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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 Fourth Sunday of Easter A

The Fourth Sunday of Easter A

Jesus is categorically different than the thief.  Jesus delivers abundant life.  The thief only steals life, kills, and destroys it.  We must put all things to the test as Luther did of free will.  Luther takes the passage, John 14:6, that has Jesus announce, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  Luther then says that Jesus means this categorically—that is whatever is not Jesus is not the way but error… whatever is not Jesus is not the truth but lies… whatever is not Jesus is not life but death.  Therefore, since free will is not Jesus, it is only error, lies, and death.  So, we put all things to the same test.  We ask, as Luther did, is this Jesus Christ?  Is this Jesus Christ, him crucified, and him alone handed over to be the life of dead sinners?  When the answer is, “No, this is not Jesus Christ,” then we can be assured that whatever we have compared belongs to the things of this sin-broken and passing-away world.  To pass off that object of failed scrutiny as more than it is commits error, tells lies, and spreads death.  The thief—that is, Satan, the Father of Lies—has come to steal the way, the truth, and the life away from you.  Put all things to the test…

Prayers from one whose itching ears truly love the blandishments which the thief lavishes upon them…

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  Grant that my ears are filled with his voice over and above that of the thief so I may be kept in the fold of the one true Shepherd.  Father be merciful and open my ears.

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  Grant that when I hear my one true Shepherd calling me that I may follow him so that I am led unto green and verdant pastures.  Father be merciful and open my ears.

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  Grant that I am filled by the verdant and green pastures of my Lord such that my cup runs over, and my contentment abounds.  Father be merciful and open my ears.

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  As I hear that voice, grant me to look around and see the others called by the same voice and be heartened by them no matter the numbers.  Father be merciful and open my ears.

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  As I see that I am in a great and grand flock gathered into a great cloud of witnesses and a communion of saints, give to me their witness to our one true Shepherd.  Father be merciful and open my ears.

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  Grant that his voice sound in the ears of the students, faculty, and staff at the Institute of Lutheran Theology that they, too, will enjoy the abundant life delivered by our Shepherd.  Father be merciful and open my ears.

Father, your Son, Jesus Christ comes to give life… abundant life to those who hear his voice.  Grant me the unceasing companionship of my Shepherd and his voice sounding in my ears throughout these days of my baptism so that the thief will not afflict me nor torment me.  Father be merciful and open my ears.  Amen

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