I Am the Bright Morning Star
January 2018



"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."    Revelation 22:16
 


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
Happy New Year!  As we begin a new year, let us give glory, honor, praise and thanks to the God Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is to come.
 
This month's TLO Disciple theme is Jesus' words "I Am the Bright Morning Star." As the Wise Men followed the star and came to worship the newborn King, we too worship Jesus our King for He is the Savior who has arisen among us, Christ, the Lord.
 
In Rev. 22 the Lord Christ says, "I, Jesus, am the root and descendant of David, the bright Morning Star." This verse is the only time in the entire New Testament when Jesus uses his personal name. That's stunning! And that's also worthy of our praise. Even though Jesus is seated on the majestic Throne of God, he comes to us fully human and in a personal relationship with us as our loving Savior.
 
As the bright Morning Star, Jesus is the fulfillment of Balaam's prophetic oracle found in Numbers 24:7: "a star would come forth out of Jacob" to rule over Israel. And in Daniel, "As I looked, thrones were placed; and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire." Jesus is the scepter of Israel, the ruler who comes from ancient days. 
 
Jesus is your bright Morning Star. He is your King. Through His sacrifice on the cross, sin will cease. Through His resurrection from the dead, the gates of heaven are open. Through faith in Jesus, the bright Morning Star, you have new life, eternal life. Let everyone who hears come and receive the water of life.
 
Come and Worship Christ - Your newborn King,
 
Pastor James L Kroonblawd


Meditate on this hymn in preparation for worship January 7, 2018.

O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright      LSB 395
 
O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God's own truth and light,
    Aglow with grace and mercy!
Of Jacob's race, King David's son,
Our Lord and master, You have won
    Our hearts to serve You only!
        Lowly, holy!
    Great and glorious,
    All victorious,
        Rich in blessing!
Rule and might o'er all possessing!


© 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. 
Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100012653.



"O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright"
by Mr. Jonathan Swett
 
Philipp Nicolai's two most famous hymns-for which he was both author and composer-are "Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying" (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme) and "O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright" (Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern).  The fact that these have been commonly referred to as the "King and Queen of Chorales," respectively, is evidence they were significant contributions to German hymnody of the late 16th and early 17th centuries.  They maintain their monumental status today as Hymns of the Day for The Last Sunday of the Church Year and The Epiphany of Our Lord.
 
Read more            

 
Where Is Your God?
  By Rev. Matthew Harrison
 
. . . And then I beheld, in my infinite insignificance, the Southern Cross, and my doubt was dashed upon the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). "He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names" (Psalm 147:4). And the joy of knowing this God of the heavens in Christ chased back all doubt. "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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy" (Matthew 2:9-10).
 
Read entire article   


From the Bible

The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
 
--Revelation 22:17

 
From Martin Luther

I am perfectly aware that not only many but indeed all the figures of speech in the Scriptures refer to Christ, the one and only Savior. He is called a lamb, a rock, a cornerstone, sun, morning star, wellspring, bridegroom, householder, teacher, father; indeed, each and every expression points to him and speaks of him, each in its own way. As if we were arguing here how one thing may have many names and signs, or as if there were anyone who doubted it!    --Martin Luther






Come and Worship
 
God is worthy of our worship. Long before the world was created, God was. Through the angel, the Lord says, "I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (Rev. 22:13). The Lord who brought the world into existence by His mighty Word stands far above His creation .
 
God is worthy of our worship for through the Lamb who was slain, the Son of Man, the Lord has rescued his people. Jesus, the Living One, who was dead is alive again. He is the Beginning and the End. He is the Firstborn of the resurrection. When the Lord Christ returns, never again will His people be tempted or suffer evil.  Nor will those who live for evil ever hurt his saints. For by Jesus Christ's coming, you have peace.

From the Bible 
 
Revelation 2:19-29 ESV
 
To the angel of the church in Thyatira write, "'I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.  But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule[a] them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
 
Commentary by Louis A. Brighton
 
"The Lord knows and acknowledges the works of his church, in particular its faithful service and patience.  He knows also that the believers are increasing and growing in faith and Christian service.  But all the faith, steadfastness, and service will be of no avail unless they release the grave sin in their midst: the woman of sin within the congregation, Jezebel.  Whether she was an actual woman who was the cause of the evil, or whether the name Jezebel served as a symbol of the sin itself which many fell into or were tempted by, it is quite clear by John's use of the OT figure what the sin and evil was.
 
