Monday, August 31, 2020

August 31— Monday prior to Pentecost 14 Proper 18



Psalm 37:3-5, 39; Antiphon, Psalm 92:1—The Old Testament lesson, the New Testament lesson and the Gospel for this coming Sunday give us a description of the Christian living in the world.

The Introit from which is our reading for today tells us that trusting in the Lord enables us to serve Him, and to have courage in the face of a world that is hostile to the Lord and His people. The antiphon reminds us, “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.”

How do you wait for God? How do you stop yourself from becoming angry or frustrated especially when it appears that others have everything that they want?

The psalmist tells us do something else! In verse 3 he gives three directives.

  ·   Trust in the LORD; as you ask God for help.

  ·   Do good things; give help to people around us. The Lord does not need your good works. Yet your neighbor however does. In your vocation you become the hands, the feet, the fingers and toes of Jesus. You serve as the Lord has served you.

  ·   Finally, enjoy what the land gives, even if it is not much. Look around. Everything you have is a gracious gift of God. Enjoy the blessing which come to you from his gracious hand. The Lord has promised to provide.

So trust in His timing. Rely on His promises. Wait for His answers. Believe in His miracles. Rejoice in His goodness. Relax in His presence. Come near to Jesus and He will come near to you.

Collect for Psalm 37Lord Jesus, you bless the poor with the kingdom of heaven. Teach us to put our trust in the Father and to seek his kingdom rather than to imitate the powerful or envy the right; so may we serve you now and forever.[1]   



[1] Collect for Psalm 37, For All The Saints, A Prayer Book for and by the Church Volume II © 1995 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

Morning Prayer - Reading #12

Morning Prayer Reading 12 

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 "Lot flees Sodom and Gamorrah"  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 30, 2020

Proper 18 Series A



Series "A"
Proper 18
(6 September 2020)
Series A

Ezekiel 33:7–9
Romans 13:1–10
Matthew 18:1–20

Living as Humble Little Children of the Father

True greatness is not self-sufficient strength, but humility like that of a little child. The greatness of child-like faith receives all good things as gracious gifts from our Father in heaven. Apart from such faith, “you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” but whoever is humbled like a little child will be “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3–4). Though in our sin we deserve to be “drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6), we have instead been drowned (“buried”) with Christ in Baptism and then raised to the new, humble life of a child of God. The Lord sends His watchman to warn us with a word from His mouth, in order that we may not die in our iniquity, but be turned from our pride and selfishness to live (Ezekiel 33:7–9). Thus we live in humility and faith before God as well as in love for our neighbor, which “is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). In the reverent fear of God, we do no harm to our neighbor, but we “pay to all what is owed to them” (Romans 13:7) and we “owe no one anything, except to love each other” (Romans 13:8).

Proper 18 -
The Greatest Shall Be As Children

Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 18:3)

Rev. Dr, Daniel J. Brege

When the disciples questioned Jesus about greatness in the kingdom of heaven, the Greek wording indicates they were not asking who is the greatest but who is the greater.  When posed this way we begin to realize the Apostles already considered themselves great, but they were wondering, as they did on other occasions, what is the rank of greatness among the Apostles; who are the greater and who are the lesser Apostles? Perhaps their question was generated by the fact that Jesus would Himself set apart particularly three Apostles (Peter, James, John) for certain tasks (e.g. Mat 17:1). Jesus now must teach them, as He would on other occasions, that in God’s kingdom their question is completely wrong-headed.

So Jesus calls a child to himself and places this little one in front of these “noble” Apostles.  Then Jesus makes the astounding and absolute statement, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (18:3).

Though all are conceived and born in sin, yet little children have a blessed emptiness when it comes to relationships.  They have no life-experience to get in the way of their faith.  The littlest ones cannot even yet think in terms of words.  They have not yet had building blocks such as pride, envy, vying actions, jealousy, anger and hatred laid upon the foundation of their sinful flesh.  It is apparent the Apostles had some of these diabolical building blocks.  A child thus is not concerned about how great he is, for he has not yet begun to compare himself with others.  In this respect, in comparison with adults, children are “empty”.  That which is empty can have something put in it; the container which is full can have nothing added to it. Because we yet have the sinful flesh, adults are “naturally” full of themselves.  How appropriate it is to baptize babies, for though they have sin, yet they do not have apparent sins associated with relationships!  Upon baptism their guardian angels, unlike the guardian angels of conniving adults, are not embarrassed to face the heavenly Father (v 10).

