Public 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.

Fourth Sunday After Easter – May 8, 2022

Fourth Sunday After Easter – May 8, 2022

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27). Following after Jesus… often called “discipleship…” is here given three qualities: Be a sheep, in particular, be Jesus’ sheep.  Hear… Hear Jesus’ voice. Be known… Be known by Jesus. Jesus’ sheep hear his voice, and he knows them. Out of that hearing and being known, Jesus’ sheep follow him. Is it really that simple? Every generation, or perhaps it’s every decade, some new program arises to make disciples. Those programs teach us to follow the rules and, in following the rules, we’ll be following Jesus. But did Jesus really come to be a new rule-giver? Luther didn’t think so. Jesus is not a new Moses, he would say. Those sheep belonging to Jesus hear his voice and, in that hearing, are known by him. The result of that hearing and knowing is sheep who follow Jesus—that is, discipleship.

Prayers from one who desires to follow Jesus but finds so many rules in the way…

Father in heaven, grant that I have ears to hear my shepherd’s voice… ears to hear all the many ways he knows me… ears to hear that I may follow him. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, grant to me that clean heart which only comes as Jesus comes to be the life of this sinner dead in his sin. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, grant to me such confidence of faith that I can trust hearing the voice of my shepherd and being known by him results in my following him… my true discipleship. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, grant that I follow my shepherd out into the world, into this old, broken, and passing away creation where the dust of both my creation and of my passing works its way between my toes and into my nose. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, grant the dust of my mortality spurs me to beneficial interaction with my neighbors and that the both of us receive the interaction’s good. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology points its students to this hearing and being known that results in following Jesus–that is, true discipleship. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, grant me to endure the working upon me of this hearing and being known such that I follow Jesus all the days of my baptism and finally come to see him face-to-face. For the shepherd’s sake, have ears to hear my prayer.

Father in heaven, I entrust all these things to you for you have indeed promised to have ears to hear my prayer. Amen

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