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.


9 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.."

Noah's Descendants

18 The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died.

Footnotes:
a. Genesis 6:3 Or My Spirit shall not contend with
b. Genesis 6:4 Or giants
c. Genesis 6:13 Hebrew The end of all flesh has come before me
d. Genesis 6:14 An unknown kind of tree; transliterated from Hebrew
e. Genesis 6:15 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
f. Genesis 6:16 Or skylight
g. Genesis 7:2 Or seven of each kind of clean animal
h. Genesis 7:3 Or seven of each kind
i. Genesis 7:4 Hebrew all existence; also verse 23
j. Genesis 7:20 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
k. Genesis 8:21 Or dishonor
l. Genesis 9:7 In Hebrew you is plural
m. Genesis 9:19 Or from these the whole earth was populated
n. Genesis 9:20 Or Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard
o. Genesis 9:27 Japheth sounds like the Hebrew for enlarge

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. 

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, August 20, 2019

Morning Prayer Reading 7 - From Adam to Noah


Morning Prayer Reading 7 - From Adam to Noah
 From Adam to Noah 

 Genesis 5:1-32 (Selected verses)



Adam's Descendants to Noah

5 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man[a] when they were created.3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years;.5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.

6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years  8  All the days of Seth were 912 years.

9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years . 11  All the days of Enosh were 905 years.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years. 14 All the days of Kenan were 910 years.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years. 17 All the days of Mahalalel were 895 years.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch. 19 Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years .20  All the days of Jared were 962 years.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with God[b] after he fathered Methuselah 300 years. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not,[c] for God took him.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. 26 Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years. 27 All the days of Methuselah were 969 years.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed, this one shall bring us relief[d] from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” 30 Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years. 31 Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Footnotes:
a. Genesis 5:2 Hebrew adam
b. Genesis 5:22 Septuagint pleased God; also verse 24
c. Genesis 5:24 Septuagint was not found
d. Genesis 5:29 Noah sounds like the Hebrew for rest

Luther's Seal © Ed Rojas  Higher Things 

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.

Monday, August 19, 2019

MORNING PRAYER - Reading 6 - Cain & Abel


Morning Prayer Reading 6 - Cain & Abel
 Cain & Abel 

Genesis 4:1-16



4 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten[a] a man with the help of the LORD.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted?[b] And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to[c] you, but you must rule over it.”


8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10 And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.[e] 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden.

Footnotes:
a. Genesis 4:1 Cain sounds like the Hebrew for gotten
b. Genesis 4:7 Hebrew will there not be a lifting up [of your face]?
c. Genesis 4:7 Or is toward
d. Genesis 4:8 Hebrew; Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate add Let us go out to the field
e. Genesis 4:13 Or My guilt is too great to bear
f. Genesis 4:16 Nod means wandering

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. 

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.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Proper 16 Series C


Proper 16 C
Isaiah 66:18–23
Hebrews 12:4–24 (25–29)
Luke 13:22–30

The Cross of Christ Is the Way into the Kingdom of God

With the cross of Christ, the time has come “to gather all nations and tongues” (Is. 66:18). The sign of the cross is set forth in the preaching of the Gospel, the declaration of the Lord’s glory “among the nations” (Is. 66:19). Many “will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:29), but only by the narrow way of the cross. Those who refuse to follow Christ crucified will ultimately find only “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28), whereas Christ’s disciples, called from all the nations, will eat and drink with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God. They will come into “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22).


Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

To those pleading to enter through the closed door of Christ’s eternal kingdom the Lord answers:  “I do not know where you come from.” (Luke 12:25).  When they give what they think constitutes eligibility to enter, the Lord repeats:  “I tell you, I do not know where you come from.” (v. 27).  Certainly this gives us pause to ask ourselves, “Where do I come from?”

From Scripture we learn that we come from Adam, and in Adam all die.  We learn that we are conceived and born sinners, having come forth and descended from sinners.  We learn that we come forth spiritually dead, unable in our flesh to please God at all.  We learn that when we try to approach God we come from the domain of the ruler of this world, and thus we stand as God’s enemies.  Based on where we come from, it looks like we will never be able to enter through the narrow door.

Of course Jesus knows each of these “sources” of our evil existence.  Why then does He state, “I do not know where you come from.”?  Perhaps we can compare it to presenting a passport in order to enter a given country. An official looks carefully at it to see where the owner of the passport came from and whether the passport information is correct.  If it is a fake passport, or if it is a passport identifying citizenship in an enemy state, the official could say something like, “With this passport we do not recognize where you are from, you may not enter.”  Recognizing where a person is from is key to allowing entrance into an earthly nation.  It is even more important in allowing entrance into the heavenly realms.  Indeed our “passport” must prove where we are from, that our citizenship is in heaven.

The Jews, boasting that they were from Abraham, thought that this gave them valid passports.  Some, according to the parable, boasted that they had rubbed shoulders with Jesus as they ate in His presence and He taught in their streets.  Likewise this did not make them eligible to enter the narrow door.

