Catechesis on Epiphany One (Luke 2:41-52)

On Wednesday nights, Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL) offers to both children and adults an opportunity for teaching with Learn-by-Heart at 6:30 PM and a catechetical service at 7:00.

In this video from January 9, 2019, we learned stanza 2 of “To The Name of Our Salvation” (The Lutheran Hymnal #116), the second part of Holy Baptism and the meaning from Luther’s Small Catechism.  This service is designed to prepare God’s people for the theme of the upcoming Sunday Divine Service.  The dialog sermon explains the Twelve Year-Old Jesus at the Temple (St. Luke 2:41-52), which is the Holy Gospel for the First Sunday after the Epiphany.

Bulletins: Catechesis-Epiphany-1-01-09-2019.pdf
Responsive Prayer:  Responsive-Prayer-for-Catechesis-2019.pdf

The service concludes with “Responsive Prayer for Catechesis” (pdf link above).

This catechesis is recorded in two parts.
The first video is the Learn-by-Heart.  [Length: 33 minutes]

The second video is the Catechesis Service.  [Length: 33 minutes]

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 36: Intertestamental to Christ; Kingdom of Power

In the first part of this study we conclude a historical walk-through of “king” and “kingdom” found in the Old Testament up to the coming of the true Davidic King, Jesus Christ. Each kingdom is distinguished based upon the subjects of the kingdom and the governance of the kingdom.

In the second part of this study we examine the kingdom of power.  The subjects of the kingdom of power include all things: believers and unbelievers, good and evil angels, and irrational creature and the inanimate creation. The Triune God governs this kingdom of power by His omnipotence and omnipresence. At the incarnation, “all authority in heaven and earth” was given to the human nature of Jesus, while His divine nature always possessed it.

Here is a summary of the history (in the first part): The Prophet Daniel (Chapters 2, 7 and 8) foretold of four world powers: Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece(including the Ptolemies and the Seleucids, Maccabees and Hasmoneans), and Rome. Last week we concluded with the Jewish return to Jerusalem under Cyrus the Persian.  When the Old Testament draws to a close (apx. 400 B.C.), Judea had been province of Persia for 138 years. Although the exiles were allowed to return to Canaan in order to rebuild the Temple, only a small number of Jews actually returned. The exiled Jews had set down roots and were scattered over 128 provinces.

The religious practices of Judaism began to change, as they lived apart from the Jerusalem temple, and without the nation of Israel or a Davidic king. Scribes grew in importance, as the Jews retained their identity by clinging to the Word. Emphasis was placed on personal prayer, Sabbath observance, and justice(morality). As the people adopted Imperial Aramaic for their language instead of Hebrew, there was the need for a Methurgeman (interpreter) to paraphrase the readings for the people.

Even those Jews who returned were not free.  They were a vassal state of one country and then another.  Sometimes they enjoyed a mild rule and were allowed to practice their faith.  Other times they were severely persecuted.  The Jewish reactions were varied, as seen by Pharisees, Sadducees, and zealots. Alexander the Great conquered the world and spread Greek language and culture wherever he went.  After the death of Alexander, the kingdom split into four parts and fighting for power ensued.  In 320 B.C. Ptolemy took over Egypt and Jerusalem without resistance.  The Hebrew Scriptures were translated into the Greek language in the 3rd century B.C. Although many rulers were kind to the Jews, Antiochus IV Epiphanes sought to make all people devotees of Greek culture.  The Jews objected to this Hellenization program on religious grounds and were severely persecuted.  This persecution caused the Hasmodian period of Independence with the Maccabean revolt by Mattathias and his five sons.  Though they had some success, the Jews always returned to a vassal state.  In 63 B.C. Pompey conquered the city of Jerusalem with the killing 12,000 Jews. When Jesus arrives, Herod The Great had been ruling since 37 B.C.  Although he ruled with an iron fist, it was during his reign that the Temple had been restored.  This concludes the history of “king” and “kingdom” until the coming of Jesus Christ.

Handout: Kingdoms-Definitions.pdf
Handout 2: King-Chart-Throughout-Time.pdf
Overhead 1: Persian.pdf

#12A Creation: A Great Divide

These passages tell us of a great divide—a divide between God’s Word and man’s word the temptation for man to be his own god—‘you will be like God’). It’s a divide between two religions, two worldviews, two starting points.  Simply put, there are only two ways to build your thinking. You can start with the One who knows everything, who has always been there, and who has revealed to us what we need to know. Beginning with Him, we can guild a solid and accurate worldview based on God’s Word. The only other starting point is with sinful man’s fallible word. But by adding man’s word to God’s Word (e.g., adding evolution/millions of years to Genesis), you end up compromising God’s Word, and your starting point is flawed from the beginning.  It’s no longer God’s infallible truth. Your starting point then is man’s inherently fallible word” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.53).

#16- Train them to Commend Themselves To God Each Day

     69 Therefore I advise and urge, as I have before, that by means of warning and threat, restraint and punishment, children be trained in due time to shun falsehood and especially to avoid calling upon God’s name in its support.70 On the other hand, children should be constantly urged and encouraged to honor God’s name and keep it constantly upon their lips in all circumstances and experiences, for true honor to God’s name consists of looking to it for all consolation and therefore calling upon it. Thus, as we have heard above, the heart by faith first gives God the honor due him and then the lips do so by confession….

