Saturday, March 31, 2018

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday, March 31, 2018       Job 14:7-14

After some species of trees are cut down, they will sprout new shoots (suckers) from their roots. Isaiah also uses this picture to describe the Savior coming from the “stump of Jesse” (the father of King David and ancestor of Christ Isaiah 11:1-2) Centuries later, long after the royal line of David seemed dead, Jesus would fulfill these words. 

Contrary to what religions of reincarnation (e.g. Hinduism and Buddhism) teach an individual does not come back. The Bible teaches that we die once and then face the judgment. (See Hebrews 9:27) 1

The message of Hebrews 9:28 points to the nature of the atonement that Jesus did while he was on earth. In that time, he came down to the level of humanity and went through every experience, and later died once and for all in sacrificial ways. The sacrifice was a one-time event and after that he went to be with God. In the eschatological moment, Hebrews informs readers that Christ will come for the second time and when he comes, there will be no repeat of the sacrifice but it will be a time to usher in salvation to those who have remained faithful, whether in the sleep of death or in their physical life (verse 28).

Hymn: Upon The Cross Extended (Lutheran Service Book 453:5)
Your soul in griefs unbounded
Your head with thorns surrounded,
You died to ransom me.
The cross for me enduring;
The crown for me securing,
You healed my wounds and set me free.

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of Your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with Him the coming of the third day, and rise with Him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen  2

1  Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis 
 2 Collect for Holy Saturday,

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday Service of Darkness

The Tolling of the Church Bell

P: Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory.
P: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Silence for reflection and self-examination
P: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love;
P: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
P: Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight.
P: Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives You all your sins.  As a called and ordained servant of the Word, and in the stead and by the command of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 22:1-11

P: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
P: O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
P: Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One;
P: In You our fathers put their trust;
P: They cried to you and were saved;
P: But I am a worm and not a man.
P: All who see me mock me;
P: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.
P: Yet you brought me out of the womb;
P: From birth I was cast upon you;
P: Do not be far from me,
The Choir Beneath the Cross of Christ

The Prayer of the Day

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v. 1
The Lord’s Supper Matthew 26:26-35

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”   When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:  “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.  

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v. 2

Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-46

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” 

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v. 3
Betrayal Matthew 26:47-56

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.”Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v. 4
The Palace of the High Priest Matthew 26:57-75

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”“He is worthy of death,” they answered. Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Christ. Who hit you?” Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”And he went outside and wept bitterly.

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v.5

The Praetorium Matthew 27:1-20

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor. Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him. While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v. 6

Crucifixion Matthew 27:21-44

Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.“Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked.They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” All the people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him

The Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded LSB #450, v. 7

Death and Burial Matthew 27:45-66

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloilamasabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

The Sermon Hymn  "Jesus I will Ponder Now" LSB #440

The Sermon Are you the Christ …I AM” – John 18:33-37
The Good Friday Offerings are Gathered

The Prayers of the People of God at Friedheim for Good Friday

The Lord’s Prayer

The Words of Institution and the Distribution

The Distribution Hymns

Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow LSB #428
Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted LSB #451
Were You There LSB #456

After the Prayer for Good Friday is read, the bell will be tolled and as all the lights are turned off, the Christ Candle will be removed to symbolize Christ’s entombment.  All lights will be turned off at this point.

The door will be closed to symbolize that all that was written concerning the Son of Man has been accomplished and that the tomb containing Jesus’ body has been shut. 

Please leave the sanctuary quietly after the Benediction.

The Benediction

G Friday

G. Friday

30 March 2018
John 19:30
The Death of Christ our Savior

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

O God, creator of heaven and earth, grant that as the crucified body of Your dear Son, was laid in the tomb and rested on the Sabbath, so we may await with Him the coming of the third day, and rise with Him to newness of life. 1

We are Easter people! Even on a night as this! You can be confident in this – In the midst of death, you possess life. Death is not a topic many wish to engage. Most try to avoid the topic. Many are fearful as they think about the death of other as well as their own death. But tonight death cannot be avoided. Tonight we are brought face to face with an awesome fact – Jesus died! What happened on the first Good Friday is incredible.

The incredible death of Jesus Christ

1. His death was real.
A. We cannot fathom how the God-man, Jesus Christ could die. Yet His spirit left His body.
B. His body hung lifeless. His lips no longer spoke. His eyes no longer saw. His ears no longer heard.

2. His death was voluntary.
A. Death comes to us become of something – illness, accident, bodily deterioration.
B. But Jesus came to death, giving up His spirit only when He was ready. With full possession of His faculties. In full control. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:18)
1. He died only when He had accomplished all things. Jesus prayed in His High Priestly prayer, “(Father,) I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do.” (John 17:4) 
2. He died only when He had finished the atonement. Only when He had paid for every sin did He yield up His life for you.

