Thursday, March 31, 2022

Morning Prayer #113


Luke 18:9-14

The Pharisee and the tax collector

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed [a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.



Luke 18:11 Or standing, prayed to himself

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



St. Paul reminds us, we do not “boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 6:14) Rejoicing in this Gospel, we “bear one another’s burdens,” in love, according to “the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Rejoice in the Gospel – This life that you live. Your struggles. Your anger. Your weakness. Your woes.  Your sorrows - your Lord knows all, even your joys exactly. Because Jesus became a man.

The coming of Jesus into our world changes everything. For we do not have a God who was too proud to know His people. Or a God content to rule from a great distance. Or a God whose majesty was too awesome for us to behold. We have just the opposite. Jesus is the only one, who experienced the very same humanity, the very same problems, and the very same challenges that you do.

No, you do not walk this road alone. Jesus is the God who came down from heaven. He was that man. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:3-5

Behold, Christ’s cross.  He did this by Himself suffering an unjust arrest, by Himself being killed most unfairly. Jesus, the most righteous One–the only perfectly righteous One–He would be arrested, tried, and put to death, when it was clear He was entirely not guilty.

On His cross, your sins became His. Your troubles His burdens. He died your death, only to rise again. Look to His cross for your every burden in life. While the world spins, the cross stands!

Tell others your pain; you won't receive the care you expect. Tell Jesus, and you'll see He knows your sorrows better than you do. Tell others your sins, they will judge you. Tell Jesus, and see He how He has taken them all away.

He did this all for you, for you and for all the perplexed people of this world. Justice is done. All the wrongs and the sins are paid for by Jesus’ holy blood on the cross.

Now your fears and your worries have a place to go to find an answer. To the cross of Christ. Remember always we are Easter people. Confident in the LORD’s guidance, we shall overcome for we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.


Thursday prior to Lent 5


Philippians 3:8-14– “Forecast of the Future” – The Christian strains forward to the future goal of Christ.

In this reading, Paul shows us how the past, present, and future come together in a Christian’s life. We do not live in any one tense. All of time is involved in a Christian’s life. The past –we consider it refuse (verse 8).  The present – we have Christ by faith (verse 9).  The future – we look to the future goal of oneness in Christ (verses 12-14).

Paul announces he forgets the past and looks forward to the future. In looking back on his own life, Paul makes a strong confession of faith in the opening sentence of our lesson. Everything else was worth nothing compared to knowing Christ as Lord. He then continues his witness by saying that he has made the Gospel his own, only because Christ first made Paul Christ’s own.

A morning prayer – Faithful God, whose mercies are new to us every morning, we humbly pray that You would look upon us in mercy and renew us by Your Holy Spirit. Keep safe our going out and our coming in, and let Your blessings remain with us throughout this day. Preserve us in Your righteousness and grant us a portion in that eternal life which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.[1]- 01 April, 2022

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

#3 Passion Reading - Matthew 27:29-66

Matthew 27: 29-66

29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 Now from the sixth hour[a] there was darkness over all the land[b] until the ninth hour.[c] 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[d] of God!”

55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Jesus Is Buried

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard[e] of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Matthew 27:45 That is, noon
Matthew 27:45 Or earth
Matthew 27:45 That is, 3 p.m.
Matthew 27:54 Or a son
Matthew 27:65 Or Take a guard

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, ‘The Crucifixion’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Thursday of Lent 4

THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2022                                  Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:19–24

Additional Scriptures: Psalm 126; Isaiah 43:1–7

Paul writes with pride concerning the young pastor Timothy. He boasts, “I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.” He goes on demonstrating Timothy’s pastoral heart, “But you know that Timothy has proved himself.” How so, while everyone looks out for their own interests, Timothy’s focus was on Christ and Him crucified. We pray that the Lord of the harvest wound send workers into His harvest field. But not any worker, may He send those with a pastoral heart; like that of young Timothy who forsook his own interests for the sake of the Gospel and the sheep of Christ’s flock. Today, thank the Lord for our pastors and especially for younger pastors who serve their congregations with joy, vigor and love.  
Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what You intend us to be and accomplish what You want us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen [2]

[1] M Thursday copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Things

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Morning Prayer #112


         Luke 18:1-8

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


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


Lift High the Cross  copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Things

"Don't Be Afraid To Speak Up"


From the Gospel of Matthew, the tenth chapter, verses 32-33.

and Jesus said, "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But, whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Thus far our text, let us pray. Merciful Father, we implore you on Christ's behalf, to strengthen our faith this night through your Word and through your Holy Spirit. Forgive us we pray for not speaking up for you and your Gospel when you have provided us opportunities to do so. We pray in Christ's name, Amen.

