Invitatory: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Mark 13.31
Morning prayer: O Lord, teach us how to pray. Direct the lives of you servants toward the goal of everlasting salvation, that, surrounded by all the changes and uncertainties of life, we may be defended by your gracious and ready help in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship, Minister’s Desk edition, p.113.)
Bible reading for the day: Zechariah 12.10-13.1 (note: the Exile to Babylon (587-539 BC) is over, the Lord has brought Judah back to the land. Much more than simply restoring the temple and property, the Lord is in the process of restoring his people. At the heart of this restoration is the yet-to-come Christ’s atonement for our sin)
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.
13.1“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.
Prayer (based on TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for your merciful plan to have Christ pierced for the forgiveness of our sin, the sin of your Old Testament people and my sin… thank you! Deliver your church from the subtle, gross sin of thinking repentance is a general thing. Pour out your Spirit of grace and mercy so that family by family – starting with my own – we may daily die to our sin and rise from the bath of our baptism, clinging to Christ. In his name I ask this, amen.
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MimsQtU-ccQ (expand to full screen so you can read the lyricsJ)
“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.
Where is this written?
Saint Paul says in Romans, “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing)
Benediction: Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21)
*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