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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 of Easter A

The Seventh Sunday of Easter A

This may come as a shock to you, but you are not in charge of your eternal life.  No, you are not.  The Father has given Jesus Christ authority over all flesh.  With that authority, Jesus Christ, the Son, gives eternal life to all those whom the Father has given him.  How great is this authority given Jesus Christ over all flesh?  It is absolutely all authority… the authority of heaven… the authority of earth… all of it.  Who are those whom the Father has given Jesus Christ?  Everyone; the Father has given all over to Jesus Christ.  Christ himself asserts, “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).  You are not in charge of your eternal life.  Jesus Christ is.  Lest you doubt that you are numbered among those given over to Jesus’ authority, you gather in the sanctuary of your church building, seated before the pulpit, with ears attuned to the voice of your Shepherd as your preacher hands him over to be your life.  Lest you doubt, you gather before the altar, kneeling to receive bread and wine—the flesh of your lord Jesus torn, the blood of your lord Jesus spilled—for whom?  For you!  Lest you doubt, you gather before the baptismal font where the water and the Word are poured out over you, and, in that flood of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit washes you through death and into new life.

Prayers from one who covets taking charge of his own eternal life…

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I may be one with all the others you keep in your name.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would enjoy the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus my Lord.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would know you as the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ and not the God who hides himself.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, I would cry out, “Abba!  Father!” as I would were I a child of your very own keeping.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, so that I would tend to the needs of others in the household, providing them with daily bread for life in this world and with the Bread come down from heaven for their life in the world to come.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would witness to the free gift before the Institute of Lutheran Theology and, just so, help it to bear witness to that same gift before its students.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.

Holy Father, keep me in your name, that I would not grow weary of doing good during these days of my baptism as I and the entire world wait for our Lord’s manifestation in glory.  Father of mercies have mercy on me.  Amen

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