Bayern, USA, Deutschland

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Matthew 15,21 17. Trinity

Matthew 15,21-28         5420 

17. Sonntag nach Trinitatis 062

Francis of Assisi, France. Founder of a monastic order, 1226

4. October 2020

1. O All-Loving God, Your mercy has no end and Your kindness is new each morning; often we come before You with great grief and a heavy heart seeking comfort from You; be merciful to us and show us compassion, so that our hearts are eased and our joy restored.  Amen. (Starck 185-86 ¶ 3) 

2. »And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region went out and was crying: „Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.“ But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples went and begged Him, saying: „Send her away, for she is crying out after us.“ He answered: „I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.“ But she went and knelt before Him, saying: „Lord, help me.“ And He answered: „It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.“ She said: „Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.“ Then Jesus answered her: „O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.“ And her daughter was healed instantly.« 

3. Last week we heard how Jesus raised a dead man back to life. Today we hear how Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath.

4. In Matthew 15, the evangelist gives us another example of Jesus’ healing ability. A young girl is severely oppressed with a demon, and Jesus heals her and relieves her of that spiritual affliction. What is strikingly apparent is that this woman and her daughter are Canaanites: they are not Jewish and they do not live in Jewish territory. They were Gentiles living in a Roman city, for Rome had exercised rulership over Tyre and the province of Syria (since 64 bc) for nearly 100 years before the events of Matthew 15. Jesus Himself notes in their discussion that He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. 

5. Yet the mother persists in her plea. She calls Jesus: 1. Lord, and asks for mercy, 2. Son of David, 3. kneels before Him, calls Him Lord again and asks for His help and 4. calls Him Lord a third time and counters Jesus’ statement that even the Gentiles receive crumbs from the table of the Jews. This Gentile mother speaks and acts as one worshiping God: she invokes a Divine title, pleads for mercy and kneels in a position of prayer and worship; she directs these words and acts to Jesus. She essentially prays Psalm 30: Hear, O Yahweh, and be merciful to me! O Yahweh be my Helper« (Psalm 30,10). 

6. There is some precedent here as well. 1000 years earlier when David and Solomon were gathering the materials for the construction of the temple, Tyre supported supplied cedar wood and skilled workers. During their reigns, David and Solomon maintained friendly relations and with King Hiram I of Tyre. Whereas Hiram offered help to David in building the temple, now the Son of David, the temple made flesh, gives help to a citizen of Tyre. 

7. The Prophet Micah, who ministered to Judah and Samaria, was probably still remembered for his words and deeds by the people of Tyre just miles north of the Galilean border. Micah proclaims that God loves mercy and humbleness (Micah 6,8). This Gentile woman exhibits both humbleness to God and desires His mercy. Yahweh said to the Prophet Isaiah: »Yahweh waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For Yahweh is a God of justice; blessed are those who wait for Him (Isaiah 30,18). 

8. Whenever we are weighed down with despair, trials, tribulations or ailments, seek Jesus and His mercy. God promises us His grace. »You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake Israel.« (Nehemiah 9,17). »For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more« (Jeremiah 31,34; Hebrews 8,12). »Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful« (James 5,11). „The bread of the Messiah is so abundant and so overflowing that parts of it fall from the table onto the floor.“ (Gibbs 787). And the crumbs are enough for this Gentile woman and her daughter (Gibbs 787). She believes in both Jesus’ mission to Israel’s lost sheep and in Jesus’ abundance (Gibbs 787); even the Gentiles are blessed by the bread that Jesus provides. 

9. Christ has shown us mercy. He has redeemed us from sin, death and the devils. His mercy is for all people, both Jews and Gentiles. May our faith in Jesus be as great as that of the Gentile mother from Tyre. Next week we will hear why God is merciful.  Amen. 

11. Let us pray. O Lord, Your steadfast love endures forever; help us to make known Your mercy to our generations, so that they seek You and Your grace.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 

Gode ealdore sy se cyneþrymm


All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 

ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2019 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 

VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2020 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 

Gibbs, Jeffrey A. Matthew 11:2-20:34. Copyright © 2010 Concordia Publishing House. 

Lewis, C. S. The Screwtape Letters. Copyright © 2016 Samizdat University Press.

Starck, Johann. Starck’s Prayer Book. Copyright © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. 

