Preparation for next week, the Festival of the Reformation
The Son of God Has Set Us Free from Sin and Death by His Grace
“Wisdom is justified by her deeds” (
Matt. 11:19), and the true Wisdom of God, Christ Jesus the incarnate Son, justifies us by His deeds. He prepares His way by the preaching of repentance, but He has suffered the violence of the Law and voluntarily handed Himself over to violent men, that we might eat and drink with Him in His Kingdom and “remain in the house forever” ( John 8:35). For He is “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” ( Matt. 11:19), and He has rescued us by His grace from the slavery of sin and death. By the proclamation of His eternal Gospel “to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” ( Rev. 14:6), “the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law” ( Rom. 3:21), “that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” ( Rom. 3:26). And by hearing the Gospel of Christ Jesus, “whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith” ( Rom. 3:25), “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” ( John 8:31–32).
Collect for Reformation Sunday: Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Collect for the Feast of St James of Jerusalem (23 October): Heavenly Father, Shepherd of Your people, You raised up James the Just, brother of our Lord, to lead and guide Your Church. Grant that we may follow his example of prayer and reconciliation and be strengthened by the witness of his death; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Collect for the Feast of St Simon and St Jude (28 October): Almighty God, You chose Your servants Simon and Jude to be numbered among the glorious company of the apostles. As they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so may we with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,.
Prayers for defending the Church from error: O Christ, our defender, protect us from all those whose plans would subvert Your truth through heresy and schism that, as You are acknowledged in heaven and on earth as one and the same Lord, so Your people, gathered from all nations, may serve You in unity of faith;
Almighty and everlasting God, You would have all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. By Your almighty power and unsearchable wisdom break and hinder all the counsels of those who hate Your Word and who, by corrupt teaching, would destroy it. Enlighten them with the knowledge of Your glory that they may know the riches of Your heavenly grace and, in peace and righteousness, serve You, the only true God; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer for unity of faith: O God, Your infinite love restores to the right way those who err, seeks the scattered, and preserves those whom You have gathered. Of Your tender mercy pour out on Your faithful people the grace of unity that, all schisms being ended, Your flock may be gathered to the true Shepherd of Your Church and may serve You in all faithfulness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns . . .
Monday, 22 October 2012—
, Psalm 34:1–2 , 11 ; Antiphon, 22 —The Antiphon for next Sunday’s
Introit proclaims, I will speak of Your
statutes before Kings, O Lord, and shall not be put to shame. This verse
also serves as the inscription for the Augsburg Confession, one of the
documents in the Lutheran Book of Concord. We need fear no earthly kings
or powers when we make confession of our faith, for we have been set free from
fear by the Gospel. Let us make bold our proclamation of confidence in the
Lord, who redeems the life of His servants. For this, we bless the Lord
at all times. Psalm 119:46
Tuesday, 23 October 2012—
—This psalm of David
expresses complete confidence in God, no matter the circumstance. It depicts
scenes of turmoil: natural disasters (v Psalm 46 v. 2, 3), political persecution ( v. 6a), and even the
end of days ( v. 6b).
The one who trusts in God can withstand such troubles, and be still and
quiet, for God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Wednesday, 24 October 2012—
first angel of John’s vision has often been interpreted by Lutheran
commentators as Martin Luther, because of his clear proclamation of the
eternal gospel to . . . those who dwell on earth. Certainly
God worked through this man, as He works through others, to bring His message
of freedom in Christ to every nation and tribe and language and people. Revelation 14:6–7
Thursday, 25 October 2012—
use a Latin phrase that describes our relationship with God’s Holy Law: Lex
semper accusat, that is, “the Law always accuses.” This is because
none of us sinful humans can obey God’s Law perfectly. Both our original sin
and our actual sin condemn us. But there is a righteousness before God apart
from the Law and apart from ourselves and anything we do. This
righteousness is the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to us through
faith in the propitiating death of Christ on our behalf. Because of Christ’s
fulfillment of the Law, and His blood which He shed for us, God declares us “not
guilty.” Romans 3:19–28
Friday, 26 October 2012—
Gospel speaks of the freedom we find in the Truth of Jesus Christ. All of us
were born into slavery—the slavery of sin. But Christ has set us free from our
bondage by His atoning sacrifice. The One who declares, I am the Way, the
Truth, and the Life tells us here that the Truth shall set us free.
The Truth has set us free: the Truth which embodied in Christ Jesus and
the Truth which He declares to us in His Word. We are free, indeed! John 8:31–36
Saturday, 27 October 2012—Sunday’s hymn of the day, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (LSB #656) is Martin Luther’s great battle hymn of the Reformation. Based on the Psalm of the day,
Psalm 46, it reflects complete confidence in
God, even when faced by a host of devils and the earthly adversities they
bring. They can harm us none, for they have been felled—defeated—by one
little Word, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Savior.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © Higher Things
Lectionary summary on first page from LCMS Commission on Worship
This week’s Time in the Word is written by Pr. Jeff Keuning who serves St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church U.A.C. Casey, Iowa and Zion Lutheran Church, Dexter, Iowa