Jesus—conceived by the Holy Spirit, born sinless, not coming from Satan’s domain—came into this world to give mankind a new passport, a new passport that identifies us as citizens of a sweet and blessed country.  To create such a passport Christ Jesus had to first conquer all the enemy “states” from which we came.  By His death He conquers the “states” of sin and sinfulness.  By His resurrection He shows His victory over the “domains” of Satan and death.  Having freed us from our old “states” Jesus wants to give to all a new passport, giving to each of us a new citizenship.

There is only one valid passport allowing entrance into God’s kingdom where those possessing such a passport may recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets.  That is the passport that has the picture of Jesus, identifying Him as coming from God and going back to Him.  Now, in our Baptism, He gives to each of us this passport.  In Baptism we are born again, we are made a new creation in Christ.  In Baptism we are so thoroughly covered with Christ that when the Father looks at each of us, He sees His beloved Son—the only one who could be pictured on the passport identifying where we are from and where we are headed.  In Christ alone we may enter the narrow door, for in Him we come from heaven, and in Him we return.

Luke 13:22-30 
The Narrow Door

Luke 13.22 
Καὶ διεπορεύετο κατὰ πόλεις καὶ κώμας διδάσκων καὶ πορείαν ποιούμενος εἰς εροσόλυμα.
He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.

:22 - are these the same villages as the sending of the 72?  Note, He is on His way to Jerusalem. Recall all of Jesus' teaching this far. Within the context of verse 23 these are difficult teachings. 

Luke 13.23 
 εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ• Κύριε, εἰ ὀλίγοι οἱ σῳζόμενοι; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς•
And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 

:23-24 - some will not have the strength. Can any be saved? Jesus will speak in the second person - He speaks to you. He is patient but redirects the conversation.  How do you translate the "hauti" clause in verse 24? 

It is not law but calling them to repentance and faith. "Many seek" no one is strong enough. This is all Law. The fact is you are out. All are out, He is the door. Only through Him can you enter. NOT do more try harder. You can not force yourself through.

Luke 13.24 
 Ἀγωνίζεσθε εἰσελθεῖν διὰ τῆς στενῆς [b]θύρας, ὅτι πολλοί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν,
“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 

Luke 13.25 
ἀφ’ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν, καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν λέγοντες• Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν• καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν• Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ.
When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 

:25 - he will answer I do not know you from where you are. A question of origin. They come from the wrong place and have the wrong Father. There are no more frightening words in Scripture. You come from the wrong family. They call you Lord. See - Matthew 7:22  they prophecy in His name. Salvation is dependent on His knowing. God's faithfulness is stronger than your faith.

Luke 13.26 
τότε ἄρξεσθε λέγειν• Ἐφάγομεν ἐνώπιόν σου καὶ ἐπίομεν, καὶ ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις ἡμῶν ἐδίδαξας•
Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 

:26 - we are in your face and you taught in our open spaces. A juxtaposition against Jesus being one of many gods. A difference between knowing about Jesus and a faith which saves. There is a difference. {Fides humana - faith accomplished by man's power alone - See Jeremiah 9:23-24} {A faith which saves. - fides divina - a faith accomplished by the word, the Holy Spirit, and God - See Jeremiah 31:33-34}

There is a difference between historical knowledge and saving faith.   

Luke 13.27 
καὶ ἐρεῖ λέγων ὑμῖν• Οὐκ οἶδα πόθεν ἐστέ• ἀπόστητε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ, πάντες ἐργάται ἀδικίας.
But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 

:27 - Step off, you are apostate! He highlights their works but they are unrighteous. 

Luke 13.28 
ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων, ὅταν ὄψησθε Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Ἰακὼβ καὶ πάντας τοὺς προφήτας ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὑμᾶς δὲ ἐκβαλλομένους ἔξω.
In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 

:28 - there will be THE weeping and THE gnashing of teeth. They claim to have Abraham as father. But faith is directed away from these.

Luke 13.29 
 καὶ ἥξουσιν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν καὶ δυσμῶν καὶ ἀπὸ βορρᾶ καὶ νότου καὶ ἀνακλιθήσονται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ. 
And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.

:29 - a reference to the Gentiles. A reversal. Those who think they are close are out. Those afar are included. 

Luke 13.30
καὶ ἰδοὺ εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι οἳ ἔσονται πρῶτοι, καὶ εἰσὶν πρῶτοι οἳ ἔσονται ἔσχατοι.
And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.


:30 - "Right here and now in time and space in front of your face" - there are those who are last who will be first and first who will be last.  He is forsaken so you can be chosen. See Epistle lesson for the day. 

Sources:
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

Time in the Word - Proper 16



Pentecost 11 - Proper 16
August 19-24, 2019

The Cross of Christ is the Way into the Kingdom of God
With the cross of Christ, the time has come “to gather all nations and tongues” (Isaiah 66:18). The sign of the cross is set forth in the preaching of the Gospel, the declaration of the Lord’s glory “among the nations” (Isaiah 66:19). Many “will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:29), but only by the narrow way of the cross. Those who refuse to follow Christ crucified will ultimately find only “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28), whereas Christ’s disciples, called from all the nations, will eat and drink with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God. They will come into “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Hebrews 12:22).

