Saturday, September 18, 2021

Pentecost 17 -Proper 20B

 

Mark 9:30-37

RESPECT

NOTE tomorrow 20 September marks the date when FCD Wyneken arrived at Friedheim for the first time in 1838

Keep, we pray O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.  

R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Aretha Franklin the queen of soul sang about giving it. Rodney Dangerfield the comedian complained that he never got it.

Often we too, may feel that we get no respect – from our peers, from our parents, from our teammates, and from others around us.

People often resort to bizarre means to get respect from others, but so often they end up as fools, still crying for – respect. 

We are so concerned about getting respect from other people. What about respect from God? God respects all people in the sense that we all are important to Him. After all, He created us in still preserves us.

Are we respectable enough by God’s standards to be in heaven one day with Him? How do we get from God the respect that makes us worthy of eternal life? Today our lesson asks the question - how we get respect in God’s sight.

I.       God’s respect is not earned.

A.    Our humility and service do not measure up to God’s perfect standard.

1.      Like the disciples, we would rather be served then serve.

2.      Even when we serve, our motive is often self-serving.

3.      We make comparisons: “I have served more than you have.” Pride creeps in to stain our service.

B.     We labor under the false pretense whenever we think we can earn God’s respect by our humble serving.

1.      Jesus refused to seek people’s respect under a false pretense. “(As) They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, (v.30)

2.      The way to God’s respect is opened by honest admission that in ourselves we are not respectable people. Rather we confess with lips mind and heart, “I am a poor miserable sinner.”

II.    God’s respect is a gift.

A.    Christ earned it for us.

1.      He humbled Himself all the way to death on a cross to atone for our pride. “For he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” (vs.31)

2.      His rising from the dead guaranteed our respectability before God. Notice Jesus’ clear words, “And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”

B.     When we believe that Christ died and rose for us, we can be sure that God respects us as heaven-worthy people.

1.      Christ has given us His humility in exchange for our vain attempts to become proud, insolent, impudent, impenitent persons.

2.      Christ has bestowed on us His greatness in exchange for our smallness.

III. God’s respect is demonstrated through service.

A.    When we serve people who do not deserve our respect.

1.      Willing to place ourselves last.And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (v.35)

2.      Willing to serve without recognition or praise and thereby foregoing greatness as the world sees it. “But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.” (vs.34)

B.     When we serve people who are not in a position to reward us for our service.

1.      “And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, (36) Little children are not in a position to reciprocate our service to them any more than we are able to pay God back for having served us in His Son.

2.      Yet, when we serve even the least of God’s children, God respects our service for Jesus’ sake and graciously rewards us. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me. “(v.37)

A woman of some means gifted a great sum of money to charities and missions in her church. One day she decided to take a trip to visit some of the mission projects her money had so generously endowed. She visited a hospital where wonderful help was afforded to needy natives. She stopped at an orphanage where little children of the street were cared.

She went to a leper colony where a loving nurse was treating those who were suffering from the putrefying disease. She commented, more to herself then to the host, “My, I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.”

The nurse who was treating a patient answered, “Neither would I.” In the service of Christ to us, exemplified in the nurses’ service, we find the secret of greatness and the way to get respect in God’s sight.

Words-875
Passive Sentences-7%
Readability –75.5%
Reading Level -6.4

 


Friday, September 17, 2021

Saturday Prior to Proper 20

 


Exodus 20:1-17- The hymn, These Are the Holy Ten Commandments (LSB 581) Recall the Lord’s requirement of faithfulness to His Law. A good review of the Ten Commandments. Written by Luther the hymn was intended for instruction especially the youth.  It appears that Luther pioneered the concept of instruction set to music which five centuries later is still a successful technique in teaching the faith.  

The 10 Commandments for personal reflection

1 These are the holy Ten Commands. God gave to us by Moses' hands.

2 "I am alone your God, the Lord;

3 "Do not My holy name disgrace,

4 "You shall observe the worship day.

5 "You are to honor and obey.

6 "You shall not murder, hurt, nor hate;

7 "Be faithful to your marriage vow;

8 "You shall not steal or take away.

9. “Bear no false witness not defame.

10. “You shall not crave your neighbor’s house

In the final two stanzas Luther eloquently and sisinctly summarizes both the Law and Gospel in four short lines.

“You have this Law to see therein                              “Our works cannot salvation gain

That you have not been free from sin                         They merit only endless pain

But also that you clearly see                                       Forgive us, Lord! To Christ we flee

How put toward God life should be.”                         Who pleads for us endlessly.”

To which we pray “Have Mercy, LORD!

 

A prayer for God to guide usDirect us, O Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in You we may glorify Your holy name and finally, by Your mercy, obtain eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A prayer for steadfast faith Almighty God, our heavenly Father, of Your tender love towards us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. - [2]18 September, 2021

 



[1] “The Crucifixion” Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[2] Collects for the Lord’s Guidance and a steadfast faith, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Morning Prayer #20

 

Joseph in Egypt 
Genesis 39
(Selective Verses)

Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. 

Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7 And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” 8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge." 

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.

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

Illustration “Joseph and Potiphar’s wife” 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.


