Verse for the week: The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also. I John 4.21
Prayer for the week: “Dear Father in heaven, you have revealed your love to us in Jesus Christ. Grant us your Holy Spirit, that we may love you with our whole heart and our neighbors as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Kirchenbuch fur die Gemeinde [Isenhagen], quoted in Ernst Glur and Kurt Jagdmann, Orate Fratres, Gebetsordnung fur evangelische-lutherische Pfarrer Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1952 p.82)
Bible reading for the day: Mark 10.1-16
1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.
2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for creating us male and female and establishing the gift of marriage… that husband and wife may hold fast to you and to one another. Repent me and your church of our hard-heartedness that lets go of this good gift and goes against your will for us. Please forgive us and make us faithful husbands, wives, and children. Make us new in Christ each day, that instead of trying to test you and boss you around we may enter into your kingdom as your blessed, beloved children. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Sixth Commandment: You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20.14)
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that in matters of sex we are chaste and disciplined in our words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)
Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtvxwsiRge4
benediction: May the God of peace himself grow you in his will entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. Amen. I Thess 5.23
*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: T:
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.