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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 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost A

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost A

Jesus knows the truth about the soil—that is, he knows that soil cannot improve itself.  Soil cannot make itself good.  Only the work of another does that.  Jesus knows that, in the making of good soil out of the human heart, only the Word of God is the active agent.  He also would have known that the hearing of the Word of God and understanding it meant “standing under” the authority of the Word of God as a living and active Word of command and promise.  This Word works repentance and new life upon its hearers.  The authority of this Word orders sinners to a merciful death so that saints can be drawn forth in the newness of life.  This death-dealing/life-giving Word (1 Sam. 2:6) kills the Old Adam and the Old Eve and their works, making them fit only for compost (Is. 64:6 & Phil. 3:6-8).  Time and again, the Word of God repents you, making compost of your old life and its works.  Repeated application of such fertilizer eventually makes “good soil” of your heart and your life.  Your repeated return to repentance is the only progress available in your desire to be “good soil.”

Prayers from one who prefers a progress described as “onward and upward” over the progress known as “repeated return to repentance…”

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  Grant that your Son’s command, “Repent!” so work upon me that my entire life is one of repentance.  Lord, make it so!

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  Grant that as I am repented, I would confess my sins and receive the forgiveness of my sins such that I am brought into new life through Jesus Christ, my Lord.  Lord, make it so!

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  Provide for this new life given to me by nourishing it through the means of grace—Your Word and Your sacraments—so that I progress by being repented again and again.  Lord, make it so!

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  As I know the life of humility by that repeated repentance, set my hands to useful work in my vocations and my callings.  Lord, make it so!

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  Through the usefulness of my work and the humility of standing under your Word, grant me contentment during these the days of my baptism.  Lord, make it so!

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  Grant that the Institute of Lutheran Theology provide staff and faculty that raise up preachers of your death-dealing/life-giving Word.  Lord, make it so!

Holy Father, you are the God who kills and makes alive.  Hold me in the humility of walking by faith alone and not by sight as I await the coming of your Son in glory.  Lord, make it so!

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