Friday, November 30, 2018

St. Andrew

St. Andrew, Apostle 
(November 30)

Ezekiel 3:16–21
Romans 10:8 b–18
John 1:35–42 a

The old church year ends with the watchman’s cry (Matthew 25:6), and the new one begins with it (Ezekiel 3:17): John the Baptist’s call of warning and repentance, which St. Andrew heard and heeded. But John’s fore-running task was chiefly to point his disciples to Jesus, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29;36). Thus, Andrew became the first of Christ’s disciples. He in turn pointed his brother Simon Peter to the Messiah (John 1:41), and “immediately they left their nets and followed” the Christ (Matt. 4:20). “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” (Romans 10:15). Andrew’s eagerness to follow Christ and bring others to Him made “no distinction between Jew and Greek” (Romans 10:12; John 12:20–22), and he may be counted as the first missionary. His zeal in following Christ led him, according to tradition, to face a martyr’s death on an “X” shaped cross. So we are directed at the beginning of Advent to focus our eyes on Christ’s cross, where God’s Lamb was offered for our salvation.

Almighty God, by Your grace the apostle Andrew obeyed the call of Your Son to be a disciple. Grant us also to follow the same Lord Jesus Christ in heart and life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit , one God, now and forever.

Jesus calls us o'er the tumult

1. Jesus calls us o'er the tumult
of our life's wild restless sea;
day by day his voice still calls us
saying, 'Christian, follow me.'

2. As of old Saint Andrew heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and work and kindred,
leaving all for Jesus' sake.

3. Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world's golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, 'Christian, love me more.'

4. In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
Jesus calls, in cares and pleasures,
'Christian, love me more than these.'

5. Jesus calls us: by your mercies,
Saviour, may we hear your call,
give our hearts in glad obedience,
serve and love you best of all.

Morning Prayer Reading 58

 Elijah and the prophets of Baal Pt.1
1 Kings 18 
(selective verses)

20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

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

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

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 57

Elijah Pt.2 
1 Kings 17 
(selective verses)

10 So Elijah arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” 15 And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Elijah Raises the Widow's Son
17 After this the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became ill. And his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, “What have you against me, O man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to remembrance and to cause the death of my son!19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” And he took him from her arms and carried him up into the upper chamber where he lodged, and laid him on his own bed. 20 And he cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought calamity even upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son?” 21 Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child's life come into him again.” 22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah. And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber into the house and delivered him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives.” 24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.

IllEnglish 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.

Ilustration 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. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 56

Elijah Pt.1 
1 Kings 16-17
(selective verses)

29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. 31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 

17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2 And the word of the Lord came to him: 3Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.5 So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, 9Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath.

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 55

King Solomon 
1 Kings 1-8 
(selective verses)

32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’

3 Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.  the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”

In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign he began to build the temple of the Lord.He had spent seven years building it.When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.

Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon. 22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said:“Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. 29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive."

New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Advent 1 - Series C

Advent 1– Series C  
Jeremiah 33:14–16
1 Thessalonians 3:9–13
Luke 19:28–40 or Luke 21:25–36

The Lord Jesus Comes in Humility to Redeem Us

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You lice and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

The Season of Advent focuses on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this first Sunday establishes this theme for the rest of the season. The Son of God came long ago to be our Savior, “a righteous Branch,” descended from David (Jeremiah 33:15). As He then came into Jerusalem, riding on a lowly donkey to sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world (Luke 19:28-40), so does He come to His Church today in the humility of Word and Sacrament to deliver the fruits of His Passion: the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. He absolves us and establishes our hearts, “blameless in holiness before our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 3:13). The same Lord Jesus, who came to Jerusalem then, and who comes to us now in peace, will come again with power and great glory on the Last Day. Then there will be “distress of nations in perplexity,” with “people fainting in fear.” Yet, as we anticipate that great and terrible day, He bids us to rest securely in Him: “Raise up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25, 26, 28).

Read Luther's sermon on the Three Wise Men for context -

Luke 19:28-40

Luke 19:28 – 
Καὶ εἰπὼν ταῦτα ἐπορεύετο ἔμπροσθεν ἀναβαίνων εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα.
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

Jesus went up, on ahead, up to be glorified, not as the world, but by the cross. He leads the way...

Luke 19:29
Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤγγισεν εἰς Βηθφαγὴ καὶ Βηθανίαν πρὸς τὸ ὄρος τὸ καλούμενον Ἐλαιῶν, ἀπέστειλεν δύο τῶν [a]μαθητῶν 
When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 

"went to Mt of Olives..." Gethsemane is connected to the Mt. Olives...where David was betrayed...where the Kindred brook was located.  

Luke 19:30
λέγων• Ὑπάγετε εἰς τὴν κατέναντι κώμην, ἐν ᾗ εἰσπορευόμενοι εὑρήσετε πῶλον δεδεμένον, ἐφ’ ὃν οὐδεὶς πώποτε ἀνθρώπων ἐκάθισεν, [c]καὶ λύσαντες αὐτὸν ἀγάγετε.
go into the village opposite in which upon entering you will find a colt tied upon which no one ever has sat. Untie it and bring it here. 

(See - 1 Kings 1:33, 34, 38). Jesus is riding in a King which has been redeemed (See Exodus 13:15) See Genesis 49 donkey and vine.

Luke 19:31
 καὶ ἐάν τις ὑμᾶς ἐρωτᾷ• Διὰ τί λύετε; οὕτως [d]ἐρεῖτε ὅτι Ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει.
if someone were to ask you, for what reason do you untie it, say, "The Master has need of it..." 

Luke 19:32
 ἀπελθόντες δὲ οἱ ἀπεσταλμένοι εὗρον καθὼς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς.
those going out found it just as he had said.

Luke 19:33-
λυόντων δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν πῶλον εἶπαν οἱ κύριοι αὐτοῦ πρὸς αὐτούς• Τί λύετε τὸν πῶλον;
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

while they were untying him, the owner said, why are you untiring the donkey?

Luke 19:34
οἱ δὲ εἶπαν [e]ὅτι Ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ χρείαν ἔχει.
 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 

Luke 19:35-
καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, καὶ ἐπιρίψαντες [f]αὐτῶν τὰ ἱμάτια ἐπὶ τὸν πῶλον ἐπεβίβασαν τὸν Ἰησοῦν•
 And they brought it to Jesus and put their clothing on the donkey, the seated Jesus on the donkey.  

How does this happen? Review Jesus' state of humiliation. Also see his acts of obedience.  Jesus is in control of everything. The goal is Jerusalem. The baby in the manger has come to die. 

Luke 19:36
 πορευομένου δὲ αὐτοῦ ὑπεστρώννυον τὰ ἱμάτια [g]ἑαυτῶν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ. 
And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.

A sign of power is to be seated. They are enthroning their king. They know...but they don't know...

Luke 19:37
ἐγγίζοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἤδη πρὸς τῇ καταβάσει τοῦ Ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν ἤρξαντο ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος τῶν μαθητῶν χαίροντες αἰνεῖν τὸν θεὸν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ περὶ [h]πασῶν ὧν εἶδον δυνάμεων, 
As he comes near the place, (the way), as the road goes down the Mt. Of Olives, the disciples shout for the miracles Jesus had performed. 

Identifying the greatness of the one coming. A new connection?

Luke 19:38-
 λέγοντες• Εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος [i]βασιλεὺς ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου• [j]ἐν οὐρανῷ εἰρήνη καὶ δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις. 
saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 

Luke 19:39-
καί τινες τῶν Φαρισαίων ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν• Διδάσκαλε, ἐπιτίμησον τοῖς μαθηταῖς σου. 
And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”

Luke 19:40-
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς [k]εἶπεν• Λέγω ὑμῖν, [l]ὅτι ἐὰν οὗτοι [m]σιωπήσουσιν, οἱ λίθοι [n]κράξουσιν. 
He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Luke 21:25-36

The Coming of the Son of Man

Luke 21:25 
Καὶ [a]ἔσονται σημεῖα ἐν ἡλίῳ καὶ σελήνῃ καὶ ἄστροις, καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς συνοχὴ ἐθνῶν ἐν ἀπορίᾳ ἤχους θαλάσσης καὶ σάλου,
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 

Luke 21:26
ἀποψυχόντων ἀνθρώπων ἀπὸ φόβου καὶ προσδοκίας τῶν ἐπερχομένων τῇ οἰκουμένῃ, αἱ γὰρ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν σαλευθήσονται. 
people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Luke 21:27
καὶ τότε ὄψονται τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐρχόμενον ἐν νεφέλῃ μετὰ δυνάμεως καὶ δόξης πολλῆς.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 

Luke 21:28
ἀρχομένων δὲ τούτων γίνεσθαι ἀνακύψατε καὶ ἐπάρατε τὰς κεφαλὰς ὑμῶν, διότι ἐγγίζει ἡ ἀπολύτρωσις ὑμῶν.
Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Luke 21:29
Καὶ εἶπεν παραβολὴν αὐτοῖς• Ἴδετε τὴν συκῆν καὶ πάντα τὰ δένδρα•
And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.

Luke 21:30
ὅταν προβάλωσιν ἤδη, βλέποντες ἀφ’ ἑαυτῶν γινώσκετε ὅτι ἤδη ἐγγὺς τὸ θέρος ἐστίν•
As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near.

Luke 21:31
οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς, ὅταν ἴδητε ταῦτα γινόμενα, γινώσκετε ὅτι ἐγγύς ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. 
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

Luke 21:32
ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ ἡ γενεὰ αὕτη ἕως ἂν πάντα γένηται.
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.

Luke 21:33
 ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ [c]παρελεύσονται, οἱ δὲ λόγοι μου οὐ μὴ παρελεύσονται.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Watch Yourselves

Luke 21:34
 Προσέχετε δὲ ἑαυτοῖς μήποτε βαρηθῶσιν [d]ὑμῶν αἱ καρδίαι ἐν κραιπάλῃ καὶ μέθῃ καὶ μερίμναις βιωτικαῖς, καὶ [e]ἐπιστῇ ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς αἰφνίδιος ἡ ἡμέρα ἐκείνη 
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

Luke 21:35
ὡς παγίς• [f]ἐπεισελεύσεται γὰρ ἐπὶ πάντας τοὺς καθημένους ἐπὶ πρόσωπον πάσης τῆς γῆς.
For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Luke 21:36
ἀγρυπνεῖτε δὲ ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ δεόμενοι ἵνα κατισχύσητε ἐκφυγεῖν ταῦτα πάντα τὰ μέλλοντα γίνεσθαι, καὶ σταθῆναι ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. 
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

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 - Advent 1

Time in the Word
 November 26 –December 1, 2018
Preparation for Advent 1

While many may seem rushed during this particular time of the year, spend some time with your Lord in devotion and prayer. Consider the many blessings He has given you as we begin to prepare for His coming as the promised Savior and Redeemer of the world.

The theme for the first Sunday of the Church year, Advent 1, falls under the theme, “The return of Christ.  In the Old Testament lesson we learn that God will send a Messiah to execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In the Epistle, St. Paul reminds us to prepare for Christ’s return by being blameless in holiness. In the Gospel lesson, we are told to watch and pray as preparation for the sudden return of Christ.

Monday, 26 November 2018Psalm 89:6, 14-16, 18, Antiphon, Zechariah 9:9b – Behold your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation. These words were fulfilled by Jesus when He entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. They hailed Him then but later rejected Him. How would Jesus fare if He were to enter our city today?  Christ is always coming to us whether we recognize Him or not. In which ways does He come to us? Hint: It all starts with the word “W” – Word, Wafer, Wine, and Water. Prepare for Him now while there is still time. There will come a time when time shall be no more.  

Tuesday, 27 November 2018Psalm25:1-10; key verse, verse 6— Remember, O Lord, Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. The Advent season is a time spent in reflection. We remember the Savior’s prophecies and we see how He fulfilled them. We remember His promises to restore and forgive us and we see how He worked everything out according to the Father’s plan. As we prepare for the beginning of the Advent season, spend some time thinking of the many gifts and blessings the Savior has given you. How ought we respond with thankful and grateful hearts? How can thanksgiving be translated into thanks living?

Wednesday, 28 November 2018Jeremiah 33:14-16–God’s promise to send a Branch from David will be fulfilled. In verse 14, God promises to fulfill a promise. Was not the promise fulfilled in Christ? Is there still a promise to be fulfilled? Has the promise been fulfilled in you? Let’s look at the one who is coming. Who is He? He is the Son of David - royalty (verse 15).  He is work in justice and righteousness (verse 15b). The result of His coming is salvation (verse 16).

Thursday, 29 November 20181 Thessalonians 3:9-13—Be blameless in holiness at the return of Jesus Christ. When Christ comes, we are to be pleasing to Christ. Paul explains what these requirements are. Who can meet them? Is it possible to meet these demands? Love – not only Christians but all people (verse 12).  Be blameless in holiness – not only before men but before God (verse 13).  How is such perfection obtained? It is found in the holy one of God. 

Friday, 30 November 2018Luke 21:25-36 – Conditions of the world prior to Jesus’ return. Of this we can be certain, the end will come. Will it be this generation? Consider verse 36. The signs of the end are clearly given in verses 25-26. Know the signs!  Thus in this Advent season we prepare for the end and for the celebration of Christ’s return. How might we do this? Consider verses 34-36.

Saturday, 01 December 2018-Luke 19:28-40—These verses inspired the hymn, The Advent of Our King (LSB 331).  We come to the beginning of a new church year. The harvest is complete. Thanksgiving festivities have come to a close. We now prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth. We anticipate Christ’s sure and certain return in glory. This year will it be a miserable or a merry Christmas? If you are prepared to meet Christ when He comes in the clouds of heaven you will be in the right frame of mind in celebration of His first Advent. Circumstances may change. Our perception to them is what is important.

This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings

Read and review the following Bible stories for each day…

Monday, November. 26-King Solomon – 1 Kings 1-8 - selective verses

Tuesday, November 27-Elijah Pt.1 – 1 Kings 16-17- selective verses

Wednesday, November 28– Chapel Day

Thursday, November 29-Elijah Pt.2 -1 Kings 17-selective verses

Friday, November 30- Elijah and the prophets of Baal Pt.1
-1 Kings 18 –selective verses

From the Catechism 2nd & 3rd Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer

A prayer for Christ’s returnO Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

A prayer of supplicationAlmighty God, our heavenly Father, because You desire not the death of a sinner but rather that he should turn from his evil way and live, graciously turn away from us the punishments which we by our sins have deserved and which have been borne for us by our Lord Jesu Christ, and grant us ever to serve You in holiness and pureness of living; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Collect for Advent 1 – Stir up Your power, O Lord and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued  from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C – John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Pentecost 27 - Proper 29 Christ the King

Pentecost 27 – Proper 29
November 25, 2018
John 18:33-37

Behold your king!

Pilate asks “are you a king?” This peasant preacher. Jesus of Nazareth – Is He a king? This prophet. Who enters the capital city on a donkey – Could He be a king? Where are His palaces? His bodyguards? Is this a king who stands before Pilate with a crown of thorns on His head, a reed in His tied hands, and with rags for a regal robe? A King – Are you kidding? Jesus is every inch a king because –
  1. He was born a king
  2. He lived as a king
  3. He died as a king
  4. He conquered as a king
I.        He was born a king – He has an eternal throne.

A.     The wise men who “saw His star in the east,” came to worship Him. As they entered the city of Jerusalem they asked, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” –Matthew 2:2

B.     The response of these wise men to Jesus is entirely appropriate, and their actions serve as a model of all true discipleship. They seek Christ (v. 2), and when they had found Him they rejoice (v. 10), and worship Him (vv. 2, 11a).  They offer Him gifts that befit a king. (v. 11b; see Psalm 45:7-9; 72:15)

II.     He lived as a king – “A ruler is most powerful…when he tends to the needs of his subjects.” (–Danker)  People with power not only take what they want because they can do so unpunished, but also because they intuitively feel they are entitled to do so. Conversely, people who lack power not only fail to get what they need because they are disallowed to take it, but also because they intuitively feel they are not entitled to it.

A.     Speaking to Pilate as He stood trial Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:6

B.     It is the kingdom of heaven, and it belongs to another world. Christ is a king, and He has a kingdom, but it is not of this world. His kingdom is not by succession, election, or conquest, but by the immediate and special designation of the divine will and counsel.

Its nature is not worldly. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17). Its riches and powers are spiritual. The ministers of state in Christ’s kingdom have not the spirit of the world.  

In this kingdom. Its guards and supports are not worldly. Its weapons are spiritual. It neither needed nor used secular force to maintain and advance it. It opposed no other kingdom. But that of sin and Satan.

Its tendency and design are not worldly. Christ neither aimed nor would allow His disciples to aim at the pomp and power of the great men of the earth.

Its subjects, however, they are in the world, yet they are not of the world. They are called and chosen out of the world. They are born from, and bound for, another world.
They are neither the world’s pupils nor its darlings. They are neither governed by its wisdom. Nor enriched with its wealth.