3. His death was the death of death itself.
A. Jesus took on Himself the penalty for your sin. This is what caused His death. “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, [a] He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3)
B. Death could not hold Him. He was sinless. He has made perfect atonement for sin.“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4) “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.” (Romans 6:9)

4. His death means life.
A. Death is now but a “shadow.” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,(Psalm 23:4) 
1. It’s a former menacing power. 
2. It is not a step into the unknown.
a. “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.” (Psalm 118:17)
b. “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
B. Death is now the avenue to God’s presence. It is eternal bliss. “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”(1 Corinthians 15:54c,57)

What an incredible death! Because Jesus died, “It is not death to die.” The sting of death has been removed. We can live well – and die well.

Passive Sentences –6% 
Readability – 86.2
Reading Level – 3.8
Image © higher things
1.– Collect for Holy Saturday, Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Good Friday

Good Friday, March 30, 2018 Genesis 22:1-8

Our Old Testament reading - is a familiar one; the testing of Abraham. When we New Testament believers hear this account, it reminds us of our Savior Jesus. – The Lord Will Provide –He supplies a substitute for Isaac. The ram is caught by its horns, and thus remains unblemished, the perfect sacrifice. Likewise, the Lord offered up His Son Jesus on the cross to be our substitute. He was the perfect sacrifice, unblemished by the taint of sins.

The great hymn of the Reformation, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (LSB #656), reminds us that, though the devil is a formidable foe, one whom we are unable to overcome on our own, he has been defeated by the Word made flesh, our Savior Jesus. ‘Our victory has been won; The Kingdom ours remaineth.’

Hymn: Lamb of God, Pure and Holy (Lutheran Service Book 434:3)
Lamb of God, pure and holy,
Who on the cross didst suffer,
Ever patient and lowly,
Thyself to scorn didst offer,
All sins Thou borest for us,
Else had despair reigned o’er us;
Have mercy on us, O Jesus! O Jesus!

Almighty God, Graciously behold this Your family for whom our Lord Jesus was willing to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men to suffer death upon the cross; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 1

  1. Collect for Good Friday Lutheran Service Book © 20016 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis

Thursday, March 29, 2018

M Thursday

M. Thursday
29 March 2018
John 13:1-17
He loved them to the end

Jesus kept loving His disciples. He loved them to the end. Despite their self-seeking ways. Even though He knew one of when would betray Him. Even though He was conscious of soon entering the glory from which He had come. He performed for His disciples, even for His betrayer, the menial service of foot washing. In that selfless act. He showed His love in all the beauty of its perfection.

He loved them to the end.

1. It is a love that makes us clean.

The foot washing portrayed Christ’s loving work of spiritual cleaning. Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you. (v.10)

Peter did not understand the real significance of this act of love. “He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” (Vv.6-8a.)

Though justified by faith and thus purified from sin, we still daily sin much.
We are still living outside of Eden.
Flesh and blood led us into evil.
We need daily cleansing from daily defilement.

If our feet are not washed, we have no part in Jesus. “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”(v.8b)

We confess we need to have our feet washed when we pray. But how do we so often pray?

Lord, Thee I love with half my heart
The world has claimed the other part.
I pray, Thy name, be hallowed Lord,
But want my name to be adored.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy reign extend,
And reign on me wealth without end.
Thy will be done my lips shall pray,
And curse when I don’t get my way.
I thank Thee for my daily bread,
But cakes and steaks I crave instead.
My million sins forgive, forget.
While I collect a one-cent debt.
From tempting evils keep us free,
Unless I find they pleasure me.
Lord, Thee I love with half my heart,
Destroy, reclaim, the other part. 1

Christ is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us. (1 John 1:9)

We have a part in all that Jesus earned for us by His suffering and death.

We are daily made clean all over. The love Jesus showed in washing His disciples’ feet does not fail us either.

2. It is a love that makes us humble.

The foot washing provides us a pattern for humble service. “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” (Vv.12-15)

Christ’s act is a picture of His voluntary humiliation whereby He stooped to save. “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[a] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”(Philippians 2:6-8)

But literally washing one another’s feet will not bring us any nearer to the mind of Christ. Christ comes to us. Bearing our sin. Feeding us with His body and blood.