Friday Prior to Proper 20

 

Mark 9:30-37Jesus goes to Jerusalem to face his oppressors. Jesus again announces His approaching passion and teaches the disciples the meaning of greatness.  On His way to Jerusalem, Jesus announces a second time that He is going there to suffer, die, and rise on the third day. To avoid being detained, he travels incognito. Unlike the first announcement, the disciples do not understand it and are afraid to ask Him the meaning of it. When the group reaches Capernaum, Jesus asked them what they were discussing during the walk. They were too embarrassed to answer, for they had discussed who would be Number One in the coming Kingdom.  Jesus taught that the one to be first must be last as a servant. To illustrate He takes a child in His arms, for in that day women and children were considered second-class citizens. Jesus makes the point that the greatest will minister to one like a child in His name, and when He does, He serves both Christ and God.

It is natural and human to want to get to the top, to the heard of the line. Who wants to be second or last? Jesus did not condemn them for wanting to be Number One. It was a matter of how to be first. He explained that in his kingdom the first would be last and servant of all. This is upside down according to the world’s standards. Jesus gave the example. He was going to suffer and die for men. He used a child to demonstrate the principle – give attention and care to one as unimportant and powerless as a child.[2]

Collect for Proper 20 –O God, whose strength is made perfect in weakness, grant us humility and childlike faith that we may please You in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen. [3] -17 September, 2021

 



[1] “The Crucifixion” Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[3] Collect for Proper 20, Lutheran  Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Morning Prayer #19

 

Joseph sold by his brothers  
Genesis 37 
(Selective Verses)

Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits.[b] Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels[c] of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took Joseph's robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son's robe or not.” 33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son's robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard.

Footnotes:
Genesis 37:20 Or cisterns; also verses 22, 24
Genesis 37:28 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration “Joseph sold into slavery” 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 Prior to Proper 20

 

James 3:13-4:10—Opposition has its source in worldly wisdom. James says the wars, quarrels, dissension, and strife have their source in earthly wisdom. It is a bad spirit that causes opposition. James will contrast earthly and heavenly wisdom.  In this lesson James distinguishes between the types of wisdom. Earthly wisdom is characterized by ambition, rivalry, and selfishness. This kind of wisdom provides disorder and confusion. Heavenly wisdom comes from God. This wisdom is “pure, peaceable, gentle,” etc. The heavenly side; do not boast of themselves, but promote peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. The source of fighting and killing each other is the heart which is full of selfish desire.

Why is there fighting among people? Why are there hatred and murders? What is the source of sin? James here traces sin to “desire,” “passion,” “covetousness.”  When there is evil desire, it is only a matter of time until the desire is put into action. We go after what we want, and some will pay any price or commit any crime to get it. Desire in itself is not bad, but evil desire, caused by an evil spirit, results in sin.

Peace on the other hand sows righteousness and out of righteousness comes peace. As long as people do not treat each other justly, there will never be peace. If there is economic injustice, there will never be peace between the “haves” and the “haves not.” Goodwill, honesty, and fairness are preconditions of peace. As long as people and nations are un-Christian in their human relations and interactions there can be no peace.[2]

For those in distress - Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in all their necessities they may mark and receive Your manifold help and comfort; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.[3] -16 September, 2021



[1] The Crucifixion, Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff ©1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[3] A prayer for those in distress, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Wednesday Prior to Proper 20

 

Jeremiah 11:18-20Jeremiah asks vengeance upon his enemies who seek to kill him.

Jeremiah feels like a lamb led to the slaughter by his enemies and he asks to see God’s vengeance upon them. Jeremiah cries out for vengeance upon those seeking his life. God informs Jeremiah that his enemies were out to destroy him. Jeremiah felt like a “lamb led to the slaughter.” His enemies were offended by his preaching of judgment, doom, and the captivity of the nation. Like other prophets (Elijah and Amos), Jeremiah experienced persecution: beaten, threatened with lynching, imprisoned, and thrown into a pit to die. Even his family was a part of a plot to kill him. Jeremiah calls upon God not only for protection but for vengeance upon his enemies.

Sunday’s Theme, The Christian and his opposition can be clearly seen in the three main readings for this coming week. In the Old Testament lesson - Jeremiah 11:18—20, Jeremiah asks vengeance upon his enemies.  In the Epistle - James 3:13-4:10, opposition has its source in worldly wisdom. In the Gospel - Mark 9:30-37, Jesus goes to Jerusalem to face his oppressors. Christians live in a hostile world, for friendship with the world is enmity to God.

For the second time, Jesus tells his disciples of his upcoming passion at the hands of the religious leaders. Also, opposition breaks out among the disciples as to which one of them is the greatest. Jeremiah in our Old Testament lesson feels like a lamb led to the slaughter by his enemies and he asks to see God’s vengeance upon them. James in our Epistle lesson says the wars, quarrels, dissension and strife have their source in earthly wisdom. From the Psalm 54 we go back to the theme, for the Psalmist’s life is threatened, as were Jesus’ and Jeremiah’s and he finds God as his helper who rescues him from death.

Jeremiah compares himself to a lamb. Like a lamb that has no idea of its coming slaughter, Jeremiah was innocently walking toward his death. Indeed, he was innocent, for he had done nothing worthy of death. Telling the truth is no capital offense! Jesus was another Jeremiah, for he was the “lamb of God” who was slaughtered for the sin of the world.

Like Jeremiah, Jesus knew who has enemies were and what they would do to him. This reading was well chosen to harmonize with the Gospel.[2]

Collect for Pentecost 17–Keep, we pray You, O Lord, Your Church with Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.[3]

 



[1] The Crucifixion, Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[3] Collect for Pentecost 17, Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis