The Day of Pentecost A

Jesus promises to quench your thirst.  Jesus promises to satisfy your hunger (cf. John 6:35).  Aside from thirst and hunger in this passing-away, sin-broken world, there is the hunger and thirst for righteousness (cf. Mt. 5:6).  Jesus promises those that covet righteousness as if it were a thirst for water or a hunger for bread that they will be satisfied… they will be blessed.  Jesus himself will provide that satisfaction and blessing.  Aside from Jesus Christ, no way exists for you to satisfy your thirst for righteousness.  Aside from Jesus Christ, no way exists between you and eternal life.  Your thirst for righteousness can only be quenched… your way to eternal life can only be established… in Jesus Christ… the Bread of Life… the Water of Life.  This living water flows unstoppable out of the font… out from the pulpit… and off from the altar.  Show up, get fed, have a drink, and be satisfied!

Prayers from one who is hardly satisfied with a mere sip of wine, a morsel of bread, or a cupful of bath water…

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living waters, grant that I may be so caught up in this thirst-quenching flow that I am washed right through death and into eternal life.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living waters, grant that this life-giving flood be so irresistible that I cannot turn back against its current and am taken by it into the New Creation.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living waters, grant me to be so soaked by this flood of baptismal waters that no part of me remains dry to seek its own righteousness.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living waters, grant this flood of living water to sweep across my community, my nation, my entire world such that all people are drawn to Jesus Christ.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living water, grant this living water deliver life unto all those who are dead in their sin.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living waters, grant this flood of living water to sweep over the Institute of Lutheran Theology and keep it in the very heart of Christ its Lord.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, out of your Son’s heart flow rivers of living waters, grant this flood to carry me through the days of my baptism, washing me ever anew and again, until it deposits me in that river which flows straight from the throne of God.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.  Amen

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The Day of Pentecost A, May 28, 2023

You have a gift that God’s people living under the authority of Moses and the elders did not receive.  You have the gift of the Holy Spirit.  You hear in Moses’ lament (vs. 29) that he desires for all the Lord’s people to possess the Lord’s Spirit.  But they do not (vs. 25).  In fact, receiving the Holy Spirit and the resultant prophecy seems a contentious issue among the people.  So contentious that someone from the camp had to run and “tattle” on the two—Eldad and Medad (vs. 27).  Joshua, Moses’ closest assistant, implored Moses to put a stop to this seemingly unauthorized prophecy (vs. 28).  But Moses would not.  Instead, he questioned whether Joshua was trying to protect him, Moses, from this suspected improper prophesying and he lamented that the Lord had not given his Holy Spirit to all the people (vs. 29).

You, though, have no lament to raise.  You have received the Holy Spirit.  The Lord pours out his Holy Spirit upon you in the Word and water of your baptism.  As you go beneath that baptismal fountain, you receive the fullness of the Lord’s Spirit.  Maybe you prophesy… maybe you don’t.  Whatever gift the Spirit manifests in you, it will be determined by what is necessary for the building up of the body… the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:7).  In the fullness of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon you, you receive faith in Jesus Christ as it is worked by that Spirit through the instruments of Word and Sacrament.  This is God’s grace worked upon you, repenting you from death to life… from disbelief to belief.  This grace of God is sufficient for you (2 Cor. 12:9).  There is no need to covet anything more from the Holy Spirit.  As the body needs (not as you want) the other gifts of the Spirit may be manifest in you… or not.

For the sake of good order, though, the church does heed Joshua’s warning.  If all the Lord’s people would prophesy (preach) at the same time, the cacophony would be unbearable.  So, in this day when the Lord has poured out his Spirit at baptism, the office of public preaching and teaching is reserved for those rightly called (Augsburg Confession 14).

Table Talk:  Discuss appropriate manifestation of the Spirit’s gifts and inappropriate or improper claims to a gift of the Spirit.
Pray:  Heavenly Father, hold me in faith such that God’s grace is sufficient for me, and I need not covet anything more from the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Numbers 11:24-30 English Standard Version

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

End of the Semester

This week is the end of the spring semester for ILT students and faculty. ILT students will be taking their finals and finishing their end of semester assignments. This means that both students and faculty are working hard to do those end of semester things which are common in higher education.

The faculty and staff would like to ask you to pray for our students as they come to the end of this semester. Many ILT students are working, taking care of their families, serving churches, and doing many other things while they are studying at ILT. This is the new reality of online education for many students. They work at their regular jobs, raise families, and keep much of their normal life, while they try to add taking classes into the mix. This works for many people, but it adds obvious stress. Please pray for them.