Monday, August 05, 2019

John 6,30-35. 7. Trinity

One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

John 6,30-35               4219
7. Sn. n. Trinitatis 052   
Dominic, founder of a monastic order, 1221
4. August 2019 

1. O Christ Jesus, the Bread from heaven; send to us the Holy Spirit who encourages us to have compassion, so that we may show charity to our neighbors in their time of need.  Amen. (Mark 8,1-9) 
2. »So the Jews said to Him: „Then what sign do you do, so that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.“ [Exodus 16,4.8; Psalm 78,24] Jesus then said to them: „Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who descends heaven and gives life to the world.“ They said to Him: „Sir, give us this bread always.“ Jesus said to them: „I am the Bread of Life; whoever receives Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.“«  
  3. In Mark 8, our Gospel pericope for today, Jesus feeds a crowd numbering about 4000 people; He did so with 7 loaves of bread and at the end 7 full baskets were collected with the leftovers. One person would normally eat 1/3 of a loaf at a meal, and 7 loaves would comfortably feed 21 people, yet all 4000 are comfortably fed! That would take a little over 1333 loaves of bread. The leftovers were much more than the 7 loaves Jesus started with. 
4. John 6 records another time when Jesus fed a large crowd with only a few loaves of bread. After Jesus had performed this miracle, the people exclaimed: This is indeed the Prophet who is come into the world! (John 6,14). The next day Jesus continues to teach the crowd and they make this connection from the Scriptures: Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, for Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat (Psalm 78,24; Exodus 16,4). The Jewish crowd is set in only seeing Jesus’ miracles in temporal, earthly terms. God has blessed them with bread for the day, just as He provided for their fathers in the wilderness many years earlier. Their perception is only two dimensional, that is, horizontal: what satisfies their physical hunger and belly. But Jesus is operating at a third dimensional perception, that is horizontal and vertical: He provides for both their physical hunger and their spiritual hunger. Their Heavenly Father gives more than just manna and loaves of bread; He also sends down the One from heaven who gives life to the world. 
5. We are often like the Jews in John 6; we think in simply 2 dimensions: what our eyes see, our ears hear and our hands touch. Our first, and sadly sometimes our only, concern is how God provides for us physically, so that we measure His goodness by our bank accounts, our possessions and the food we have on our table. If our bodies are satisfied, then we think that is sufficient. But human beings are not simply flesh and blood; we are also spirit and soul. We are created in God’s Image and Likeness, and thus we have real spiritual needs, too. People fill that spiritual void through any number of ways: Eastern meditation, communing with nature, various cultural myths that relate stories of the gods interacting in the lives of people and so forth. In all this we are trying to recapture the fellowship God created us to have with Him, that relationship that Adam and Eve experienced at the close of each day as God walked with them in the Garden of Eden. David put this longing to prose in one of his psalms: O God, my God, I earnestly seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me (Psalm 63,1.8), and again: Blessed are those who strength is in You, O God; they go from strength to strength; blessed is the one who trusts in You!« (Psalm 84,5.7.12). 
6. Jesus proclaims to us: »I am the Bread of Life; whoever draws near to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise you up on the last day« (John 6,35.40). Jesus abundantly provides for physical and spiritual needs. After this powerful and insightful teaching of Jesus from the Scriptures, Peter and the other apostles reply with their wonderful confession: »Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God!« (John 6,68-69). They confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16,16). 
7. We are here today, 2000 years later, making the same confession. We will receive the Bread of Life that satisfies both our physical and spiritual hunger. The Apostle Paul says of this Living Bread from heaven: »Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread« (1. Corinthians 10,17). The holy apostle is speaking about the Holy Communion of the Lord’s Supper. The Church, he says, receives and eats the one bread that is offered to all at the communion table. Jesus’ discourse in John 6, while not specifically saying that it is the Lord’s Supper, certainly causes the Christian hearer to think about the eating and drinking of the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. Jesus and His apostles are clear that the bread and wine in the Holy Sacrament are indeed also His true body and blood given to and received by the communicant. The Lord’s Supper gives us Jesus, the Living Bread from heaven, and when we are given Jesus, we are given eternal life. 
8. Luke the Evangelist describes the worship life of the Christians, writing: »And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.« (Acts 2,42). Luke is describing the worship life of the Church. We gather to hear the words of the apostles in the Epistle and Gospel Readings, we devote ourselves to the Christian fellowship of our brothers and sisters in the faith by worshiping together each Sunday, we break bread together in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper and we offer up prayers and petitions to our Heavenly Father. There is a great continuity from the apostolic Church and the 21. century Church. We worship the same Jesus, we receive and partake of the same Bread of Life and we are absolved of all our sin in the Name of Jesus. I tell you the absolute truth: Whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life, for Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus gives Himself to you this day; receive Him, believe upon Him and you will life forever and ever in His Divine presence.  Amen.  
9. Let us pray. O Christ, Your Name is praised morning and evening; may our lips and hearts confess You to be our Savior who gives us life, yes everlasting life, so that we put our trust in You our Providence.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Soli Deo Gloria

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 

Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Christ, Thor and the Midgard Serpent, para. 2

2. With regard to the question of whether similarities to German myths with Christian ideas are attributed to Christian influence or not, is another, no less interesting and significant, much less respected, question, namely, whether such correspondence in the conversion of the Germans to Christianity became effective and in which way. [Footnote 2] Should the missionaries and preachers of the 1. Christian Era be completely avoided, to establish comparable German ideas, to dress Christian truths in familiar religious images? Or are they seen exclusively in the pagan gods, the Devil, monsters and demons, as the sources confirm again and again? 

