Sunday, March 18, 2018

Time in the Word - Palm Sunday

Prayer for the Lent 5:  Almighty and everlasting God, who hast willed that Thy Son should bear for us the pains of the cross that Thou mightest remove from us the power of the adversary, help us so to remember and give thanks for our Lord’s Passion that we may obtain remission of sins and redemption from everlasting death; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

A Prayer for aid against temptation: O God, You justify the ungodly and desire not the death of the sinner. Graciously assist us by Your heavenly aid and evermore shield us with Your protection, that no temptation may separate us from Your love in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

A Prayer in times of temptation: Almighty and everlasting God, through Your Son You have promised us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Govern our hearts by Your Holy Spirit that in our daily needs, and especially in all time of temptation we may seek Your help and, by a true and lively faith in Your Word, obtain all that You have promised; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A Prayer for humility: O God, You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Grant us true humility after the likeness of Your only Son that we may never be arrogant and prideful and thus provoke Your wrath but in all lowliness be made partakers of the gifts of Your grace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

For blessing on the Word: Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Time in the Word
19-24 March, 2018
Preparation for next week, Palm Sunday

The theme for Palm Sunday reminds us that Lent is a time of opportunity. Our lessons ask us to come to a decision as we ponder who is this Jesus who comes riding on a donkey through the streets of Jerusalem.  In the Old Testament lesson (Zechariah 9:9-10), our king comes with a promise. In the Epistle lesson (Philippians 2:5-11), in humility, Christ came to earth to die. In the Gospel lesson (John 20:20-43), Christ came to Jerusalem to be king. The Psalms and hymn for the day fill in to round out this basic theme. On Sunday Christ is hailed as King and Lord. By Friday He would be dead. Yet in His rejection do we find life eternal, peace, and rest. We are preparing for the most important week of the Church Year. The cross is coming into clear focus. What do you think of Jesus? How you answer this question will determine your destiny.

Monday, 19 March 2018Psalm 24:7-10; antiphon, Psalm 118:26In the antiphon the Psalmist echoes the cries of the crowd on that first Palm Sunday, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The long sought after King has finally arrived. Along with the children and crowd, we hail Jesus as King and God forever.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018Psalm118:19-29 key verse, verse 26Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the housed of the Lord we bless you. The one who with God’s help has defeated the enemies is blessed. Yet as we look deeper at this passage we will see that it is written in the plural and, of course, this makes it a reference to God and to Christ in particular. When the crowd would quote these verses upon Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, we see Divine prophecy being fulfilled.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018Zechariah 9:9-12— Israel shall rejoice over the coming of a humble, victorious, and peaceful king.  God’s judgment is coming upon Israel’s wicked neighbors, but God as King will come to Israel. This is cause for loud rejoicing. He is coming as a humble king, symbolized by His riding on an ass. He is coming to conquer Israel’s enemies, and peace will result. In fulfillment of this, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on an ass and presents Himself to the nation as their king to the waving of palms and to the tune of hosannas.

Holy week with its horrors and tragedies begins with a shout of joy – “Rejoice”…”Shout aloud.”  Even in the depth of pain and gore, there is a joy. Jesus endures the cross for the joy that was set before Him. The joy is that the Savior is coming to die for our sins and to assume kingship over our lives.

The Messiah comes on an ass, not on a mighty horse. An ass is a humble animal and symbolizes peace. The ass carried the Christ to the people. Today we can serve as asses to carry Christ to the world. To do so, we must be humble. 

Thursday, 22 March 2018Philippians 2:5-11—Jesus’ humiliation and God’s exaltation of Him.  Paul is pleading for unity in the Philippian congregation. He uses Jesus as an example of humility. In this passage Paul shows the dual reality of the humanity and divinity of Jesus. His deity is indicated in the words “in the form of God” and “equality with God.”

His humanity is expressed in the phrases, “emptied himself,” “the likeness of men,” “in human form,” “obedient unto death.” 

This humility, obedience, and self-renunciation led to Christ’s exaltation by God who gave him a name above all names – “Lord.”   It is God’s will that every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

As a result of this horrible death, God honors Jesus with not a name but with “the name.”  In Biblical thinking a name denotes the nature and character of the person. The name given to Jesus was “Lord” which every tongue is to confess and before which every knee is to bow. 