"Jezebel stands for and represents the sin of syncretism, a universalistic belief that all religions are of value and are able to be of benefit before God....Believers might all too easily compromise the Christian truth and faith, so that the unique and nonconforming dictates of their Christian faith and conscience might not stick out and gain attention.
 
"The blessings of God's grace is pronounced upon such faithful slaves of Christ.  He will separate them from the ungodly as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats with his staff.  At his resurrection and ascension, Jesus Christ receives the honor of being the bright star in the firmament of God's heavenly host, including both angels and saints.  He promises to share this glory with those who conquer and remain faithful to him."
 
(Louis A. Brighton, Concordia Commentary Revelation, Concordia Publishing House, copyright 1999, p. 83-84. Used by permission).

Our Prayer

O Jesus, Bright Morning Star, at your first coming into this dark world the heavens shone brightly to herald our salvation; and though the gloom impenetrable enveloped your cross, your light could not be overcome. When our evening comes, stay with us Lord, so that the night of death will yield to the dawn of your eternal Easter. Amen
 
Collect for Dec. 21, O Dayspring
 
Game of Thrones 
The LA Times says the HBO Series Game of Thrones, "Pulls you in and doesn't let you go." Before you get "pulled in", read this review by Focus on the Family's Plugged In.

"HBO's Game of Thrones, now seven seasons...The Season 7 premiere was watched by more than 16 million people-an all-time high for the show, and huge numbers in this age of widespread viewer erosion. And that doesn't even count the number of people likely pirating the show: Game of Thrones is regularly listed as the world's most illegally downloaded show, too.

But Thrones, despite its liberal use of crowns and swordplay and gruff characters with beards, is far from a Tolkienesque fantasy that boasts noble protagonists fighting for higher purposes. HBO's show is a gritty, dirty, cynical study of sex, politics and familial intrigue-where all truly is fair in love and war, and where the most honorable character (Ned Stark) was beheaded in the very first season.


Ultimately, it's not a Game of Thrones, where everyone hates their enemies and seeks their own advantage and to rise above others and shine their own star.  It's about Christ Jesus, who took on human flesh to give his life as a ransom for sin.  That by grace and through faith in Jesus who was raised and is seated at the Right Hand of the Throne of God, we will join with him in glory when He returns. Alone to God the glory.

From Martin Luther

How you are fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the morning!  Isaiah 14:12. 

This verse although referring to the Day Star, or son of the morning, is not taking about the Devil, but is taking in figurative language of the king of Babylon.

Read Martin Luther's commentary on this verse:

This is not said of the angel who once was thrown out of heaven but of the king of Babylon, and it is figurative language. Isaiah becomes a disciple of Calliope and in like manner laughs at the king. הֵילֵל denotes the morning star, called Lucifer and the son of Dawn. "Heaven" is where we are with our heads, and that is obviously above the ground, just as that most powerful and extremely magnificent king was once above, but now his lamp is extinguished. Formerly he was the light of the earth and thought that at any moment he would rise really high and advance the light toward high noon, but he falls in the very act of rising.  Ps. 55:23 says: "Men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days." From heaven, that is, from the highest peak of sovereignty. Down to the ground, that is, to the lowest depths. You wanted to tread our God underfoot-this is to rise up above the clouds and heavens, of which He himself is the lord.

Luther, M. (1999). Luther's works, vol. 16: Lectures on Isaiah: Chapters 1-39. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 16, pp. 140-141). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.



ABC Adult Bible Study begins January 7
 
Begin in January 7, 2018, Pastor Kroonblawd will teach the same lessons in the Sunday morning Adult Bible study as the Sunday School students are learning in grades 1-8.  Parents are invited to join this class to study the same material as their children.
 
Here is the list of sessions we will study:
 
January 7........The Seven C's of History and Creation: Animals and Man

 
January 14......God Creates Adam and Eve
 

 
January 21----Dinosaurs and Dragons
 
 
 
January 28......The Age of the Earth
 
 
 
February 4........Stewards of God's Creation
 
 
 
February 11.....Corruption: Sin Enters the World



INPUT WELCOME

Do you have a suggested topic for an upcoming TLO Disciple?  Send an email to Pastor Kroonblawd by clicking here.

EDITOR'S NOTE

TLO Disciple, with a topical study in each issue, is distributed primarily via email on the first of every month.  Print copies are available by contacting the TLO Church office at  651-454-7235 or the  Church Office via email.
 
Calendars, volunteer information, serving groups and the like will accompany the TLO Together, on the last Wednesday of the month. Click here to subscribe to TLO Together .  This publication is also mailed upon request.
 
Soli Deo gloria



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