Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Morning Prayer #71

 


Birth of John the Baptist Foretold


In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,[a] of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

 


Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

 

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

 

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived.

 

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 prior to Epiphany 3

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-31a—The Christian finds his purpose in the body of Christ. By the Spirit Christians are members of one body. The unity of the church is the unity of Christ. We are one in Christ, as members of the body of Christ. Regardless of our differences, Jews, Greeks, bond, or free, we are all one. Last names cease when we enter the church door. We are one in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul will remind us in verse 13, “For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” The church is not a human institution held together by its leaders and members’ contributions. If that were the case, the church would have died long ago. The Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies, and preserves the church from age to age.

Whereas the emphasis in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 is on the individual and the diversity of spiritual gifts that God bestows on “each one” (Vv. 7,11) this lesson which incorporates most of the remainder of chapter 12, is Paul’s instruction about the unity of these varied individual gifts in the body of Christ. This body, the church in its broadest sense, is to be well organized and smooth running. Paul illustrates this by the analogy of the human body. Individual members are to use their divinely ordained and bestowed firs so that the body may function as intended.

Our spiritual gifts, no matter what they may be are valuable. They find value only as they are used in concert with the whole body of Christ.

Many today seem to want to be or dreams about being the proverbial quarterback. We like the glory of being able to stand out. But as any employer or coach will tell us, it is the multitude of people doing their tasks well behind the scenes that make success possible. Thus we look to Christ who works through His people the church to do these things as outline in our lesson for today.

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.[2] -20 January 2022


[1] Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Ezra Reads the Torah” copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] Collect for steadfast faith, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Wednesday prior to Epiphany 3

 

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10–Notice how the worship practices of Ezra and Nehemiah are quite similar to ours today. Ezra the scribe reads the Book of the Law in the presence of the people. After they heard the word, they responded in two ways. First they feasted. Delicious festive food prepared with much fat. The fat of sacrificial animals was offered to God as the tastiest element of the burnt offering, the fellowship offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. The fat was not to be eaten in these cases. They also remembered the poor and those less fortunate on these joyous occasions. Likewise, we today respond in two ways. We come to a worship service to hear the Word. We eat the sacrifice of Christ in the Sacrament and then we respond in sacramental living. In service, we worship God. We respond by reaching out to our neighbors and especially to those whose need is great. We respond as the Word of the Lord has taken root in our lives.

When Jesus opens His mouth to preach, gracious words flow from His lips. The Scriptures are, indeed, fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21–22). For Christ was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord “to proclaim good news to the poor,” “to proclaim liberty to the captives,” and “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19).

By this proclamation, Christ releases His people from captivity and gathers them to Himself in His Church. So it was when the Lord released His people from Babylon and returned them to Jerusalem. “Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people,” sanctified the whole congregation by the reading and preaching of the Law (Nehemiah 8:8–9). [2]

Collect for Epiphany 3 – Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with  You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [3] – 19 January 2022


[1] Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Ezra Reads the Torah” copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] Lectionary Summary, LCMS Commission on Worship
[3] Collect for Epiphany 3, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Monday, January 17, 2022

Morning Prayer #78

 

Matthew 2
Select verses

The flight into Egypt

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

 

Herod Kills the Children


Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

 

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,

    weeping and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

 

The Return to Nazareth

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

 

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

 

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use


Tuesday prior to Epiphany 3

 

Psalm 19: (1-6) 7-14; key verse, verse 14—May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. These words are quite familiar – they are often uttered by the pastor before the sermon. By these words the preacher is asking that he only proclaim God’s Words and not his own. By these words the hearer asks that these words of the Lord penetrate the heart and mind so that faith may be strengthened and nourished. May the Word of the Lord give us both direction and encouragement not only this coming Sunday but throughout this New Year.

The Heavens, the Word, and the Glory of God

The title tells us both the author and the audience of the psalm: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Some believe that the Chief Musician is the Lord GOD Himself, and others suppose him to be a leader of choirs or musicians in David’s time, such as Heman the singer or Asaph (1 Chronicles 6:33, 16:5-7, and 25:6).