Paul claims that Jesus, before the Incarnation, was on an equality with God – “very God of very God,” as the Creed says. If He were equal with God, there was no need for Jesus to grasp any honor, authority, or power. This is a confession of the deity of Jesus Christ.

Friday, 23 March 2018John 12:12-19—This is the accounting of Christ’s entry into the city of Jerusalem.  Prophecy is being fulfilled. The King is being hailed. The very stones cry out if the crowd is silenced. The religious authorities will have nothing of it. They will see to it that Jesus is destroyed and His praises silenced. Soon His sufferings will begin but for this day we shall worship Him along with the crowd as our Savior and Lord.  

Saturday, 24 March 2018Psalm 24:7-9—The hymn of the Day is All Glory, Laud and Honor– {LSB 442}.  The Lord Almighty, the Lord mighty in battle, has triumphed over all His enemies and comes now in victory to His own city. This is what Jesus proclaimed on the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Tomorrow we worship our Savior as Lord, Christ, and King. Worship at its best happens when Christ is the focal point of our praise.

Collect for Palm SundayAlmighty and everlasting God the Father, who sent Your Son to take our nature upon Him and to suffer death on the cross that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility, mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ in His patience and also have our portion in His resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing Lima, OH
Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der B├╝cher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures).
© Google Image "Palm Sunday"

Sunday of Lent 5

Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 18, 2018             Psalm 126

May God give us the expectation that times of sudden refreshment will come from Him. Perhaps now you are in a time of sowing with bitter tears. Do not despair of His grace. Trust in His power to do the unimaginable through overflowing kindness.1  

Augustine interprets the title, "A Song of Degrees, i.e. a Song of drawing upwards", of the drawing (going) up to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is right, inasmuch as the deliverance from the captivity of sin and death should in an increased measure excite those feelings of gratitude which Israel must have felt on being delivered from their corporeal captivity; in this respect again is the history of the outward theocracy a type of the history of the church. --Augustus F. Tholuck, 1856.

Hymn: Dear Christians One and All Rejoice (Lutheran Service Book 556:8)
Though he will shed My precious blood,
Me of My life bereaving,
All this I suffer for your good;
Be steadfast and believing.
Life will from death the vict’ry win;
My innocence shall bear your sin,
And you are blessed forever.

By faith we rejoice God Lord in the sowing of Jesus body on Good Friday and the harvest of blessing He prepared on Easter morn.

Comfort Thy people, O Lord, and deliver us from the evil captivity of sin, that what we sow here in tears, we may reap in joy through Thy bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen

Almighty God, You alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant Your people grace to love what You command and desire what You promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen 3

1. Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
2. © 2005 Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood
3. Collect for the 5th Sunday in Lent,

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Lent 5

Lent 5
22 March 2018
Series B

Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your People that that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus catechizes His disciples. Instructing them. In the way of the cross. Revealing that He will be condemned and put to death “and after three days he will rise.Mark 10:33–34

But the Twelve do not understand. Instead, they argue among themselves about who will be the greatest, with James and John requesting the places of honor on either side of Jesus in His glory.
Jesus has come to make Himself the “slave of all” and “give his life as a ransom for many.” He shares the true glory of His cross. With all who are baptized with His Baptism and with those who drink His cup of salvation; the New Testament in His blood. By these Holy Sacraments, the Lord makes Himself known to all His people, forgiving their sins “from the least of them to the greatest.” [1]Though He is the very Son of God, “he learned obedience through what he suffered[2] and so became our great High Priest, that we may enter His glory by the way of His sacrifice.
Jesus predicts His death for the third time...
And they were on the road; going up to Jerusalem. And Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed. And those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, He began to tell them what was to happen to him. - Mark 10:32
Jesus is leading them to Jerusalem. Remember, throughout Jesus’ passion He's always in charge. As for the disciples, they follow begrudgingly. There is fear and confusion in the ranks. They know what is happening...He's leading them to their death. He's talking about it. They, at least, are willing to die with Him.  This is the message of the cross.
Jesus reminds them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. - Mark 10:33
These disciples. They don't need to reset their gaze. “Look, right now.” Says Jesus, “It’s happening!”      
And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise." - Mark 10:34 This is how Jesus replaces fear with faith.
Jesus is being specific with the spitting and scourging. He's said it already before - And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” - Mark 8:31
The request of James and John
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." - Mark 10:35
We request of You to do for us. They are taking Jesus at His word, "whatever you ask in My name I will grant it."  To wag our finger at James and John places us with the ten. Their request is sincere. Even if they don’t know exactly what they are asking. They are being honest and truthful. But not fully cognizant of what they are asking. 
Jesus was going the way of the cross. But not by means of glory. This kingdom is won by loosing. The leader goes ahead as the troops desert. Abandon. Abscond and flee. Jesus points to glory by doing it backwards.