We follow Christ’s example when we bear one another’s burdens. “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

We are concerned for their physical comfort. We have been intentional in our outreach into the community. The weekend before Holy Week we partner with Pack Away Hunger. This year we packed 64,125 meals. 75% remained in Adams and Wells County. In the past nine years we have packed 600,000 meals. We do this as we love God and serve our neighbor. We begin Holy Week by reaching out to our neighbor in his need.

We aim to secure their spiritual and moral cleansing. This is our primary task. As we reach out to our neighbor with the message of Christ.

The love of Jesus enables us to “wash one another’s feet.”

That love transforms our hearts so that we get rid of arrogance, envy, and anger.

That love guides us in a spirit of lowliness and helpfulness.

Blessed are we when the unfailing love of Jesus move us to imitate Him. “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (v.17)

The love of Jesus will not fail. He who washed His disciples’ feet will cleanse us daily and empower us to humble service.

650 Words
85% Reading ease
4.7 Grade level

[1] Poem by Chad Bird © 2018

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday, 29 March, 2018    Exodus 12:1-14

Passover marks a new era for the people of Israel and foreshadows the new spiritual Israel in Christ, the perfect Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. (See 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 7:27) 1

The lamb’s slaughter takes place at twilight, literally “between the evenings” (12:7). It is the hour of transition between day and night, a time of ending and beginning. The lamb’s blood upon the doorposts of the Israelites’ houses similarly marks transition. These houses are not their permanent dwellings. They provide short-term protection. But their most important feature is the doorway, site of entry and exit. The life-blood of the lamb marks that exit, protecting, hallowing, and preparing their departure from slavery in Egypt. From death to life.

Hymn: Jesus, Greatest at the Table (Lutheran Service Book 446:5)
Jesus gave to His disciples
A commandment that was new;
“Show My love to one another,
Do as I have done for you;
All the world will know you love Me
As you love each other too.”

O Lord, I am in need of a Shepherd to seek and save me, for I am a straying sheep. You are the Good Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost. Save me, O Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 

O Lord God, who hast left unto us in a wonderful Sacrament a memorial of Thy Passion, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so use this Sacrament of Thy body and blood that the fruits of Thy redemption may continually be manifest in us.

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before He suffered, instituted the Sacrament of His Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 2

1 Lutheran Study Bible, © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Collect for Maundy Thursday,

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday of Holy Week

Wednesday of Holy Week, 28 March, 2018 Psalm 67

The Psalm of the day express the fact that God’s salvation is for all people. The psalmist begins with the familiar Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:24–26), a blessing originally applied to the children of Israel, but then extends it to all people: that Your way may be known on earth, Your saving power among all nations.

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.

Hymn: O Love, How Deep (Lutheran Service Book 544:5)
For us, by wickedness betrayed,
For us, in crown of thorns arrayed,
He born the shameful cross and death;
For us He gave His dying breath.

Show the light of Thy Countenance upon us, O Lord, and pour Thy blessing abundantly into our breasts; that our hearts, bedewed with the gladness of Thy light, may know Thy way upon earth, and be glad in the full knowledge of the holy faith among all nations; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen. 1 

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave His body to be whipped and His face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 2

 1. © 2005 Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood

 2. Collect for Wednesday of Holy Week,

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday of Holy Week

Tuesday of Holy Week, 27 March, 2018                      Isaiah 49:1-7

Witnessing to all nations. The Lord calls His servant, Israel, to bring the light of salvation to the nations. Here we have the second of the servant songs in Isaiah. The servant tells how the Lord called and chose him before he was born. For the task of restoring Israel, he was equipped with a mouth “like a sharp sword” and was made like “a polished arrow.” Yet, he feels that his labor was in vain. Then the Lord speaks to him and becomes his strength. However, the Lord has broadened his task to bring light and salvation not only to Israel but also to the whole world.

Who is Jesus? This is the question the world must address. At just the right time, a time set by the Father, He sent His Son, to be born of a woman. Jesus was truly human; He was born under the law to be subject to the Jewish law. Now those who are called by the Gospel are incorporated into the family of faith. Outside might be cold and gloomy. The landscape appears to be lifeless. Yet new life is granted to us as we see Jesus who entered our world to be our Savior to win us back to full favor with the Father.

Hymn: Glory Be to Jesus (Lutheran Service Book 433:2)
Grace and life eternal
In that blood I find;
Blest be His compassion,
Infinitely kind!

Almighty and everlasting God, grant us grace to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s Passion that we may obtain the pardon of our sins.