As we all know, there are not enough pastors. The faculty and staff at ILT are doing what they can to provide well-trained and prepared pastors. These students, however, face many challenges as they go through the education and training that will help them be the pastors that God has called them to be. They could not do it without your support. We are thankful for the prayers which you pray on our behalf. We are also grateful for the financial support we receive that reduces the financial burden on the students.

Thank you for your support this year and God bless you.

 


Upcoming Event:

Theologian in Residence Conference

You are invited to participate in Christ School of Theology’s
2023 Theologian in Residence Conference.

On June 12-16, 2023
at the Wilbert Square Event Center in Brookings, SD.

The theme for this year’s conference is focused on Theology and Science topics around Naturalism, Theism and Artificial Intelligence.

If you are interested in these topics and looking for an opportunity to work alongside Christ School of Theology faculty as you engage in your own research, you are encouraged to sign up and be a part of these scholarly/theological discussions. This will be a great opportunity to be a part of a week of fellowship and engagement with your peers, faculty, alumni, and board members.

To register, just click on the button below and fill out the form!

Register Today!

For more information, download the Program Brochure by clicking on the button below.

Download Program Brochure

 

 

Accommodations

We have a block of rooms set aside for conference participants at the Comfort Suites and have negotiated a special price of $91 per night. Conference participants may share rooms if you wish for even greater savings.

Don’t let cost be an obstacle to your being a part of this scholarly event. If you would like to sign up, but just don’t think you can afford it, go ahead and sign up, and let us know of your need by emailing David Patterson at dpatterson@ilt.edu. We will do what we can to make sure you can come and lend your voice to this event.

The Seventh Sunday of Easter A, May 21, 2023

After forty days of Jesus’ appearing as the resurrected Christ… after watching Jesus ascend into the heavens until a cloud took him from their sight… after returning to the upper room where they had gathered the night of the resurrection and where they had gathered for their final Passover meal… after all that, there they were devoting themselves to prayer.  What’s more, they “were of one accord…”

Tragedy can bring people together and these disciples of Jesus had certainly experienced both tragedy and exaltation… both the crucifixion of their leader Jesus and the resurrection of their Christ… in the aftermath of that emotional turmoil, they gathered… they prayed… and they were of one accord.  The word “accord” is a much-used word in the New Testament.  It is used to indicate agreement among the people such as here in Vs. 14 or in Acts 15:25— “It seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you….”  It is used to indicate agreement with the preacher and the proclamation being made such as Acts 8:6— “And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip….” It is used to indicate agreement with the will of God such as Romans 8:27 or 1 Peter 4:19. Most importantly, it is used by Paul as he writes to the Philippians.  There Paul declares, “…complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Ph. 2:2).  Paul then goes on to deliver to them this gift, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Ph. 2:5).

While tragedy and exaltation certainly bring us together, the kind of unanimity and accord delivered in our scripture’s witness comes only from the presence of Jesus Christ… the presence of Jesus Christ who has come to be our life.  As he is our life, we receive from him, through the Blessed Exchange, not only his life but also his clean heart and his one mind.  To have Christ as our life delivers full accord and one mind among the body of Christ.

Table Talk:  Discuss what discord and disagreement mean within the body of Christ.  Does having to “take a vote” mean that it ceases being Christ’s body and becomes just another legislative body?
Pray:  Heavenly Father, give me the mind of Christ so that I would be in full accord with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Amen

Acts 1:12-26 English Standard Version

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness and falling headlong[b] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“‘May his camp become desolate,

    and let there be no one to dwell in it’;

and

“‘Let another take his office.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

The Day of Ascension A, May 18, 2023

Jesus never tired of speaking about the kingdom of God.  When he first came into Galilee… after his sojourn in the wilderness… after John the Baptizer had been arrested… when he first came into Galilee, Jesus preached the kingdom.  He announced, “The kingdom of God is at hand…” (Mk. 1:15).  The kingdom of God filled his preaching… The kingdom of God filled his parables… The kingdom of God filled the witness of his post-resurrection appearances.  Given Jesus’ attention to the kingdom of God, we might wonder how near it is… how far away is it… how do we get in?

Jesus himself tells us that the kingdom of God is near at hand, meaning that it is not far away but immediate to us.  Reach out your hand and grasp it.  Only it’s not our hand grasping.  Rather, the grasping is done by faith as you are repented from doubt, despair, and disbelief into that trust which clings to the Word of God, Jesus Christ, for he does not lie.

The kingdom of God, though it is near, is as far away as death is from life.  There is no way… no bridge… no passage over the chasm of death.  There is only the dying to sin in this old, passing away creation and being raised into the kingdom of God—that is, to walk in the newness of life.  Passage into the kingdom of God is a discontinuous experience:  you die and wait in faith to be raised up.