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Revised 1-Year Lectiony in Protestant German churches

Evangelical Church Year

A note from the SELK:

Zum 1. Advent 2018 wird im Raum der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) eine neue Ordnung der gottesdienstlichen Lesungen und Predigttexte eingeführt.

Die Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche (SELK) hat durch ihren Allgemeinen Pfarrkonvent und durch die diesjährige Kirchensynode beschlossen, sich an diese neue Ordnung in ihrer Praxis eng anzulehnen. So werden Gottesdienstbesucherinnen und -besucher an manchen Sonn- und Festtagen im Kirchenjahr auf neue Lesungen stoßen. Es handelt sich allerdings um eine äußerst moderate Revision, sodass es zumeist beim Bekannten bleibt.

For the 1st Advent 2018, a new order of Divine Service readings and sermon texts will be introduced throughout the the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

The Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) has decided, through its General Parish Convention and through this year's Synod of Churches, to closely follow this new order in its practice. On some Sundays and holidays in Church Year worshipers will encounter new readings. However, these are very moderate revisions, so they usually stay close to what we are acquainted. 

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Christ, Thor and the Midgard Serpent, para. 1

I’ve been translated a 26-page essay by Otto Gschwantler from around 1968 that examines the connections of similarity between aspects of Christ with Thor and the Midgard Serpent. Below is the first paragraph. 

Christus, Thor und die Midgardschlange 
Otto Gschwantler 

1. The German mythology offers a series of motives, that shows a noticeable similarity with Christian ideas. It is reminiscent of Havamal 138, where Odin himself says: 

„I know, that I hang
on windy tree
9 long nights
with the javelin wounded
consecrated to Odin, 
myself to myself.“ 

The question here cannot be clearly answered to this day, namely, is this a random similarity with the crucifixion or a known Christian influence? Also the light figure of Balder, his death and his return after Ragnarök, shows in its overall appearance and tension some details reminiscent of Christ. One also has to again affirm or to deny Christian influence in this instance. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Apostles’ Creed in Anglo-Saxon

Se læssa’ créda

1 Ic belīefe on God ðæs Fæðer ælmihtigan Scippend heofonas and eorðan. 
   And on Hælend Crist hīs ān-feald Sunu Drihten ûsa 
hē geæcnian bý ðe Hālgan Gáste 
gebære of ðære Sancta María 
5 geðolode under Pontiscean Pilate 
on rōde āhēnge to deaðe and on eorðan bebyrigde 
hē fērde tō helle 
and ðe driddan dæg ðonne hē ārīsan of ðæs dēaðe
hē tō heofonum āstīge 
10 and sitt æt ðe rihthandre of God ðonne Fæðer ælmihtigan 
from ðas hē sceal mægenðrymlíce cuman tō démanne ðe lifiendan and ðe deadan. 
   Ic belīefe on ðone Hàlgan Gaste 
ðā halgan eallgeleafican cirice 
ðæt gæd ðāra halig folces 
15 ðā forgiefnesse ðæs gylta 
ðā ærist ðære bræde 
and ðæt līf ā on ecnesse. 


Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Lord’s Prayer in Anglo-Saxon

From the Heliand:

Ðe Fadar ûsa

        Fadar ûsa | firiho barno,
1601 thu bist an them hôhon | himila rîkea,
        geuuîhid sî thîn namo | uuordo gehuuilico.
        Cuma thîn | craftag rîki.
        Uuerða thîn uuilleo | ob=ar thesa uuerold alla,
1605 sô sama an erðo, | sô thar uppa ist
           an them hôhon | himilo rîkea.
        Gef ûs dago gehuuilikes râd, | drohtin the gôdo,
        thîna hêlaga helpa, | endi alât ûs, heb=enes uuard,
       managoro mênsculdio, | al sô uue ôðrum mannum dôan.
1610 Ne lât ûs farlêdean | lêða uuihti
        sô forð an iro uuilleon, | sô uui uuirðige sind,

        ac help ûs uuiðar allun | ub=ilon dâdiun.