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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever 
se cwide þæs béaggiefan ábireþ ferhþ

Luke 6,36-42        3919
4. Sn. n. Trinitatis 049 
John Bonaventure, Bishop of Albano, Italy, ✠ 1274 
14. Juli 2019 

1. O Gracious God, our Merciful Father; help us to be merciful and giving, so that we may strive after Your heart and act as You do.  Amen. (Luke 6,36-38) 
2. »Jesus said to the crowd: Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.“ He also told them a parable: „Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother: ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.“ 
3. St. Luke records perhaps the most misquoted and misinterpreted phrase spoken by Christ our Lord: »Judge not.« Many people interpret this to mean that Jesus has called us to be nonjudgmental and therefore not pass judgment upon other people. From these two words, Christians and non-Christians alike are fond of saying: „Who am I to judge?“ or „Don’t judge me!“ This is an extremely popular opinion in our politically-correct, over-sensitive culture. 
4. The problem with this popular interpretation is that if it is true, then Jesus failed to follow His own teachings. Jesus actually judged people on a regular basis, and quite harshly at times. He began His public ministry by telling His fellow Nazarenes in the synagogue: »Truly, I say to you: no prophet is acceptable in his hometown« (Luke 4,24). We know Jesus was judging His fellow Nazarenes because their reaction to this statement was to become filled with wrath, whereupon they drove Jesus out of town and tried to throw Him down the cliff (Luke 4,28-29). Jesus judged the traditions of the Jewish elders by doing on the Sabbath what tradition said was illegal (Luke 6,1-5). Jesus judged His own disciples when He called out from among them twelve men whom He anointed as His apostles (Luke 6,12-13). Jesus judged people when He taught them using parables. »To you, My disciples, it has been give to know the secrets of the reign of God, but for others they are in parables so that they may hear but not understand« (Luke 8,9-15). Jesus called lawyers and the Pharisees fools and pronounced woes upon them; the lawyers and Pharisees were insulted by these statements Jesus said against them (Luke 11,37-54). 
5. We might interpret this as unloving on the part of Jesus, but Jesus judged people so they would recognize their sin, repent and turn unto Him for mercy. Judging people, properly done, is a Godly and important action for people to perform. We are to pass judgment on criminals and punish them for breaking society’s laws. We judge society’s morality with the Holy Scriptures. We judge ourselves with the 10 Commandments so that we also recognize our sinfulness.  
6. Jesus tells us to evaluate ourselves under the law. He tells us the reason why: »First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your neighbor’s eye.« „Our log is not only so large but also so near to us that it blocks our vision and we do not even see it. Jesus is the one who gives sight to the blind. He reaches out His hand to our log and pulls it out. ‘This must go. I want you to see.’ Jesus takes the logs out of our eyes. He drags them to Calvary, and on the timber that blinds and kills, He is killed. Jesus dies for our sins, and the wood we have supplied becomes, by His death, a declaration of that sin’s forgiveness. When the logs from our eyes have been through Calvary, we see. We see Jesus on the cross supplied by us, for us. We see ourselves as forgiven sinners. Then, when we bump into another sinner, we are able to help, for love comes sideways. We know the things that contradict Christ and the pain and ruin they work. We want each person we meet to be freed of them, and we are there to help him or her“ (Nagel 170,4-5). 
7. Running these logs and specks through Jesus makes all the difference. Jesus began this periscope by saying: »Be merciful, even as your Heavenly Father is merciful.« We see God’s mercy on full display at the crucifixion of His Son, for on that cross God’s mercy is revealed in the crucified Jesus. Then Jesus says: »Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;« God’s judgement and condemnation were poured out in full upon the crucified Jesus. He has born all our sinful judgement and condemnation under the law, suffered as one found guilty under the law. On the cross, God’s judgement and condemnation have been poured out, satisfied and fulfilled in Christ Jesus. How does God forgive? He forgives through Jesus who is the Certainty of our forgiveness and salvation. Thus the Apostle Paul can proclaim: »There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit« (Romans 8,1-4). »Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.« Is there any more a gracious giver than God? He gives to us abundantly through Christ Jesus. He holds nothing back, for He pours out His grace so that it overflows. Again Paul: »Sin reigned in death, but grace also reigns through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord« (Romans 5,21). 
8. There is sin in our lives, sin as big and bulky as logs. But we have a Lumberjack who is good at taking logs out of peoples’ eyes and sending those logs down river to be disposed of at the cross „You have some logs to confess, logs to be pulled out and dragged to Calvary. Cleansed and forgiven, you may then see as a servant sees, as a burden-bearing Savior sees. Lord, take from us, though it hurts, all that blinds us and hinders the flow of Your love“ (Nagel 172,11). 
9. And with the logs removed from our eyes we now see clearly God’s love for us and our neighbors. God’s love is a salve on our eyes and helps us to in turn love others. That love is manifested as the Apostle Paul describes it in his Epistle to the Romans: »Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all« (Romans 12,17-18). This is the love that Jesus shows to us, and it is the love we in turn show to our neighbor. We first receive forgiveness before we forgive; before we are merciful, we must receive mercy from God (Luther 102,15). God shows us forgiveness and mercy through Jesus Christ. „Our Savior gives us all things, physical and spiritual, earthly and eternal, gratuitously [freely] and out of pure goodness“ (Luther 100,10). May the Holy Spirit move in our hearts to love others as Christ loves us and loves them.  Amen. 
10. Let us pray. O Christ Jesus, we give thanks to You and sing praises to Your Name; O Most High, bless us with Your love so that we in turn can share that love to our neighbors and be a blessing to them in this world that often oppresses people.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Gode ealdore sy se cyneþrymm