III.   He died as a king – Behold your king. “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” –INRI

A.     In His suffering, agony, crucifixion, and death He offers life and salvation to all who would believe in Him.  In His cruel death the Father offers clemency to all who are convicted of sedition against Him.  C.S. Lewis describes it this way, “”When an innocent victim who had committed no treachery dies in a traitor’s stead the table would crack and death itself begins to work backward.” - “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

B.     Do you believe this?  The cruel cross of Calvary always looms ahead of us. Does the death of a condemned man seem compelling enough to offer atonement? Could His life and sacrifice really save you?  The surroundings and the circumstances of His death are the means by which we find peace with God and absolution for our sin.   

IV. He conquered as a king – George Handle in his work the Messiah has his chorus sing, “And He shall reign forever and ever, King of Kings and Lord of Lords” –

A.    In the book of Revelation St John writes, “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”  Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” Revelation 5:11-14    

B.    As subjects of this king you have been given the hope and promise that you too will live and reign with Him in glory.

Is this Jesus a king? Most certainly He is – He was born, He lived, He died a king. When He appears in glory. We shall see Him as He is – The Alpha and the Omega – King of Kings and Lord of Lord. “Even so come quickly Lord, even now, Amen”

Passive Sentences –9%
Readability – 80%
Reading level – 5.2
Image © Higher Things

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving 2018
Luke 17:19 
“Rise and go your way, you faith has made you well.”

Two miracles take place in the healing of the ten lepers. Each receives physical healing. Yet one obtains both physical and spiritual healing. It is the latter that we who are healthy need. Jesus said to the Samaritan that he was healed by his faith. Jesus is referring to the spiritual miracle that took place in the foreigner. “Well” comes from the word “save” and “wholeness”.  This second miracle made him whole in terms of gratitude - which was the outward sign - of his well-being inside.

Consider the Double Miracle

I.        What you are saved from – Ingratitude. This is illustrated by acts of selfishness, taking things for granted and negativism. 

A.     Selfishness. Sinful humans with their own agendas plans and attitudes crowd out a spirit of thanksgiving. We live in a land of plenty. We live in a time of so many opportunities. We live in an age in which there are countless advantages for us to succeed. Do we consider the needs and concerns of others? Or do we think and operate only for ourselves? A person all wrapped up in themselves becomes a very small package.

B.     Ingratitude raises its ugly head by taking things for granted. On this day of Thanksgiving we are challenged to contemplate our blessings. This past week when our students at Wyneken assembled for chapel I gave them an assignment. It’s an assignment which each of us should take.  Make an assessment of the blessings you have received. Recall those people the Lord has placed in your life – who have become a blessing to you. Then simply say “thank you!”  This helps us from taking things for granted.

C.     Negativism is also a cause for ingratitude. True we all have challenges in our lives. There are plenty of hurdles placed before us. There are enough voices in our world which simply say “no, you can’t!”  What should our attitude be? Thanksgiving is thanks-living. If we truly live blessed and thankful lives negativism is eliminated from the equation.

Transition: We are saved from ingratitude. We are saved for gratitude. 

II.     What you are saved for – gratitude. How do we demonstrate an attitude of gratitude?  We do this by counting our blessings. Recognizing God as the one who blesses us. And praising Him for His goodness.

A.     Counting your blessings – V. 15a “one of them when he saw he was healed, came back.”  This one lone leper - realized his life had been spared. He was safe. He saw He had been saved. There had been a change, a huge change in his life. Did he move on? Of course not. He returned to give thanks.

B.     Recognizing God as the one who blesses us.  Vs. 16 “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan.” This miracle had not happen by chance. It wasn’t luck. Or fate. Or his good fortune. It was the God and God alone who had healed him. It was God and God alone who had had mercy upon him. It was God and God alone who had intervened in his life. A change had taken in his life and he knew it.

C.     Praising God for His goodness – V. 15b “praising God in a loud voice.”  With such a change taking place in his life this leper returned to thank the God. He praised the Savior for the blessings he had received. How do we make thanksgiving a way of life? We do more then come to a worship service – in service we praise the name of our Lord. As God has blessed you – be a blessing – to those people in your life.

What you are saved for? We are saved for an attitude of gratitude. How do we demonstrate this attitude of gratitude?  We do this by - counting our blessings, recognizing God as the One who blesses us, and praising Him for His goodness. A blessed Thanksgiving in Jesus’ Name.

Passive Sentences –17%
Reading Level -4.1