ILT Library Remodel

Phase One Complete

Fifteen years ago, the ILT library was comprised of around 2,000 volumes and housed in two small rooms in the basement of the Old Sanctuary facility. In fact, those two small rooms housed the entire campus of ILT. Over the last fifteen years our library has grown to ten times its original size (now holding 20,000 volumes). During this time, the library remained in that same basement. Now, the library is rising into the sun. We are pleased to announce that over the last year the ILT Library has been relocated to a ground floor building on the campus and has undergone a major remodel.

Our new library is complete with collection space for over 35,000 volumes (including space to house a 5,000-volume doctoral level special collection), and plenty of space for student and faculty research as well as on-site conference space. More than this, our library is now a place where students and faculty will feel welcome and at home in their research. In fact, when our library recently hosted the Christ School of Theology comprehensive evaluation by The Association of Theological Schools, we received many comments and compliments regarding the quality of our new library. And this is just the beginning.

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In Phase Two of our library remodel, we will expand our collection capacity to over 40,000 volumes, make our collection spaces even more inviting, and build our existing conference room into a world-class media classroom that will allow us to bring together students and scholars on-site with their peers around the world.

In Phase Three of our library remodel project, we hope to expand our special collection capacity by 20,000 volumes (giving us an overall collection capacity of 60,000 volumes), as well as provide space to house the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of Information Affairs, the North American Lutheran Archive (each dedicated to preserving the proclaimed Word of God, through the literature of the classical Christian tradition from a Lutheran perspective), ILT Media (dedicated to promoting the proclamation of the Word of God through the development of new literature and video productions that engages the contemporary cultural and intellectual horizon), and the ILT Think Tank (dedicated to propagating the Word of God through original research, discussion, and disputation bringing the classical Christian tradition from a Lutheran perspective into direct engagement with the contemporary intellectual and cultural horizon).

It is our hope (with the Lord’s blessing and your support) to provide more than a library. It is our hope to provide a true center for the Word in which we might facilitate and foster the proclamation of the Word by our students, our faculty, our partner congregations, pastors, evangelists, and teachers around the world. 

The Third Sunday of Easter, April 14, 2024

These verses reassure us. They comfort us by describing the sort of shepherd we have in Jesus Christ. He is a shepherd who holds nothing back, laying down his life for the sheep (vs.11). He is a shepherd complete with the most intimate of knowledge—that is, he knows who belongs to him (vs. 14). In his knowing his sheep, they also know him. You, his sheep, know your shepherd as one who lays down his life for you. The depth of this knowing, sheep to shepherd and vice-versa, is as deep and intimate as the relationship between Jesus and his Father… between the Father and the Son (vs. 15).

Yet, despite the deep reassurance provided by these verses, they unsettle us as well. In contrast to the good shepherd, Jesus posits the hired hand (vs. 12). The hired hand cares nothing for the sheep (vs. 13). He flees in the face of the wolf, leaving the sheep to fend for themselves. This distinction unsettles us. “Do we have the good shepherd leading our flock?” Do we have the hired hand leading our flock?”

These unsettling questions open a gate through which Satan, the arch-deceiver, drives wagon loads of trouble. Satan and his lies come to convince you that your good shepherd is really a hired hand or to convince you that a hired hand is really your good shepherd. One way to expose these lies is found in Jesus’ commitment. Jesus holds nothing back. Twice in these five verses, he announces, “I lay down my life for the sheep” (vs. 11 & 15). Jesus gives himself away for the sheep… “for you.” Jesus is always “for you…” “for you” in the forgiveness of your sins… “for you” in revealing the merciful heart of the Father… “for you” in his knowing you and you knowing him. Jesus cannot be known apart from this “for you.” The hired hand does not have the depth of this “for you.” Confidence in the “for you” of the good shepherd returns the reassurance and comfort to these verses.

Table Talk:Discuss the discernment necessary to distinguish the “for you” of the good shepherd. 

Pray: Heavenly Father, keep me in the confidence of knowing you and your Son tell no lies.  Amen

John 10:11-16

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

The Third Sunday of Easter, April 14, 2024

When Jesus addresses these words to his disciples, he addresses them as his sheep of the Jewish fold, particularly those of the local region.  That Jesus speaks of “sheep not of this fold” portends the sending out of the apostles “to the ends of the earth” (Acts. 1:8).  This is a good thing!  You and I are the descendants of those “sheep not of this fold.”  Jesus makes three promises concerning those “other sheep.”  The first promise is that he will bring them (vs. 16).  He will bring them into his growing and expanding fold.  The second promise is that of hearing; they will “Listen to my voice” (vs. 16).  Those other sheep, when gathered into Jesus’ fold, receive the gift of hearing… hearing their shepherd’s voice.  The third promise concerns the result of this gathering and listening.  It results in the union and unanimity of the flock and the shepherd (vs. 16).  There will not be many flocks but one flock.  Neither will there be many shepherds but one shepherd.  These promises reassure you, separated by time, locale, and parentage from those first gathered sheep, that you belong to that one flock (the flock called into existence by the voice of the good shepherd) and that together with all that flock you have one shepherd, the shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.  You, too, are children of the promise (cf. Acts 2:39; Ro. 9:8; Gal. 4:28 among others).

Prayers from those children of the promise…

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise.  Grant to me, Father, that even when my flesh proves me a sinner, my faith holds me as a child of God.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise.  Give me such ears that I may hear the voice of my good shepherd so that I am established within his one flock.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise, continue me in the knowing of my good shepherd, confident that as he knows me so to0 do I know him.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise, use the voice of my good shepherd to reveal to me those sheep who are gathered with me into his one flock.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise.  Grant that as the other sheep are revealed to me, that these sheep and I would come to trust one another as we have trusted our good shepherd.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise.  Hold the Institute of Lutheran Theology within the one flock and beneath the one good shepherd that it, too, would listen to his voice.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Our Father in heaven, your Son Jesus Christ has claimed us to be children of the promise.  While this sinful flesh of mine still endures, grant to me the eager anticipation of my good shepherd’s return in glory when he will take me to his Father’s house where I and all the children of the promise will have the run of the household.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

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Announcing Verba Vitae by ILT Press

Announcing a new journal published by ILT Press, and with support from Lutherans for Life entitled, Verba Vitae: A Serious Christian Journal of Life and its Significance.

Everywhere we look these days we see conversations politicized. Reasoned argument is skipped in the effort to discern what an author’s political opinions really are, and whether they accord with what they should be. The Left and Right collide, hurling slogans at each other, often baiting and belittling the other to advance their own agendas. Throughout vast regions of academia, power has seemingly replaced reason, with all thinking now being understood ideologically.

But while people on opposite ends of the political spectrum organize to persuade, they eschew the less glamorous task of analysis. However, for conversation to proceed rationally, presuppositions from each side must be examined calmly, and words must be understood properly. Analysis can allow disputants to become conversation partners, for common ground can often be found where none seemed possible before.

Verba Vitae is committed to bringing the classical Christian tradition into conversation with life issues now confronting us. Modeling the reasoned logos of the theological tradition, Verba Vitae explores the truth-claims made by thinkers and examines the grounds upon which these assertions are made. It is interested in what is being talked about when thinkers employ the language of rights and goods, or when thinkers speak of God. It is accordingly interested in fostering and modeling informed conversation. How do people talk to each other respectfully when holding differing conceptions of the good?

Verba Vitae will investigate academically the question of the ontology of life. What is the “be-ing” of life, and what rights do entities with this be-ing have with regard to existence. While the journal seeks articles on the traditional subjects of abortion, euthanasia, bio-ethical quandaries, etc, it will also deal with questions of the borders of life, e.g., when could a machine be said to have life, if ever, etc.?

You will recognize some of the contributors to this first issue because some have perhaps been your professors. You will recognize the editorial staff:

  • General Editor: Dennis Bielfeldt
  • Managing Editor: David Patterson
  • Associate Editor: Doug Morton
  • Production Editor: Ph.D. Student, Martin Christiansen
  • Technology Editor: Ph.D. Student, Kevin Swift
  • Assistant Editor: Ph.D. Student, Robert Henry

The journal will be distributed internationally and will do all things necessary to become a respected academic journal. We encourage you to check out our premier issue at verba-vitae.org. Follow the link or click the button below!

Visit Verba-Vitae.org

The Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2024

 The Office of the Keys, the authority to forgive sins, or not.  In a culture that has discarded the notion of sin, the power and authority of this office has been trashed as well. The culture and religious tradition out of which Jesus established the Office of the Keys held the forgiveness of sins to be so precious that God alone could forgive sins (cf. Mk. 2:7).  Yet, in establishing his disciples in this office, Jesus bestows upon them God-like power and authority. Now, like God, they can forgive sins, or not. The choice is up to them. Forgive the sinner? Or hold their sins against them? The officeholder must decide. Through the years, some officeholders attempted to burden the sinner with the decision, relieving the officeholder of having to decide. The sinner bears the burden of repentance and sorrow, amendment of life, and proper contrition. Then, the officeholder can easily forgive sins because the sinner has proved worthy of receiving absolution or deserving of having their sins bound to them. Either way, the officeholder abdicates the God-like power and authority to forgive, or not, by shifting the burden to the sinner. What was once so desired (to be like God) that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, has been sloughed off in the practicing of the Office of the Keys.

Prayers from officeholders of the Office of the Keys . . .

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, grant us to grasp this God-like power and authority so that we would forgive sins, or not. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, as we wield this God-like power and authority, grant us both faith and courage to wield it wisely. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his follower, even in faith and in courage we still act in error, grant us to seek forgiveness when we err. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, let us look upon our neighbors with mercy, forgiving their sins rather than binding them. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, grant that my neighbors would look upon me with mercy and forgive my sins rather than binding them to me. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology live out of the forgiveness of sins and their binding. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, during these days of my baptism grant that I might discern those places where this office is exercised and then know where to locate the church that I might receive your Word and your Sacraments.   For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

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The Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2024

This text is not only appointed for the Second Sunday of Easter in this, the one-year-lectionary, but it is also the appointed text for the Second Sunday of Easter in all years of the three-year-lectionary. The reading essentially has four scenes. The first scene is that of Jesus coming into the upper room sealed by a locked door and the disciples’ fear. The second scene has the disciples recounting their locked room experience to Thomas who had been absent that night. In the third scene, the circumstances of that first night were duplicated except that on this night Thomas was there and confessed his belief. The concluding scene is but a commentary and commendation of the entire book of John to you so that you, like Thomas, may believe and have life in Jesus’ name.

To have life in Jesus’ name means to be sent out by Jesus in the same way that Jesus was sent out by the Father (vs. 21). Recall, if you will, the manna which fed God’s people while they were in the wilderness. The manna came daily. The people harvested sufficient manna for the day… for two days if it was the day before the Sabbath. The manna could not be stored up. If the people tried to accumulate it, the manna turned rancid and filled with worms. Having life in Jesus’ name is like that manna. You can’t accumulate it, nor can you store it up. God’s people receive that life from the Word… the Word of God, Jesus Christ. It comes fresh to them from the pulpit, the font, and the altar. Neither can God’s people stay accumulated together, they must be sent out as Jesus himself was sent. Faith and life in Jesus’ name must be received fresh. Accumulated, they are but yesterday’s faith, a faith gone rancid and full of legalism. Once the Word has delivered God’s people to faith and life in Jesus’ name, they must be sent out. Otherwise, they, too, become rancid and full of themselves. This gathering in and this sending out is the Holy Spirit’s work, breathed out by Jesus himself. Gathering and sending are the inhalation and the exhalation of the Holy Spirit.

Table Talk: Discuss the necessity of the sending out, the dangers of yesterday’s faith, and the hazards that befall believers in a bunch.
Pray: Heavenly Father, send me out yet keep your hand upon me. Amen

John 20:19-31

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, Peace be with you. 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the father has sent me, even so I am sending you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, we have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you. 27 Then he said to Thomas, put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve but believe. 28 Thomas answered him, My Lord and my God! 29 Jesus said to him, have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed is those who have not seen and yet have believed.

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Good Friday Message

Here is today’s Good Friday Table Talk written by Rev. Tim Swenson. 

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Kings were always a problem for the Israelites. The Israelites were often at war with foreign kings. Yet, they came to covet those kings of other nations (cf. Sam. 8). Samuel, the last of the judges, warned them of the greed and corruption a king would bring to the nation. But, nonetheless, the people demanded a king. So, the people got Saul, then David, and then Solomon, the only kings to rule over a united Israel. After Solomon, the nation split into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. Both north and south had successions of kings, a few good, most were bad. Eventually, after suffering a series of conquests by foreign nations including the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Greeks, the people came to be ruled by the Roman Empire and its Caesar.

What we hear from the chief priests in their answer to Pilate’s question regarding Jesus’ fate, “Shall I crucify your king?” simply continues the rejection by the Israelite leaders of the Lord their God as king over them. In their insistence, “We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests stand in a line of rulers extending back in time to Samuel’s day when the Lord told him, “…they have rejected me from being king over them” (1 Sam. 8:7). By some ways of reckoning biblical chronology, there’s about a thousand years… ten centuries… one millennium… from Samuel’s day to Jesus’ day. All that time… all those opportunities… and still the Israelites and their leadership continued to reject the Lord their God as ruler over them.

The Word of God, proclaimed among us still, continues to expose every generation in its rejection of the Lord their God from being ruler over them. This enduring Word reveals all as sinners standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those Israelites demanding of Samuel, “No! But there shall be a king over us (1 Sam. 8:19) … standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those chief priests before Pilate and shouting, “We have no king but Caesar!” (Jn. 19:15). We sinners will have any king but the Lord our God.

Table Talk: Discuss all the people and influences that come to rule over you through their demands.

Pray: Heavenly Father, rule over me and bring me good even though I reject you as my king. Amen

John 18:1-19:42 (John 19:1-16 printed here)

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him. 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, Behold the man! 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, Crucify him, crucify him! Pilate said to them, Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him. 7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God. 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, Where are you from? But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you? 11 Jesus answered him, You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar. 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, Behold your King! 15 They cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him! Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

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The Resurrection of Our Lord, March 31, 2024

Mary, Mary, and Salome, the first of those commissioned as apostles, sent out to bear news of the resurrection.  Mary, Mary, and Salome, three women who had come to the tomb intending to fulfill their duty and honor the dead by anointing their crucified teacher.  Their duty and honor would go unfulfilled.  The events started piling up:  the stone protecting the tomb had been rolled back (vs. 4).  The tomb had an invader—that is, a young man dressed in a white robe (vs. 5).  The young man had distressing news—Jesus was not present, even as a corpse (vs. 6).  And then, they were told, “Go!  Tell!” (vs. 7).  These events piling up on one another drove them out of the tomb in haste, in fear, and in befuddlement.

While we, from this side of a two-thousand-year history with the resurrection, might be tempted to attribute their fear and befuddlement to the piling on of seemingly supernatural events, that attribution would be mistaken.  There is an entirely non-supernatural explanation for their fear and confusion:  They could easily be accused of a capital crime.  Caesar, it appears, had issued a decree regarding the sanctity of graves and tombs.  Out of respect for the dead and those who grieved them, the Roman emperor had ordered all graves and tombs along with their contents to be honored.  Interference with, or theft of, a tomb’s contents—especially the body—was to receive the death penalty.  In the absence of Jesus’ body, Mary, Mary, and Salome stood under the threat of death.  To announce the empty tomb would be to implicate themselves in grave robbing.  Likewise, when the chief priests and elders paid the guards at the tomb to spread the lie that his disciples had stolen the body (Mt. 28:13), that accusation of grave robbing and its consequences implicated the disciples in a capital crime.   

Thanks be to God that we no longer live under the threat of such crime but can declare the risen Lord with faith and confidence and have no fear.

Table Talk:  Discuss the implications the death sentence accusation has upon the reading of the book of Acts.
Pray:  Heavenly Father, grant me to say, “He is risen!” in confidence and faith.  Amen

Good Friday, March 29, 2024

Kings were always a problem for the Israelites.  The Israelites were often at war with foreign kings.  Yet, they came to covet those kings of other nations (cf. Sam. 8).  Samuel, the last of the judges, warned them of the greed and corruption a king would bring to the nation.  But, nonetheless, the people demanded a king.  So, the people got Saul, then David, and then Solomon, the only kings to rule over a united Israel.  After Solomon, the nation split into the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom.  Both north and south had successions of kings, a few good, most were bad.  Eventually, after suffering a series of conquests by foreign nations including the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Greeks, the people came to be ruled by the Roman Empire and its Caesar.

What we hear from the chief priests in their answer to Pilate’s question regarding Jesus’ fate, “Shall I crucify your king?” simply continues the rejection by the Israelite leaders of the Lord their God as king over them.  In their insistence, “We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests stand in a line of rulers extending back in time to Samuel’s day when the Lord told him, “…they have rejected me from being king over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).  By some ways of reckoning biblical chronology, there’s about a thousand years… ten centuries… one millennium… from Samuel’s day to Jesus’ day.  All that time… all those opportunities… and still the Israelites and their leadership continued to reject the Lord their God as ruler over them.

The Word of God, proclaimed among us still, continues to expose every generation in its rejection of the Lord their God from being ruler over them.  This enduring Word reveals all as sinners standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those Israelites demanding of Samuel, “No!  But there shall be a king over us (1 Sam. 8:19) … standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those chief priests before Pilate and shouting, “We have no king but Caesar!” (Jn. 19:15).  We sinners will have any king but the Lord our God.

Table Talk:  Discuss all the people and influences that come to rule over you through their demands.  Pray:  Heavenly Father, rule over me and bring me good even though I reject you as my king.  Amen

The Sunday of the Resurrection, March 31, 2024

Mary, Mary, and Salome had been seized by trembling and astonishment.  The women were in the grip of those overwhelming emotions.  The three no longer had control of their feet nor their intentions.  They had been seized by a power… an overwhelming power… that gripped them and in the grip of that power they fled and kept their silence.  This experience of the three women is the negative of the experience of being gripped by the Holy Spirit, seized by faith, and overwhelmed by its power.  Like those three women seized by trembling and astonishment, those seized by faith and in the grip of the Holy Spirit no longer have control.  Jesus alludes to this when he responds to the Pharisees who want him to silence the crowd of disciples praising him, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Lk. 19:40).  When the Holy Spirit delivers Jesus Christ to be your life (cf. Gal. 2:20 & Col. 3:3-4), you are seized by his faith, held in its grip, and overwhelmed by its power.  You are no longer in control.  This faith is not that faith which you possess as a virtue.  No!  This faith is the faith that possesses you.  Rather than the fear that drives you to flee and keep silent, this faith that possesses you draws you in and gives you a voice.  Alleluia, Christ is risen!

Prayers from those possessed by faith and the life of Christ . . . 

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, so hold me in his faith that I am drawn near to you, kept in the company of others in his faith, and given a voice for witness to the empty tomb.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, as I am held in his faith, grant that I love spontaneously without consideration of how I might benefit.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, as I spontaneously love my neighbors both near and far, grant me to be satisfied without envy or discontent.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, as I live in contentment and peace grant that my satisfaction would be nourished by the regular hearing of your Word.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, reveal to me how I am possessed by his faith while the faith I possess as a virtue is exposed as weak and faltering.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, grant me to come alongside the Institute of Lutheran Theology so that it, too, would come to be possessed by the faith of Jesus Christ.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

Father in heaven, you have given Jesus Christ to be the life of my mortal existence so that I would live by his faith, during these days of my mortality… while I await my physical death of going down to the dust of my origin… while I am returned again and again to the promises of my baptism… during these days continue to provide the faith that possesses me so that I do not come to depend upon the weak and faltering virtue that I call my faith.  Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed.  Alleluia!

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