Sunday, February 28, 2021

Monday prior to Lent 3

The theme for this coming week; the Third Sunday in Lent is meeting the demands of the Law. Lent points to the cross, as the only means of fulfilling God’s demands. These demands are spelled out in the Old Testament lesson (Exodus 20:1-17) with the giving of the Ten Commandments and in the Gospel lesson (John 2:13-22) which shows us that these demands are not being met so that Jesus, in righteous indignation, cleanses the temple of the commercial traffic conducted in the name of religion.

The solution to the problem is in the cross where the price of disobedience was paid and where perfect obedience to God was demonstrated. Since Christ has fulfilled the demands of the Law, believers in Christ are free from the curse of the Law as a means of finding favor with God. The suggested Psalm emphasizes the excellence of God’s law the Lord requires.

Psalm 69:14-16; antiphon, Psalm 69:9—The Introit sets the theme for the day: meeting the demands of the law.  Without the Lord by our side, there is nothing we can do but fall. Yet, with the Lord, we are sustained and rescued, and we rise to new life rather than sink.

The sufferings of Christ were here particularly foretold, which proves the Scripture to be the word of God; and how exactly these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah. The vinegar and the gall given to him were a faint emblem of that bitter cup which he drank up, that we might drink the cup of salvation.

Whatever deep waters of affliction or temptation we sink into, whatever floods of trouble or ungodly men seem ready to overwhelm us, let us persevere in prayer to our Lord to save us.

Collect for Psalm 69: God our Father, you fulfilled the ancient prophets in Christ’s Passover from death to life. Through the contemplation of his healing wounds, make us zealous for your Church and grateful for your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.[1]   01 March 2021



[1] Collect for Psalm 69, For All the Saints, A Prayer book for and by the Church © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY


Lent 3 Series B



THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT - Series B
7 March 2021


Exodus 20:1–17
1 Corinthians 1:18–31
John 2:13–22 (23–25)

Collect for Lent 3 – O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

The Crucified and Risen Body of Jesus Is the True Temple of the Lord

The Lord rescues His people, Israel, “out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2) and makes His gracious covenant with them, defined by the Ten Commandments. Since He has become their God by His grace, they shall be His people, having “no other gods” before Him (Exodus 20:3). He is “jealous” for them as a husband for his wife and as a father for his children. He has named them with His name and called them to rest in Him (Exodus 20:5–9). The incarnate Son, Christ Jesus, is likewise jealous for His Father’s house, because it is to be a place of divine grace and Sabbath rest for His people, and not “a house of trade” (John 2:16–17). His zeal consumes Him as He gives up “the temple of his body” to the destruction of the cross, but in three days He raises it up again to be the true temple forever (John 2:17–21). By His crucifixion He cleanses the entire household, and in His resurrection He becomes “wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

John 2:13–22

John 2:13
 Καὶ ἐγγὺς ἦν τὸ πάσχα τῶν Ἰουδαίων, καὶ ἀνέβη εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ὁ Ἰησοῦς.
The Passover was near, Jesus enters Jerusalem...

the first Passover in John. He'll do it again after Passover.  V. 13 He kept the law for us.

John 2:14
καὶ εὗρεν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοὺς πωλοῦντας βόας καὶ πρόβατα καὶ περιστερὰς καὶ τοὺς κερματιστὰς καθημένους
He found in the temple those selling oxen, sheep and doves along with the money changers. 

What were they doing with the funds? Funding the insurrection? V. 14

John 2:15
καὶ ποιήσας φραγέλλιον ἐκ σχοινίων πάντας ἐξέβαλεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ τά τε πρόβατα καὶ τοὺς βόας, καὶ τῶν κολλυβιστῶν ἐξέχεεν τὰ κέρματα καὶ τὰς τραπέζας ἀνέστρεψεν,
So he made a whip from cords, and all of them he drove out of the temple oxen, and sheep and poured out the money changers and turned over the tables. 

v. 15 He doesn't find a whip he makes one...

A sign of what will happen to him. A foreshadow of what is to happen... Mark 15:15 

They were fulfilling the Law now he fulfills it....he becomes the temple ...they were doing this inside the temple.

Caution, don't make this more Law...