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 
Giertz, Bo. Preaching from the Whole Bible. Copyright © 1967 Lutheran Legacy Publishing. 

Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 
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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

1. Timothy 1,12-17              3819
3. Sn. n. Trinitatis 048   
Willibald, Bishop of Eichstätt, Germany,  ✠ 786
7. Juli 2019 

1. O Heavenly Father, who rejoices over one sinner who repents; help us to urge sinners to repentance and those who have forsaken You to return to the faith, so that those who are lost may be found again.  Amen. (Luke 15,10.6) 
2. »I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor and violent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus entered the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To God alone, the Eternal King, who is immortal and invisible, be honor and glory forever and ever.   Amen.«  
  3. In today’s gospel pericope, Jesus teaches about finding the lost and rejoicing when he or she is found. In his 1. Epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul describes himself as a »blasphemer, persecutor and a violent opponent« to Christ Jesus and His Church. St. Luke writes of this in his book of Acts: »Now when the Sanhedrin heard these things, that Steven said, proving from the Scriptures, that Jesus is the Christ, they became enraged, then they cast him out of Jerusalem and stoned him. And Paul approved of this execution. Paul was ravaging the Church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and commended them to prison. Still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, Paul went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogue of Damascus, so that if he found any Christians, he might bring them down to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him: „Paul, Paul, why are you persecuting Me?“ And he replied: „Who are you, Lord?“ And He answered: „I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, but rise and go to Damascus and you will be told what you are to do.“ So Ananias lay his hands on Paul and he gained his sight. Then Paul rose and was baptized« (Acts 7,54.58; 8,1.3; 9,1-5.17-19). 
4. This Paul, though a Pharisee and well-versed in the Scriptures, nevertheless was lost; he did not have faith in Jesus as the Christ, and even persecuted Jews who confessed Jesus to be the promised Christ of their Scriptures. Paul argues that he had acted ignorantly in unbelief. Ultimately, everyone acts ignorantly and Amberley. Those of us who were baptized as an infant were later taught the Christian faith so that what we did not know about God was replaced with what the Scriptures teach us about God. Others receive Christ later in life when they are adults; all the misconceptions about God need to be replaced by the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Some fall away from the faith; they need to be found and brought back to the saving doctrine proclaimed by the Church. There are several reasons someone leaves the faith: 1. the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3,12-13), 2. the cares, riches and pleasures of this life (Luke 8,12-14) and 3. tribulation (Luke 8,12-14). Restoring those who once believed is often a painful, long and difficult task, because they often have hardened their hearts to Christ and His gospel.   
  5. The Apostle James concluded his epistle with this godly wisdom: »If anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, then let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save that person’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins« (James 5,19-20). We begin by praying for those are lost, asking God to open their hearts and minds to His gospel. We pursue opportunities to speak the truth in love. This may not always be a religious discussion, but first as opportunities to connect and relate, over coffee, a meal or some other such thing. Strengthening the bond of friendship or family through love whereby trust is strengthened, we then look for opportunities to engage them in religious dialogue, seeking openings to urge them back to God and proclaim the gospel to them. This requires a great deal of patience as someone who has a hardened heart toward God is not easily persuaded to change their attitude. 
6. Jesus seeks out such people who are lost. His grace overflows for all of the faith and love that are in Him. Christ Jesus arrived on this earth to save sinners. This is His ministry and His gospel. The angels rejoice when just 1 sinner repents (Luke 15,7.10). We rejoice for them as well. We also rejoice at our salvation; we should be joyous every time we draw near to God the Father confessing our sins and receiving His absolution, for this is a joyous act of repentance. God is merciful and quick to forgive.  
7. To seek and to save the lost is the great unfolding story of the Lord’s Heilsgeschichte (salvation history) as recorded in the pages of w Scripture that is played out in the history and lives of men and women. In spite of the sinful nature of mankind that is prone to curse the Lord, walk away from Him, trample upon His people and do violence to the prophets, apostles and rank-and-file believers, nevertheless the Lord kept His promise and continues to keep His promise to redeem fallen men and women. The Lord’s word is His bond, and His bond is His word; the Lord does what He promises: He finds the lost and saves them. Christ is the fulfillment of this promise: we were once lost, but Jesus has found us; in this we rejoice.  Amen.  
8. Let us pray. O Lord, Thou art merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness; give us joyful hearts, so that we rejoice when a sinner repents and one who was lost has been found by Your grace.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Soli Deo Gloria