Appropriately Jesus describes a key characteristic pertaining to being like a child in God’s kingdom:  humility. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (v 4).  We must “turn and become like children,” Jesus said, and to be like children is to be humble.  Jesus informs us that we must “turn”. Turn to what?  We must turn to Jesus, the truly humble One.

Sadly no one, not even children, are able to thus turn to Jesus. For Jesus avows, No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (Jn 6:44,65). Thankfully through the Word the omnipotent Holy Spirit turns us to faith in Jesus, and when we are thus turned, in Christ we become as the humble child, forgiven of all our sinful, proud desires, made empty containers readied to be filled.

Turned to trust in Jesus we realize that He was God’s holy child who humbled and emptied himself to the point of death on the cross (Phil 2:5ff), rising then for our justification.  As we realize the emptiness of all our efforts in relation to God, the Spirit not only endows us with faith in Christ and His purging blood, but the Spirit pours His gifts into our emptied hearts; gifts such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Indeed the Holy Spirit makes us not merely like children, in Christ He makes us to be born-anew babies in the kingdom of God.

Romans 13:1-10

Grant, merciful Lord, to Your people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve You with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, who lives and reigns...

In the Lessons for this week we encounter sinners. What shall we do with our fellow sinners and how shall we deal with them?

In the Gospel lesson  (Matthew 18:15-20) Jesus teaches what we should do to be reconciled to those who sin against us.

Ezekiel in the Old Testament lesson (33:7-9)  reports that God expects us to warn the sinner, who, if he repents, will live. Paul in the Epistle lesson urges obedience to the officials and law of government and teaches that love is the way to obey the law. 

The Hymn of the Day -  LSB #373, "By Grace I’m Saved, Grace Free and Boundless" speaks of the power we as Christians possess to carry out this task. It is found in the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who has called and saved us according to His grace and favor.  We place our confidence in God and enjoy His blessings, even in times of trouble.

Civil governments have been given their authority by God. Thus, the Christian submits himself to that rule which God has established, and exhorts others to do the same. St. Paul also tells us how we are to live with our fellow man: letting love for the neighbor guide all our actions and dealings. This love is not of ourselves, but flows from Christ, who first loved us.

v. 1.  every person, no matter their status, is to be subject to the governing authorities. to be "subordinated" does not mean inferior. W/in the creation...recognize your position in God's order. 

v. 2.  "resists" - "to set ones' self in opposition." appointed - ordinance which God appointed - an office - the embodiment of the person serving in the office.

The government is God's arm...to receive punishment from the state is to receive God's punishment. 

v. 3.  good or bad conduct is by God's definition. Government is not the definer of good or evil. We know the law by nature. To be foolish is to flee from it 

v. 4. God's servant - deacon - official service - a religious cast - Incurring wrath is a badge of the office. God's wrath however is final and ultimate.

v.5   notice first "fear of wrath" and second "conscience" uses of the law. 

v.6 - 7  Paying of taxes is our obligation.  Death and taxes are certain.Taxes are part of God's positive work. Death is God's "opus alienum"  His alien work.

v.8 - love is our only "debt" thus we pray "forgive us our debts

v. 9 - all commandments come to a head , "love your neighbor as yourself" this is how it is done...all this falls under the #4 commandment This love is God's love from a divine perspective. Only was we can love is in Christ. 

v. 10 - love does no wrong. Every law, including that which would have us submit to government authorities, is fulfilled in love. 

 The thesis of Paul’s argument is in verse 1a, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities.” 

 Reasons why the Roman Christians are to submit to the authorities. 

First, no authority exists except from God, and all authorities that exist have been instituted by God (13:1b). 

Second, rulers are not a terror to good conduct but rather to bad (13:3a). 

Third, the authority/ruler is God’s servant in three ways: 
1. for the Romans’ good,
2. to execute wrath on the wrongdoer,
3. by being busy with “this very thing,” that is, collecting taxes (13:4a, 4c, 6b). 

Paul intersperses his reasons with examples and consequences, such as at 13:2 where he notes the results of resisting authority. He also makes a noticeable shift from making statements of fact (indicative mood) to a command “pay to all what is due them” (imperative mood) at 13:7,  - thus connecting submission to the authorities with a duty to pay taxes and offer revenue. 

The reasons (facts) for submission to the governing authorities are fundamental to Paul’s command that the Roman Christians fulfill their civic obligations. 

In summary, Paul is arguing that because the authorities were instituted by God, and continue to serve both God and the Christian, believers must submit to their rule. The rulers of Rome are to be respected and obeyed for reasons of conscience and their possible wrath. (13:5) 

------------
I. Christians submit to the authorities because civil authority is God's institution and, as such, will punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. (13:1-5)

A. Christians submit to civil authority because God has appointed that authority. (1-2a)

B. Christians submit to civil authority because the civil authorities will punish those who resist them (2b-3a) and will praise and do good to them that obey. (2b-4)

C. Christians submit to civil authority because of the punitive action of the state (i.e. wrath) and also because of conscience. (5) 

II. Christians submit to civil authorities (who give themselves to collecting taxes )by giving back to them whatever is owed, whether taxes, dues, respect or honor. (13: 6, 7) 

A. Christians pay taxes because God has appointed the state to receive taxes and ithey persist in collecting them. (6)

B. Christians demonstrate submission to civil authorities by giving back to each authority what is owed, whether taxes, revenue, respect or honor.  (7)

Time in the Word - Proper 18



Time in the Word 

Proper 18
August 31 -September 5, 2020

Christian Obligation to Sinners

In the Lessons for this week we encounter sinners. What shall we do with our fellow sinners and how shall we deal with them? In the Gospel lesson Jesus teaches what we should do to be reconciled to those who sin against us. Ezekiel in the Old Testament lesson reports that God expects us to warn the sinner, who, if he repents, will live. Paul in the Epistle lesson urges obedience to the officials and law of government and teaches that love is the way to obey the law. The Hymn of the Day speaks of the power we as Christians possess to carry out this task. It is found in the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who has called and saved us according to His grace and favor. We place our confidence in God and enjoy His blessings, even in times of trouble.

Monday, August 31, 2020Psalm 37:3-5,39; Antiphon, Psalm 92:1—The theme of next week’s propers is the description and obligation of the Christian living in the world. The Introit tells us that trusting in the Lord enables us to serve Him, and to have courage in the face of a world that is hostile to the Lord and His people.

Tuesday, September 01, 2020Psalm 119:113-120 - The first letter in each verse of this portion of Psalm 119 is the Hebrew letter samekh. As in the other sections, the psalmist here extols the goodness of God in giving us His holy Word. His devotion to the Word of God moves him to reject the counsel of evildoers. Take note that when the psalmist write, “I love Your law,” this is not the opposite of the Gospel, but a term which encompasses the whole of God’s communication to man.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020Ezekiel 33:7-9—The Lord told Ezekiel that He would restore Jerusalem, yet this did not remove Ezekiel’s obligation to warn sinners to turn from their wicked ways and repent. Likewise, we who live in the post-resurrection time, when Christ has restored mankind by His death and resurrection, have an obligation to warn sinners to turn from their wicked ways and repent, that they may partake of fellowship with God.

Thursday, September 03, 2020Romans 13:1-10—Civil governments have been given their authority by God. Thus, the Christian submits himself to that rule which God has established, and exhorts others to do the same. 

St. Paul also tells us how we are to live with our fellow man: letting love for the neighbor guide all our actions and dealings. This love is not of ourselves, but flows from Christ, who first loved us.
Reasons why the Roman Christians are to submit to the authorities. 

First, no authority exists except from God, and all authorities that exist have been instituted by God (13:1b). 

Second, rulers are not a terror to good conduct but rather to bad (13:3a). 