The world says, "Come back with your shield or on it!" This was supposed to be the parting cry of mothers to their sons as the Spartans went off to war. Mothers whose sons died in battle openly rejoiced, mothers whose sons survived hung their heads in shame.[3] James and John desire to sit in glory. They desire their best life now. They covet glorious living.  Jesus defines glory. Glory is gained through the cross and suffering.

  And He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" - Mark 10:36
Jesus gives the unexpected answer, 'what do you want?' Jesus responds to this request spoken in faith.
And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." - Mark 10:37
Was this an ongoing discussion? Certainly it was. Earlier, Mark reminds us, “And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.” - Mark 9:33-34
Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" - Mark 10:38
Jesus shows us the character of His kingdom. “Wait until you see what I'm talking about.” He alone will drink the cup and be baptized. So, no, they can't be granted a glorious reign. But yes, they will reign in glory. But first they must enter the valley of suffering. 
Notice the Sacramental overtones of drinking and baptism. You participate also with Jesus. James would remind us, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds,”[4] while St. Paul will explain, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.[5]
That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” [6]
And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized,” - Mark 10:39

Jesus’ words will be fulfilled in the lives of these sons of Zebedee. James will be the first of the twelve to be granted martyrdom.  John will be the last disciple standing – exiled on an island.
As for you. Yes, you! You will suffer these things also. This suffering. These crosses. Will come to you. It will happen. As you have been baptized into Christ you were buried with Him in His death. In baptism you were raised to life. And you also glory in your current sufferings. They may only last for a season. Yet you will experience these tests and trials. The way of the cross is a time of testing, trials and suffering.
 As a fellow partaker of Christ's suffering, Peter would encourage us, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”- 1 Peter 5:6-10
Remember who you are and whose you are. As children we can come to our Father and ask, "Why?" As children ask their parents, “why is this happening to me?” so you too can come to your heavenly Father asking Him.  Read the Psalms. They are replete with such cries of lament. If you have been taught to put on a happy face, to let a smile be your umbrella, to keep your complaints to yourself, then the Psalms offers a welcome corrective. It’s worth noting that the book of Psalms contain more psalms of lament than any other form. So cry out to your heavenly Father. Ask. Seek. Knock. This is also the battle within each of us.
“…but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.[7] - Mark 10:40
Remember – the Father is the director of Christ’s Passion. He is the invisible hand behind the scene. Yet, He sustains your life. He orders your days. He directs your path.
The response of the ten. 
Jesus will yell at the rest of the disciples for being indignant. But not John and James.
And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John.” - Mark 10:41 
The ten are indignant but Jesus answers positively. The ten have false humility. Which is pernicious pride.
The ten are indignant of James and John.  It's the same response as Farris Bueller’s sister. “Why should he get to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants? Why should everything work out for him? What makes him so special?[8]  The ten are angry because James and John dared to ask of Jesus in faith.
Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. - Mark 10:42
The one's considered chief lord it. “This is how you are acting,” warns Jesus - wanting to exercise and achieve authority. “But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” - Mark 10:43-44
Not thus among you” warn Jesus. Whoever wants to be great shall be your deacon. The great ones among us must be slave of all.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:45
The Psalmist reminds us, “And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” - Psalm 130:8 Search the Scriptures. They speak of a suffering servant - One who will die for the sins of men.
Christ came to be an atoning sacrifice for men. His death is payment for your sin. You are joined with Christ. Thus you can say with St. Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.”  – Galatians 2:20
Words -1,830
Passive sentences -5%
Readability -83.8%
Reading level – 4.3
Image © Higher Things

