Sunday, March 27, 2016

Resurrection of the Lord/Easter Sunday (D)

Deuteronomy 7:1-26
Psalm 75 OR 76
John 5:19-30
2Corinthians 1:1-17 (18-22)

Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,
so the Son gives life to whomever he wishes.
        Let all honor be given to the risen Son of God,
        to God the Father, and to God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus says, “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word
and believes him who sent me has eternal life.”
        The hour is coming - and this is the hour!  -
        when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God.
“Those who hear will live; whoever believes does not
come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
        Those in their graves will hear his voice and be raised —
        those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, 
        and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday (D) — A Prayer of Confession and Declaration of Forgiveness

Ezra 9:5-15 OR Jeremiah 25:15-38 OR 2Chronicles 7:1-22
Psalm 88
Luke 23:(1-12) 13-49
1Peter 4:1-19

Prayer of Confession [see Ezra 9]
O Lord our God, how can we lift our faces to you, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors to the present, we have been deep in guilt, and we are ashamed of all our iniquities. For we have forsaken your commandments and filled the land from end to end with uncleanness. And now, our God, what shall we say? Here we are before you in our guilt, and no one can face you who may claim to be righteousness, no one but Jesus Christ, the Righteous One himself. After all that has come upon us for our sins and our great guilt, you, our God, have not punished us as our iniquities deserve; you have not forsaken us, but have extended your steadfast love to us, to give us new life in Christ. Forgive us, therefore, O merciful God, for the sake of your gracious Son, Jesus Christ, that his great suffering and his redeeming work might bring us fully into eternal fellowship with you, and that we might commit and commend our spirits, as he has done, into your loving and gracious hand.

Declaration of Forgiveness [see Luke 23; 1Peter 4]
Truly Jesus our Messiah came not to save himself, but to save sinners. In his suffering on the cross, and in his prayer that even his executioners might be forgiven, he who was found guiltless has atoned for our guilt and secured the salvation of all those who, though formerly his enemies, now trust in him whose love covers a multitude of sins. For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to you who were once dead in your sins, so that you too might live in the Spirit as God does, no longer by human desires, but by the will of God and with all the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, in whom we are forgiven and to whom, with the Father and the Spirit, belongs all glory and power, forever and ever. Blessed be God forever! Amen!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday (D)

Deuteronomy 30:1-14
Psalm 113
John 7:53-8:11 OR Luke 22:1-38 (39-46)
Romans 2:12-29


Love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul, in order that you may live.
    Let the greatest become like the youngest,
    and the leader like one who serves.
This commandment is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 
No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart.
    For who is greater, the one at the table or the one who serves?
    But our Lord is among us as one who serves!
Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high?
Yet he raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ashes.
    O LORD, raise us up and out of our need, 
    that by your grace we might eat and drink 
    at your table in your kingdom.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sixth Sunday of Lent/Palm Sunday (D)

Deuteronomy 11:1-17 OR Isaiah 43:8-15
Psalm 94 OR 35
John 8:48-59
Romans 1:8-15 (16-17) 18-32; 2:1-11 OR Galatians 6:1-18

O God our Creator, we confess we are without excuse, for though we know you in part, we often fail to honor you as God or give you thanks. We have allowed futility, senselessness, and darkness to overtake our thoughts, which are but an empty breath. Claiming wisdom, we have act foolishly, exchanging your glory for lifeless images, and the truth about you for the lies of the world. We have worshiped your creatures and our own creations rather you, our Creator, who alone are holy and blessed forever! Forgive us, O God, for our impurity and for every lapse into idolatry. Protect us, O God, against every temptation and every tempter. Rise up and contend with those who contend with your people, that we, with your help, might learn how to desire and choose the right, the good, and the true. For without you, O LORD, we have no hope of peace or prosperity; apart from you, we can do nothing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

An Excerpt from Oecolampadius' Sermon 11 on The First Epistle of John (1523)

Commenting on 1John 3:7-10, Oecolamp says: 
"You see here what [the apostle] identifies as seducer [Verführer nennt]. You have, to the right and to the left, such things that want to tempt you from the royal way; but believe me, indeed, he [es] teaches that such things are even more dangerous that want to tear us away from the faith than those that would do so from works. Everyone knows that it is a godless act to warn off from good works, if he even truly knows what good works are; but not everyone realizes how wicked it is to tarnish the faith." — translation TMS.
Amen to that, Brother John, ... and you too, Brother John.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fifth Sunday of Lent (D)

Genesis 4:1-16 OR Isaiah 63:(7-9) 10-19
Psalm 101
John 8:31-47
Galatians 5:(1) 2-12 (13-25) 26 OR James 5:1-20


O Lord, compassionate and merciful, you have called us to freedom, to live and be guided by your Spirit, to bear the fruit of the Spirit, to serve one another in love and to love one another as we love ourselves! Let us not continue to live as those who have failed to come under the rule of your Son, or as those who are not called by the name of your Christ. But refresh us with your presence and anoint us with your Spirit, that our praises might be pleasing to you and our prayers might be powerful and effective on behalf of those who have become weak in the faith or wandered from you. You, who stand at the very doors of this place, enter and speak once again to your people! Give us strength for the life of faith, endurance as we eagerly await your final coming, and patience as we long for, and summon others into, your holy and gracious presence. This we ask in Jesus’ name.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Fourth Sunday of Lent (D)

Isaiah 54:1-4 (5-14) 15-17 OR Isaiah 37:14-38
Psalm 39
John 8:12-30
James 4:4-17 OR Galatians 4:1-5:1

Our Lord Jesus Christ, Light for the world, you who are from above, yet are not of this world, you are truly the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Savior of all who trust in you. For you have been lifted up, crucified, for the sins of the world. Now, allow us, we humbly pray, to lift you up in exaltation, thanksgiving, and praise, that you might draw all to yourself, and speak your Word of life and of truth, as the Father has instructed. Let us receive your Spirit into our hearts, that, as you call out to our heavenly Father, we might be awakened to your presence within us, always working to bring us safely home.