Collect for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost: Let Your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend Your Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Your help, protect and govern it always by Your goodness;

Collect for Proper 16 O Lord, You have called us to enter Your kingdom through the narrow door. Guide us by Your Word and Spirit, and lead us now and always into the feast of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever

Prayer for pardon, growth in grace, and divine protection: O Lord, our God, we acknowledge Your great goodness toward us and praise You for the mercy and grace that our eyes have seen, our ears have heard, and our hearts have known. We sincerely repent of the sins of this day and those in the past. Pardon our offenses, correct and reform what is lacking in us, and help us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Inscribe Your law upon our hearts, and equip us to serve You with holy and blameless lives. May each day remind us of the coming of the night when no one can work. In the emptiness of this present age keep us united by a living faith through the power of Your Holy Spirit with Him who is the resurrection and the life, that we may escape the eternal bitter pains of condemnation.

By Your Holy Spirit bless the preaching of Your Word and the administration of Your Sacraments. Preserve these gifts to us and to all Christians. Guard and protect us from all dangers to body and soul. Grant that we may with faithful perseverance receive from You our sorrows as well as our joys, knowing that health and sickness, riches and poverty, and all things come by permission of Your fatherly hand. Keep us this day under Your protective care and preserve us, securely trusting in Your everlasting goodness and love, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Monday, 19 August 2019Psalm 117; antiphon, Psalm 96:6a; 115:18—Psalm 117, the shortest of the psalms, comprising only two verses, is paired with an antiphon that announces, Splendor and majesty are before him; we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord. The splendor and majesty of the Lord are shown chiefly in His steadfast love toward us and in His faithfulness, which endures forever.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019Psalm 50:1–15—This psalm of Asaph speaks of the Lord as a mighty Judge. The Lord will judge all men based on their faithfulness and trust in Him, not on the outward show of ritual and religion. We must ever be on our guard, that we do not just ‘go through the motions,’ but that our hearts are right: that is, that we trust not in ourselves, nor in any earthly rulers or things, but solely in God the Lord for our salvation. He alone can accomplish it, and He delights in our trust in Him. Call upon me in the day of trouble, He exhorts us, and promises, I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019Isaiah 66:18–23—In this, the last chapter of the great Gospel-drenched Book of Isaiah, the Lord speaks to His faithful. They will rejoice at the revelation of His glory, especially at the Last Day, when this present age shall pass away and God will bring forth new heavens and a new earth. The adoration of the Lord by the faithful shall never cease. Tragically, however, the torment of those who have rebelled against the Lord shall also not cease. Let us, then, ever remain faithful to the Lord and to His Word, that we may be counted among those whom the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, brings in from all the nations.

Thursday, 22 August 2019Hebrews 12:4–24—We continue our reading through the latter chapters of Hebrews with an exhortation to remain faithful, even when suffering or persecution befalls us. We are not to regard such as punishment, but as discipline, as from a loving Father. the goal of such discipline is not the suffering, but the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Friday, 23 August 2019Luke 13:22–30—Christ Jesus was born for one purpose: to suffer and die for the sins of the world. In the Gospel reading for Sunday, we see Him journeying toward Jerusalem, where His mission will be accomplished. Along the way, He performed many miracles and also taught the people, as He does here.

A common question, then as now, is, ‘Who will be saved?’ Instead, Jesus answers the question, ‘How will they be saved?’ The answer is, only through Christ. He is the narrow door through which the heavenly banquet is entered. He counsels us to strive and to struggle to enter. Our struggle is against our own flesh and blood, which wants eternal life on its own terms, and against the demonic forces of the devil, who wants all men to be damned. We are not to delay in entering the door, that is, trusting in Christ alone for our salvation, and turning our backs on the devil, the world, and our sinful desires. For those who reject Christ, there is only weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Saturday, 24 August 2019—Sunday’s Hymn of the Day, A Multitude Comes from the East and the West (LSB #510), uses the imagery of the feast from the Gospel reading. Partaking of the unending feast in the kingdom of heaven will be the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with all the faithful from the East and the West, people from every nation under heaven. What they have in common is their trust in the goodness of the Lord.

Morning Prayer Bible Reading this week:

August 19 #6. Cain & Abel - Genesis 4:1-16
August 20 #7. From Adam to Noah - Genesis 5:1-32
August 21       Chapel
August 22 #8. The flood- Genesis 6-9 selected verses
August 23 #9. Tower of Babel- Genesis 11:1-9

Catechism Review: 3rd & 4th Commandment with meaning

Review the story and the Catechism with your student at the end of each day
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Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Face of Christ: http://spiritlessons.com/Documnets/Jesus_Pictures/Jesus_Christ_Pictures.htm