Christ Jesus Breathes His Spirit and His Life into Us by the Ministry of the Gospel
The crucified and risen Lord Jesus establishes the Ministry of the Gospel, in order to bestow His life-giving Holy Spirit and His peace upon the Church. To those who are called and ordained to this Office, and to those whom they serve in His name, He grants the Holy Absolution of all sins. By the fruits of His Cross He replaces fear and doubt with peace and joy, and thus gives “repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). Through the preaching of His sent ones He calls us to believe that He “is the Christ, the Son of God,” so that by such faith we “may have life in His name” (John 20:31). In His resurrection we have the “living hope” to which we have been “born again” and by which we are guarded “for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3, 5). Until then, “though you have not seen Him, you love Him,” and by the mercies of God “you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
Collects for the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord: Almighty God, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. We humbly pray that we may live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
O God, for our redemption You gave Your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross and by His glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of the enemy. Grant that all our sin may be drowned through daily repentance and that day by day we may arise to live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives an reigns . . .
O God, in the paschal feast You restore all creation. Continue to send Your heavenly gifts upon Your people that they may walk in perfect freedom and receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .
Almighty God, through the resurrection of Your Son You have secured peace for our troubled consciences. Grant us this peace evermore that trusting in the merit of Your Son we may come at last to the perfect peace of heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .
Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .
Collect for Easter 2—Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns . . .
Monday, 25 April 2011—Psalm 105:1–5, 8; Antiphon, 1 Peter 2:2–3—The second Sunday of Easter is sometimes called Quasimodogeniti, Latin for the first words of the Introit, ‘Like newborn infants.’ Just as a baby eagerly suckles at its mother’s breast, so we, who have been given new life in Christ by His death and resurrection, also do eagerly desire the pure spiritual milk provided by our Lord for our nourishment and good growth. This He gives us through the preaching of His Word and the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
Tuesday, 26 April 2011—Psalm 148—In Sunday’s psalm, the psalmist calls upon all of creation—those on the earth, those under the sea, and those in the heavens—to join in a chorus of praise to the LORD. Animate and inanimate, all of creation proclaims the glory of the LORD!
Wednesday, 27 April 2011—Acts 5:29–42—The first readings for the Sundays after Easter are all taken from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. Written by St Luke as a continuation of his Gospel, it is an account of the early Church, a snapshot. Like the Book of Acts itself, the readings will show how the Gospel was first preached in Jerusalem, and then, in ever-widening circles, throughout the world and down through history unto our day. The reading for next week has Peter and the other apostles being brought before the Jewish high council and questioned by the high priest for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. Though they were beaten and charged not to speak in the name of Jesus, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for His name, and did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Thursday, 28 April 2011—1 Peter 1:3–9—St Peter’s first epistle is a note of encouragement to Christians being persecuted for the faith. He reminds them of the inheritance they have in Christ Jesus due to His resurrection from the dead: we who are in Christ will share in His resurrection and the blessings of everlasting life with God in heaven. Having our eyes fixed on this eternal reward gives us strength to bear with the burdens of this life, even persecution.
Friday, 29 April 2011—John 20:19–31—There are two appearances by the risen Christ in Sunday’s Gospel, each bringing us a great deal of comfort. In the first, Jesus establishes the Office of the Holy Ministry, and assures us that, in the words of the catechism, ‘when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, in particular when they . . . absolve those who repent of their sins and want to do better, this is just as valid and certain, even in heaven, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.’ In the second appearance, our Lord appears to Thomas. Thomas wanted the certainty of seeing his risen Lord in the flesh, as the others had. When he beholds the wounds in the One who was crucified on our behalf, his faith is sure, and he confesses, ‘My Lord and My God!’ Thomas’s assurance is ours also. We need never doubt that our Lord is truly risen from the dead, ‘the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ (1 Cor 15:20)
Saturday, 30 April 2011—Sunday’s hymn of the day, O Sons and Daughters of the King (LSB #470), recounts the story of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and particularly His encounter with St Thomas. His words to Thomas are meant for us, also: ‘How blest are they who have not seen / And yet whose faith has constant been, / For they eternal life shall win. / Alleluia!’ Alleluia!’ Alleluia!’
This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning who serves the congregations of St John Casey, IA and Zion, Dexter, IA of the Iowa West District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
Lectionary summary on front page from the LCMS Commission on Worship
Woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, ©WELS
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
St. Thomas the Apostle found at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cc/Caravaggio_incredulity.jpg