Almighty and everlasting God, grant us grace so to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s Passion that we may receive the pardon of our sins; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

O God, by the passion of Your blessed Son You made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 

1.  Collect for Tuesday of Holy Week,

Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday of Holy Week

Monday of Holy Week, 26 March, 2018                  Isaiah 42:1-9

God chooses and delights in His Servant. God chooses His servant to be the light of the nations. Epiphany is the season for world outreach with the Gospel. The Lord describes the character and work of His Servant. This is the first of four servant songs in Isaiah. In verses 1-4 the Servant is described as chosen and well-pleasing to the Lord, Spirit-filled, patient, and faithful. In verses 5-9, the work of the Servant is to bring the light of salvation to the world, justice, and He shall be a covenant of the people. As the Servant was anointed with the Spirit, Jesus at His baptism received the Holy Spirit. As the Servant was “chosen, in whom my soul delights,” at His baptism, God’s voice said, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” As the Servant was given a task (vv. 6-7), Jesus’ ministry began at His baptism.

Hymn: We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died (Lutheran Service Book 429)
To Christ, who won for sinners grace
By bitter grief and anguish sore,
Be praise from all the ransomed race
Forever and forevermore.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who amid so many adversities do fail through our own infirmities, may be restored through the Passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son.

Almighty God, whose dear Son went not up to joy but first He suffered pain, and entered not into glory before He was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 1

1. Collect for Monday of Holy Week,

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Time in the Word - Holy Week

Time in the Word
Father, Into Thy Hands I commend My Spirit
Readings & Prayers for Holy Week

March 26 -30, 2018

Monday, March 26, 2018 – Monday of Holy Week – Isaiah 50:5-10 - My sin and the Savior’s obedience

The Antiphon: Continue Your love to those who know you, Your righteousness to the upright in heart. – Psalm 36:10

Prayer for MondayGrant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who amid so many adversities do fail through our own infirmities, may be restored through the Passion and intercession of Thine only-begotten Son.

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ chose to suffer pain before going up to joy, and crucifixion before entering into glory, mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find this path to be the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Tuesday of Holy Week – Jeremiah 11:18-20 – The plot against the Lord’s anointed

The Antiphon: In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. – Psalm 71:1

Prayer for TuesdayAlmighty and everlasting God, grant us grace to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s Passion that we may obtain the pardon of our sins.
Almighty and everlasting God, grant us grace so to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s Passion that we may receive the pardon of our sins; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – Wednesday of Holy Week – Isaiah 62:11; 63:1-7 – God’s day of vengeance and redemption

The Antiphon: Hasten, O God, to save me, O Lord, come quickly to help me. – Psalm 70:1

Prayer for WednesdayGrant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds are continually afflicted may mercifully be relieved by the Passion of Thine only – begotten Son.
Merciful and everlasting God the Father, who did not spare Your only Son but delivered Him up for us all that He might bear our sins on the cross, grant that our hearts may be so fixed with steadfast faith in our Savior that we may not fear the power of any adversaries; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Thursday, April 29, 2018 – Maundy Thursday –              1 Corinthians 11:23-32 – A new covenant
The Antiphon: I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. – Psalm 116:13

Prayer for Maundy ThursdayO Lord God, who hast left unto us in a wonderful Sacrament a memorial of Thy Passion, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so use this Sacrament of Thy body and blood that the fruits of Thy redemption may continually be manifest in us.

Friday, March 30, 2018 – Good Friday – Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 – The suffering and glory of the servant Christ

The Antiphon: O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. – Psalm 22:19

Prayer for Good FridayAlmighty God, we beseech Thee, graciously to behold this Thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed and given up into the hands of wicked men and to suffer death upon the cross.

Saturday, March 31, 2018 – Holy Saturday, Easter Eve –   1 Peter 3:17-22 – The victory lap through Hell

The AntiphonFrom the depths of the grace I called for help, and You listened to my cry. – Jonah 2:2b

Prayer for Easter Eve – O God, who didst enlighten this most holy night with the glory of the Lord’s resurrection, preserve in all Thy people the spirit of adoption which Thou hast given so that, renewed in body and soul, they may perform unto Thee a pure service.

Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. Abide with Your whole Church. Abide with us in the end of the day, in the end of our life, in the end of the world. Abide with Your grace and goodness, with You holy Word and Sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair when death shall come. Abide with us all the faithful through time and eternity.

THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018            Zechariah 9:9-12

Jerusalem has promised that her king is coming to bring peace to the nations. Rejoice (v. 9). What is there to rejoice about? Can we rejoice over the shortage of energy, the arms race, the pollution of the earth, the racial unrest, and political corruption? God gives Israel reason to rejoice — a world ruler is coming in peace for the peace of the world. If we could have world peace, a world government of justice, a ruler of compassion, we would have reason to shout with joy. Has this King not come in Jesus? Christians should be a celebrating people.

Hymn: No Tramp of Soldiers’ Marching Feet (Lutheran Service Book 444:3)
What fading flow’rs His road adorn;
The palms how soon laid down!
No bloom or leaf but only thorn
The king of glory crown.
The soldiers mock, the rabble cries,
The streets with turmult ring,
As Pilate to the mob replies,
“Behold, behold your King!”

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. Make us who come from many nations with many different languages a united people. Defend our liberties, and give those whom we have entrusted with the authority of government the spirit of wisdom that there may be justice and peace in our land. When times are prosperous, let our hearts be thankful; in troubled times do not let our trust in You fail; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen 1

Almighty and ever living God, in Your tender love for the human race You sent Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of His great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of His suffering, and also share in His resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen 2

1.  Collect for our Nation, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
2.  Collect for Palm Sunday,

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday
March 25, 2018
Mark 11:1-10; 15:1-39

The Way of the Cross Gives an Opportunity to Decide

"Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord..."
We come to the last of our Lenten meditations on the way of the cross. This morning we see that the way of the cross gives an opportunity to decide.  Pilate’s question, “What then shall I do with Jesus?” makes everyone responsible to give an answer. How you answer depicts your faith in Jesus and determines your destiny. In the Passion story there are various answers given to Pilate’s question. Today, as when they were first asked, the same answers are possible.

What will you do with Jesus?

I.        You can Praise Him? – 11:1-10

A.     A new section in the Gospel of Mark begins. Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. The rest of His ministry will take place within the confines of the Holy City of Jerusalem.

B.     Nothing is left to chance. Throughout His Passion Jesus is in charge. Beginning with His triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem Passion Week has begun. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is a deliberate Messianic action – He offers Himself as the people’s Savior knowing full well that this will provoke the leaders of the ruling Council to take action against Him.

C.     And yet, the people praise Him. They shout, Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  This is a direct quote from Psalm 118:25. The people understand what they are saying. Their praises are a prayer – a prayer for the Lord to continue to save and sustain His people.

Transition: One option is to praise Him. Another is to mock Him.

II.     Mock Him? – 15:16-20

A.     At the headquarters of the Roman Governor the soldiers place a purple robe upon Him. On His head a crown of thorns. The robe was probably an old military cloak, whose color suggested royalty. The crown of thorns was made of briers which grew in the region. Both the robe and the crown were parts of the mock royal attire placed upon Jesus.

B.     While under the care of Pilate the soldiers mock Jesus. They cry out “Hail, king of the Jews!” which is nothing more than a mocking salutation. Similar to the Roman salute, “Hail Caesar!

C.     Finally, they struck Him with their fists. They beat Him with a staff.  It was customary in the Near East that when in the presence of royalty one was to offer a kiss. The homage Jesus received? They spat in His face!

Transition:  Some will praise Him. Others will mock Him. Still others condemn Him.

III.   Condemn Him? – They crowd shouted in one accord “Crucify Him!”15:13

A.     A Romans means of execution was that of crucifixion. Heavy wrought-iron nails were driven through the wrists and the heel. If the life of the victim lingered too long, death was hastened, by breaking the victim’s legs.

B.     Only slaves, the lowest of criminals, and offenders - who were not Roman citizens - were executed in this manner. Yet Jesus. An innocent victim. Dies in a tartar’s stead.

Transition: There are plenty of options the world may choose to consider when asked what one should do with this Jesus. For the believer. There is but one choice to consider.

IV. Confess Him. With the Centurion we say; “Surely this man was the Son of God!” - 15:39

A.     The Centurion was a commander of 100 men in the Roman army. Mark specifically mentions that he “saw how Jesus died.” The strength of Jesus’ cry indicates that Jesus did not die the ordinary death. Normally, one suffering crucifixion suffered long periods of complete agony, exhaustion and finally unconsciousness before dying. Not so with Jesus – Within three hours He was dead! He willingly gave up His spirit.

B.     Pilate announced to the chief priests as well as to the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man!” What would be a similar circumstance in our world? It would be almost as if a grand jury announced in the press, “there is insufficient evidence to go to trial…” to which, the Governor, expedites an order for an execution! Is this a miscarriage of justice? Possibly so. Yet, in these events of Christ’s Passion we find such a miscarriage of justice brings forgiveness and restoration. Jesus’ death produces life.

What will you do with Jesus? Will you mock Him? Will you condemn Him? Will you praise Him? Or, will you hail Him? Now, let you be the judge.

Passive Sentences-5%
Reading Level-5.2
Image © Google Images