Picture yourself on a camping trip with some of your friends. One evening around the camp fire, while you are roasting marshmallows, the conversation turns to 'religion' and someone says, "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere." Others voice their agreement. What will you say?

Maybe you are a housewife getting acquainted with your next door neighbor, a woman about your age with three small children. In the course of the conversation she says to you, "We don't send our children to Sunday School or Church. We don't think its right to force religion on them. They can choose whatever religion they like when they're old enough to make their own decisions." What will you say?

Or perhaps, you are a young person and your friends say to you, "anybody who wants to get ahead in this world has got to look out for himself first, you know take care and do what’s best for Old Number One." What would you say?

One of the biggest fears that we have is the fear of what others may think about us. Do they think we're different, or odd, or weird. We fear that we might lose out on certain advantages if we speak up regarding our Christian faith and our commitment to Jesus Christ. Even Peter was so afraid at times of what others might do to him that he denied Christ three times, just as Christ had predicted.

Further more, In Exodus chapter 4, God sent Moses to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. God promised to be with Moses in all that Moses would do. God even gave Moses signs that Moses would not be alone, but that God would indeed be with him and even bless him as he confronted Pharaoh.

However, Moses responded to God by saying, "O LORD, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. Please send someone else to do it."  And the LORD said to Moses, " I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."  But Moses did not speak to Pharaoh, instead his brother Aaron did. Aaron acted as the mouth of Moses because Moses feared Pharaoh. Moses was afraid to speak up.

Yes there have been times even in our own lives when we have been afraid to speak up for the Gospel of Christ and our own Christian faith. We were afraid that our words would come out all jumbled up and that we would come off as being silly. But you know what, we are not silly, we are God's children, wholly and dearly loved. God too will help us to communicate the Gospel truth and message when opportunities afford themselves. God will and has indeed equipped us with all that we need to speak up for the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the Holy Spirit who dwells in and with us, and He will certainly teach us what to say.

In our text for tonight, we learn that whoever acknowledges Christ before men, Christ will acknowledge them before His Father in heaven. We don't have to be afraid to speak up!

Now there is more than one way to speak up for Christ and His Word and even for the faith that God has given to us.

1. We speak up for Christ when we make it clear that our relationship with Him is of utmost importance in our everyday life.

I believe that faithful worship is an expression of our trust in Jesus Christ, our faithful Lord and Savior. No, we should not go to church for show and tell, but to be fed by the Lamb of God and His Word and Supper. There is no merit in our attending Church, it's more about God blessing us, giving us His Forgiveness, and strengthening us in our Christian faith. It's more about looking at God and seeing His power and glory in our lives. It's about worshipping Christ with all the other saints here on earth and those already in glory! It's about putting Christ first though it costs everything!

2. We speak up for Christ when we respond to statements like those of the campers, the woman next door, or the young people. We speak up for Christ by sharing our faith with others. Listen to these precious words given to us in 1 Peter 3:15:

'But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.'

Our hope is in Jesus. He indeed is our Hope. Christ is the everlasting hope that has brought you and I complete forgiveness of all our sins. We are indeed redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. 

3. We speak up for Christ by talking about our Lord's faithfulness, his death on a cross, his resurrection three days later. We speak up for Christ when we share this wonderful message of hope, forgiveness, and eternal life. This is a message for all: our children our relatives, our neighbors, even for our enemies.  

4. We speak up for Christ when we confess our faith in the liturgy, in the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, and even when we partake of the Lord's Supper. Loyalty to Christ cannot be separate from loyalty to His Word. They go hand in hand. I might mention here, that we citizens here in the U.S. seldom have any fears about being able to worship Christ in our churches on Sunday mornings, but that is not true for many people in our world. In some countries, Christianity is against the law, punishable by death.

5. Finally, we speak up for Christ by living in ways that honor him. We life our lives differently from what the world says. We live in ways that put Christ first. We live in ways that put other people and their needs first. We live as servants of the cross, humble and Christlike. We submit to Christ and His will as a result of our God-given faith. We live in and by God's grace, and thus true life is found only here.