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 

Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 
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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever 
se cwide þæs béaggiefan ábireþ ferhþ

Isaiah 55,1-5        3719
2. Sn. n. Trinitatis 047 
Commemoration of St. Paul   
30. Juni 2019 

1. O God, the Lord of the heavenly banquet; help us to receive Your invitation with joy and thanksgiving, so that we are blessed to eat bread in the reign of God.  Amen. (Luke 14,15-16) 
2. »Thus says the Lord: „Draw near, everyone who thirsts, go to the waters; and he who has no money, draw near, buy and eat! Draw near, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and draw near to Me; hear, so that your life may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, My steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you will call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you will run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.“« 
3. The Lord invites all to His heavenly banquet. He exhorts all to drink and eat without cost or price. The Scriptures referred to this as the meal the Lord shares with us in the kingdom of God that is enjoyed on the resurrection at the last day.    
4. The Prophet Isaiah exhorts us to incline our ears and draw near to the Lord; hear, so that we may live; and He will make with us an everlasting covenant. The Lord grounded this covenant upon the House of David, the royal line of Judah. The Son of David would inaugurate this everlasting reign. The Apostle Paul proclaimed this, writing: »We bring to you the gospel that what God promised, this He has fulfilled to us by raising Jesus, for He whom God raised did not see corruption. Let it be known to you therefore that through Jesus forgiveness of sins is proclaimed, and by Him everyone who believes is free from everything from which you could not be freed up by the law of Moses« (Acts 13,32-33.38-39).   
5. Yet many who are invited to eternal fellowship with God will reject that invitation. In Jesus’ day, many Jews made excuses as to why they could not or would not receive Him as the Christ and the invitation of eternal life He brings. Jesus thus went to the destitute, the downtrodden and the Gentiles; these received Him and welcomed His unexpected invitation. Jesus sent out His apostles to continue His work.  
6. The apostles preached the Word and wrote the Gospels and the Epistles; the Holy Scriptures are the Lord’s invitation to us to join Him at His heavenly banquet. Baptism too implies an invitation (Giertz 74). It is through baptism that we have been received into the kingdom of God (Giertz 74). But how many Christians make excuses like the Jews did 2000 years earlier? Some reject their baptism and faith, others get caught up with the wealth of this world and see no need to heed the invitation and still others seek another religion for their security. For us there is always the possibility of wriggling loose from the grip of God (Giertz 75). 
7. But there is also the possibility of returning home to God (Giertz 75). The Prophet Isaiah assures us, writing: »Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked person forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, so that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon« (Isaiah 55,6-7). 
8. In this temporal life, it is never too late to return to the Lord. God desires to forgive and to heal (Psalm 103,3), for as far as the east is from the west, so far does the Lord remove our transgressions from us (Psalm 103,12). Thus Jesus declares: »Draw near unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls/lives. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light« (Matthew 11,x), and again: »Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!« (Luke 11,28). Beloved people, let us hold fast the Word of life and be concerned with hearing, learning, understanding and applying the Word of God in our lives (Giertz 75). And always remember that God in Christ Jesus has forgiven our sins, brings healing to our troubled hearts, restores to us the joy of His salvation and uphold us with a willing spirit (Psalm 51,12) all through Christ Jesus.  Amen. 
9. Let us pray. O Beloved Lord, our Strength and Rock; deliver us from all temptation, sin and wickedness, so that we rest secure in Your safety.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Gode ealdore sy se cyneþrymm