Third, the authority/ruler is God’s servant in three ways: 
1. For the Romans’ good
2. To execute wrath on the wrongdoer
3. By being busy with “this very thing,” that is, collecting taxes (13:4a, 4c, 6b).

Friday, September 04, 2020Matthew 18:15-20—Since we have been reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, the Christian life is one that strives for reconciliation with our fellow man. If our brother sins against us, we will try to restore him privately. 

Only if that fails will we bring it before others, and before the Church as a last result. Throughout, the goal is the restoration of the erring brother, and his reconciliation with us.

Saturday, September 05, 2020Hymn 373, By Grace I’m Saved, Grace Free and Boundless—How is it that we have been set free from the bondage of sin, to live a life pleasing to God, with love toward our neighbor? Only by the grace of God. Our salvation is a free gift; our works could never begin to secure our salvation. But, through the love of God poured out upon us in the person of His Son, Jesus, He has made us His own. Tomorrow’s chief hymn is a jubilant recounting of the goodness of God in graciously providing for our salvation.

Grant, merciful Lord, to Your people pardon and peace that they may be cleansed from all their sins and serve You with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

A prayer before we study the Word—Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.

For SchoolsAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, since You have committed the care and nurture of children to Your people, graciously enlighten those who teach and those who are committed to their instruction that they may know the truth and trust in You all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ, our Lord

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

Morning Prayer Readings for the coming week:
Monday August 31 Sodom & Gamorrah
Tuesday Sept. 01 Binding of Isaac
Wednesday Sept.02 Chapel
Thursday Sept.03 Isaac blesses Jacob
Friday Sept. 04 Jacob’s dream

Catechism Review: 5th & 6th Commandments


Sources:
Artwork by Ed Rojas, copyright © Higher Things
Lutheran Worship, copyright © 1982, Concordia Publishing House

Pentecost 13 – Proper 17

Matthew 16:21-26

Peter’s Great Denial 


Lord God heavenly Father, since we cannot stand before You relying on anything we have done, help us trust in Your abiding grace and live according to Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.[1]

Jesus begins to show His disciples what He must endure to win for us salvation. “From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things…” (V.21)

Last week we heard Peter’s great confession. Now we hear his great denial.  Consider the change in Peter.

Last week. Peter made a good confession. Now we hear his great rebuttal. Today Jesus says, “Peter - You are a scandal. You are not focused on the things of God.” 

Before. His confession came from God. Today. It comes from Satan.

Then. He was a rock. Today. A stumbling block,

Then. He made a good confession. Today. A denial of the Father’s purpose.

Then. He was following the will of the Father. Now. It was man’s will and human desires.

Then. He spoke from the vantage point of faith. Now.  A lack of faith.

Then. It was Jesus on the Father’s terms. Now. It was Jesus on man’s terms.

Then. Jesus said, “Follow Me!” Now. He says, “Get behind Me!”

Jesus must suffer all. As we see Him cut off from the Father. From the cross Jesus will cry, “My God, My God, who have You forsaken me?

Peter simply lost his focus. Peter was fixated with his own personal relationship with Jesus. He desired a deeper connection to Christ. But, on his own terms. With his own agenda. His own plan and purpose. Peter’s strategy; his proposal was designed to have a better life. It was safe. It was secure. It was worry free. He was not prepared for a cross. And suffering.  

He desired a glorified Jesus. An awesome God. Who would cater to his every need. Peter’s issue was his fascination with himself. And a man all wrapped up in himself make for a very small package.
Your focus must be on Christ. To avoid going back to the Law. This is the death we experience in baptism. In Baptism you died to self. Only to live a new life. Which is rooted in Christ.
Consider the ultimate sacrifice, which Christ demands.

I.                    Consider Christ’s sacrifice.

A.   Christ denied Himself. “And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests, also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” Mark 15:29-31

B.   He took up the cross. A cross? Peter knew what that meant. Roman execution. The most horrific kind of death imagined. Carrying a Roman cross did not sound like the Messianic kingdom. It sounded like death. The picture of a man, already condemned, required carrying the beam of his own cross to the place of execution. The disciples knew what this meant, for hundreds of men had been putting to death, executed by this means in their region.

