The Risen Christ Breathes His Peace in the Holy Absolution
The crucified and risen Lord Jesus appeared to His Apostles on the first Easter Sunday. He “came and stood among them,” and with His Word and the wounds in “His hands and His side” He granted them His peace (John 20:19–20). He sent them as ministers of the Gospel in His name to bestow the life-giving Holy Spirit for us and for His whole Church through the forgiveness of sins (John 20:21–23). Through this apostolic ministry 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). The Apostles “have seen and heard” this divine life manifested in the flesh of Christ, and those who succeed them in this apostolic ministry now proclaim that same Absolution to us, so that we “too may have fellowship” with the risen Christ, with the Apostles, and “with one another” (1 John 1:1–7). The one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church lives by “their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,” and all who believe this Word are “of one heart and soul,” because in Him they truly have “everything in common” (Acts 4:32–33).
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.
Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit;
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;
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,
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;
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;
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,
Monday, 9 April 2012—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, 10 April 2012—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, 11 April 2012—Acts 4:32–35—St Luke gives us a snapshot of the early Church in Jerusalem. Reflecting the love that Christ has for us, they loved each other by taking care of one another. Two thousand years later, we can reflect that same love of Jesus for us by caring for one another.
Thursday, 12 April 2012—1 John 1:1—2:2—St. John, in his epistle, testifies to the fact of Christ’s resurrection by recounting how he has seen the resurrected Savior, how he has heard him, and how he has touched Him. We need have no doubt that Christ is risen from the dead, and therefore, has forgiven all our sins.
Friday, 13 April 2012—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, 14 April 2012—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!’
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
This week’s Time in the Word is written by The Revd Jeffrey M. Keuning, Pastor of St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church U.A.C. Casey IA and Zion Lutheran Church Dexter, IA