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


Monday, September 13, 2021

Morning Prayer #18

 

Joseph’s dream
Genesis 37
Selective Verses

Jacob lived in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.[a] 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7 Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

Footnotes:
Genesis 37:3 See Septuagint, Vulgate; or (with Syriac) a robe with long sleeves. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; also verses 23, 32
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Luther's Seal copyright ©Ed Riojas Higher Things


Tuesday Prior to Proper 20

 

Psalm 54; key verse, verse 4It is the Lord who sustains my life.

David asks for the Lord’s help when abandoned and betrayed.

This psalm is titled To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Contemplation of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?” There were actually two times when the Ziphites betrayed David unto King Saul, first in 1 Samuel 23 and the second in 1 Samuel 26. David escaped both times, but the circumstances of this psalm seem to best fit the circumstances of 1 Samuel 23, when David learned of the Ziphite betrayal but before the deliverance of God was displayed (1 Samuel 23:26-29).

This is one of the few psalms with a specific musical direction: With stringed instruments. It is also called A Contemplation. The Hebrew word for Contemplation (maskil) might be better understood as instruction.

Behold, God is my helper. Though a hunted man, David could confidently expect God’s help. His present adversity had not led him to question the goodness of God, but to appeal to it. It is the Lord who sustains my life. The sense of this remarkable statement is that the LORD is among those who help me by upholding my life.[2]

The Psalmist finds his life is threatened, as were Jesus’ and Jeremiah’s, and he finds God as his helper who rescues him from death. In our opposition God does not forsake those who trust in Him.

Collect for Psalm 54: Father, hear our prayer and come to the aid of your Church. Mercifully deliver us from evil, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting we may offer you a pure sacrifice of praise; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. [3] -14 September 2021



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

[3] Collect for Psalm 54, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. IV © 1996 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Morning Prayer #17

 

Jacob’s family 
Genesis 31 -35 (Selected Verses)

 

Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, “Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth.” 2 And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. 3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.”

17 So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. 18 He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant: Gad and Asher. 

27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Illustration “Jacob leaves for Canaan” 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. 


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


Monday prior to Proper 20

 

Psalm 37:5-7, Antiphon, Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

This psalm is simply titled A Psalm of David. Verse 25 tells us that it is David in his older years, giving wisdom in the pattern of a song. This psalm is roughly acrostic in arrangement, with the lines arranged with Hebrew sentences that begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In style this is a wisdom psalm, directed not to God but to man, teaching after the manner of the Book of Proverbs.

David instructs us that wisdom triumphs over worry.

Delight yourself also in the LORD. David advised the man or woman of God to replace worry and envy with a conscious delight in the LORD. This means to cheer one’s heart and mind by considering and by faith receiving the multiple blessings of God.

And He shall give you the desires of your heart. This is a wonderful and even safe promise. The one who truly delights in the LORD will find his heart and desires changed, steadily aligning with God’s own good desires for his life. Thus we see that finding delight in God is a key to a happy, satisfied life.[2]

No matter what you are up against, trust in the Lord and He will sustain you. He will prove Himself worthy as you read the rest of the appointed readings for the coming week.

Collect for Psalm 37: Lord 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 rich so may we serve you now and forever.[3] -13 September 2021



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

[3] Collect for Psalm 37, For All the Saints A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol. IV © 1996 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

