Christ our Intercessor
Verse for the week: Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession of faith. Hebrews 4.14
Prayer for the week: “Eternal God, you commit to us the swift and solemn trust of life; since we know not what the day may bring forth, but only that the hour for serving you is always present, may we wake to the instant claims of your holy will, not waiting for tomorrow, but yielding today. Consecrate with your presence the way our feet may go and the humblest work will shine, and the roughest place be made plain. Lift us above unrighteous anger and mistrust, into faith, and hope, and charity, by a simple and steadfast reliance on your sure will. In all things draw us to the mind of Christ, that your lost image may be traced again, and you may own us as at one with him and you, to the glory of your great name. Amen.” (James Martineau, Home Prayers, London: Longmans, Green, 1891)
Bible reading for the day: Acts 1.15-26
15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,
“‘May his camp become desolate,
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
and let there be no one to dwell in it’;
“‘Let another take his office.’
21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for choosing me and your whole church to be witnesses not just of a sporting event or the latest gossip…thank you for choosing us to be witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. Repent us of going to our own place and betraying you; nasty things happen when we do that. Pour your Holy Spirit right down through our ears and onto our lives that we may indeed be your witnesses in our homes, congregation, neighborhood, and to the ends of the earth. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igvtsUfD5xM
What is baptism?
Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God's command and connected with God's Word.
What is this Word? In Matthew 28 our Lord Jesus Christ says:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, © Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Benediction: (1 Peter 5:10) And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you this day. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
*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.