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 
Giertz, Bo. Preaching from the Whole Bible. Copyright © 1967 Lutheran Legacy Publishing. 

Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 

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 ✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

John 5,39-47              3619
1. Sn. n. Trinitatis  046   
Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea, ✠ 379 
23. Juni 2019 

1. O Holy Spirit, the Giver of the Holy Scriptures, help us to see Christ throughout the Old Testament, so that we receive faith and wisdom to understand the words of Moses and thus understand the words of Jesus.  Amen. (John 5,46-47) 
2. »Jesus said to them: „You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to draw unto Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have arrived in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me. If another arrives in his own name, then you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that arrives from the Only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, then you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, then how will you believe My words?“«  
  3. In John 5, Jesus accuses the Jewish leaders, most likely the scribes and Pharisees, of not believing Him. Jesus knows that they search the Scriptures, and the Pharisees were very diligent in reading and applying the Scriptures to every day life. They believe that eternal life is to be found in the same Scriptures. On these 2 points, Jesus, Christians and the Pharisees agree: 1. We should diligently study and apply the Scriptures; and 2. Eternal life is found in the Scriptures. But Jesus makes a 3. point: the Scriptures bear witness about Me; you Pharisees refuse to believe that I am the Christ promised in those Scriptures which give us eternal life.  
4. This is the great divide still today between Jews and Christians: we both affirm the 39 books from Genesis to Malachi to be the Scriptures, but the Jews refuse to see in the Scriptures that Jesus is the fulfillment of them. Jesus told the Pharisees that the Scriptures bear witness about Him. Following His resurrection, Jesus, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, interpreted to His disciples all the Scriptures concerning Himself (Luke 24,27). The Apostles continue to show Christ foretold in the Scriptures: »God foretold by the mouth of all the Prophets that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Haven’t received Christ Jesus until the timer for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy Prophets long ago. And all the Prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who arrive after him, also proclaimed these days« (Acts 3,18.21.24). 
  5. Christians fall short just as the unbelieving Jews do. Consistent polls reveal that 52% of American Christians believe at least 1 non-Christian religion leads to eternal life. The Scriptures cannot be any clearer on this point: there is salvation only in Christ Jesus. Jesus Himself proclaimed: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me« (John 14,6). The Apostles Peter and John also told the Jewish leaders (Sanhedrin?): »This Jesus is the Stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the Cornerstone. And there is salvation and no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved« (Acts 4,11-12). 
6. Both the Old Testament and New Testament affirm this salvation in Jesus alone. Jesus says: »If you believed in Moses, then you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.« Jesus has in mind here 4 specific times Moses pointed the way to the Christ: 1. the Seed of the woman who would strike the serpent (Genesis 3,15); 2. the Seed of Abraham (Genesis 22,17); 3. the Scepter of Judah (Genesis 49,10); and 4. the Prophet whom the people should look for after Moses (Deuteronomy 18,15). 
7. Jesus argues that He does not alone bear witness about Himself; Moses, John the Baptizer and the Father bear witness about Him, and therefore Jesus’ testimony is true (John 5,31-33.37). Moses and all the Prophets point to Jesus. The Jews have no excuse as to not believe. Christians have no excuse to believe Jesus is the only way to salvation. We search the Scriptures because in them we have eternal life, for it is they that bear witness about Jesus, Jesus alone for our salvation.  Amen.  
8. Let us pray. O Lord, Your testimonies are righteous forever; send to us the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of Your Holy Scriptures that point to Christ, so that we may have eternal life.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Soli Deo Gloria

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 
Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 
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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever 
se cwide þæs béaggiefan ábireþ ferhþ