This is the court of the Gentiles 28 acres 

John 2:16
 καὶ τοῖς τὰς περιστερὰς πωλοῦσιν εἶπεν• Ἄρατε ταῦτα ἐντεῦθεν, μὴ ποιεῖτε τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου οἶκον ἐμπορίου.
To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” See prophecy of Zech. 14:21

John 2:17
ἐμνήσθησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι γεγραμμένον ἐστίν• Ὁ ζῆλος τοῦ οἴκου σου καταφάγεταί με.
His disciples remembered that it is written:“Zeal for your house will consume (eat me down) me.” 

He was eaten up with zeal. Ps. 69:9

They get it but they don't.

John 2:18-19
ἀπεκρίθησαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ• Τί σημεῖον δεικνύεις ἡμῖν, ὅτι ταῦτα ποιεῖς; 19 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• Λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν.
Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 

The Jews ask for a sign he tells them the resurrection. This is THE sign. To ask for a sign is a sign of unbelief. In John "sign" = miracle. They ask for a miracle and He gives them His death. 

John 2:20
εἶπαν οὖν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι• Τεσσεράκοντα καὶ ἓξ ἔτεσιν οἰκοδομήθη ὁ ναὸς οὗτος, καὶ σὺ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις ἐγερεῖς αὐτόν;
The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple,[a] and will you raise it up in three days?”

John 2:21
ἐκεῖνος δὲ ἔλεγεν περὶ τοῦ ναοῦ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ.
But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 

John 2:22
ὅτε οὖν ἠγέρθη ἐκ νεκρῶν, ἐμνήσθησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι τοῦτο ἔλεγεν, καὶ ἐπίστευσαν τῇ γραφῇ καὶ τῷ λόγῳὃν εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς.
When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

-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 crucifixion’© WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
-LCMS Lectionary notes © 2018 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
-Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Time in the Word - Lent 3

Time in the Word
March 1-6, 2021
Preparation for next week, The Third Sunday in Lent

The theme for the Third Sunday in Lent is Meeting the demands of the Law. Lent points to the cross as the only means of fulfilling God’s demands. These demands are spelled out in the Old Testament lesson with the giving of the Ten Commandments and in the Gospel lesson which shows us that these demands are not being met so that Jesus, in righteous indignation, cleanses the temple of the commercial traffic conducted in the name of religion. The solution to the problem is in the cross where the price of disobedience was paid and where perfect obedience to God was demonstrated. Since Christ has fulfilled the demands of the Law, believers in Christ are free from the curse of the Law as a means of finding favor with God. The suggested Psalm emphasizes the excellence of God’s law the Lord requires. 

Prayer for the Lent 2: O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Collect for the Third Sunday in LentO God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, on Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen


A Prayer for aid against temptation: O God, You justify the ungodly and desire not the death of the sinner. Graciously assist us by Your heavenly aid and evermore shield us with Your protection, that no temptation may separate us from Your love in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

A Prayer in times of temptation: Almighty and everlasting God, through Your Son You have promised us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Govern our hearts by Your Holy Spirit that in our daily needs, and especially in all time of temptation we may seek Your help and, by a true and lively faith in Your Word, obtain all that You have promised; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord

A Prayer for humility: O God, You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Grant us true humility after the likeness of Your only Son that we may never be arrogant and prideful and thus provoke Your wrath but in all lowliness be made partakers of the gifts of Your grace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord

For blessing on the Word: Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Monday, 01 March 2021Psalm 69:14-16; antiphon, Psalm 69:9—The Introit sets the theme for the day: meeting the demands of the law.  Without the Lord by our side, there is nothing we can do but fall. Yet, with the Lord, we are sustained and rescued, and we rise to new life rather than sink.

Tuesday, 02 March 2021Psalm 19 key verse v.8 and John 6:68 —Here you have the words of eternal life. In this psalm, David reminds us once again and emphasizes the excellence of God’s Law. The Theme of the Day reminds us that eternal life is in the words of Christ and not in the words of the Law. 