      73 For this purpose it also helps to form the habit of commending ourselves each day to God — our soul and body, wife, children, servants, and all that we have — for his protection against every conceivable need. Thus has originated and continued among us the custom of saying grace and returning thanks at meals and saying other prayers for both morning and evening. 74 From the same source came the custom of children who cross themselves when they see or hear anything monstrous or fearful and exclaim, “Lord God, save us!” “Help, dear Lord Christ!” etc. Thus, too, if anyone meets with unexpected good fortune, however trivial, he may say, “God be praised and thanked!” “This God has bestowed upon me!” etc. Children used to be trained to fast and pray to St. Nicholas and other saints, but the other practices would be more pleasing and acceptable to God than any monastic life and Carthusian holiness.  (Large Catechism -Tappert, p. 374-375).

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 35: Babylonian Exile and Return

After Solomon’s death both the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel fell.  The Prophet Amos (apx. 760-750 B.C.) foretold that God would rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David and bring back the captives (Amos 9:11-15). The Assyrian Empire conquers Israel in 721 B.C. The great tree of God’s people was cut down (Isaiah 11:1,10) because the people had sinned. Though they had not kept the Word of God, the Prophet Isaiah (apx. 701 – 681 B.C.) announces that the merciful God was still keeping His promise to King David.  God said, “And I will make an everlasting covenant with you–the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3-5).  Jesus is that shoot or branch that will come from the stump of Jesse.  The southern kingdom was taken into Babylonian exile in 586 B.C and Solomon’s Temple was destroyed. The Prophet Jeremiah prophesied about their 70 year exile (apx. 605 B.C. – 537 B.C.) and God’s promise to raise up a Davidic King, a Priest, and a new Temple.

After the exile, the priest Ezra returns to lay the foundation and begin the work of rebuilding, what would later be called Zerubbabel’s Temple (539 B.C. to Mar 12, 516 B.C.).  The governor Nehemiah rebuilds the city wall around Jerusalem. The old men who saw this new temple foundation wept (Ezra 3:12-13), as it paled in comparison to Solomon’s temple. The Prophets Haggai and Zechariah, who lived at the time of the rebuilding, spoke of that future coming day.  The return of God’s people to Canaan was a wonderful thing, but it was not the promised day of the Messianic King!  Haggai 2:9, “‘The glory of this later temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace.'”  When the Old Testament closes, the Prophet Malachi leaves the faithful longing for the hope of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ .

Handout: Exile-to-Intertestamental.pdf
Overhead 1: Divided-Kingdom-Overheads.pdf
Overhead 2: Kings-Overheads.pdf

#11A Creation: Building a House

Explaining the Gospel works the same way. We first start with the foundational teaching that God is Creator, and that sin and death entered the world, as recorded in Genesis.  That the foundational knowledge needed to understand the next part—the ‘walls’—that God sent His Son to die on the Cross and be raised from the dead, because death is the penalty for sin. This is the power of the gospel, and why Christ can offer us the free gift of salvation. Then we put on the ‘roof.’ One day there’s going to be a new heaven and a new earth. So there we have the gospel, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation. It’s really like building a house from the foundation to the roof” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.40-41).

#15- Bring Up Your Children to Be of Service to God and Man

174 Therefore let everybody know that it is his chief duty, on pain of losing divine grace, to bring up his children in the fear and knowledge of God, and if they are gifted to give them opportunity to learn and study so that they may be of service wherever they are needed.

175 If this were done, God would richly bless us and give us grace so that men might be trained who would be a benefit to the nation and the people. We would also have soundly instructed citizens, virtuous and home-loving wives who would faithfully bring up their children and servants to be godly. 176 Think what deadly harm you do when you are negligent in this respect and fail to bring up your children to usefulness and piety. You bring upon yourself sin and wrath, thus earning hell by the way you have reared your own children, no matter how devout and holy you may be in other respects. 177 Because this commandment is disregarded, God terribly punishes the world; hence there is no longer any civil order, peace, or respect for authority. We all complain about this state of things, but we do not see that it is our own fault. Because of the way we train them, we have unruly and disobedient subjects. (Large Catechism -Tappert, p. 388).

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 34: Solomon and Divided Kingdom

God appeared to Solomon a second time saying, “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statues and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised to David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel'” (1 Kings 9:4-5).

Despite God’s efforts, Solomon did not continue in faithfulness to the Word of God.  In his old age, “his wives turned his heart after other gods…” (v.4).  “Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David” (v.6).  “So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice…” (v.9).

Solomon’s reign extended the boundaries of Israel farther, had more peace, and was more prosperous than David’s.  Nevertheless, David’s reign was more pleasing in God’s sight.  And it was for the sake of David that God waited until after Solomon’s death to divide the kingdom.  The  southern kingdom of Judah outlasted the northern kingdom, but in time both were dispersed or taken into exile.  There was no longer a reigning son of David and the temple was destroyed in 586 B.C.  The prophets of that time began to foretell of a rebuilding of David’s tabernacle (Isaiah 11:1-16).

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p12-14.pdf
Handout 2: The-Third-Genus-King-p11.pdf
Overhead 1: Divided-Kingdom-Overheads.pdf
Overhead 2: Kings-Overheads.pdf

#10A Creation: Gospel Only?

In this current moral climate, we can never assume that people possess a foundational knowledge concerning creation, sin, and death…

But do the generations we are preaching to today really understand what sin is, why there is death in the world, and who Jesus is? I don’t think so. It’s like being told by a doctor that you need an operation, but he has yet to reveal what’s wrong with you or why you need it!” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.42).

Many Christians are guilty of only preaching part of the gospel, specifically the power and hope of the gospel. But when you preach the power and hope of the gospel, you’re assuming the foundation has already been laid. This is a faulty assumption, especially in our post-Christian, godless culture” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.41-42).