2. Corinthians 13,11-14        3519
Trinitatis 045 weiß
Julitta, Quirinus, Martyrs 304  
16. Juni 2019 

1. O Almighty, Everliving God, who has taught us to know and confess in true faith that, in 3 Persons of equal power and majesty, You are 1 Everlasting God, desiring to be worshiped as such; sustain us steadfast in that faith, so that we remain faithful to the right worship of You.  Amen. (Löhe 483) 
2. »Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.« 
3. While the actual word „Trinity“ or „Triune“ does not appear in the Holy Scriptures, the concept is there throughout the pages of the Old and New Testaments. Meditate upon the Apostle Paul’s final greeting in His 2. Epistle to the Corinthians. He mentions God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, a clear Trinitarian confession of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We also find a Trinitarian confession in the opening verses of Genesis: »In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. God said: „Let there be light, and there was light.“« (Genesis 1,1-3). In his Gospel, the Apostle John tells us: »In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us« (John 1,1.14). Again, the Scriptures affirm that at Creation there is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   
4. The Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds are tripartite creeds with a part devoted to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, respectively. The first half of the Athanasian Creed confesses in great detail the Triune nature of God. „We worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the Persons nor dividing the Substance. For the Father is One Person, the Son is Another and the Holy Spirit is Another. But the Godhead of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is One: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal“ (Athanasian Creed 4-6).   
5. This means that those attributes we confess about God apply to each Person. When Paul writes that God the Father of love and peace will be with us, that also means that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also of love and peace, and likewise they will be with us too. Paul’s final verse in the epistle could be read this way as well: »The grace of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you all.« 
6. Notice also how Paul employs a Trinitarian structure in that final verse where he mentions: grace, love and fellowship. These attributes tells us something about the Triune God. 1. God is gracious. He is merciful, forgiving and compassionate. This attribute manifests itself with the crucified Jesus who redeemed us from our sins. He was the vicarious sacrifice sent by a Gracious Heavenly Father who wanted to save His fallen Creation. 2. God is loving, and this is closely connected to God’s attribute of grace. Out of love for His fallen Creation, God the Father was willing to send His Only-begotten Son to redeem us, and Jesus was willing to lay down His life for us as this sacrifice. 3. God enjoys fellowship. He created the world with rich diversity, a host of angels and culminated it with making man and woman in His own Image and Likeness. God gathers together Christians in His Church so He can fellowship with us, we with Him and we with one another. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a meal a fellowship where He gives out His forgiveness. The cup is a participation in the blood of Christ; the bread is a participation in the body of Christ (1. Corinthians 10,16).   
7. „Thus there is 1 Father; 1 Son; and 1 Holy Spirit. And in this Trinity none is before after another; none as greater or less or than another; but the whole 3 Persons are Coeternal with each other and Coequal, so that in all things the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped (Athanasian Creed 23-25).  Amen. 
8. Let us pray. O Triune God, You are a blessing to us; keep sound doctrine in our midst, so that we may rightly understand Your revelation to us through Your Holy Scriptures and in understanding be at peace and blessed in Your gracious heart towards us through Christ Jesus, our Loving Savior.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Gode ealdore sy se cyneþrymm

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 


Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 
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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

John 14,23-31              3419
Pfingstsonntag  043   
Primus and Felicianus, Martyrs at Rome, 286 
9. Juni 2019 

1. O God, Holy Spirit, Comforter of the sorrowful, lead us into all truth, sanctify us in body and soul and comfort us in every time of need, so that we may be united more closely to You, the Father and the Son.  Amen. (Löhe 490-92) 
2. »Jesus answered Judas (not Iscariot): „If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will go to him and make Our home with him. 24Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. And the word that you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 25These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28You heard Me say to you: „I am going away, and I will return to you.“ If you loved Me, then you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than Me. 29And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is arriving. He has no claim on Me, 31but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.“« 
  3. Jesus promised His apostles that He would send them the Holy Spirit 50 days after His ascension. Jesus fulfilled this promise at the feast of Pentecost (Greek 50th). In older English we call it Whitsunday (White Sunday). It’s the Greek name for the Hebrew feast of weeks, Shavuot (Tobit; 2. Maccabees). Pentecost is the Jewish feast of weeks, a harvest festival that is celebrated 50 days after the first Sabbath of Passover (Deuteronomy 16,9). After ad 70, the focus shifted from agriculture to the giving of the law on Sinai and celebrating in the local synagogue with the reading of Exodus 19-20 and Ruth.  
4. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will do 3 things when He arrives: 
1. He will comfort the disciples; 
2. He will teach them and help them remember everything Jesus has taught; and 
3. He will bring them peace.
  5. Luther explains the importance of the Holy Spirit in his Small Catechism: „I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps her with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the last day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ.“ All this is the Holy Spirit providing comfort and peace to the Church and Christians. 
6. The Holy Spirit’s role in teaching and calling to remembrance all Jesus said begins immediately as He descends upon the apostles. Peter preached a powerful, Biblical sermon to the Jews gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. »„Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works, wonders and signs that God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know – this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised Him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it. For David says concerning him: I saw the Lord always before me, for He is at my right hand so that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with Your presence [Psalm 16,8-11]. Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool [Psalm 110,1]. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.“« (Acts 2,22-36). 
7. The first apostolic sermon is grounded upon the Holy Scriptures, particularly the Psalms (16,8-11; 89,3; 110,1), and emphasizes 6 key points:  

1. Jesus performed Divine deeds in their midst; 
2. you, Jews, delivered Him to be crucified by the Romans; 
3. God raised Him up from the grave (Hades); 
4. Jesus is now exalted at the right hand of God; 
5. the outpouring of the Holy Spirit this day is proof of Jesus’ exultation; and 
6. Jesus is both Lord and Christ. 
8. This apostolic sermon is both Christian and credal, for it establishes the basic confession we profess each week in our Creeds. It convicts the Jews of their sin through the law and proclaims their forgiveness through the gospel; it is a very Lutheran sermon.  
9. St. Luke points out in his Gospel: »Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers of the people, and said to them: You brought me this man, Jesus, as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod. I will therefore punish and release him. But they cried out together: Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas! Crucify, crucify Jesus! So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted (Luke 23,13-18.21-24). This was the chief sin of the Jews addressed by the Apostle Peter. Is our sin the same, 2000 years later? A: Yes, because our sinfulness is no different then the sin of the Romans and Jews of the first century ad. The very nature of our sinful state cries out that Jesus be crucified; our selfish sinfulness would gladly allow an innocent person be killed if it spares our own selves. Such is the depravity of our sinful nature. The first apostolic sermon cuts deep into our heart and conscience: we delivered Jesus over to be crucified. Like the 1. century Jews, we are cut to the heart and cry out: what shall we do?« (Acts 2,37). 
10. Hear Jesus’ response from the cross to our guilty association: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23,34). And that is what the apostles proclaim to the Jews on Pentecost: repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 238). Paul explains this to the Romans, saying the righteousness of God has been manifested … through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe (Romans 3,21-22). 
11. Jesus is our Lord and Christ; this is the gospel proclamation throughout the world. He is both God and man who redeemed us from our sinful state through His sacrifice on the cross. We are justified by His grace as a gift (Romans 3,24). The apostles began preaching the gospel, this gift, first to the Jews and then also to the Gentiles. The Holy Spirit worked through their preaching and writings to create faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit continues to create such faith this day here and around the world. The Holy Spirit brings us the peace of Christ. He comforts us with the gospel, assures us that God loves us and declares that our sin is forgiven. This is the peace the Holy Spirit brings us, and He brings it through Christ and His righteous merit that is ours by faith.  Amen.  
12. Let us pray. O God the Father, Your testimonies are righteous forever; give us an understanding of Your Word and trust in Your gospel, so that we may live forever with You, Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Soli Deo Gloria

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 

Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 
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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever 
se cwide þæs béaggiefan ábireþ ferhþ

Ephesians 3,14-21        3319
Exaudi 042 weiß
Blandina, Virgin, Martyr in Lyon, France 177
Erasmus, B., Confessor, ✠ 303 
2. Juni 2019 

1. O Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Highest and seated at the right hand of God the Father, give us pious preachers of the Word and maintain Your Church, so that all Your enemies shall be put under Your feet, and we, through You, overcome sin, death and all things.  Amen. (Löhe 483) 
2. »For this reason I bend the knee before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, so that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.« 
3. To „bend the knee“ is a formal act submission to a king, queen or lord, a recognition of authority and demonstration of fealty. This past Thursday the Church celebrated Jesus’ ascension (Luke 24,51), for He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father (Psalm 110,1; Mark 16,19). Paul says he bends the knee before the Father, and therefore he also bends the knee before Jesus who, at the right hand of the Father, rules in His stead. This explains why Paul often refers to himself and fellow Christians as slaves of Christ Jesus (Romans 1,1; 6,22; 1. Corinthian’s 6,19-20); Christ is our King and we bend our knees in fealty to Him. In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes: »We will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: As I live, says the Lord, everyone shall bend the knee to Me, and every tongue shall acknowledge me to be God« [Isaiah 45,23] (Romans 14,11).  
4. The Apostle Paul furthermore confesses that the God he bends the knee to is a Triune God: »For this reason I bend the knee before the Father … so that He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit … so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.« 3 Persons, Father, Holy Spirit and Christ, yet 1 God. So say we all in our Creeds.  
5. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Comforter in today’s Gospel pericope (John 15,26). He promised to send the Holy Spirit when He ascended to heaven. This is an important promise, for God desires us to be filled with His fullness. The frail, corrupted men and women we are often don’t perceive such Divine presence in our lives. More often than not we are painfully and shamefully aware that sin and sinful desires fill us, rather than the holy presence of Christ. We despair of life, feel the pains of persecution and succumb to the temptation to sin. Paul describes us all too well in his epistle: »We were dead in the trespasses and sins … following the course of this world … carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath« (Ephesians 2,1-3). There is no denying that we are heirs of Adam and Eve, sharing in their disobedience and curse: »The soul that sins shall die« (Ezekiel 18,20). That’s the bad news, and news that we must continually be confronted with by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.   
6. Since we share in Adam and Eve’s curse, we also share in their promise. Paul describes it this way: »But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace we have been saved — and raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the approaching age He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace we have been saved through faith. And this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God« (Ephesians 2,4-8). That’s the good news, the greatest news, the gospel, and we must continually hear it and receive it from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.  
7. Did you catch that phrase Paul placer in the middle of His gospel proclamation to the Ephesians? He wrote: »God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly places.« Christ ascended to the right hand of His Father; that is the position of highest honor and a place one takes to rule in the name of a monarch. Paul says we also join Christ at that position of great honor. We join the ranks of angels and fellow believers to gather at the throne of God to worship Him and be blessed by Him.  
8. The believers in the Old Testament understood it this way as well: »You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in Your train …. Blessed is the Lord who daily bears us up; God is our salvation« (Psalm 68,18-19). Paul quotes this Psalm verse in Ephesians 4: »Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore Scripture says: When He ascended on a high He lead a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men« [Psalm 68,18] (Ephesians 4,7-8). 
9. We are blessed, for Christ gives us rich and abundant gifts. Christ sends us the Holy Spirit who strengthens our inner being with power and grounds us in love, for in this power and love we know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. The love of Christ is His vicarious action of suffering and dying in our place then rising from the grave as the first fruits of the Resurrection. Jesus taught His apostles about this love the evening before His crucifixion. »Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you« (John 15,12-15). 
10. Exaudi is Latin for hear, and thus today’s Introit implores of the Lord: »Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; hide not Your face from me« (Psalm 27,7). The love of God is manifested in its fullness on the cross, with the empty tomb and Christ’s ascension to the right hand of His Father. This love has the power to forgive sins, enable us to do good and secures our eternal salvation in heaven. This is the gospel Jesus wants proclaimed, and so we have proclaimed it. Receive it with joy.  Amen. 
11. Let us pray. O God, Thou reignest over the nations from Your holy throne; send us the Holy Spirit, so that we daily live with the joy and assurance of Your forgiveness through our risen Christ Jesus.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Gode ealdore sy se cyneþrymm

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 
Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 

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»Afterward Jesus appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen. 15And He said to them: „Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.“ 19So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.« (Mark 16,14-20) 

Forty days ago our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave. Over the course of those several weeks He appeared to His disciples, taught them and opened up the Scriptures further. Today that drew to a close as Jesus ascended into heaven. 

But Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit who would be with and guide His apostles and the Church. Through the working of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the apostles and the testimony of the disciples, the Church grew. The same is true in the 21st century as it was in the 1st century. 

Christ has promised to be with us throughout time. He now rules from on high at the right hand of God the Father. He watches over us. He hears our prayers. He directs the Holy Spirit and the hosts of angels to guide and protect us. 

The Son of God is now the ruling Prince. All of creation bows to Him. We confess and praise Him to be the risen Lord. The Lord works through us, our words and our actions, to spread the gospel that sin has been forgiven on account of Christ. May we always remember that gracious promise and declaration.  Amen. 

Let us pray. O Almighty God, as Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, ascended into the heavens, so may we also ascend in heart and mind and continually dwell there with Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum

John 16,23-30              3119
Rogate (5. Sonntag nach Ostern)  040   
Quadratus, Bishop of Athens, disciple of the Apostles, Apologist, ✠ 126 
Coptic Martyrs (28+) in Minya, Egypt ✠ 2017 
26. Mai 2019 

1. O Lord Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, we ask that Your holy resurrection would be our comfort, so that our firm reliance in faith is acknowledging that in Your grave You did deeply hide our sin and guilt.  Amen. (Löhe 479) 
2. »Jesus said to His disciples: „In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you. 24Until now you have asked nothing in My Name. Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy may be full. 25I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is arriving when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26In that day you will ask in My Name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I arrived from God. 28I arrived from the Father and have gone into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.“ 29His disciples said: „Ah, now You are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30Now we know that You know all things and do not need anyone to question You; this is why we believe that You arrived from God.“« 
  3. Rogate is Latin for ask, and in John 16 Jesus exhorts His disciples to »ask, and you will receive.« Jesus encourages us that the life of a Christian is a life of prayer to God; thus, prayer is a core activity each Sunday as the Church gathers in worship. 
4. Jesus’ exhortation to pray to God the Father in John 16 occurs on Maundy Thursday, and as such is one of the last things He teaches His apostles before He is arrested and crucified. But this is not the first time Jesus taught about prayer, for He had exhorted His apostles several times before about prayer in the Gospels. 
5. Such exhortation is necessary. We tend to live busy and stressful lives, and prayer can be one of the first things to be put aside as we manage our time. Jewish piety in Jesus’ day was to pray in the morning and in the evening. Several psalms encourage morning and evening prayer (Psalm 5,3; 57,7-10; 119,147; Psalm 63,6; 119,55.62). Often times the Jewish people prayed when the morning and evening sacrifices were offered at the temple in Jerusalem so that there would be a connection and a synchronization of prayer with the prayer of the priest, the sacrifice of the animal for forgiveness at that time of day and the praying of the Jewish people wherever they were all aligning at the same time (1. Chronicles 16,40). The apostles and the Church exhort Christians to follow this piety and tradition. By the Medieval Ages the Church had established 7 canonical hours for prayer. Luther gives in his Small Catechism examples of simple morning and evening prayers. In the Lutheran tradition, our hymnals contain at least two prayer services: Matins and Vespers
6. Luther’s guide for morning and evening prayer is quite streamlined: Invocation, Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, a morning/evening prayer and a hymn. Luther’s morning prayer is this: „I thank you, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, so that all my dealings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, so that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.“ It costs us roughly 5 minutes of our time in the morning and evening to follow Luther’s advice. Luther’s order of prayer is printed in his Small Catechism and in our Lutheran Service Book. 
7. In John 16, Jesus focuses on the object of our prayer, which is God. Jesus says: »Whatever you ask of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you.« Luther explained it this way in his Small Catechism about the Lord’s Prayer: „God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.“ And again: „We should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us.“ 
8. Take your prayers, petitions and concerns to the Lord in prayer, and do so with confidence for our Heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers them. After teaching His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus said to them: »Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him: „Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him“; and he will answer from within: „Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything“? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!« (Luke 11,5-13). 
9. With this parable Jesus teaches us that God the Father loves us, cares for us and provides for us. He wants us to ask things from Him, trust Him and to give thanks for His daily Providence. May the Holy Spirit form in us the habit of daily prayer, for He will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged. The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds, and it will not rest until it reaches its goal; it will not desist until the Most High responds and does justice for the righteous (Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 35, 16b.21-22a).  Amen.  
10. Let us pray. O God the Father, who receives the prayers of His people; receive our songs of praise and the petitions we offer up in prayer, so that in hearing You respond to us and in responding You bless us.  Amen. 

To God alone be the Glory 
Soli Deo Gloria

All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart. 
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2013 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. 
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2013 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. 

Löhe, Wilhelm. Seed-Grains of Prayer: A Manual for Evangelical Christians. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago circa 1912. Concordia Publishing House; Concordia on Demand. 
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We go to our 9:30 a.m. Divine Service schedule on May 26th.

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