Wednesday, 03 March 2021Exodus 20:1-17—The demands of God’s Law.  God gives the Ten Commandments to Moses and his people. The Ten Commandments are the unconditional demands of God. They are absolute laws that express the will of God for His people. Israel is His people for a covenant was established at Mt.Sinai. The Commandments follow the covenant relationship as the people’s response to God’s grace in making the covenant. They are not conditions to be met before God is their God but rather because He is their God. They will live as His children according to these absolute laws. The laws were written on two tablets of stone by the finger of God indicating that the laws come from God and not from social development. The two tablets refer to the division of the laws as they relate to God and to people.  

Thursday, 04 March 20211 Corinthians 1:22-25—The fulfillment of God’s law in the cross. The crucified Christ is preached as the power and wisdom of God. The message of Christ crucified has difficulty in gaining a sympathetic hearing in the world. Both Jews and Greeks were opposed to it. The Jews demanded a sign and found the cross to be a stumbling block. The Jews asked how God’s Son, the Messiah, could die on a cross, reserved for the worst criminals. Moreover, the Jews looked for signs in terms of their being spectacular and startling. How could Jesus be the Messiah when He came as one meek and lowly and refusing to use violence?  The Greeks, too, were hostile to the cross, for they wanted wisdom. But to them the message of the cross was foolishness. In spite of this hostile environment, Paul is determined to preach Christ crucified, the power and wisdom of God.  



Friday, 05 March 2021John 2:13-22—Man’s failure to keep God’s law. Jesus cleanses the temple of those who traded in it. In the first three Gospels, Jesus begins His ministry in Galilee, but in John’s Gospel the focus is on Jerusalem. In the first three Gospels, the cleansing of the temple comes at the end of Jesus’ ministry, but John’s Gospel puts it at the beginning. In the first three Gospels, the cleansing of the temple becomes the immediate cause of Jesus’ arrest.  In John, the cleansing is related to the Jew’s demand for a sign authorizing Him to take such dramatic action. Jesus’ sign was the destruction of the temple and rebuilding it in three days – a forecast of His death and resurrection. 


Who are you to say or do what you said or did?”  This question is the same as the Jews’ asking Jesus for a sign. The temple with its activities, services, and programs is in the charge of the priests who were authorized to take care of the temple. Who is this itinerant peasant preacher to say what is right to do in the temple?  This question is certainly in order. Jesus gives them the sign of the cross. He is the one whose temple will be destroyed and rebuilt on the third day. This proves who He is – the Messiah – and He has the right and the authority to cleanse the temple.  

Saturday, 06 March 2021Psalm 67:1-2— The hymn of the Day is May God Bestow on Us His Grace {LSB 823}.   These verses introduce a prayer. The heart of the prayer is found in verse one, echoing the priestly benediction that God’s people have received for thousands of years. The Lord blesses us as He comes to us in the person of Jesus Christ our Savior.   

Morning Prayer Schedule

March  01 102 Rich man and Lazarus
March 02 103 The temple tax
March 03
March 04 104 Who is the greatest?
March 05 105 Mary & Martha

Catechism Review: Commandments 1-4

Sources:
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House.

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

Illustration "The crucifixion" and "Jesus cleanses the temple" from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures)


Lent 2



SUNDAY: February 28, 2021    Lent 2 - Matthew 5:9-12

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:9-12

Making peace is not a passive activity. Sometimes it requires confrontation when we would personally feel more peaceful if we simply ignored the problem and quietly walked away. Sometimes making peace requires taking a tough stand. Making peace is a pursuit. It is action, not apathy. Sometimes you will suffer for it. Would you rather be liked or respected? How you answer this question leads to the Savior’s announcement –“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”- John 16:10

People can use backward, stupid, gullible, nave, prudish, judgmental, insensitive and cruel words. That kind of behavior quickly brings ridicule. That is not being persecuted. You receive mistreatment because you are insulting and offensive.  Are you abusive or promoting harmony? Are you peacemaker or a troublemaker? Are you mistreated because of your need to be right or because you belong to Christ?  In this life there will be trouble. The wisdom of Jesus will serve us well. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16 - Choose the words you use – but choose wisely!
                        Blest are they who seek peace
They are the children of God.
Blest are they who suffer in faith;
The glory of God is theirs.
Blessed are you who suffer hate,
All because of Me.
Rejoice and be glad, yours is the kingdom;
Shine for all to see
Rejoice and be glad!
                        Blessed are you, holy are you.
Rejoice and be glad!
Yours is the kingdom of God. [1]

