News & Resources

The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 3, 2022

Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 3, 2022

Week of March 28, 2022 | Sunday, April 3, 2022

Luke 20:9-20

“He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others” (Lk.20:16).  Jesus delivers this death sentence with the full knowledge of what his Father has previously claimed before the Israelites.  “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand” (Dt.32:39).  Those scribes… those experts in the Law… those chief priests heard Jesus’ condemnation of the treacherous tenants and recognized their God’s judgment had fallen on them just as it had fallen on the unfaithful idolaters of ancient times.  The righteousness they claimed through obedience to the Law and observance of their religious rituals all melted away before their recollection of the Lord’s words: “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things” (Is. 45:7).  Jesus confronts these religious leaders with the reality that their agency… their ability to act with effectiveness has always resulted in idolatry, unfaithfulness, and destruction at the hands of their God.  Their God reserves all these things to himself, “I am the Lord who does all these things… there is no other” (Is. 45:6 & 7).  Jesus’ parable brings them up against the almighty power of the God who hides his agency behind light, darkness, well-being, and calamity.  Luther tells us to run from this hidden God and seek refuge in Jesus Christ and cross.  Unfortunately, these religious leaders crucified the very one who would have been their refuge.

Prayers from a religious leader all too conscious of my guilt and the almighty authority of the Lord who accuses me…

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  Grant that I trust in him and his revelation and not try to find you behind your masks of death and life, wounding and healing, or weal and woe.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  Forgive me for my hard heart… a heart as hard as that of those religious leaders… a heart as hard as that of those treacherous tenants… Grant that I trust your heart as revealed by your Son and put no trust in my own heart.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen 

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  Instill in me that prayed for and promised clean heart though I will never possess it as my own but always receive it as a gift because your Son is now my life.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  Provide me with the company of good neighbors… those that stand under the same accusations as I do… and those who pray as I do for the forgiveness of their own hard heart.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  As these neighbors and I gather, first as sinners beneath your Word, and then—upon its hearing of your Word—enjoy the fellowship of the saints, grant that together we share both the one mind of Jesus Christ and his one clean heart.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  Give me ears to hear your heart being taught and preached at the Institute of Lutheran Theology with the single-minded focus of those who know no other Savior.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen

Father God, your only begotten Son Jesus Christ has revealed your heart to me.  So keep my attention on him and his revelation that I would endure these days of my baptism, gladly anticipating their end.  In the name of your Son, my Lord.  Amen