[1] Jeremiah 31:33–34
[2] Hebrews 5:8–10
[4] James 1:2
[5] Romans 5:3-4
[6] 2 Corinthians 12:10
[7] the word “prepared” is passive

Saturday of Lent 4

Saturday of Lent 4, March 17, 2018           Jeremiah 11:18-20

The people break God’s covenant incurring the curses pronounced when their ancestors entered the Promised Land. Persistent apostasy can have only once outcome; God’s judgment. Yet the lord also stands ready to forgive His people and rescue them from impending disaster. If only they repent and return to Him in faith.1

Jeremiah’s laments are not unlike the typical blues song. They follow an artistic pattern that involves repeated expressions of hardship leading to a poetic transition in which the prophet expresses trust that God will vindicate him in some way. The prophet’s speech is followed by God’s response in Vv. 21-23. By the end of the passage, there is a sense of emotional resolution for Jeremiah, even if only temporary. Although Jeremiah’s poetic expression is not exactly the same as singing the blues as we know it, this pattern is well-established in biblical literature. Jeremiah’s confessions are very similar to the laments found in the Psalms (see Psalms 3-7)

Hymn: We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died (Lutheran Service Book 429:5)
The balm of life, the cure of woe,
The measure and the pledge of love,
The sinner’s refuge here below,
The angels’ theme in heav’n above.

Dear Father, grant us Your holy Spirit to work daily repentance in us and to keep us faithful to You. 

Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, and spare all those who confess their sins to You; that those whose consciences are accuse by sin may by Your merciful pardon be absolved; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 2 

1. Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
2. Collect for Saturday of Lent 4,

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday of Lent 4

Friday of Lent 4, March 16, 2018                Psalm 34:15-22

In the antiphon (verse 11), David calls us to listen to him, that he may teach us the fear of the Lord: one who is not foolish, and acknowledges the Lord, will turn away from evil and do good; he will seek peace and pursue it. These righteous ones will the Lord deliver out of all their troubles.

Having received from the Lord Jesus Christ living bread, we seek to serve Him with holy fear, living as wise, not foolish ones, during our days on earth, and looking forward to the day when we leave this world below, and enter Heaven, where joys unmingled flow.

Almighty God, whom to know is everlasting life, grant us to know Your Son, Jesus, to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow His steps in the way that leads to life eternal; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 1

Hymn: Here Us, Father, When We Pray (Lutheran Service Book 773:3)
Jesus, advocate on high,
Sacrificed on Calv’ry’s altar,
Through Your priestly blood we cry:
Hear our prayer, though they may falter;
Place them on Your Father’s throne
As Your own.

O God, Ruler of the angels and of all creatures, send forth Thine Angel to encamp round about us, that we, being guarded by His protection, may be delivered from the most evil death of sin; through the same, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. 2

O God, You have given us the good news of Your abounding love in Your Son Jesus Christ: So fill our hearts with thankfulness that we may rejoice to proclaim the good tidings we have received; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 3

 1. Collect for Proper 15 Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
 2. © 2005 Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood
 3. Collect for Friday of Lent 4,

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday of Lent 4

Thursday of Lent 4, March 15, 2018                        Exodus 32:7-14

Moses intercedes for God’s mercy on Israel.  This shows that Moses had grown in love for Israel. He makes intercession although God offered Moses another people but he did not accept it, he cleaves to the sinners, he prayers for the sinners. Moses argues that God’s justified destruction of Israel might cause the nations to blaspheme God and become even more alienated from Him.  Though God would be just in punishing Israel Moses cries for mercy. 

We too cry out for the Savior’s mercy. We ask that God would not deal with us according to our sin. We ask that the Lord would show mercy to our neighbor. We ask that God would be patient with an unbelieving world. This is the life of the Christian. Standing in the position of petitioning the God of grace to have mercy upon us all.  For whom will you plead for mercy today?  

