Verse for the week: He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death and…bore the sins of many. Isaiah 53.12
Prayer of the Day: Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: To love one another as he had loved them. By your Holy Spirit write this commandment on our hearts; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Bible reading for the day: Mark 14.22-31
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, Peter’s words were truer than he knew: we must die with you in order to follow you. In your supper you take betrayers…fallers-away like us and feed us the meal we don’t deserve: your forgiveness, life and salvation. Thank you! Each day, put our sinful self and our old appetite to death…and fit us anew for your kingdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
What is the benefit of such eating and drinking (of the Lord’s supper)?
It is pointed out in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words the forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation are given to us in the Sacrament, for where there is forgiveness of sin, there is also life and salvation. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Anthem: for a meditation on Christ’s passion, listen to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50WIs0Rbm9Q
Benediction: O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)
*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.