Thursday, April 11, 2024

Friday prior to Easter 3

 

 – Luke 24:36-49 – The early Church Fathers had to deal with heretics called Docetists who denied the physical resurrection of Jesus, saying it was only a spiritual resurrection, and that His appearances were that of a phantasm, or else hallucinations by His followers. This heresy persists to this day: the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the bodily resurrection of Christ. But Jesus dispels any sort of nonsensical ideas in Sunday’s Gospel. He appears in the flesh – Why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have – and eats food. This eyewitness account also gives us the assurance of the physical resurrection of Jesus, and of all believers, as we confess in the Creed.

The disciples could not believe that the risen Christ was real because of joy., They were so glad to see Him that they could not believe it was true. Usually joy follows believing, or there is the joy of believing. In this case the presence of the living crucified one was so overwhelming that they had joy even before they believed. Their joy attests to their love and appreciation for Him. Their joy is a witness to the reality of the Resurrection, for it was a response to His presence. The joy of Easter, then, is not in flowers, eggs, clothing, or candy. It is in the presence of the risen Lord. 

Collect for Easter 3O almighty and eternal God, who hast bestowed on us the paschal mysteries in the token of the covenant of man’s redemption, give us the will to show forth in our lives that which we profess with our lips; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Sources:
The 1877 painting “The road to Emmaus,” Robert Zünd 1826-1909 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Collect for Easter 3, Lutheran Servicie Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Easter 3 Reflection


The disciples could not believe that the risen Christ was real because of joy., They were so glad to see Him that they could not believe it was true. Usually joy follows believing, or there is the joy of believing. In this case the presence of the living crucified one was so overwhelming that they had joy even before they believed. 
Their joy attests to their love and appreciation for Him. Their joy is a witness to the reality of the Resurrection, for it was a response to His presence. The joy of Easter, then, is not in flowers, eggs, clothing, or candy. It is in the presence of the risen Lord.

Collect for Easter 3 O almighty and eternal God, who hast bestowed on us the paschal mysteries in the token of the covenant of man’s redemption, give us the will to show forth in our lives that which we profess with our lips; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus most certainly died and came back to life! Because of this, we have assurance that we will have eternal life with God. Jesus fulfilled the law for our sake and conquered death. We know this to be true, and we are forgiven because of it. We know God loves us and we can trust Him for all things.

Sometimes we are asked to show identification. People might ask us to prove that we are who we say we are. For instance, if I go to the airport, I have to show someone a driver’s license or a passport. To prove that the name on my ticket is really who I am.

Or if I apply for a job. I might have to show a social security card. Or birth certificate. That verifies my identity. And then some jobs might make me show a diploma or another certificate that gives me authority to teach or work in a certain field. These items would all prove who I am and would prove that I can do what I want to do.

But what about Jesus? Do you think He had a driver’s license or a passport? Not exactly…but He did prove His identity and His authority in the world. While He was living on Earth, Jesus did amazing miracles. He told His disciples about who He was and what He had come to do. Even still. They didn’t always believe or understand the things He told them about Himself. Even His signs and miracles didn’t seem to sink in fully.

After Jesus died and came back to life, He came to the disciples again. And even at that point He had to prove Himself!

At first, the disciples were terrified to see Him. They thought He was a ghost or something. But then Jesus reassured them. He showed them the scars in His hands and feet. He asked for something to eat…ghosts don’t eat food!

It truly was Jesus! not just a spirit or image of Him, but Jesus with a real physical body. He gave them His “ID card” to prove that He was real and true.

Then He reminded the disciples—again—of all the things He had tried to explain before. It must have seemed to them like the puzzle pieces finally fit together. Jesus truly did do all that He had promised. He had authority from God…and He was passing that on to them, as well.

He told them He was sending the promise of the Father to them, and that they would be given power to share the good news of the Resurrection. Jesus gave the disciples an important task to spread the love of God to all around them.

You have that special task, too! We know the truth of Jesus and the power of what He did for us. We have the joy of sharing that with others. That might mean sharing the words of Jesus with other people. or it might just mean caring for them and shining the light of Christ through our joyful attitudes.

However YOU do it. You know that Jesus is with us. He proved who He was through His resurrection, and we carry out His power through love and faith. We recognize and trust His authority now and forever!

