A vision into the future may very well be the theme for this coming week. In the first lesson Acts 16:9-15 we have Paul’s vision of a man from Macedonia begging Paul and his companions to come to him. In the epistle lesson Revelation 1:9-14,21-27 John is given a vision of the perfect city our new home in heaven. In the Gospel lesson John 16:23-33 Jesus predicts the time in which He will be return back to the Father and the believers will be scattered. We need not fear however because the believer has a true and genuine faith. In this world there is never a lack of trouble, unhappiness, stress, sadness, marital strife, addictions, family complications, and even death itself. Yet we need not fear for Christ has overcome the world. The suggested hymn for the weeks tells us of the Father’s plan of salvation and its completion in the life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The woodcut is a depiction of this coming week’s Epistle lesson.
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.
Monday, April 25, 2016 - The 40 days after the resurrection are drawing to a close. On Thursday we will observe Ascension where we remember that Christ returned to the Father bodily/physically and He will return again as judge and king. During these days, we look backward at the empty tomb and forward to the day of Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Acts 14:8-18 - The miracles, which the disciples performed, were done for two reasons. First, they gave credence to their testimony. They were doing the very thing the Savior had done. It also drew attention to their message. Unfortunately, in this instance Paul and Barnabas are considered to be gods. They have to do some quick explaining that the power to heal comes from the Savior who is the author of all life.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 – Revelation 21:10-14; 22-23 - The hymn reminds us, “I’m but a stranger here, heaven is my home.” We are but strangers and pilgrims. Our ultimate home is in glory with Christ beyond this earth. In our Epistle lesson, John is given a vision of heaven. What will heaven look like? Read the above passage as John describes it. These are words beyond no comparison.
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – John 14:23-29 - In our Gospel lesson for this week, Jesus announces two realities. First, that He is going to the Father, this saddened the disciples. He further promises the Holy Spirit, which will not leave them comfortless. The only way for the Spirit to come was for the Son to ascend back to the Father. This He did at His glorious ascension. Because the Savior has returned to the Father, we can be assured that the Spirit will come not too many days from hence.
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Psalm 67 - The promise of the Holy Spirit is a promise that all nations will be gathered into the church of the living God. David gives us a taste of what is to come as he pictures for us folk—from every tribe, kindred, and nation—coming to the holy hill of the Lord. The nations sing the praise of God; they see the good things done to His chosen ones.
Saturday, April 30, 2016 – Romans 5:1-2 -The Hymn of the Day, Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice (LSB #556), was written by Martin Luther it tells the story of salvation from the believer’s perspective. It starts with man’s condition of sin, explains Christ’s glorious work and concludes with the believer’s new nature. Some may claim “I don’t know how to share my faith; I don’t know what I would say?
Prayer for Easter 6: Lord, because You have promised to give what we ask in the Name of Your only begotten Son, teach us the right way to pray. With all Your saints may we offer to You our adoration and praise; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. St. Louis
-Lutheran Worship Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1982 p. 54
-Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series C John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Company Inc. Lima, OH. 1979 p 121
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use