This Psalm reflects, more than any other, the beauty and splendor of the Hebrew poetry found in the Psalter. C.S. Lewis wrote, ‘I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.’” (Willem VanGemeren)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight: David closed this glorious psalm with a humble surrender of his mouth and heart to God. He knew that real godliness was not only a matter of what a man did, but also of what he said and thought in his heart.

This was not a proud proclamation that David knew he was innocent and blameless; it was a plea to be made so by the transforming power of God.

 

Acceptable in Your sight: “The psalm ends, not on the note of avoiding sin, but on that of offering back to God the mind’s fitting response to His own words, as a pure sacrifice (cf. Hosea 14:2). This is the probable implication of acceptable, a term often found in sacrificial contexts.” (Kidner)

O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer: King David looked to the Lord GOD to be his strength and redemption. He knew that he needed a Redeemer, and that the faithful God would rescue him.

Strength can also be translated as Rock. God’s strength is like a mighty rock that rescues us and gives us a firm standing place.

Redeemer is that great Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer. It was the goel who bought his relative out of slavery, who rescued him in bankruptcy and total loss. King David looked to God Himself as his kinsman-redeemer.

If our Rock were not our Redeemer, we should be without hope. If our Redeemer were not our Rock, still might we be afraid. It is good that we never forget the mutual interpretation of these two revelations of God.” (Morgan)

This psalm has run a glorious course. It begins with recognizing the glory of God in creation, and then the glory of His written revelation. Next to this great God and His great works, David knew himself to be small and sinful. Yet this great God would also be David’s strength and Redeemer as David put his trust in Him.[2]

Collect for Psalm 19: Heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty. Open our eyes to see your gracious hand in all your works, that rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness, for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.[3]


[1] Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Ezra Reads the Torah” copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-19/
[3] Collect for Psalm 19, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. I © 1994, The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delphi, NY


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Morning Prayer #77

 


The Visit of the Magi
Matthew 2 


Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [a] from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose [b] and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

 

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

 

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

 

Footnotes:

Matthew 2:1 Greek magi; also verses 7, 16

Matthew 2:2 Or in the east; also verse 9

 

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

 

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use


Monday prior to Epiphany 3

 

Psalm 102:18-22, Antiphon, Psalm 102:13 – You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come. The antiphon is the centerpiece of the entire psalm. The psalmist’s distress was occasioned by the Babylonian exile. Yet, he sees an appointed time – a time set by God for judgment and deliverance to come. As we pray this prayer, we too look for a time of deliverance to come. We pray that deliverance might come to us now and ultimately on the last great day, that day when we shall live beyond time and space.

The Theme for Psalm 102 is Afflicted But full of Trust

The title of this psalm is A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before the LORD. This afflicted one borrowed his tone and some of his phrasing from Job, who is the Old Testament’s greatest example of affliction. Many phrases also match others in the psalms.

This psalm describes Jerusalem (Zion) in a state of ruin. If this is taken as literal ruin, the psalm may have been written by those in exile who mourned over both their personal and national affliction. Adam Clarke followed this thinking and suggested the author could be Daniel, Jeremiah, or Nehemiah. However, it may be that the ruin of Zion described is more poetic in nature and the psalm is pre-exilic.

In traditional Christian liturgy, this has been regarded as one of the seven penitential psalms (along with Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 130, and 143).

You will arise and have mercy on Zion. Though in deep affliction, the psalmist had steadfast confidence that God would act and show mercy to Jerusalem once again.

Yes, the set time, has come. At God’s appointed time, Jerusalem would be the object of God’s favor. He had a set time for their restoration and would not forever leave them in ruin.

If this psalm describes the time in exile, the set time points to the 70 years set by God for Israel’s captivity (Jeremiah 25:11-13 and 29:10).[2]

The Theme for Epiphany 3 is “The Purpose of Your Life.” In the Old Testament lesson (Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10) Ezra the scribe reads the Book of the Law in the presence of the people. Reading from the Book of the Law brought tears to the people. Their purpose was to be directed by the Word of the Lord. In the Epistle lesson (1 Corinthians 12:12-31a) Paul reminds us that by the Spirit Christians are members of one body. In the Gospel lesson, (Luke 4:16-30) Jesus finds His purpose in Isaiah’s words. The Hymn of the Day ( Let us Ever Walk with Jesus 685 LSB) is a prayer asking the Christian to ever walk near to the Lord.

Collect for Psalm 102: LORD, while our days vanish like shadows and our lives wear out like a garment, you remain undisturbed by change. Although our earthly lives come to an end, help us to live in Christ’s endless life and at length attain our home, the heavenly Jerusalem, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.[3]- 17 January 2022


[1] Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Ezra Reads the Torah” copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
[2] https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-102/
[3] Collect for Psalm 102, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. 1 © 1994 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

Epiphany 3 Series C



3rd Sunday after the Epiphany - Series C

27 January 2019
Nehemiah 8:1–3, 5–6, 8–10
1 Corinthians 12:12–31a
Luke 4:16–30

The Lord Is Manifested as Our Savior through the Preaching of the Gospel
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

When Jesus opens His mouth to preach, gracious words flow from His lips. The Scriptures are, indeed, fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21–22). For Christ was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord “to proclaim good news to the poor,” “to proclaim liberty to the captives,” and “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19). 

By this proclamation, Christ releases His people from captivity and gathers them to Himself in His Church. So it was when the Lord released His people from Babylon and returned them to Jerusalem. “Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people,” sanctified the whole congregation by the reading and preaching of the Law (Nehemiah 8:8–9). 

As the people then were urged to “eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready” (Nehemiah 8:10), so are you anointed by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ to share in His feast and to serve the fellow members of His Body with His good gifts, “giving greater honor to the part that lacked it” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 24).

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
Luke 4:16-30

Luke 4:16 – 
Καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς Ναζαρά, οὗ ἦν τεθραμμένος, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν κατὰ τὸ εἰωθὸς αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων εἰς τὴν συναγωγήν, καὶ ἀνέστη ἀναγνῶναι.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.

You had to be invited to read. Recognized as mature, (30 years of age) a consecrated Rabbi. Where he was raised. These are the people who saw Him grow up. Has Jesus returned because Joseph had died? Why didn't you heal him? Is this not Joseph's father?

Luke 4:17 – 
καὶ ἐπεδόθη αὐτῷ βιβλίον τοῦ προφήτου Ἠσαΐου καὶἀναπτύξας τὸ βιβλίον εὗρεν τὸν τόπον οὗ ἦν γεγραμμένον
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

Isaiah the prophet was handed to him...was Jesus using a free text or was it appointed?  Text does not say. 

Luke 4:18 – 
Πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐπ’ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

This is witness that this is the Christ. He preaches good news and forgives. A lot of creed here. Not a social justice mandate. It is Christ doing it himself. It involved preaching...proclaiming the year of the Lord's welcome. Jesus is God's address to the world. He proclaims victory. See 1 Peter 3:19 the descent into hell. 

Luke 4:19 – 
κηρύξαι ἐνιαυτὸν κυρίου δεκτόν.
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.

The year of the Lord's favor - year of jubilee. Christ is the hand in the glove. All the high days are fulfilled in Christ. Leviticus 5:10. Proclaim a release every 50 years. Is the year of Jubilee the year Christ dies? See John 8:31ff. The Jews didn't realize they were in captivity. We do not have the credentials to stand before God. 

Luke 4:20-
καὶ πτύξας τὸ βιβλίον ἀποδοὺς τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ ἐκάθισεν• καὶ πάντων οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἦσαν ἀτενίζοντες αὐτῷ.
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.

Luke 4:21-
ἤρξατο δὲ λέγειν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι Σήμερον πεπλήρωται ἡ γραφὴ αὕτη ἐν τοῖς ὠσὶν ὑμῶν.
And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:22-
καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον• Οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν Ἰωσὴφ οὗτος;
And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?”

Luke 4:20-22
 "This is Joseph's son is it not?" To bear witness is to speak of what you know. This can't be the Christ, we remember him, as Joseph's son. What are these words of grace coming from his mouth?  How much more did He preach? Is this merely a synopses?  

Luke 4:23 – 
καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς• Πάντως ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην• Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν• ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν Καφαρναοὺμ ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου.
And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”

"So he said to them...certainly you say to me this proverb, Physician heal yourself do in your home town what we heard that you did in Capernaum."  What's the context of what he did elsewhere? 