Prayer: LORD Thank you for Jesus. He truly is your Son. And did all that you promised. Help us to trust in you. And recognize your authority in our lives. Thank you for your love and care.[1]




[1] https://ministry-to-children.com/jesus-proves-his-identity-childrens-sermon/

Image of the Risen Christ  Ed Riojas copyright Higher Things

Collect for Easter 3 Lutheran Service Book copyright 2006 Concordia Publishing House. St. Louis


 

Thursday prior to Easter 3

 

1 John3:1-7 – John does not speak of sinless perfection in the life of the believer but of the new perspective given to the believer. Our focus is upon Christ and His work in the redeemed child of God.

We know we are God’s children now and in the future we shall be like him. The context indicates that Christians are in danger of being led astray. The Devil has children known by their hatred of the brethren. Over against this, Christians know they are the children of God because they love the brethren. Christians can guard against the Devil by the knowledge that they are the children of God now and in the future they shall be like God.  1

John says in v. 1 “See what love” It is a common cliché, ‘God loves you.’ How do you know for sure? What proof do you have? John says we see the love of God in the fact that God calls us his children. Behind God’s considering us his children is the price paid on the cross to make us his children. In Christ God paid for our sins and thus we are acceptable to him. On the basis of the cross God has adopted us as his children. Why would God do this? Are we worthy of his sacrifice? It was a matter of pure, undeserved grace. 

An Evening Prayer: Merciful Father, whose guiding hand has brought us to the completion of this day, we humbly pray You to stay with us and shelter us in quiet hours of the night that we who are wearied by the changes and changes of this passing world may rest in Your changeless peace. 2

Sources:

The 1877 painting “The road to Emmaus,” Robert Zünd 1826-1909 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

1  Lectionary Preaching Work book Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH

2 An Evening Prayer, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis



Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Wednesday prior to Easter 3

 


Acts3:11-21 – Peter warns his hears to repent of the sin of crucifying Christ done in ignorance. The Christ who the prophets foretold and whom God raised for the people’s blessing comes with healing and blessing.

The people were astounded at Peters’ healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. Peter explained what and how it happened. He tells the people that the Jesus they killed was raise by God. This was no accident, for it was foretold by the prophets. What can they do about their crime of crucifixion? They are to repent, have their sins forgiven, and receive refreshment from God.  

Once again Peter speaks to onlookers concerning the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. The miracle is not found in the healing of man but it the fact that the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus.

In v. 19 there is a wonderful word concerning the fate of your sin. For Jesus’ sake, God ‘blots’ out your sin when you return in repentance and faith. It is as though Jesus were a cosmic blotter which God the Father lets down from heaven to soak up the ink of our sin. When these sins are absorbed, there is no trace of sin. You are spotless! 1

A Morning Prayer: Faithful God, whose mercies are new to us every morning, we humbly pray that You would look upon us in mercy and renew us by Your Holy Spirit; keep safe our going out and our coming in and let Your blessing remains with us throughout this day; preserve us in You righteousness and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus; through whom b e glory and praise to You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. 2

Sources:
The 1877 painting “The road to Emmaus,” Robert Zünd 1826-1909 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

1. Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

2.  A Morning Prayer, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Monday, April 8, 2024

Tuesday prior to Easter 3


 – Psalm 4antiphon v. 7, “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when the grain and new wine abound.” The hard work put into spring planning and summer growth pays off in the fall at harvest. Who isn’t overjoyed at a bumper crop? Yet the Psalmist reminds us greater joy is found is in knowing the Lord who has filled the heart. In Biblical language the heart is the center of the human spirit, from which spring emotions, thought, motivations, courage and action, -“the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Psalm 4 is an excellent prayer when facing conflict. The psalmist calls on God to hear his prayer. He affirms that God has helped him before, and humbly asks him to extend him the grace to hear him again. Having asked God to attend his prayer, the psalmist has turned, so to speak, to voice his accusation with God standing by him, attending and acting as a witness to his complaint.