In conclusion, dear friends of the cross, let us look to the cross for our strength. Christ is our defender, He is the

One who strengthens us and our faith. It is here that we make our confession, that Jesus is Lord of all! It is here that we acknowledge Christ before all others, and thus He will acknowledge us before his Father who is in heaven. It is here that if we find ourselves not acknowledging Christ before men, that we repent, confess our sin, and then receive the gracious forgiveness of Christ. In the end, it does matter, how we live our lives. In the end, it does matter what we teach our children. And besides, is there anything more important to parenting than raising our children in the training and instruction of the Lord? God's Word is the final authority on that. God gave these words to Moses and thus to us for our benefit:

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up (Deut. 6:6-7). In the end, let us live for Christ and not be afraid to speak up. Let us leave this night knowing that we are loved indeed by Christ, forgiven in Him of all sins, and strengthened to do His will. In Jesus name, Amen.


# 2 Passion Readings - Matthew 26:47-27:28

Matthew 26: 47-27:28

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”[a] Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant[b] of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council

57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council[c] were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”[d] 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

Peter Denies Jesus

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus Delivered to Pilate

27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.

Judas Hangs Himself

3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[e] was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.”
Jesus Before Pilate

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

The Crowd Chooses Barabbas

15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood;[f] see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged[g] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,[h] and they gathered the whole battalion[i] before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

Matthew 26:50 Or Friend, why are you here?
Matthew 26:51 Or bondservant
Matthew 26:59 Greek Sanhedrin
Matthew 26:62 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you?
Matthew 27:3 Greek he
Matthew 27:24 Some manuscripts this righteous blood, or this righteous man's blood
Matthew 27:26 A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing embedded pieces of bone and metal
Matthew 27:27 Greek the praetorium
Matthew 27:27 Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men
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, ‘The Crucifixion’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Wednesday of Lent 4

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2022                                              Scripture Reading: Luke 9:10–17\

Additional Scriptures: 2 Kings 4:1–7; Psalm 53

Some believe that the crowd which Jesus fed could have been over 5,000 as only "men" were counted. There were also "women and children" in the crowd. If you would count "women and children" it could have been up to 15,000 (See Matthew 14:21). 


Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana seats close to 17,000 people. According to the phone conversation I had with the concessions manager the following items were sold at the Indiana v Wisconsin game, on Saturday, March 12, 1994. 400 1bs of hot dogs, 3,000 popcorn boxes, 8,200 cokes (about 1,000 gallons) 684 candy bars, 436 nachos, 284 boxes of caramel corn, 917 soft pretzels, 247 polish sausages, 100 sandwiches, 179 bags of peanuts, 50 muffins, 160 cups of coffee. Now that's a lot of food. 

This game was played on an afternoon, with tip-off scheduled for 2:00 pm. Most fans had eaten their breakfast and had probably had their lunch also! Besides fans had to pay for their food at the concessions stand!
Jesus feeds the crowd freely. Without cost! When we pray "give us this day our daily bread" we can know that the Savior will supply us with all that we need to support our body and life.

O Lord our God, You sustained Your people in the wilderness with bread from heaven: Feed now Your pilgrim flock with the food that endures to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen [3]

[1] Good Friday copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Tings
[2] Image of the crowd copyright © Indiana University Athletics 
[3]Collect for Wednesday of Lent 4,

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Wednesday prior to Lent 5


Isaiah 43:16-21– “Forecast for the Future” – The LORD will do a new good thing for his people

In this passage God asks us to stop thinking and talking about all the good things God did for us in the past such as the Exodus from Egypt. Something better is going to happen to us – a new and better Exodus from the slavery of sin. God promises to do a new thing (verse 19).  God will make a way out of bondage (verse 19).  God will provide provisions on the way (verse 20).   God will give you reason to praise Him (verse 21).

The LORD promises to do a new thing and recommends that His people forget the past. In terminology that would have been meaningful to the people who lived in the barren desert, the prophet proclaims that the LORD will bring water to the desert so that His chosen people might drink and praise Him. All this He will do so that His people will offer Him prayer and praise.

Collect for Lent 5 – Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen[1] 30 March 2022

[1] Collect for Lent 5, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

#1 Passion Reading - Matthew 26:1-46

Matthew 26:1-46

The Plot to Kill Jesus

26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Judas to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

The Passover with the Disciples

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.

20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.[b] 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Institution of the Lord's Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”

Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch[d] with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.[e] See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Matthew 26:6 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
Matthew 26:20 Some manuscripts add disciples
Matthew 26:28 Some manuscripts insert new
Matthew 26:38 Or keep awake; also verses 40, 41
Matthew 26:45 Or Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
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, ‘The Crucifixion’ copyright © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use

Tuesday of Lent 4

TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2022                                             Scripture Reading: Revelation 19:9–10

Additional Scriptures: Leviticus 25:1–19; Psalm 53

You are an invited guest to a marriage feast which has no end! You are invited to a grand feast. And the king has invited you. Will you not come? Of course, who would not come? Who would decline such an invitation. Forget your calendar. Forget any prior engagements. This is a feat, this is an invitation to a grand celebration you cannot turn down!