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word, Jesus Christ Your Son; who with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. Amen. [2] 

O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. [3]

[1] Blessed are They Lutheran Service Book copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Collect for Sunday of Lent 2,  http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm
[3] Collect for Lent 2 Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Lent 2

 

Mark 8:31-38
The message  of the cross Involves Suffering












Jesus begins to explain to the disciples that He must be arrested, suffer, and die a miserable death to save the world of sin. Peter doesn’t buy it. This does not fit into his plan or agenda. For Peter, that was not the kind of Messiah he was looking for. As Peter begins to rebuke Jesus, the Savior puts Peter in his place. This is the type of suffering Jesus must endure if we are to find any satisfaction from the Father.

Jesus will speak in terms of wasting one’s life and investing one’s life. What is the difference between wasting and investing?  How are we to act accordingly? This morning we will see that the way of the cross involves suffering for the Christian. But how? What Jesus teaches we should put into practice –

The way of the cross involves suffering.

I.        Deny self – V.34 “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself” Mark 8:34

A.     How can people in this affluent and comfortable age be convinced of this reality? We are constantly told by the wisdom of this world to do our own thing, to do what makes us feel good – regardless of the consequences. The perception of this world is that suffering is only for the weak. It is therefore to be avoided at all cost. We’ve been advised to steer clear of anything painful or uncomfortable.

B.     The way to a crown is through a cross. Jesus endured the cross with a sense of joy for He knew of its victorious end. Joy is not merely frivolity and amusement. There is a deeper meaning to your joy which comes through the cross. As you endure the crosses placed in your life you share in the hope of God’s glory. Christian suffering – your suffering is prescribed by the Great Physician. We suffer with the expectation that we will reign with God in glory.

Transition: The way of the cross involves suffering. It is done when we deny ourselves. It is done when we lose ourselves.

II.     Lose self – V.35 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” - Mark 8:35

A.     In an attempt to save your life you could very well lose it! Life can add up to zero! For years the Negro College Fund Appeal had, as its slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Jesus called Judas Iscariot a “son of perdition.” Perdition simply means “a waste.” Judas Iscariot was one who wasted his life when he sold out Jesus for thirty silver coins. Jesus said it would have been better if he had not been born! Jesus recognized that it was a temptation not to go to the cross. Jesus would hear nothing of the sort. To save your life He sacrificed His own – He calls you to do nothing but the same.

B.     Our life is salvaged when we lose our life for Christ and for the Gospel. We follow the way of the cross through denial, suffering and sacrifice. It is in losing one’s life in service to Christ that one reaps life that is abundant and free. A tragedy of life is to waste this precious, once-in-a-lifetime life.

Transition: The way of the cross involves suffering. We deny ourselves, we lose ourselves. We crucify ourselves.

III.   Crucify self – V.34 “take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34

A.     Take up your cross. The rugged cross means a rugged way of life for a follower of Christ. The Christian style of life is a hard life. An author once wrote, “No cross is so extreme, as to have none. There is no gain without pain!” It was said that President Truman had a sign on his desk which read: “Bring me only bad news. Good news weakens me!” 

B.     We follow after Christ. His yoke is easy and His burden light. Without Him we will but stumble. Following in His wake He leads us throughout this human pilgrimage until we reach the goal and our work is done. As we follow along this path there will be dark days and lonely valleys yet our Captain knows the way. He’s walked the path of suffering only to come out victorious. As He leads our sufferings and crosses are made palatable. Lent is a time of suffering – yet it is suffering which we can endure.

Let us suffer here with Jesus,
To His image e’er conform;
Heaven’s glory soon will please us.
Sunshine follows on the storm.
Tho’ we sow in tears of sorrow,
We shall reap in heav’nly joy;  
And the fears that now annoy
Shall be laughter on the morrow,
Christ I suffer here with Thee;
There, oh, share Thy joy with me!