The message in psalm 4 is that the victories of sinners are only temporary and meaningless. Only repentance can bring true happiness. It is a request to God for deliverance from past distresses and sufferings. In every circumstance we take our needs, burdens, joys and sorrows to the throne room of grace; being thankful as the Savior answers each petition. 1

Collect for Psalm 4: LORD, you consoled your Son in his anguish and released him from the darkness of the grave. Turn your face toward us, that we may sleep in your peace and rise in your light; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 2

Sources:
The 1877 painting “The road to Emmaus,” Robert Zünd 1826-1909 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

1. From the Vision Statement of Zion Friedheim Lutheran Church Decatur, IN 

2. Collect for Psalm 4, For All the Saints, A Prayer book for and by the Church, © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Monday prior to Easter 3

 


On the road to Emmaus Jesus revealed Himself to two disciples in the breaking of bread. They returned to Jerusalem to report to the disciples that they had an experience with the risen Lord. While they are making their report, the risen Christ enters the room. When He appeared, they thought they saw a ghost, but Jesus demonstrates that He is flesh and blood to the point they could touch Him and see Him eat fish. After this report, Jesus explains His death and resurrection in terms of the Scriptures: the law, the prophets, and the Psalms. 

The written words indicates that Jesus was to suffer and rise again; and repentance and forgiveness were to be preached to all people. Before they could do this, they needed to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit.

 – Psalm 30:1-5; Antiphon, Psalm 16:11b – In Psalm 30, David exuberantly worships the LORD, who lifted him out of the depths, healed him, and brought him up from the grave. He calls upon all saints – including us – to sing to the Lord and praise His holy Name, for we too have been delivered from sin, death, and the power of the devil by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

This portion of Scripture was used during the Vespers service in Lent as the Canticle hymn when we utilized The Lutheran Hymnal as our worship resource. This is a profound, intense, thoughtful prayer.

David begins his prayer with a profound cry, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!" Often we are brought to cry from the depths of our soul. With longing we cry out to the LORD. In mercy he hears us. With compassion he answers our prayers.  

Collect for Psalm 30: God our Father, glorious in giving life and even more glorious in restoring it. In his last night on earth your Son knew anguish and deep sorrow. Do not turn away from us, or we shall fall back into dust; but rather turn our mourning into joy by raising us up with your Son, Christ Jesus.

Sources:
This 1877 painting “The road to Emmaus,” Robert Zünd 1826-1909 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Collect for Psalm 30, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book written for and by the Church, © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Easter 3 Series B notes

 


THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER Series B 
Acts 3:11–21
1 John 3:1–7
Luke 24:36–49

 The Preaching of Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins Makes Us Pure

The risen Lord Jesus taught His disciples “that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead” and “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:46–47). Therefore, St. Peter preaches repentance and forgiveness to the people of Jerusalem. As he proclaims that Jesus fulfilled all that “God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets” (Acts 3:18), he also convicts the people of their sin, because they “delivered over and denied” this Lord Jesus and “killed the Author of life.” Yet God “glorified his servant Jesus” and raised Him from the dead (Acts 3:13–15). St. Peter calls the people to repent, so that their “sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20). Through this forgiveness of sins and by faith in this forgiveness, the Father shows His love for us in order that “we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1). Thus, we hope in Him and are made pure even “as he is pure,” because “he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin” (1 John 3:3, 5).

The Word: Written and Preached
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.  (Luke 24:44)                                                                        

As Lutherans we have always maintained that the Word of Christ is intended to be preached. The Apostle Paul would magnify this preaching of God’s word. For instance he summarizes: We preach Christ crucified [1 Co 1:23]; and he admonishes Pastor Timothy: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus…preach the word [2 Tim 4:1,2].  Several other such references demonstrate the importance and necessity of preaching the Word, which implies the importance and necessity of hearing that preached word.  On the importance of hearing the preached word Jesus would avow, Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it [Lu 11:28]!  We are blessed when we hear the Word of God.

To do mission work by simply distributing Bibles is not consistent with the necessity of both the preaching and the hearing of God’s Word.  Though people may be able to learn much from having a Bible in hand (the Scriptures are perspicuous), merely reading from a Bible can generate dangerous misunderstandings, as well as failures to realize the centrality of the Gospel—that Gospel which is foundational to Christian preaching.  Evidence of such misunderstandings and failures is abundantly observed in today’s religious culture.  