Many covet the kingdom of God, and they try to force their way into it (Lk. 16:16).  The kingdom of God, however, comes not by force but even without our prayer as Luther teaches in the Small Catechism.  It comes to faith, not force, as the Word of God is proclaimed… as the Holy Spirit works faith in us by God’s grace… as the godly life is lived—that is, we live solely from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mt. 4:4).  God’s Word is our life for now and for eternity… God’s Word delivers us into his kingdom.

Table Talk:  Discuss both your favorite and your least favorite part of the kingdom of God. 

Pray:  Heavenly Father, your kingdom comes indeed without our prayer.  Grant, we pray, that it comes also to us.  Amen

Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me;for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

The Seventh Sunday of Easter A

This may come as a shock to you, but you are not in charge of your eternal life.  No, you are not.  The Father has given Jesus Christ authority over all flesh.  With that authority, Jesus Christ, the Son, gives eternal life to all those whom the Father has given him.  How great is this authority given Jesus Christ over all flesh?  It is absolutely all authority… the authority of heaven… the authority of earth… all of it.  Who are those whom the Father has given Jesus Christ?  Everyone; the Father has given all over to Jesus Christ.  Christ himself asserts, “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).  You are not in charge of your eternal life.  Jesus Christ is.  Lest you doubt that you are numbered among those given over to Jesus’ authority, you gather in the sanctuary of your church building, seated before the pulpit, with ears attuned to the voice of your Shepherd as your preacher hands him over to be your life.  Lest you doubt, you gather before the altar, kneeling to receive bread and wine—the flesh of your lord Jesus torn, the blood of your lord Jesus spilled—for whom?  For you!  Lest you doubt, you gather before the baptismal font where the water and the Word are poured out over you, and, in that flood of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit washes you through death and into new life.

Prayers from one who covets taking charge of his own eternal life…

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I may be one with all the others you keep in your name.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would enjoy the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus my Lord.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would know you as the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ and not the God who hides himself.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, I would cry out, “Abba!  Father!” as I would were I a child of your very own keeping.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, so that I would tend to the needs of others in the household, providing them with daily bread for life in this world and with the Bread come down from heaven for their life in the world to come.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would witness to the free gift before the Institute of Lutheran Theology and, just so, help it to bear witness to that same gift before its students.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would not grow weary of doing good during these days of my baptism as I and the entire world wait for our Lord’s manifestation in glory.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.  Amen

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Theologian in Residence Conference

 

Upcoming Event:

Theologian in Residence Conference

You are cordially invited to participate in Christ School of Theology’s
2023 Theologian in Residence Conference.

On June 12-16, 2023
at the Wilbert Square Event Center in Brookings, SD.

The theme for this year’s conference is focused on Theology and Science topics around Naturalism, Theism and Artificial Intelligence.

If you are interested in these topics and looking for an opportunity to work alongside Christ School of Theology faculty as you engage in your own research, you are encouraged to sign up and be a part of these scholarly/theological discussions. This will be a great opportunity to be a part of a week of fellowship and engagement with your peers, faculty, alumni, and board members.

To register, just click on the button below and fill out the form!

Register Today!

For more information, download the Program Brochure by clicking on the button below.

Download Program Brochure

 

 

Accommodations

We have a block of rooms set aside for conference participants at the Comfort Suites and have negotiated a special price of $91 per night. Conference participants may share rooms if you wish for even greater savings.

Don’t let cost be an obstacle to your being a part of this scholarly event. If you would like to sign up, but just don’t think you can afford it, go ahead and sign up, and let us know of your need by emailing David Patterson at dpatterson@ilt.edu. We will do what we can to make sure you can come and lend your voice to this event.

The Sixth Sunday of Easter A, May 14, 2023

Paul is preaching to religiously knowledgeable Greeks.  He makes a connection with them by quoting Greek philosophers: “In him we live and move and have our being.”  Both Paul and his hearers are in agreement that the things fashioned by human hands—idols—are not living gods.

     But then Paul shocks his audience with a very bold claim:  the god who will have the whole world judged in righteousness has proved his intention by raising the judge from the dead.  The resurrection of the body of Jesus—and eventually the resurrection of our own bodies as we confess in the Apostles’ Creed—is always a shock to those who think the goal of religion is to do away with the things of the body.  They assume that God wants us to shed our bodies to become ‘spiritual’ beings.