 

Words –835
Passive Sentences –15%
Readability-80.4%
Reading Level -4.8

Saturday of Lent 1


DAY 10: February 27, 2021 Saturday of Lent 1- Matthew 5:8



Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8

Those who are the “pure in heart” are defined in scripture as follows… 

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false.” –Psalm 24:4 

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22 

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:1

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:2-3 

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” – Revelation 22:4  

The pure in heart are the children of God. They are truthful, with sincere love; they strive for peace with everyone. They look forward to the dawn of a new day which lasts into eternity. They are Christ like.    

Now you hear His voice. When Christ appears you shall see His face. 

Blessed are they, the pure in heart; 
They shall see God!
Rejoice and be glad!
Blessed are you, holy are you.
Rejoice and be glad!
Yours is the kingdom of God. [1]

O God, by Your Word You marvelously carry out the work of reconciliation: Grant that in our Lenten fast we may be devoted to You with all our hearts, and united with one another in prayer and holy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. [2]

[1] Blessed are They Lutheran Service Book copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis
[2] Collect for Saturday of Lent 1,  http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm

Friday, February 26, 2021

Saturday prior to Lent 2


 Luke 3:22-23- The theme for tomorrow the Second Sunday in Lent is The Cross – The Way of Life. The Gospel of Lent 1 was related to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  Today the public ministry draws to a close. Today’s Gospel follows the experience at Caesarea Philippi where Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ. If He is the Messiah, he must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die. Likewise, His followers must adopt this same style of life: denial, suffering, and the cross. The way of the cross leads home to God. In the Old Testament lesson, the Lord calls Abraham to walk before Him and be blameless. We do this through our adoption into the family of God.  Out of suffering, Paul says, in the Epistle lesson, ultimately comes hope and out of Jesus’ passion comes reconciliation with God. The Psalm urges us to trust this God of mercy. The suggested Hymn of the Day is related to the Gospel lesson which calls upon the Christian to take up the cross and follow after Jesus.

Today we focus on the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness {LSB 809}. The suggested reference reminds us that God was faithful to His promise in sending the Holy Spirit upon His only Son as He began His ministry. God is faithful to all of His promises. As He promised to send His Son, to anoint Him with the Holy Spirit, this same Son will work our salvation. The promises of God are fulfilled in the work of His Son our Savior Jesus Christ.

The Story Behind Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Thomas O. Chisholm wrote the lyrics of this hymn in 1923 about God's faithfulness over his lifetime. Chisholm sent the song to William Runyan in Kansas, who was affiliated with both the Moody Bible Institute and Hope Publishing Company. Runyan set the poem to music, and it was published that same year by Hope Publishing Company and became popular among church congregations. Chisholm's lyrics reference the Bible verses of Lamentations 3:22-23. The hymn gained a wide audience after becoming successful with Dr. William Henry Houghton of the Moody Bible Institute and Billy Graham, who used the song frequently on his international crusades. Since the mid-20th century, this song has been the university hymn of Cairn University which was previously Philadelphia Biblical University after being Philadelphia College of Bible, established in 1913.[1]

O God, You see that of ourselves we have no strength. By Your mighty power defend us from all adversities that may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul through Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen[2]


[2] Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis,

Illustration The Crucifixion from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, The Book of Books in Pictures.

 


Morning Prayer Reading 101: Jesus Heals a Demon Possessed Boy



Matthew 17:14-21



14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, [b] and it [c] came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. [d] 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” [e]


Footnotes:
Matthew 17:20 Some manuscripts insert verse 21: But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Luther's Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things permission granted for personal and congregational use

Friday of Lent 1




DAY 9: February 26, 2021                                                          Friday of Lent 1- Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7



Jesus declares in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” How do we define “mercy”? Solomon instructs us in Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” To the extent that we serve our neighbor the Lord is watching. He sees all. Simply stated, having pity on the poor, or helping them when you can, is like giving directly to God.[1]