Proper 20 Series B



Proper 20 B
Jeremiah 11:18–20
James 3:13—4:10
Mark 9:30–37

Our Father Cares for His Children with the Gospel of His Son
The sinful heart is filled with “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” (James 3:14), which causes hostility, quarrels and conflicts, even among those who are fellow members of the body of Christ. This should not be so! Rather, God “opposes the proud” with His Law, in order to humble them unto repentance; He “gives grace to the humble,” in order to exalt them by His Gospel of forgiveness (James 4:6–10). This true “wisdom from above” is found in the gentleness, mercy and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself and sacrificed Himself for the salvation of sinners (James 3:17). He was “like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter,” committing Himself to God, His Father, “who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind” (Jeremiah 11:19–20). Therefore, “after three days,” His Father exalted Him by raising Him from the dead (Mark 9:31). In Holy Baptism, He takes disciples of all ages into His arms like little children. In receiving Him through repentance and faith in His forgiveness of sins, they receive from His Father a share in the glory of His cross and resurrection (Mark 9:36–37).
Collect for Proper 20O 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.
 Lord, break our fear of death by reminding us that You have died, never to die again. Today, open our frightened hearts with the resurrection's promise; one day, open our closed eyes with the resurrection's power.
Lord, forgive us for our battles over greatness. Remind us that You alone are great, for You lave served the least among us.
Lord, thank you for Your work through the lives of others. Lead me to welcome those miracles and mercies that You show through every one of Your people.
Jesus shatters our hopes and dreams...
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.
Jesus 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.
Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection Vv. 30-32 - Jesus repeats the prophecy of His Passion and resurrection while the disciples listen in frightened silence. Death is frightening and confusing when we cannot see the promised resurrection. Yet, Jesus bears our fears as well as our sins on the cross in order to deliver us.
9:30
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know,
 κακειθεν εξελθοντες επορευοντο δια της γαλιλαιας και ουκ ηθελεν ινα τις γνοι
 - He did not want will wish desire for any to know where they were - because He was teaching them...
9:31
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.”
εδιδασκεν γαρ τους μαθητας αυτου και ελεγεν [αυτοις] οτι ο υιος του ανθρωπου παραδιδοται εις χειρας ανθρωπων και αποκτενουσιν αυτον και αποκτανθεις μετα τρεις ημερας αναστησεται

- he was continually teaching His disciples, the whole Gospel/salvation story. He will be betrayed into the hands of men, and after three days He Shall Rise. 

9:32
But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
οι δε ηγνοουν το ρημα και εφοβουντο αυτον επερωτησαι

- They were ignorant of what He meant and afraid of the subject matter...afraid even to engages Jesus in the discussion. They shut up about it.
 Who Is the Greatest? VV.32-37 Confused by Jesus' prediction of His death, the disciples return to a subject they know well, their own greatness. Jesus shows them that true status is found in serving those whom God values.

When we are tempted to debate who is the greatest, we should instead look to where the Master hangs on the cross. He represents us before the Father in order to redeem us, and He lead us by the cross into a new life.

9:33
And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”
και ηλθον εις καφαρναουμ και εν τη οικια γενομενος επηρωτα αυτους τι εν τη οδω διελογιζεσθε

-  He Asked them "what were you talking about on the road? He brings up the subject.

9:34
But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.
οι δε εσιωπων προς αλληλους γαρ διελεχθησαν εν τη οδω τις μειζων

- They were silent...they shut up...as they were debating, "whose the greatest?"  A comparative, "who is greater?"

9:35
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.”
 και καθισας εφωνησεν τους δωδεκα και λεγει αυτοις ει τις θελει πρωτος ειναι εσται παντων εσχατος και παντων διακονος

- sitting down, He called the twelve, if any would be first he must be deacon...sitting prophetic posture for teaching, He calls them to teach.  He became first by serving...he's not here to teach them how to be great...

9:36
And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
και λαβων παιδιον εστησεν αυτο εν μεσω αυτων και εναγκαλισαμενος αυτο ειπεν αυτοις

- taking a παιδιον "little one" He embraced Him and said,

9:37
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
ος αν [εν] των τοιουτων παιδιων δεξηται επι τω ονοματι μου εμε δεχεται και ος αν εμε δεχηται ουκ εμε δεχεται αλλα τον αποστειλαντα με

- whoever receives one of these little children in my name and receives them receives me and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.  Great baptism talk. Proof text!

Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

-The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
-1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU) -by Public Domain