Greetings in Jesus’ name!
This week we continue celebrating that Jesus truly is alive! If you have a moment, take a listen to this segment from Issues, Etc. all about the seemingly subtle and yet growing problem of the denial of Jesus’ bodily resurrection within evangelical Christian circles. It’s a much more rampant problem with greater side effects than you might think.
That might seem like a side note…and it was intended to be…but then I realized it’s really not. As we prepare for the Divine Service this weekend we meditate on Christ’s Words from our Gospel lesson and what His words mean for us today. I’ll be preaching on this text as we enter into our brief series on Stewardship.
If Jesus is not alive and our physical bodies don’t matter, then what we do in this life doesn’t matter and how we live as stewards of God’s gifts to us doesn’t matter either. If it’s all about some spiritual reality without any connection to our physical daily life, then we fail to see the point of any command about how to live our lives. But Jesus commands His disciples – and us today – to love one another as He has loved us. He laid down His life for us and we now selflessly give and serve others as well.
We are only stewards of God’s gifts, so this weekend as we reflect on Jesus’ resurrection and His command to love others, we remember the love that he showed to us upon the cross and continues to show as he forgives our sins and intercedes for us with the Father.
What an amazing God we serve who would make us poor sinners stewards of His heavenly riches!
Blessings on your day!
Take a few minutes to peruse the Service Folder for this weekend to reflect on the prayers and hymnody for the day.
You can also dig deeper into the liturgy of the service with this segment from Issues, Etc.
Here is the Lectionary summary for the day as well to help shape the points of the day.
The Lord Jesus Is with His Church in the Apostolic Ministry of the Gospel
The crucified and risen Lord Jesus is with His Church through the word of His apostles, who “are witnesses of all that he did.” He was anointed by God “with the Holy Spirit and with power,” and “he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,” and so He was with those whom He sent “to preach to the people” (Acts 10:38–42). The Holy Spirit is bestowed on those who hear that apostolic preaching, who are “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” so that “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43–44, 48). For as He came by the water of His Baptism, even to the blood of His Passion, so the Spirit testifies to the truth with “the water and the blood” in the apostolic ministry of the Gospel (1 John 5:6–7). By these means, Christ Jesus speaks to us, that His joy may be in us and that our “joy may be full.” For this purpose, He appointed the apostles to “go and bear fruit” in order to make known His divine friendship to us (John 15:11, 15–16).
If you had to miss service last week, you can catch up now.