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The Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost C

The Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost C

As Jesus implies here, there is a profound difference between sinners who know they sin and sinners who don’t think they are sinners.  The former are brought to repentance by the presence of the Word of God.  The latter are disturbed by the presence of the Word of God, found, as it is, even among sinners and eating with them.  This latter group of sinners who don’t think they are sinners consider their sin as something optional in their lives.  They don’t consider themselves bound to it as that former group of sinners, those who know they sin.  To the one group, sin is a matter of freedom; to the other, sin is a matter of bondage.  To the one, sin is a matter of behavior and remains an adjective; to the other, sin belongs to the very definition of self, and they are lost in it.  To the one, they are not lost but have found themselves in varying degrees of righteousness depending on their behavior; to the other, they are hopelessly lost until they have the presence of the Word of God among them bestowing upon them and their sinful selves the righteousness of Christ.  The lost will be found by Jesus Christ while those who have found in themselves some degree of righteousness will only grumble that the Word of God extends himself, even unto sinners.

Prayers from one who needs his Lord to reveal just how lost he is and that his Lord has now found him…

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost, keep me from presuming upon my being numbered among the found so that the presence of your Son is always good news and never old news.  I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost, so number me among them that I may be also numbered among those whom he has found and carried home rejoicing.  I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost, grant me the confession, “First, I was lost but now, I am found.” As I am numbered among the found, grant to me as well my rejoicing among the whole host of heaven.  I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost and, since he has found me, send me to bear the presence of the Word of God into the world so that my neighbors, too, may be found by him.  I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost, grant that this Word of God, Jesus Christ, gather this number of found ones together in the fellowship of those who have faith and the Holy Spirit in their hearts.  I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost, grant the Institute of Lutheran Theology raise up those who may be used as well to bear the presence of the Word of God into the world.  I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son seeks out the lost, during these days of my baptism see to it that I am held in readiness for that day when your Son comes in all his glory and takes all those who once were lost but then were found to table with him at the banquet feast of the Lamb. I pray in the name of the only seeker who matters, Jesus Christ my Lord, who seeks me out all the days of my life.  Amen