Invitatory: Come to me all you who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Prayer of the week: “Almighty God, grant to your church your Holy Spirit and the wisdom which comes down from heaven, that your word may not be bound but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people, that in steadfast faith we may serve you and in the confession of your name abide to the end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Andreas Althamer, Katechismus, 1528 – first Lutheran Catechism – text in Alligemeines Evangelisches Gebetbuch, 1955, p. 435)
Bible reading for the day: II Corinthians 5.6-21
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for your judgment and mercy: thank you for making Christ into sin to make me righteous. Repent me and your whole church of living for ourselves, our emotions, our agendas. Make us daily into your new creation…that we may be effective ambassadors for Christ. I ask this in his name, amen.
What is the significance of baptizing with water?
It signifies that the old Adam in us, together with all sins and evil desires, should be drowned by daily sorrow for sin and repentance and be put to death, and that the new person should come forth every day and rise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
St. Paul writes in Romans 6:
“We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (From The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
benediction: The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
From this time on and forevermore. Ps 121.7-8
*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 (
www.dailytext.com). The method is founded on scripture and easy
to remember: Alexandria, MN
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.