Saturday, June 2, 2012

Time in the Word - Pentecost 2

Jesus Has Defeated the Devil and Released Us from the Bondage of Sin and Death

The devil deceived us, enticing us to disregard and disobey the Word of God, and driving us to hide “from the presence of the Lord God.” But the Lord in His mercy promised a Savior, who would set Himself against the devil on our behalf (Gen 3:8–15). The “stronger Man” come, the incarnate Son of God, conceived and born of the Woman. He “first binds the strong man,” Satan, by atoning for the sins of the world, thereby removing the condemnation of the Law and the fear of death (Mark 3:27). Now He plunders the devil’s house by calling all men to repent. Though He appears to be “out of His mind” (Mark 3:21), He fulfills the will of God and makes of us His own brothers and sisters. Therefore, “we do not lose heart,” despite the suffering, sin and death that we experience in this fallen world. “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus.” By His grace, we are “being renewed day by day.” For the Gospel is daily bringing us into His presence, not for punishment, but for “an eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:14–17).

Collect for Pentecost 2: Almighty and eternal God, Your Son Jesus triumphed over the prince of demons and freed us from bondage to sin. Help us to stand firm against every assault of Satan, and enable us always to do Your will; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for deliverance from sin: We implore You, O Lord, in Your kindness to show us Your great mercy that we may be set free from our sins and rescued from the punishments that we rightfully deserve; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,

Prayer for pardon, growth in grace, and divine protection: O Lord, our God, we acknowledge Your great goodness toward us and praise You for the mercy and grace that our eyes have seen, our ears have heard, and our hearts have known. We sincerely repent of the sins of this day and those in the past. Pardon our offenses, correct and reform what is lacking in us, and help us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Inscribe Your law upon our hearts, and equip us to serve You with holy and blameless lives. May each day remind us of the coming of the night when no one can work. In the emptiness of this present age keep us united by a living faith through the power of Your Holy Spirit with Him who is the resurrection and the life, that we may escape the eternal bitter pains of condemnation.

By Your Holy Spirit bless the preaching of Your Word and the administration of Your Sacraments. Preserve these gifts to us and to all Christians. Guard and protect us from all dangers to body and soul. Grant that we may with faithful perseverance receive from You our sorrows as well as our joys, knowing that health and sickness, riches and poverty, and all things come by permission of Your fatherly hand. Keep us this day under Your protective care and preserve us, securely trusting in Your everlasting goodness and love, for the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord,

Monday, 4 June 2012Psalm 28:7–9; Antiphon: Psalm 28:6—Sunday’s Introit is a portion of a psalm by David, who, in the midst of adversity, realizes that he is unable to protect and preserve himself. His salvation is dependent on the Lord. Though we may not be facing the kind of earthly enemies which David did, as sinners, the preaching of the Law shows us that we are unable to save ourselves from our enemies: the devil, the world, and even our own flesh. With David, we exult in the Lord, who has brought us salvation from the consequences of our sin and continues to protect us from our enemies.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012Psalm 130—Psalm is a well-known penitential psalm. The superscript reads A Song of Ascents; that is, it was sung by pilgrims as they went up to Jerusalem for a festival observance. By the singing of this psalm, they reminded each other that, with the Lord, there is forgiveness, and encouraging one another to hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with Him is plentiful redemption.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012Genesis 3:8–15—When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, their relationship with God their Creator changed entirely. No longer did they wish to be in His presence; like disobedient children, they sought to be anywhere but. Nevertheless, the Lord sought them out. And when He cursed the serpent and the devil who spoke through the serpent, He made sure Adam and Eve also heard the blessing—the promise of a Deliverer, one who would redeem them from the consequence of their sin: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. This promise is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, our Savior, who defeated the devil by His death on the cross, and claims us as His own.

Thursday, 7 June 20122 Corinthians 4:13—5:1—For the next several weeks, our Epistle readings will be taken from St Paul’s second letter to the Church at Corinth. This was a congregation which was beset by many problems; among them were false teachers in the congregation who questioned Paul’s authority and used the preaching of the Gospel solely for their own monetary benefit. It seems that they pointed to Paul’s hardships and tribulations as indicating his lack of authority. Paul looks past the physical and points to the saving message of the Gospel. That is what is important: the message, not the man. Paul looks forward to eternity in heaven, even as he knows that the Gospel will continue to be proclaimed.

Friday, 8 June 2012Mark 3:20–35—Jesus faces opposition from His family, who think that He is delusional, and also—especially—from the religious leaders of His day, who accuse Him of being possessed by the devil. Jesus shows the illogic of their accusation, and then turns the tables: it is not He that is under the dominion of Satan, but they, for they have rejected the Deliverer promised in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). The Holy Spirit is sent forth into the world to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ; those who reject Him blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and consign themselves to everlasting punishment.

Saturday, 9 June 2012—How are we to withstand the evil schemes of the devil? The hymn of the day, Rise! To Arms! With Prayers Employ You (LSB #668), gives the answer: Pray to the Lord that He would give us the strength to withstand Satan. And so He has: we have the Word of God, the weapon glorious. The Word of God arms us for spiritual battle, for it tells of Christ, who has already won the victory.

Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House

The Revd Jeffrey M. Keuning, Pastor St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Csey IA and Zion Lutheran Church., Decter, IA

Artwork by Ed Riojas, ©Higher Things

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