C.   He followed the will of the Father perfectly. When He was twelve He explained, “I must be about My Father’s business.”-Luke 2:48 By embracing the Father’s love for men, Jesus “loved them to the end,” –John 13:1 for “greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

In Jesus’ suffering and death, there is salvation and life. Out of love for His Father and for men, Jesus freely accepted His passion and death. “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I lay it down and I take it up.” –John 10:18
He became the suffering servant. Silently He allowed Himself to be led to the slaughter. He bears the sin of men. He becomes, “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”-John 1:29

II.                 Consider the Christian. A “little Christ”

A.      Deny yourself. It’s a hard life. Any death is hard. Especially the death of self. As. Peter would later teach, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory   1 Peter 4:12-13

Forget. Ignore. Disown. And lose sight of yourself and your own interests. By the certainty of His cross and resurrection, you “rejoice in hope.” You are “patient in tribulation.” And “constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12).

B.      Take upon yourself your own cross and suffering. The cross is more than a thankless job. A nosy neighbor. A nasty mother-in-law. Even a physical illness is not necessarily a cross.

Taking up your cross and following Jesus means literally dying to self. It’s a call to total surrender.

It’s a call to following Jesus. Even it means losing some of your closest friends. Even it if means alienation from your family. Even if it means the loss of your reputation. Even if it means losing your job. Even if it means losing your life. 

In some places of the world, these consequences are reality. The issue is, “are you willing?” Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean all these things will happen to you. But are you willing to take up your cross? If there comes a point in your life, where you are faced with a choice – Jesus or the comforts of this life –which will you choose?

C.     Follow Christ.  Join Jesus as a disciple. Siding with Him. Follow Him. Continually, cleaving steadfastly to Jesus. The road that Jesus pointed is a narrow road. Someone walks a road not by keeping his life but by losing it. It is the road of the resurrection. And the new life Jesus offers

III.               Consider the stakes. There are high stakes in life in terms of winners and losers

A.   Choose. But choose wisely. You may save your life. – And in the process gain the whole world.  But in the end you can lose your own soul. You can’t buy it back – What can you give as an exchange for your soul? Nothing!

B.   There is only one clear option. Which is, to lose your life for Christ’s sake. The crucifixion of the old man; the self, brings pain. But crucifixion is always followed by resurrection.

Here you find your life. We want to avoid the pain of crucifixion. Pain and suffering are never easy. Yet without crucifixion there is no resurrection. 

What more can you win but the resurrected Christ? Daily, through contrition and faith, the old man is drowned and dies. So that the new man; Christ within you, lives before God in righteousness and holiness.

So the writer to the Hebrews encourages us, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. “ Hebrews 12:1-2

As Jesus loses His life on the cross for the life of the world to be saved, Jesus expects His followers to look forward to a similar existence. This is what you are given to do. The focus must be on Christ to avoid going back to the temptation of living under the Law. This is the death we experience in baptism. In baptism you died to self.

The self-made man may be a part of the American dream. It can turn into a spiritual nightmare.  Life is meant to be given, expended, sacrificed for Jesus’ sake. Life cannot be “saved” or it will be lost. When we try to save our lives, we waste it on gaining the world.

Here is a sound, universal principle. Life is at its best, is most meaningful when it is invested in a cause greater than yourself; the cause of Christ. Giving one’s self to Christ’s cause takes us out of ourselves and we lose ourselves in the attainment of that cause. This results in happiness and purpose in life.

The path and journey of faith is to walk where Jesus has called us to be His disciples to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him to death of self and resurrection and new life in Him.
_____________________
Words –1,470
Passive Sentences –4%
Readability –82.6%
Reading Level – 3.7


[1] Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Illustration "The Crucifixion"  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). copyright © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