Luke 4:24 – 
εἶπεν δέ• Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης δεκτός ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ.
And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.

No prophet is favored, welcomed, accepted. (same word as :19)

Luke 4:25 –
ἐπ’ ἀληθείας δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, πολλαὶ χῆραι ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις Ἠλίου ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ, ὅτε ἐκλείσθη ὁ οὐρανὸς ἐπὶ ἔτη τρία καὶ μῆνας ἕξ, ὡς ἐγένετο λιμὸς μέγας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν,
But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land,

But in truth I say to you many widows were in Israel when there was a famine great in the land. 

Luke 4:26- 
καὶ πρὸς οὐδεμίαν αὐτῶν ἐπέμφθη Ἠλίας εἰ μὴ εἰς Σάρεπτα τῆς Σιδωνίας πρὸς γυναῖκα χήραν.
and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.

Luke 4:27 – 
καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἐπὶ Ἐλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου, καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη, εἰ μὴ Ναιμὰν ὁ Σύρος.
And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

Many lepers there were in Israel in the days of Elijah the prophet and none of them were healed except for the Syrian. What the prophet has to say is more important than the miracles.  

Even the Gentiles were healed in the OT. They want temporal blessings because of who they were. Had they heard of widows and leapers before? 

Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13

Luke 4:28-
καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἀκούοντες ταῦτα,
When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.

Luke 4:29-
καὶ ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους ἐφ’ οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν
And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.

Luke 4:30  
αὐτὸς δὲ διελθὼν διὰ μέσου αὐτῶν ἐπορεύετο
But passing through their midst, he went away.

They were filled with wrath everyone of them in the Synagogue.  They connect, it strikes a cord. He will not give them what they want what they believe they deserve. They drag him in order to throw him but passing through their midst he continues his journey. 


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
LCMS Lectionary Summary © 2016
Luther’s Seal © Higher Things


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

Time in the Word - Epiphany 3


Time in the Word
 January 17-22, 2022
Preparation for Epiphany 3 


The Theme for Epiphany 3 is “The Purpose of Your Life.” In the Old Testament lesson Ezra the scribe reads the Book of the Law in the presence of the people. Reading from the Book of the Law brought tears to the people. Their purpose was to be directed by the Word of the Lord. In the Epistle lesson Paul reminds us that by the Spirit Christians are members of one body. In the Gospel lesson Jesus finds His purpose in Isaiah’s words. The Hymn of the Day is a prayer asking the Christian to ever walk near to the Lord. 

Collect for Epiphany 3Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with  You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever

Collect for Epiphany 2 –– Almighty and Everlasting God, who governs all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Your people and grant us Your peace through all our days; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever

A prayer for steadfast faithAlmighty 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.  

A prayer for newness of life in ChristAlmighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon ourselves the armor of life, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility, that in the last day, when He shall come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal

A morning prayerFaithful God, whose mercies are new to us every morning, we humbly pray that You would look upon us in mercy and renew us by Your Holy Spirit. Keep safe our going out and our coming in, and let Your blessings remain with us throughout this day. Preserve us in Your righteousness and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus our Lord

Monday, 17 January 2022Psalm 102:18-22, Antiphon, Psalm 102:13 – "You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come." The antiphon is the centerpiece of the entire psalm. The psalmist’s distress was occasioned by the Babylonian exile. Yet, he sees an appointed time – a time set by God for judgment and deliverance to come. As we pray this prayer, we too look for a time of deliverance to come. We pray that deliverance might come to us now and ultimately on the last great day, that day when we shall live beyond time and space. 

Tuesday, 18 January 2022Psalm 19: (1-6) 7-14; key verse, verse 14—"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." These words are quite familiar – they are often uttered by the pastor before the sermon. By these words the preacher is asking that he only proclaim God’s Words and not his own. By these words the hearer asks that these words of the Lord penetrate the heart and mind so that faith may be strengthened and nourished. May the Word of the Lord give us both direction and encouragement not only this coming Sunday but throughout this New Year. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2022Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10–Notice how the worship practices of Ezra and Nehemiah are quite similar to ours today. Ezra the scribe reads the Book of the Law in the presence of the people. After they heard the word, they responded in two ways. First they feasted. Delicious festive food prepared with much fat. The fat of sacrificial animals was offered to God as the tastiest element of the burnt offering, the fellowship offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offering. The fat was not to be eaten in these cases. They also remembered the poor and those less fortunate on these joyous occasions. Likewise, we today respond in two ways. We come to a worship service to hear the Word. We eat the sacrifice of Christ in the Sacrament and then we respond in sacramental living. In service, we worship God. We respond by reaching out to our neighbors and especially to those whose need is great. We respond as the Word of the Lord has taken root in our lives.   

