Invitatory: I am the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Revelation 1.18
Prayer for the Week: “Almighty God, by the death of your Son you have destroyed sin and death, and by his resurrection you have restored innocence and everlasting life, in order that, delivered from the power of the devil, we may live in your kingdom. Grant that we may believe this with our whole heart, and, steadfast in this faith, may praise and thank you evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Martin Luther, Klugsches Gesangbuch, 1553; text in Allgemeines Evangelisches Gebetbuch, 1955, p.430)
Bible reading for the day: Acts 5.27-32 (note: The Jewish council of priests had its own police force. In the early years after Jesus’ resurrection, this temple police force arrests Peter and other apostles for preaching Jesus as Lord and brings them before the religious council.)
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for raising Jesus in order to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to whole race full of sinners, including me. Give to me and my congregation that repentance that obeys you rather than men… that does not let controlling, religious people silence our witness. By and with your Holy Spirit, send me and my congregation today and every day into our families and into the neighborhood… to give that repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name. I ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://vimeo.com/46203440
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. (The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
benediction: 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. (1 Pet 5:10)
*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.