Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter: O God, through the humiliation of Your Son You raised up the fallen world. Grant to Your faithful people, rescued from the peril of everlasting death, perpetual gladness and eternal joys; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Prayer of praise and supplication: Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we praise You for the abundant mercy that You this day so richly have provided for us, blessing us not only with daily bread for our bodies but also with heavenly food for our souls. Grant that Your living and powerful Word may abide in our hearts, working mightily in us to Your glory and for our salvation. We commit ourselves to Your divine protection and fatherly care. Let Your holy angels be with us that the evil foe may have no power over us. Look in mercy on Your Church and deliver it from all danger and adversities. By Your Holy Spirit comfort and strengthen all who are in affliction or distress, and grant Your abiding peace to us all; through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
Prayer of adoration, praise, and supplication: Almighty and eternal God, we adore You as the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus, and with the whole Church on earth and all the hosts of heaven we ascribe to You honor and blessing, thanksgiving and praise. Holy, holy, holy are You, Lord God Almighty; heaven and earth are full of Your glory. You created us in Your own image and redeemed us with the precious blood of Your Son. By Your Spirit You sanctified us and called us out of darkness into Your marvelous light.
Grant that we may with thankful hearts receive these great mercies and express our gratitude, not only with our lips but also in our lives as we give ourselves to Your service and walk before You in holiness and righteousness all our days. Deliver us from sin and error, from the frailties of the flesh, the allurements of this present age, and the temptations of the devil. Give us faith that works in love, hope that never disappoints, kindness that never fails, confidence in You that never wavers, patience that does not grow weary, and courage always to be ready to confess Christ, that we may live in Your mercy and die in Your peace; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Good Shepherd Feeds His Lambs
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12), who by His cross has conquered sin and death. With His blood, He has “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nations” (Rev. 5:9). This same Lord Jesus visits people of all nations and calls them to Himself by the Gospel, even as He “revealed Himself again to the disciples…after He was raised from the dead” (John 21:1, 14). He restored Simon Peter to faith and life and commissioned him to feed His lambs and tend His sheep (John 21:15–17). Likewise, He revealed Himself to Saul of Tarsus and brought him to repentance, so that the persecutor of Jesus might carry and confess His name “before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15–16).
Monday, 8 April 2013—Psalm 145:4–7, 9; antiphon, Psalm 145: 10—This Song of Praise by King David leads off the last six psalms, all of them songs of praise. As redeemed children of the LORD, our greatest delight shall always be to give thanks to Him, to bless Him, to commend His mighty works to others, to declare His mighty acts, to meditate on His wondrous works, to speak of the might of His awesome deeds, to declare His greatness, and to sing aloud of His righteousness!
Tuesday, 9 April 2013—Psalm 30—Sunday’s psalm was composed by David when he dedicated the materials for the building of the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:1–6), and may have been used at subsequent dedications: at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 7:4–10) and in 165 B.C., at the Jewish Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah; see 1 Maccabees 4:54–59; 2 Maccabees 10:1–9; John 10:22). The psalm is one of thanksgiving to God for preservation of physical life (vv. 1–5) and spiritual life (6–10). Finally, the last two verses give thanks to the LORD for His mercy forever.
Wednesday, 10 April 2013—Acts 9:1–22—During Eastertide, all of our first readings are taken from the book of the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke’s history of the Church during the Apostolic Age. Here, we have the account of the conversion of Saul, a learned Jew who zealously persecuted Christians. But, after being commissioned to be an apostle by the risen Christ, Paul, as he would henceforth be known, became an even more zealous ambassador for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His encounter gave him the joy of a new life in the risen Lord.
Thursday, 11 April 2013—Revelation 5:1–14—As all of our Eastertide first readings come from the book of Acts, so all of our epistle readings come from the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to St John. In this portion of John’s vision, he wonders who is worthy to open the scroll containing the counsel of God, His plan of action. Only the Lamb, who was slain, but is alive, is worthy to do so. In response, those surrounding the throne of God sing a song of high praise to the Lamb. The joy of the resurrection is carried out in the joy of praising the risen Christ in heaven.
Friday, 12 April 2013—John 21:1–14—This is the third appearance of the risen Christ to His disciples. The setting is simple, normal—Jesus appears amidst the everyday occupations of a fisherman. He performs a miracle, in which they recognize Him as the Lord. Once again, Jesus shows that He is concerned for us in our everyday lives. Peter is so overjoyed when He recognizes Jesus, that he immediately swims to shore. The disciples eat breakfast with Jesus, the account once again proving the bodily resurrection of our Lord, as ghosts do not eat food. Truly there is joy for the disciples in meeting the risen Christ.
Saturday, 13 April 2013—The Hymn of the Day, With High Delight, Let Us Unite (LSB #483), continues the theme of joy in Christ’s resurrection. The whole Church on earth, together with those already in heaven, as we saw in the epistle, joins together in singing joyous songs of high praise to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, our salvation.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
The icon on the cover shows Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In the upper corners, we see the stylized letters IC and XC, which are abbreviations for Jesus Christ in Greek. The Greek words on either side of the head of Christ say Ο ΠΟΙΜΗΝ Ο ΚΑΛΟΣ, meaning “The Good Shepherd.”