Jesus Christ, Our Savior, Is Our True Peace and Sabbath Rest
Though we have died with Christ in Holy Baptism, and we are raised to new life in Him, we find “another law waging war” in our body and life, that is, between our old Adam and the New Man (Rom. 7:23). By the Spirit of Christ, we “desire to do what is right,” but we are not able to do so, because “nothing good” dwells in our sinful flesh (Rom. 7:18). “Thanks be to God,” therefore, “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” who delivers us from “this body of death” (Rom. 7:24–25). We rejoice in Him, our gentle King, who comes “righteous and having salvation” (Zech. 9:9). He speaks peace to our embattled hearts, and by His Blood of the New Testament He sets us “free from the waterless pit,” and He returns us to the stronghold of our Baptism (Zech. 9:10–12). Though we “labor and are heavy laden,” He calls us to Himself and gives rest to our souls through His free and full forgiveness (Matt. 11:28), not because we are “wise and understanding,” but by the “gracious will” of God the Father, whom “the Son chooses to reveal” in love (Matt. 11:25–27).
Collect for the Third Sunday after Pentecost: Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life’s end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayer for spiritual renewal: Almighty God, grant that we, who have been redeemed from the old life of sin by our Baptism into the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may be renewed by Your Holy Spirit to live in righteousness and true holiness;
Prayer for our nation: Almighty God, You have given us this good land as our heritage. Grant that we remember Your generosity and constantly do Your will. Bless our land with honest industry, truthful education, and an honorable way of life. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil course of action. Grant that we, who came from many nations with many different languages, may become a united people. Support us in defending our liberties, and give those to whom we have entrusted the authority of government the spirit of wisdom, that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, may our hearts be thankful, and in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail;
Prayer for good government: Eternal Lord, ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that, guided by Your Spirit, they may be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may be governed quietly and peaceably;
Monday, 27 June 2011—Psalm 91:2, 9–10; Antiphon, Psalm 91:1—The Introit for next Sunday reflects very well the theme of the day shown on the front cover; it speaks of those who trust in the LORD as being able to rest securely in His protection. If we dwell in the shelter of the Most High, we need fear no evil from our enemies, for the Lord protects those who abide in the shadow of the Almighty. It is of great comfort to us when we are assiled by our dread enemies—the devil, the world, and even our rebellious sinful nature—that the Lord promises that no evil shall be allowed to befall you; He shall preserve us to the day when He returns to take us to dwell forever in His heavenly kingdom.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011—Psalm 145:1–14—Psalm 145 is a song of high praise to the LORD for His greatness. Note how many of the attributes of the LORD David extols: His greatness, His majesty, His wondrous works and awesome deeds, His abundant goodness and righteousness, and especially, His grace and mercy. For us poor sinners, this is the best reason to praise the Lord, for He is slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and His mercy is over all that He has made. This truly gives us great reason to bless His name forever.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011—Zechariah 9:9–12—These words remind us of Advent, for verse 9 is the text for the First Sunday in Advent, which looks forward to Palm Sunday, and the advent of our Lord for the forgiveness of our sins. Here, it ties in well with the Gospel, where Jesus says that He is gentle and lowly in heart, fulfilling this prophecy of Zechariah where he proclaimed that the Messiah to come would come humbly, mounted on a donkey. Because He comes to us as righteous and having salvation, our response is to rejoice greatly and shout aloud!
Thursday, 30 June 2011—Romans 7:14–25a—St Paul writes of the conflict that plagues all Christians: the conflict between our old and new Adam, between our flesh and spirit. Our new man, redeemed by God and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, desires to do the will of God, but our old man desires only to serve his own appetites, to do what is pleasing to our flesh. This condition afflicts us all, as long as we abide here on earth, and with St Paul, we, too, must cry out, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Fortunately, this is not a cry of abject despair, for it is answered in the very next verse: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! He has delivered us from the punishment of the Law and the bondage to sin. It is fitting for us to pray Psalm 145 again as a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for God’s grace and mercy.
Friday, 1 July 2011—Matthew 11:25–30—The weary and burdened are the ones to whom Jesus chooses to reveal the Father. These are the same people Jesus has described as the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Those who acknowledge their sinfulness and realize that it is a burden too heavy for them to bear, that this load will drag them down to hell if they must bear it by themselves—they are the ones to whom Jesus promises rest. And this rest is his gift. “I will give you rest,” Jesus says. (John Brug, the People’s Bible commentary, ©1996, NPH)
Saturday, 2 July 2011—The hymn of the day is based on the Gospel. Come unto Me, Ye Weary (LSB #684) repeats the invitation of Jesus to find our rest in Him. The hymn repeats the assurance that He will give us rest, light, and life, and will never cast us out, but comes to give us pardon, grace, and peace.
Lectionary summary on front page from LCMS Commission on Worship
Artwork by Ed Riojas, © Higher Things
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
This week's Time in the Word is written by Pr. Jeffrey Keuning serving St. John Casey and Zion, Dexter, IA