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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.

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.

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 17, 2024

The Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 17, 2024

Jesus makes a promise in this confrontation with the Jews.  He makes a similar promise when he is confronted by Mary and Martha at their brother Lazarus’ death.  In that situation, the promise is worded like this, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the who lives and believes in me will never die” (Jn. 11:25-26).  In both the public confrontation with the Jews and the more intimate confrontation with Martha and Mary, the issue is death and Jesus is its solution.  What’s more, the solution Jesus brings is not what he does but in who he is.  To Martha, he simply says, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  “I,” Jesus says, “am.”  In his very being… in his very person… in his existence… he is the resurrection… he is the life… our eternal life.  While Martha can confess her faith in the Christ, the Son of God, the Jews cannot say the same.  The reality of death is too much for them; the gaping mouth of the grave intimidates them beyond the assurance of faith.  Just so, they receive the accusation from Jesus regarding his Father and theirs, “You have not known him” (Jn. 8:55).

Prayers from those intimidated by the gaping mouth of the grave…

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, grant to me such faith that I can rest in his declaration even as the grave awaits me.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, Abraham died, the prophets died, Jesus died, and all those who have gone before me in the faith have died.  Hold me secure in Jesus as my resurrection and life that I too may die in faith.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, give me confidence in the promises of my baptism especially the one that promises me that being baptized into a death like Jesus,’ I have been certainly baptized into a resurrection like his.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, this promise from Jesus Christ my Lord is too precious to keep to myself.  Give me lips, tongue, and throat to share this promise with my neighbors near and far.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, as I speak the name of Jesus and proclaim him as the resurrection and life, grant that I see my neighbor’s need for daily bread and that I work to supply their needs to them.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, put this promise from Jesus into the mouths of all those at the Institute of Lutheran Theology that the word of Jesus will be their best proclamation to the world.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Heavenly Father, your Son is my resurrection and my life, during these days of my baptism, I will be tempted to seek other reassurance when death looms.  Grant, though, that I confess such error and am returned to faith in Christ… Christ alone.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

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