     But God has given our bodies work to do– in this creation for now (Ge. 1:28) and in the new creation to come (Re. 22:3).  In this creation, for the time being, we are to tend the earth and keep it.  The duty of stewardship over the earth may be broken by our sinfulness but it remains our duty—bodily, emotionally, and spiritually.  In the new creation, before the throne of God and of the Lamb, we will worship as we have never worshiped before… bodily, emotionally, and spiritually… for our sin will no longer be a barrier to that perfect worship. Faith in Christ doesn’t mean for us to be separated from our bodies but that our entire person will be wholly new when Jesus returns on the day God has fixed.

Table Talk:  Discuss the difference between having a body and being a spirit.  Discuss the things you can do with your body and how useful the body is.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, you have given us life as creatures with a body; preserve our bodies, open our eyes to see the useful tasks we can do with them, and open our ears to hear and to rest in your promises. Amen

Acts 17:16-31 English Standard Version

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The Sixth Sunday of Easter A

With these words, Jesus reveals that no sinner can love him.  I am quite confident that you know sinners, just as I know sinners, who are very capable of an outward, external obedience to the commands of Jesus… indeed, even obedient to the Law of Moses.  But you know as well as I do that external obedience is simply not enough.  There must also be an obedience from the heart.  That obedience trips us up and makes liars of us when we say, “I love you, Jesus.”  The evil and defiling contents of our sinner’s heart (Mt. 7:21-23) put the lie to whatever claims we might make to loving Jesus and demonstrating that love by our external obedience to his command.  Thanks be to God that our eternal life does not depend upon our fickle, failing, and false love for Jesus.  No, that eternal life of ours depends upon Jesus’ love for us and his love is true, constant, and enduring.  Jesus is faithful in his love for us while we are unfaithful in our love for him.  The promise is always this: “Because I live, you also will live” (vs. 19).

Prayers from one who is always trying to pass his love of Jesus off as an authentic love…

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  So give to me the love of Jesus that I have the certainty of his promise:  “I live, therefore you will live also.”  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Keep me honest in my confession and humble in my claims so that I do not assert myself as more than a condemned sinner for whom Jesus has died.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  I may be a condemned sinner in this old and passing-away creation, yet Jesus Christ has loved me into a certain faith. I trust that in the New Creation, I will be a beloved child of God and have the run of his household.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Grant that I prove trustworthy in my vocations and callings given me in this creation broken as it is by sin.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Grant that my neighbors benefit from the trustworthy exercise of my vocation while they receive what they need for life in this world and the next.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Keep the Institute of Lutheran Theology in the love of Jesus, too.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son’s love of me even as I am the most untrustworthy of lovers in return.  Hold me in the love of Jesus all the days of my baptism until what I now hold in faith is mine by sight in the New Creation.  Father of mercies, be merciful to me.  Amen

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The Fifth Sunday of Easter A

Philip provides another testimony to the disciples’ incomprehension.  An additional testimony is provided by Acts 1:6 where the disciples do not comprehend the coming of the kingdom.  Here, Philip witnesses to an incomprehension of Jesus and his identification with the Father.  “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (vs. 9).  Jesus works to clear up Philip’s confusion.  Jesus tells Philip that it is a matter of faith:  Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus (vs. 11).  Because of this identity with the Father, neither Jesus’ words nor Jesus’ works are done on his own authority.  It is the Father’s authority and the Father’s works.  This same paradigm is true of you… of you and your life during these days of your baptism.  Jesus has come to be your life (Gal. 2:20).  He is in you, and you are in him—the very same description Jesus uses to describe the Father’s presence.  Whenever you preach Christ, you do not do so by your own authority, but the authority of Christ.  Whenever you do works, they are not your works but the works of Christ who dwells in you.

Prayers from one who is often confused about whose life is whose…

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, deliver me out of my confusion; so make Jesus Christ my life that I am in no doubt about who lives in me.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, as you deliver me into the certainty that your Son is my life, so open my eyes to his presence that I come to know you as well.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, as I come to know you through the presence of your Son, grant me confidence that among the many rooms in your house, your Son has prepared one just for me.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, since my future dwelling in your house is secure, give to me such generosity that I may see to it that my neighbors have a dwelling in this world now.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, as you put my generosity to work for the benefit of my neighbors now, so also let me attend to their future dwelling place by preaching the good news of Jesus Christ to them.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, as you have delivered me out of my confusion, so deliver the Institute of Lutheran Theology out of any confusion it may have in the preaching of your Son, Jesus Christ, him crucified, and him alone.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, hear my prayers during these days of my baptism and do not let me be without your Word preached in my ears so that the Holy Spirit would work faith in my heart as often as I hear your Word.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

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