Is the Bible then important for the Christian faith?  Indeed, it is of the utmost importance! We realize the Bible to be the “rule and norm” of the Christian faith, for by it alone we prove or disprove the doctrine of the faith.  Thus, as recorded in Sunday’s Gospel, the resurrected Christ proved the centrality of His death and resurrection from Holy Scripture: Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead… [vv 46-47].  Earlier that day our resurrected Savior had spoken something nearly identical when He explained to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus:  “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself [vv 26,27].   Of course these “proofs” for the necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection are drawn from the only part of Scripture extant at that time—the Old Testament. 

So what about the New Testament?  Note that in the previous paragraph we were quoting from the New Testament, in order to show the foundational value of the Old Testament.  Truly from the New Testament we realize how to properly interpret the Old Testament—or rather from the words and works of Christ, who is the topic of the New Testament, we realize how to properly understand the Old Testament.  Now we have the New Testament Scriptures, established by the Apostles.  The Apostle John would speak of this Apostolic writing of Holy Scripture when he says in his first epistle: We write these things so that our joy may be complete [1:4].   The “we” in this verse is clearly the Apostles; they were the inspired writers, who also gave their imprimatur to the other New Testament writings.

When the resurrected Christ explained to the Apostles that, proven from the Old Testament, He had to die and rise from the dead, He was giving them the culminating word for their seminary education.  For three years He had been instructing them, and now they have the key—Christ’s death and resurrection—to unlock everything He had been teaching and doing.  Now they possessed the knowledge to write the New Testament, and, equally important, they had what was necessary to preach the Word of Christ.  They then would establish well-instructed preachers in the meaning of the New and Old Testaments, so the preaching of Christ crucified and risen, for the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation, would continue until Christ’s return.

Luke 24:36–49
Jesus Appears to His Disciples

:36 - Ταῦτα δὲ αὐτῶν λαλούντων αὐτὸς ἔστη ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν.

 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 

:37 πτοηθέντες δὲ καὶ ἔμφοβοι γενόμενοι ἐδόκουν πνεῦμα θεωρεῖν.

       But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.  

:38 - καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Τί τεταραγμένοι ἐστέ, καὶ διὰ τί διαλογισμοὶ ἀναβαίνουσιν ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν;

And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 

:39 - ἴδετε τὰς χεῖράς μου καὶ τοὺς πόδας μου ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι αὐτός· ψηλαφήσατέ με καὶ ἴδετε, ὅτι πνεῦμα σάρκα καὶ ὀστέα οὐκ ἔχει καθὼς ἐμὲ θεωρεῖτε ἔχοντα. 

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 

:40καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τοὺς πόδας.

    And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet

:41 - ἔτι δὲ ἀπιστούντων αὐτῶν ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς καὶ θαυμαζόντων εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· Ἔχετέ τι βρώσιμον ἐνθάδε;

 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 

:42 - οἱ δὲ ἐπέδωκαν αὐτῷ ἰχθύος ὀπτοῦ μέρος·

  They gave him a piece of broiled fish 

:43 - καὶ λαβὼν ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν ἔφαγεν. 

  and he took it and ate before them.

:44 - Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς· Οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι [i]μου οὓς ἐλάλησα πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔτι ὢν σὺν ὑμῖν, ὅτι δεῖ πληρωθῆναι πάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα ἐν τῷ νόμῳ Μωϋσέως καὶ προφήταις καὶ ψαλμοῖς περὶ ἐμοῦ.

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  

:45 - τότε διήνοιξεν αὐτῶν τὸν νοῦν τοῦ συνιέναι τὰς γραφάς,

    then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 


:46 - καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι οὕτως [k]γέγραπται παθεῖν τὸν χριστὸν καὶ ἀναστῆναι ἐκ νεκρῶν τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ,

and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

:47 - καὶ κηρυχθῆναι ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ μετάνοιαν [l]καὶ ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη— ἀρξάμενοι ἀπὸ Ἰερουσαλήμ·

 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem

:48 - ὑμεῖς ἐστε μάρτυρες τούτων.

    You are witnesses of these things

:49 - καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐξαποστέλλω τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πατρός μου ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς· ὑμεῖς δὲ καθίσατε ἐν τῇ πόλει ἕως οὗ ἐνδύσησθε ἐξ ὕψους δύναμιν.

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

-The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

-ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

-Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Resurrection of our Lord’© WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

-LCMS Lectionary notes © 2018

-Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing