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Saturday, March 31 Devotion

“Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court.”  (John 8:8, 9)

When they heard what?  Jesus is writing something on the ground and those closest are saying what he is writing.  Names?  Dates?  Places?  We do not know, but whatever He is writing, it has something to do with the sins of the older ones first and then each one until they leave.  He is not accusing them, He is telling them their sins.  They realize they are unable to convict her, because they too have sins that cause them to be worthy of death.

Lord, none of us is without sin.  Yet too often, each one of us act as if we are.  Help me to not feel superior because I know You.  Instead, with humility, grant that I would live knowing simply that I am forgiven.  Help me be a help to others by sharing with them the truth of Your salvation and Your willingness to reach out to all, no matter what the sin issues are.

Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me from the mob of demons who would love nothing more than for me to join them in hell.  Grant today I would live in humility with compassion for those around me, knowing that You alone are able to save, sharing the Good News of salvation which is found in You alone.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Friday, March 30 Devotion

“But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  (John 8:7)

Here is the kicker: Jesus lives up to the proclamation that He hasn’t come into the world to condemn it.  He is here to rescue as many as would believe.  All have sinned, therefore, no one is able to accuse another without accusing themselves.  The Christian should correct and reproof, but never ‘accuse,’ in self-righteousness.

Lord, help me see the fine line between confronting another in their sin and accusing from a sense of superiority.  Grant that I would grow in discernment and learn how to love first in order to help those trapped in sin to see that You are the only way out.  Like You, let me be bold, but also compassionate.

Lord Jesus, You are filled with surprises.  In this day, help me see those places where You show up to confront the self-righteous and join with You in being truthful.  Help me live in this place between the need for grace and fulfillment of the law that with my life, I may show others why You have come that they too may follow You.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Thursday, March 29 Devotion

“They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.”  (John 7:6)

People are always testing the Lord.  Patiently, He does something else, something unexpected.  He is writing on the ground. What is He writing?  Why?  We don’t know, but how He answers every accusation puzzles those who are trying to trap Him.  This is not just cleverness, but His desire to reach those who will understand that He knows and understands better than we do.

Lord, there are things You do that I do not understand.  Help me, I pray, to be willing to learn that I may understand.  Rather than accusing You because I do not like what You are saying, help me be patient, spend a little time and allow for the Holy Spirit to guide me into understanding.  Help me to become more like You.

Lord Jesus, with great patience, You have dealt with each of us in our sin, and as many as believe, You bring along through faith to that place where they are able to trust in You for the promises You have made.  Grant today that I would be more like You, patient and willing to share with others as You have shared with me.  Amen. 

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Wednesday, March 28 Devotion

“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”  (John 8:5)

Get rid of the sinner.  But if we did that, we would have to get rid of everyone on the planet.  Therefore, this cannot be the logical answer.  Yes, we need to do something that others will not so easily give into temptation, but we cannot just go around eradicating every sinner.  The Lord leads us to the right answers, but we must persevere.

Lord, help me not take the first and often incomplete answer to every situation.  Grant that I would instead live into the truth that You teach, one filled with mercy and compassion for the sake of eternal reconciliation.  Help me make the shift in mind, body and spirit that I may daily become more like You.

Lord Jesus, You give us the Word of eternal life, but often many will walk away without the Word going into their heart.  Grant today that Your Word would richly dwell in me and that I would grow into Your likeness.  May I live compassion and mercy today, being patient with those whom You grant I live with this day.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Maundy Thursday (April 5) Prayers

  • March 28, 2012 - 1:22 pm
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PRAYER OF THE CHURCH, Maundy Thursday

(April 5, 2012)

A ministry of the Lutheran Coalition for Renewal

www.lutherancore.org

Maundy Thursday Prayers (click to download in RTF format)

 

A       Let us pray for the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, and for all people according to their needs.

 

A brief silence

 A       You have called us your friends. By your Spirit of friendship empower us to love one another and to love our enemies. Teach us the secret of humble service, and make us willing to bear our cross in love for him who died on the cross for us. Lord, in your mercy,

C       hear our prayer.

A       Guide all bishops, presidents, pastors, and leaders of the church in every place. Grant that we might be one so that the world will believe that Jesus is truly your Messiah. Visit with mercy and protection all those striving to be faithful in Muslim lands and in other places of persecution and oppression. Lord, in your mercy,

C       hear our prayer.

A       Grant peace throughout the world: peace among nations, peace in our communities, peace in our homes and families. Overcome every hostility, fear, and prejudice, and show us the face of Christ in every person in need. Lord, in your mercy,

C       hear our prayer.

