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Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 27, 2022

Fourth Sunday of Lent – March 27, 2022

Week of March 21, 2022 | Sunday, March 27, 2022

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him” (vs 15:1). Luke teases with the image of “all.” “All” the tax collectors… “All” the sinners… truly an immense crowd, given the number of tax collectors and the innumerability of sinners. Luke then refines the size of the “all” by declaring a specific purpose, “to hear him.” The previous verse (Luke 14:35) had declared, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The size of “all” tax collectors and sinners has been winnowed down to those who have ears to hear. This assembly gathered to hear Jesus is immediately contrasted with the Pharisees and the experts in the law. They came, not to hear, but to complain (vs. 2). Their “grumbling” calls forth an echo of the people’s grumbling in the wilderness as Moses led them. A specific case can be found in Numbers 21:4-9, where the people spoke against God and against Moses; and God sent poisonous serpents; and Moses lifted up the serpent on a pole so that those who looked upon it were healed. The tax collectors and sinners who had ears to hear Jesus are an echo of those who looked upon the bronze serpent and lived.

Prayers from a sinner snake-bitten and dying…

Father, for Jesus’ sake, give me ears to hear that gospel who is Jesus Christ. Amen

Father, for Jesus’ sake, fill my ears with such proclamation and do not let me hear my own grumbling. Amen

Father, for Jesus’ sake, grant me contentment in all things; let not coveting attend me. Amen

Father, for Jesus’ sake, give me ears as attuned to hear my neighbors’ cry of need and grant me to act on their need. Amen

Father, for Jesus’ sake, stop up my ears in the presence of those who would lead me away from your truth by their speaking of falsehoods and lies. Amen

Father, for Jesus’ sake, lead the Institute of Lutheran Theology into a deeper dependence on you and the proclamation of your Son as the life of dead sinners. Amen

Father, for Jesus’ sake, continue to establish the life of your Son in my mortal body that I would be sustained in faith throughout these days of my baptism. Amen

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