August 29 2020— Saturday prior to Pentecost 13- Proper 17




The hymn of the day, Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus (LSB #531), connects the suffering of Jesus with our salvation and shows that the glory of God is revealed in the suffering and death of His Son. ‘Worship, honor, power, and blessing / Thou art worthy to receive’ because ‘Thou didst suffer to release us…Thou universal Savior, Bearer of our sin and shame.’
Our hymn was written by John Bakewell. (1721-1819)  When Bakewell was about 18 years old, he was deeply touched by a book he read and turned his thoughts to the Lord. By the time he was 23, he was preaching the gospel in his own neighborhood. Later he became associated with the Wesley’s and their work in London.
From 1749 he preached at the “Greenwich Royal Park Academy”. He not only preached the word but wrote several hymns as well.
On his tombstone, in City Road Chapel (buried near to John Wesley) appears the following inscription
“Sacred to the memory of JOHN BAKEWELL, late of Greenwich, who departed this life March 18, 1819, aged ninety-eight. He adorned the Doctrine of God, Our Savior, eighty years, and preached His glorious gospel about 70 years.
“Hail Jesus enthroned in glory
There forever to abide;
All the heavenly hosts adore Thee,
 Seated at Thy Father’s side;
 Worship, honor, power, and blessing,
 Thou art worthy to receive;
 Loudest praises without ceasing,
 Meet is for us to give. ”
This hymn was written in 1757.[1]

Friday, August 28, 2020

August 28 2020— Friday prior to Pentecost 13- Proper 17



Matthew 16:21–28—In Sunday’s Gospel account, Jesus tells the disciples very clearly what must become of Him: ‘suffer many things ,be killed, and on the third day be raised.’ This is the plan of God for our salvation, which is why Jesus speaks so harshly to Peter when he contradicts Him. The theology of the cross—that salvation entails suffering—is difficult for the natural man to accept. This is why so many Christians in our world are theologians of glory—looking away from the cross and focusing on temporal blessings, rather than seeing the blessings we have by the cross and by suffering; hence the focus on self.

After St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, our Lord “began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Matthew 16:21. Upon hearing this “theology of the Cross,” Simon Peter stumbled into a self-centered “theology of glory.” But the glory of God is revealed in the Passion and Cross of His incarnate Son.

Jesus begins to show His disciples what He must endure to win salvation. ”From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things.”(v.21) Suffering is a part of the Christian life. It’s focus is not on self rather it’s focus is on Christ and Him crucified.  S9 keep your eyes focused upon Jesus.

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;[1]


[1] Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Morning Prayer Reading #11

Morning Prayer Reading 11 - The Promise of Isaac

Genesis 18: 1-15


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 "Sarah Laughing" 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 27, 2020

August 27 2020— Thursday prior to Pentecost 13- Proper 17




Romans 12:9–21—St Paul has spent much of his letter to the Romans showing how we are saved by grace alone through faith alone. But faith always manifests itself in love, especially toward our neighbor.

By His Cross Jesus has redeemed the world, and in His Resurrection He has vindicated all who trust in Him. Thus the Christian life is a discipleship of self-sacrificing love. Since Christ Jesus has reconciled us to God, we “live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18). By the certainty of His Cross and Resurrection, we “rejoice in hope,” and we are “patient in tribulation” and “constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

Luther, commenting on this section of Scripture reminds us, “Faith is a living, unshakeable confidence in God's grace. It is so certain, that someone would die a thousand times for it. This kind of trust in and knowledge of God's grace makes a person joyful, confident, and happy with regard to God and all creatures.

This is what the Holy Spirit does by faith. Through faith, a person will do good to everyone without coercion, willingly and happily.  He will serve everyone; suffer everything for the love and praise of God, who has shown him such grace.

It is as impossible to separate works from faith as burning and shining from fire. Therefore be on guard against your own false ideas and against the chatterers who think they are clever enough to make judgments about faith and good works but who are in reality the biggest fools. Ask God to work faith in you; otherwise you will remain eternally without faith, no matter what you try to do or fabricate.”[1]

Prayer in times of affliction and distress: Almighty and most merciful God, in this earthly life we endure sufferings and death before we enter into eternal glory. Grant us grace at all times to subject ourselves to Your holy will and to continue steadfast in the true faith to the end of our lives that we may know the peace and joy of the blessed hope of the resurrection of the dead and of the glory of the world to come;[2]


[1] Luther's Commentary on Romans 12
[2] Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
3 Woodcut by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, The Crucifixion copyright © WELS