Thursday, 20 January 20221 Corinthians 12:12-31a—The Christian finds his purpose in the body of Christ. By the Spirit Christians are members of one body. The unity of the church is the unity of Christ. We are one in Christ, as members of the body of Christ. Regardless of our differences, Jews, Greeks, bond, or free, we are all one. Last names cease when we enter the church door. We are one in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Paul will remind us in verse 13, “For by one Spirit we were baptized into one body – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” The church is not a human institution held together by its leaders and members’ contributions. If that were the case, the church would have died long ago. The Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies, and preserves the church from age to age.  

Friday, 21 January 2022Luke 4:16-30—Many today are seeking self-identity. They are seeking to understand who they are and what their purpose in life is. Many do not have a reason for living. They are confused because they are aimless. They have no goals for life. As Christians who follow Christ in all things, our purpose in life should be the same as Jesus’ purpose. Luke tells us where Jesus came from – He came from God to fulfill God’s promises. He tells us who Jesus is – He is the Messiah, God’s servant – commissioned and called. He tells us what Jesus was to do – preach the Good News.   

Saturday, 22 January 2022—-Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 4:12-13; Matthew 10:38-39; Romans 6:2-5, 8.Sunday’s hymn of the day is Let us Ever Walk with Jesus (685 LSB).  The purpose of Jesus’ life was fulfilled by the words of the prophet. The purpose of your life is that the will of God might be fulfilled in us. Thus this wonderful hymn encourages the believer to daily walk with the Lord, to follow Christ’s example and Word that daily we might be conformed to His will and way. 

Sources:
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Ezra Reads the Torah” copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C – John Brokhoff © 1979 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH 



Saturday, January 15, 2022

Epiphany 2

 

Visit, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep all harm and danger far from them. Grant that we may dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, sharing eternally in Your blessings;

We give thanks for the joy and blessings that You grant to husbands and wives. Assist them always by Your grace that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep their marriage vows, grow in love toward You and for each other, and come at last to the eternal joys that You have promised;[2]

Lord Jesus, bless Thy Word that we might trust in Thee.

Of all the places Jesus is personally invited happens to be at a wedding. The guest list includes the Savior. His mother. And, of course, His disciples.

John reminds us that Jesus’ disciple were present. Yet Jesus Himself was personally invited.  Jesus was there as an invited guest.

This says something. May the Savior be an ever-present yet unseen guest in every home of our Friedheim family. And in our life together.

What we soon discover is that the wine ran out. Not good. Certainly, this couple had planned for the wedding. After all, it was their special day.

“They have no more wine,” was not what this couple wanted to hear. Yet, it happened. With no wine, the feast is over. To leave early or run out was an embarrassment.

Like this couple, you plan for the best. You have dreams and goals. . You only desire happiness.

Yet, we live in a broken world outside of Eden. So, there will be challenges. Which will need to be confronted and addressed when they occur. These challenges. They arrive often unannounced. For this couple the wine was gone.

As for you - What roadblocks will stand in your road?  We do not know. They could be financial. It could be a prolonged illness. A disability. It might be a special needs child. The list is endless.

These challenges. These tests. Are a delicate thing. For they have the potential to derail everything.

Yet as with this couple. Jesus remains ever-present. In your marriage. And in your life. Christ is just as present to give guidance and encouragement. Hard times might come. But they last only for a season. Jesus will see you through.

And especially during those challenging times rely on each other. “The husband and wife should be similar to the hand and the eye. When the hand hurts, the eyes should be crying. And when the eyes cry, the hand should wipe away the tears.” – St. John Chrysostom 

Mary is specific and direct. “They have no more wine!” She confronts the problem headlong. She cuts to the chase and tells Jesus her problem.

