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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 Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2024

The Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2024

 The Office of the Keys, the authority to forgive sins, or not.  In a culture that has discarded the notion of sin, the power and authority of this office has been trashed as well. The culture and religious tradition out of which Jesus established the Office of the Keys held the forgiveness of sins to be so precious that God alone could forgive sins (cf. Mk. 2:7).  Yet, in establishing his disciples in this office, Jesus bestows upon them God-like power and authority. Now, like God, they can forgive sins, or not. The choice is up to them. Forgive the sinner? Or hold their sins against them? The officeholder must decide. Through the years, some officeholders attempted to burden the sinner with the decision, relieving the officeholder of having to decide. The sinner bears the burden of repentance and sorrow, amendment of life, and proper contrition. Then, the officeholder can easily forgive sins because the sinner has proved worthy of receiving absolution or deserving of having their sins bound to them. Either way, the officeholder abdicates the God-like power and authority to forgive, or not, by shifting the burden to the sinner. What was once so desired (to be like God) that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, has been sloughed off in the practicing of the Office of the Keys.

Prayers from officeholders of the Office of the Keys . . .

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, grant us to grasp this God-like power and authority so that we would forgive sins, or not. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, as we wield this God-like power and authority, grant us both faith and courage to wield it wisely. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his follower, even in faith and in courage we still act in error, grant us to seek forgiveness when we err. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, let us look upon our neighbors with mercy, forgiving their sins rather than binding them. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, grant that my neighbors would look upon me with mercy and forgive my sins rather than binding them to me. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology live out of the forgiveness of sins and their binding. For Jesus’ sake. Amen

Heavenly Father, your Son bestowed this office upon those who would be his followers, during these days of my baptism grant that I might discern those places where this office is exercised and then know where to locate the church that I might receive your Word and your Sacraments.   For Jesus’ sake.  Amen

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