What’s more this is an unending feast. There is no time limit. The Banquet doesn’t close down at midnight. There is no closing time. There is no final call.

Such is a picture of our celebration with Christ in glory. Will you not come? Of course you will for the Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, sanctifies, and keeps you in the faith. Such is the invitation to the faithful. And the greater good news…there’s always room at the Father’s table!  

O God, with You is the well of life, and in your light, we see light: Quench our thirst with living water, and flood our darkened minds with heavenly light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.[2]

Lord God heavenly Father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, Your servant Moses proclaimed the resurrection to the children of Israel to give them hope in the midst of their darkness. As we journey to the darkness of the cross, give us hope to look beyond it to the light of the resurrection; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. [3]

[1] Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Things
[2]Collect  for Tuesday of Lent 4,
[3] Collect for Tuesday of Lent 4, Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

Monday, March 28, 2022

Morning Prayer #111


Luke 15:11-32

The Waiting Father

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to [b] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.


17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[c] 22 But the father said to his servants, [d] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.


25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”



Luke 15:15 Greek joined himself to

Luke 15:21 Some manuscripts add treat me as one of your hired servants

Luke 15:22 Or bondservants


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

Tuesday prior to Lent 5


Psalm 126; key verse, verse 3:  The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126 is a song of joy for restoration to Zion. If not composed for those who returned from Babylonian exile, the place of exiles is not named; it surely served to voice the joy of the restored community. The psalm divides into two stanzas of four Hebrew lines each with their initial lines sharing a common theme. Thematic unity is further served by repetition and other key words.

Psalm 126 – Amazed at God’s Work

This psalm is titled A Song of Ascents. It is the seventh in the series of 15 songs for pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. This song likely was composed after the exile, in wondrous gratitude for God’s restoration, and in prayer for a furtherance of that work.

The LORD has done great things for them: The sense of joyful amazement was not confined to the people of God. On looking nations had to proclaim that the work belonged to Yahweh, and that the work was truly great.

The liberty now granted was brought about in such an extraordinary way, that the very heathens saw that the hand of the great Jehovah must have been in it.”

These foreigners were no dreamers; though they were only lookers-on, and not partakers in the surprising mercy, they plainly saw what had been done, and rightly ascribed it to the great Giver of all good.”

The LORD has done great things for us: The singer heard what the nations said, agreed with it, emphasized it with repetition, and personalized it. It became the declaration of what God had done for us.

Their [reluctant] acknowledgment is caught up triumphantly by the singer. He, as it were, thanks the Gentiles for teaching him that word.”

One commentator suggested four occasions where many experience great joy and the sense that God has done great things in their Christian life:

· The joy of salvation.
· The joy of spiritual victory.
· The joy of Christian fellowship.
· The joy of a new work for God.

And we are glad: There is a joyful peace in the declaration. This is not a worked-up, hyped-up enthusiasm. This was the confident joy in what God had done, simply to declare we are glad.[1]

Collect for Psalm 126: Lord Jesus, our life and our resurrection, the ears you sowed in the sorrow of your Passion brought the earth to flower on Easter morning. Renew the wonders of your power in the Church, so that, after the sorrows of our exile, we may come home to you in gladness and praise you now and forever.[2]   29 March, 2022

[2] Collect for Psalm 126, For All the Saints, a Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. I © 1994 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

Monday of Lent 4

MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2022                                         Scripture Reading: Revelation 19:1–8
Additional Scriptures: Leviticus 23:26–41; Psalm 53

Verse 1 of Revelation 9 contains the famous HALLELUJAH CHORUS, as the "great multitude" in heaven break out in praise to the Lord! The word hallelujah is a combination of hallal = "praise", and yah = short for "Jehovah." So the meaning is actually "praise ye the Lord".

In the New Testament, it occurs only in this chapter and is used 4 times in verses 1 through 6!!! The saints have already praised Him for creation (in Revelation 4:11, and for redemption (in Revelation 5:12,13).

Now the people of God praise the name of Jesus for salvation, and ascribe glory and honor, and power to His name!

O Lord our God, in Your Holy Sacraments you have given us a foretaste of the good things of Your kingdom: Direct us, we pray, in the way that leads to eternal life, that we may come to appear before You in that place of light where You dwell forever with Your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen [2]

[1] Baptism copyright © Ed Riojas Higher Things