Likewise. Be specific in your prayers. Christ knows your needs. So, tell Him. Be direct and candid. He does not need hyperbole. In your prayers. Be as specific as you are able.

Now the Savior’s response might sound troublesome. "Is my concern also that of yours woman? My hour is not come." Mary’s concerns are different here. All she can know with certainty is her present circumstance. There is no wine. Jesus sees beyond the irritation of the moment.

He knows your past. He’s present now. And is concerned with your future. And He is capable of providing rescue.  

Responding to the servants Mary speaks confidently as she says to them - “Whatever he might say to you -do.”

And with respect to Jesus; she has every confidence that He will go and be the Savior.

Do not allow the irritations of life’s present pains and sorrows distract you from your Savior’s greatest work. His time came at His cross and the life He now gives you in His glorious resurrection.

There He worked salvation. There He works remission of all sin. There He set you apart to be his child. His chosen one. Redeemed. Restored. Forgiven.

To be sure. At one time or another, we’ve all been given much advice. These recommendations. While well intended. Often comes unsolicited.  Some helpful. Others not.  Mary’s words are most excellent; “whatever He might say to you…do.”

The miracle happens rather quickly. “Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it.

When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” – John 2:6-10

Six stone jars each holding twenty or thirty gallons equals between 120 and 180 gallons. That’s a tremendous amount of wine! Not to mention. The steward renders it the best!

As your Savior leads you. You will experience countless blessings too many to count. 180 gallons is an abundance of wine. So you will experience much happiness with your Savior’s guidance.

The grace and mercy of Christ is like excellent wine. It flows in abundance. It gladdens the heart. It renders you blessed!

The whole point of the miracle – That His disciples believe in Him. The goal in your life is one and the same. To believe in Him. To trust His Word. To place your confidence in that One who loves you with an everlasting love.

My hope for the people of our Friedheim family is that you will experience grace in your life. For grace is karma’s worst nightmare. With grace, we receive exactly what we don’t deserve.

And with that person sitting next to you today. You are allowed to experience grace and mercy with the one you love.

Live grace filled lives. Be merciful. Strive for peace. Always forgive. May your life together be an adventure as the Savior walks with you.  

Words –1,075
Passive Sentences –2%
Readability – 82.1%
Reading Level – 3.6



[1] Wedding at Cana copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
[2] Collect for home and family and for those who are married, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis


Friday, January 14, 2022

Saturday prior to Epiphany 2

 

Matthew 2:1-12; Ephesians 1:9; John 18:26-27; John 1:29 - Sunday’s hymn of the day is The Star Proclaims the King Is Here (399 LSB). This is yet another wonderful Epiphany hymn. Despite outward conditions, nothing will change concerning God’s dealings with His people. As the Wise Men were directed to find the infant Lord Jesus, so to this day the Lord will make His presence known to you as He comes through His means of grace. This is how He chooses to communicate to you – in tangible ways. Not in myth, not in the spectacular or the supernatural but through simple means. Wise men still seek Him. Look for Him in those places He has promised He will be found.

Why is Epiphany important? First, the word “Epiphany” itself reminds us of what Christmas is about. On Christmas Eve God announced to the shepherds, an epiphany, that the One whom God promised would “crush the serpent’s head” was born (Genesis 3:15). God did not abandon His people but planned for a Savior to come and He did. As the Son of God and son of man, Jesus defeated the devil on the cross, “(It is finished.” John 19:30). He rose victorious after three days and now gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.

Secondly, the historic reading for Epiphany, Matthew 2 (which is the coming of the Magi to worship the King of the Jews) reminds us that salvation is for all people. We Gentiles were the wild olive shoot, and God in His mercy grafted us to His fruitful and beloved olive tree (Romans 11). What a blessing to us!

Finally, Epiphany reminds us that there are others whom God wants to come and worship the One who was promised to Adam and Eve. Epiphany should spur us on in proclaiming God’s saving acts. [2]

An Epiphany Prayer: O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. [3]-15 January 2022


[1] Wedding at Cana, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
[2] Pr. Michael Strong, https://enquirerdemocrat.com/star-proclaims-king/
[3] Collect for Epiphany, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis