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All Saints Sunday

All Saints Sunday

The Gospel is an offensive Word.  When you preach (or when you hear this Word preached) Jesus Christ, him crucified, and him alone handed over to be the life of dead sinners… when you preach that or hear that gospel of Jesus Christ, people will be offended and will revile you for offending them.  Such people think they still have life in themselves, and that God-Jesus-faith is just something you add to a pre-existing life.  The Gospel reeks of death and exudes the stench of the grave to such people.  They cannot abide hearing that they are dead in their sin (Eph. 2:1).  So, they silence the message by silencing the messenger who bears the Gospel’s stink.  However, to those dead in their trespass… dead in their sin… dead and in need of salvation… dead and requiring a resurrection not merely a resuscitation… to such people, the Gospel’s stench is but the sweet aroma of Christ.  The Gospel’s preaching fills their nostrils with a whiff of the new life.  This Word and its promise fills their dead ears and raises them up… makes them alive together with Christ… and these new creatures in Christ make welcome the one with beautiful feet who comes preaching good news (Ro. 10:15). 

Prayers from one who needs the offensive Word of the Gospel so that the stench of the grave would become the sweet aroma of Christ…

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus Christ, so that it must be preached into people’s ears that they might have life out of death.  Provide me with a preacher with beautiful feet for bearing such good news to me that I, too, would be made alive together with Christ, through the firstborn from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus Christ, so that it must be preached into people’s ears that they might have life out of death.  Provide for me to be a preacher bearing such good news to my neighbors that they, too, would be made alive together with Christ, through the firstborn from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus Christ, so, that as my ears are filled with this Word, the stench of the grave and the reek of death readily apparent to me the reality of my death in trespass, through the first-born from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus Christ, and repent me from death to new life.  Now, with Christ as my life and as my righteousness, turn me toward my neighbors that I would meet them and serve their needs not mine, through the firstborn from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus Christ, and repent me from unbelief to belief.  Since faith in Christ delivers me into the reality of the New Creation in Christ, grant that I pour myself out in service while the flesh still adheres in this creation, through the firstborn from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus Christ, and provide for the preaching and teaching of it.  Grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology both provide for the teaching of the Good News and produce preachers of the Good News, through the firstborn from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen

Father in heaven, you set out the Good News of your Son, Jesus with the expectation that this news would fill our ears all the days of our baptism.  Grant, that as my ears are filled with this Word, my nostrils would be filled with the sweet aroma of Christ and I would not fear the stench of the grave as I wait and hope for the coming of my Lord in glory, through the first-born from the dead, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen