Invitatory: “he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and… he bore the sin of many,” Is 53.12
Morning prayer: O God, holy and eternal, you permit us to enter into the fellowship of that holy suffering by which your dear Son, our Savior, conquered sin, death and the power of the devil. Grant that we may celebrate his passion with true devotion, accept the cross as his disciples, and thus fulfill your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das Jahr der Kirche, 2nd edition (Kassel: Johannes Stauda-Verlag, 1948), p. 249.]
Bible reading for the day: John 12.27-36 (picks up right where yesterday’s reading left off)
27“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for your foreign glory: not glittering like we and the world want it, but incarnate in Christ crucified and raised for the forgiveness of our sins. Thank you! Guard us against the ruler of this world and his subtle, deadly darkness. The light of Christ’s resurrection dawns upon us already. By your grace give us the faith we don’t deserve, the faith we need, the faith to believe in him and walk in his light. I ask this through the same, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.
“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: The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. Phil 4.7
*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.