Lent a time for self-giving, rather than merely 'giving something up.’ Giving helps us connect more effectively and lovingly with others in our lives, for we have taken time to see them and the needs they have. This was something Jesus did to a masterful level. He stopped and touched people. He asked them what they needed from him, and he met their needs — not only in loving ways, but also in miraculous ways. His love for you drove Him to the cross. The cross is the mark of Christ’s mercy. It is the emblem of love.
Take time today to think about your Lenten journey and how you are preparing yourself for Christ’s coming at Easter. Think about prayer, fasting and giving.  Find ways to fulfill each area of preparation during this season. How are your words and actions motivated by mercy?  
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” –Matthew 25:34-36, 40
                                    Blessed are they who show mercy;
                                    Mercy shall be theirs.
                                    Rejoice and be glad!
                                    Blessed are you, holy are you.
                                    Rejoice and be glad!
                                    Yours is the kingdom of God.[2]         
           
Lord Christ, our eternal Redeemer, grant us such fellowship in Your sufferings, that filled with Your Holy Spirit, we may subdue the flesh to the spirit, and the spirit to You, and at the last attain to the glory of Your resurrection; who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.[3]
Lord Jesus, Son of the Most High God, You freed many from their bondage to demons, demonstrating Your power over the evil one. Show us Your mercy when we are overcome by the darkness of sin, death, and the devil, and protect us by Your mighty Word that does what it says; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.[4]





[1] Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Things
[2] Blessed are They Lutheran Service book copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis
[4] Collect for Friday of Lent 1 Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Morning Prayer Reading 100: The Transfiguration




Matthew 17:1-13


17 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, [a] with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

9 And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

Footnotes:
Matthew 17:5 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Thursday of Lent 1



DAY 8: February 25, 2021 Thursday of Lent 1- Matthew 5:6



Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” –Matthew 5:6

In the Gospel of John Jesus said, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” – John 7:37-38 Christ’s death and resurrection proclaimed in the Gospel brings life to all who thirst for Him and His blessings. 

Luther reminds us, “We have a clear assurance that God does not cast aside sinners, that is, those who recognize their sin and desire to come to their senses, who thirst for righteousness.” [1] 

Today marks the 183rd anniversary of the signing of our congregation’s charter. By God’s grace may we continue to hunger and thirst for righteousness; the righteousness of Christ. The story of Friedheim, “the house of peace” is a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness. He was faithful to His people then; He is faithful to His people now and will remain faithful to His people forever. Thankful for the blessings of the past, confident of the Lord’s presence in our lives, we can look to the future certain that our life in Christ is secure.  

O Holy Spirit, bring refreshing showers of blessing each day of my life. [2] 

                        Blest are they who hunger and thirst;
They shall have their fill. 
Rejoice and be glad!
Blessed are you, holy are you.
Rejoice and be glad!
Yours is the kingdom of God. [3]

Multiply Thy strength, O Lord, in the souls of Thy humble servants, that while we ever worship Thee in Thy holy temple, we may, together with Thy holy angels, rejoice in beholding Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, world without end. Amen. [4] 

Strengthen us, O Lord, by Your grace, that in Your might we may overcome all spiritual enemies, and with pure hearts serve You through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. [5]

[1] Luther’s Works American Edition 2:41 copyright © Concordia Publishing St. Louis Fortress Philadelphia, 1955-86
[2] The Lutheran Study Bible copyright © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis
[3] Blessed are They Lutheran Service Book copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis
[4]© 2005 Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood
[5]Collect for Thursday of Lent 1, http://www.liturgies.net/Lent/LentenCollects.htm

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Friday prior to Lent 2

 

Mark 8:27-38— Jesus teaches that He must suffer and die and calls upon His disciples to follow Him in the same.

Jesus and the Disciples are at Caesarea Philippi. Peter had confessed Jesus as the Christ. Thereupon Jesus explains to His disciples that as the Messiah He must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die.  This did not fit into Peter’s conception of the Messiah and, therefore, he rebukes Jesus. Jesus sees this as a temptation not to go to the cross. He turns down the temptation by seeing Satan in Peter. Then, in the second part of the lesson (verses 34-38), Jesus explains to both disciples and people that they, too, are to take the way of the cross that involves denial, suffering, and sacrifice.

Jesus reminds his disciples, “After three days I will rise again.” Jesus tags this on to the end of the distressing forecast: suffering, rejection, death. As a kind of postscript Jesus adds that he will rise again. It seems to detract from the dreadfulness of the cross. Sometimes we wish it were not there because it seems to detract from the passion of Lent. It belongs to Easter and we are not ready for it now. On the other hand, it is a most important phrase, for it tells us how it is going to end. We can, therefore go through Lent with its sorrow and pain in a joyful spirit of hope. We can endure the pain for the joy of ultimate victory.

In telling his coming passion Jesus spoke “plainly.” He was honest, frank and pulled no punches. He told it as it was going to be. Heretofore, Jesus taught primarily in parables. He let his hearers decide what he meant. Now there must be nu misunderstand. He, the Christ, is going to suffer shame, suffering and death. That is plain talk.

The rugged cross means a rugged way of life for a follower of Christ.  The Christian style of life is a hard life. Jesus’ life consisted of sorrow, rejection, suffering, and death. His followers can expect no less. The Christian life has a cross at its center. John Donne said, “No cross is so extreme, as to have none. There is no gain without pain.” President Truman had a sign on his desk: “Bring me only bad news. Good news weakens me.”

In Tom Sawyer Clemens wrote, “He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in orders to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.[1]

A Prayer in times of temptation: Almighty and everlasting God, through Your Son You have promised us forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. Govern our hearts by Your Holy Spirit that in our daily needs, and especially in all time of temptation we may seek Your help and, by a true and lively faith in Your Word, obtain all that You have promised; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.[2]

One year ago today, Life Care Center, Kirkland, WA reported the first Covid-19 death in the United States. There has been much challenge and change these past twelve months.  Today may each us take the time to pause, reflect and return to our Lord with our petitions and prayers.

 Merciful God, hear our fervent prayer for all who suffer from the corona-virus.

May those who are infected receive the proper treatment and the comfort of Your healing presence. Look with compassion on the sorrowful condition of Your children who suffer because of this pandemic; relieve the pain of the sick; give strength to those who care for them; welcome into Your peace those who have died; and, throughout this time of tribulation, grant that we may all find comfort in Your merciful love.

May their caregivers, families and neighbors be shielded from the onslaught of this disease. Give solace to those who grieve the loss of loved ones. Protect and guide those who strive to find a cure, that their work may conquer the disease and restore communities to wholeness and health.

Help us to rise above fear. We ask all this through the merits and mercies of Christ our Savior.  Grant, Lord, that the course of this world may be so governed by Your direction that Your church may rejoice in serving You in godly peace and quietness. 


 



[1] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John R Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima OH

[2] A Prayer in times of temptation, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Illustration The Crucifixion,  from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, The Book of Books in Pictures. Copyright © WLS permission granted for personal and congregational use. .


Thursday prior to Lent 2

Romans 5:1-11—Paul teaches that Christians have peace with God through the reconciliation made possible by the cross. This lesson is a transition from justification by faith to a life of faith beginning with chapter 6.  Hence we have Paul’s “therefore” (v.1).  By grace through faith, we are one with God in peace and harmony. Out of this relationship come reasons to rejoice: that we share in the glory of God (verse 2) that we experience suffering that eventuates in hope (verses 3, 4); and that we are reconciled to God through Christ (verse11).

All of the good things God has earned for us through Christ are present possessions. Here and now we “have” peace with God. We have access to God’s grace. We are reconciled. Consequently, the gospel is not “pie in the sky bye and bye.” When Christ dies for us, we were reconciled to God, and that reconciliation became a present reality by faith.

We know Christ died for sinners. But what kind of sinners – repentant, converted sinners? The word “yet” in verse eight indicates that God’s love was expressed on the cross even before people repented and turned to God. While we were yet sinners – going our own rebellious ways, denying and cursing God, and living like the devil. Christ died for us in love. Thus, we do not first repent and then come for mercy. Before we came, God had already had mercy and has forgiven. Now we come because we have experienced God’s mercy and this leads us to repent. [1]

A Prayer for humility: O God, You resist the proud and give grace to the humble. Grant us true humility after the likeness of Your only Son that we may never be arrogant and prideful and thus provoke Your wrath but in all lowliness be made partakers of the gifts of Your grace; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.[2]

 



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

[2] A Prayer for humility, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Illustration of the Crucifixion from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, The Book of Books in Pictures. Copyright © WLS permission granted for congregational and personal use.