kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Good Shepherd

Invitatory:  11“I am the good shepherd… 27My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” John 10.11, 27-28

Morning Prayer:  O Savior Christ, you lead to immortal happiness those who entrust themselves to you.  Grant that we, being weak, presume not to trust in ourselves, but may always have you before our eyes, to follow you, our Shepherd; that you, who alone knows the way, may lead us to our heavenly desires.  To you with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory forever.  Amen.  (Primer, 1545, adapted)

Bible reading for the day:  Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you that in Christ you are my true Shepherd, and that you have put both of your hands to work for my good: with your right hand you lead an anxious sheep like me right through the valley of the shadow of death and into the green pasture of your word and you lead me to drink the still, cool waters of your promise.  And with your left hand you wield the rod and staff of your word against the power of sin, the works of the devil, and the ways of this world.  Thank you, Good Shepherd, thank you!  Now, in the confidence given me by this work of your hands, let me delight in the table you have set right before me: delight in you as my Lord, delight in the faith and all good gifts you give me…even as those enemies must only yield and watch in envy.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen. 

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with our Good Shepherd:

“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord…”
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:  The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  (Romans 15.13)


*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  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:
T: thanksgiving
                                                          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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment