Invitatory: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mt 20.28
Morning prayer: Lord God, heavenly Father, in your Son you have given the world a pioneer of salvation and made him the true and eternal priest and mediator of his people. Grant that we may hold fast to him in love, learn obedience in his discipleship, and so be brought into the heavenly sanctuary through him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. [K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das Jahr der Kirche, 2nd edition (Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948), p. 114.]
Bible reading for the day: Romans 3.21-31
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for taking wrong ones like us and putting us right through faith in Jesus Christ, thank you! Kill off my boasting and that of my congregation… kill off all our attempts to justify ourselves. By your sheer grace, raise us today and everyday as people who uphold your law and who live by faith in Jesus Christ alone; in his name I pray, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a contemporary hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENtL_li4GbE
“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Benediction: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. Amen. II Thess 2.16-17
*There are many patterns for devotions. This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray. It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:
R: regret (repentance)
I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.