Hymn: Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow (Lutheran Service Book 428:2)
Here the King of all the ages,
Throned in light ere worlds could be,
Robed in mortal flesh is dying,
Crucified by sin for me.

Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what You intend us to be and accomplish what You want us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 2

 1. Collect for Thursday of Lent 4,

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

mid-week Lenten homily

Psalm 23:5
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anoitest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." -KJV

The Good Shepherd sets the table

14 March 2018

“Let’s run the table!” That’s a phrase used in sports, which would suggest to us “Let’s get out there and win!”  “Let’s run the table” Go for it all, and win the ultimate prize!  As we are  now in the beginning of March Madness and the NCAA men’s and women’s national tournament there are many wondering which team will run the table. Which team will pull out all the stops and emerge as champions.

Regardless, if you interested in sports or not our Lord and Savior has “run the table” for us. He has offered for us salvation and life on a table of sacrifice, namely the cross. In the fifth verse of Psalm 23, our Psalm for this year’s Lenten observance, David speaks of a table set before us by the Good Shepherd Himself. Here we might recall a banquet hall where a feast, fit for a king has been spread before us. This evening we see how the Good Shepherd has set a table before us.

Participation – “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”

Notice how highly David magnifies the Lord. He recalls how gracious God has been. Consider what the Lord has bestowed on him (v. 5): "Thou preparest a table before me;

David says in essence: “Lord, You have provided me with everything pertaining both to life and godliness.” All things needed for both the body as well as the soul are given by the Shepherd’s caring hand.  His benefits are not only for this life they spread well into eternity.  Such a bountiful benefactor is God to all His people; and because these blessings come from God David is called upon to utter thanks for His great goodness.  David acknowledges two realities:

That he had food conveniently given to him; a table spread, a cup filled, meat for his hunger, drink for his thirst. What is it that Christ has given to you? Luther explains in the explanation to the 1st Article of the Apostles Creed: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; also, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life, that He protects me from all danger, and guards  and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.”

David acknowledges that the Shepherd had this table carefully and readily provided for him. His table was not spread with any thing that came haphazardly; rather God prepared everything for him. The Shepherd provided for all of his needs and prepared it before him. 

Under the heading “daily bread” Luther lists just some of the gifts and blessings the Good Shepherd provides for us each and every day: "What is meant by daily bread? —Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like

Preparation – “Thou anoitest my head with oil.”

Samuel anointed David to be the king over all of Israel. To be anointed was an outward sign not only of God’s acceptance but more than that; it gave recognition that he alone was to be ruler and king over Israel. Jesus was anointed at His baptism when He was recognized as being the one sent by the Father to begin the work of redeeming the world. On the Mt of Transfiguration the Father spoke His word of approval once again. As the Savior descended from that mountain to the valley of the cross the Father had only one strategy which was to run the table for us on the table-board of sacrifice at the cross.

We are anointed in our own baptism. In the waters of baptism we are buried with Christ into His death and raised to a new life in His resurrection. In baptism we are marked to be included at the dinner table with Christ. In baptism we are anointed to receive an inheritance which leads to eternal life.

This is how the children of God are looked after. Plentiful provisions are made for their bodies, for their souls, for the life that now is and for that life which is to come.  The Good Shepherd has seen to it that we have been blessed and anointed.

He provides for our daily wants and needs and has seen to it that our spiritual provisions are met also.

PlentyMy cup runneth over.
Having thought of all the Good Shepherd provided him, David must concluded that he was blessed beyond measure. Not one restriction was placed upon him.  Not once was David placed into a crisis wondering if God would provide for Him. Never was he in want but rather he had abundance poured into his lap: "My cup runs over,” David reminds us there is more than enough for my friends and myself too.

Jesus has set a table before us filled with abundance and life. That table has been set before us for us to enjoy every single day. As our Lord and Savior has “run the table” for us, He has offered for us salvation and life on a table of sacrifice, at the cross and empty tomb. What more can we do but to thank and praise serve and obey Him?     

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
With me exalt His name!
When in distress to Him I cried, 
He to my rescue came.

O Magnify the Lord with Me; The Lutheran Hymnal © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Words –1,075
Passive Sentences –29%
Readability – 74%
Reading Level – 6.7
Image © Google Images