A       Remember the needs of all the sick, the sorrowing, the lonely, the frustrated, the discouraged, and the unemployed. Especially we pray for [names]. [Pause for silent or spoken petitions]. Lord, in your mercy,

C       hear our prayer.

 A       By dying on the cross our Lord destroyed death and opened the way for salvation to all who believe. Comfort with the news of his victory all who have lost loved ones, and grant us to face our own death with faith and confidence that nothing can separate us from your love. Lord, in your mercy,

C       hear our prayer.

 P       Into your hands, merciful Father, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayers composed by Pr. Steve Shipman.

 These are not copyrighted, and we encourage you to adapt them to your situation and customs. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

 If you want to help with this project, please contact Pr. Steve Shipman at prsteveshipman@gmail.com. There is no compensation except appreciation and a retirement plan that is out of this world.

 Some suggestions: it may be helpful in certain congregations to give worshippers the opportunity to voice requests. It is also good to provide a time of silence for their specific concerns.

 It is good to include in the remembrance of the faithful departed any memorialized by altar flowers, etc.

 You may want to include a petition recognizing any milestones during the week (birth, baptismal, wedding anniversaries, etc.). This would include those honored by altar flowers or in a similar manner.

 

Tuesday, March 27 Devotion

“The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.”  (John 8:3,4)

We love to catch others sinning as if it were some kind of novelty rather than the rule of our sinful existence.  We love to lift up the sins we do not commit as the ones that are especially heinous.  Then we love to go to the Lord and show that we are better because we are not that kind of sinner.

Lord, help me see that any sin pits me against You and, in effect, causes me to nail You to the cross once again for my sake.  Grant that I would truly see the travesty in every sin and not get caught up in the game of separating sins.  Help me also have compassion, as You have compassion, on everyone caught up in sin.

Thank You Lord Jesus for responding to every sin by dying on the cross for us.  Help me see that reconciliation is always better than retaliation.  Grant that I would live into a life that is like Yours in every way, reacting to situations as You do, beginning with today.  Grant that I live compassion and mercy this day in Your Name.  Amen.  

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Monday, March 26 Devotion

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. “  (John 8:1,2)

Jesus attracts people to Himself.  As many as are willing, He will draw them to Himself and teach them.  It is no different today.  You who have faith simply express that faith in daily living, reading Scripture, listening to the Lord, growing and understanding more about the eternal will of God the Father.

Lord, like other sinners, I resist doing what I know is right and therefor agree with Paul that I do not do as I ought, but do the very thing I hate, agreeing with the law.  Help me, I pray, to learn how to be still, sit down with You and know that You are God.  Grant that I would change my habits to include time with You.

Thank You Lord Jesus for always taking time with Your disciples.  Take time with me today and help me to take time with You that I may learn and grow.  By Your example, help me to take time with others that they may learn as I share with them what You have taught me through Your Word.  May You be glorified this day through me.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Sunday, March 25 Devotion

“They answered him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.” Everyone went to his home.”  (John 7:52,53) 

A little information is a dangerous thing.  It has been misleading the faithful from the beginning.  If you go to Scripture to prove something wrong, you can probably find what you are looking for (in a wrong way).  But Scripture must interpret Scripture.  People with an agenda are often blinded by that agenda.  But the truth always remains true.

Lord, help me be diligent in my search for the truth You reveal.  Grant that I would not stop short, nor listen to those who do not believe.  Instead, help me grow in understanding that I may live into the faith You have always desired.  Guide me in knowing what is true and then help me hold fast to what You have revealed.

Thank You Lord for the faithful who would not be intimidated by those who were led by their father, the devil.  Grant that I may hold fast to the truth You have revealed to me this day, sharing with others boldly what You have said.  May my mouth speak faithful words, knowing that You have all truth.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Saturday, March 24 Devotion

“Nicodemus (he who came to Him before, being one of them) said to them, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?”  (John 7:50, 51)

Those who use the law to their own ends are often willing to violate parts of it.  Nicodemus shows that he is an honorable man.  Do you see where the Founding Fathers got the principle of innocent until proven guilty?  The Lord desires that we be fair.  It is in the law.  Even though there are evil people, so also, the Lord has those in whom truth dwells.

Lord, help me to be a fair and reasonable person.  Help me see when crowds are being misled and then grant that I would be bold to stand up to those who are seeking their own ends.  Grant that I can learn to understand the greater uses of the wisdom You give through the law so that, like Nicodemus, I can stand up to those who seek to do wrong.

Guide me today Holy Spirit that I may live this day with wisdom.  Grant that I would be bold when facing what is wrong.  Help me to be a help to others and stand up for those who are wrongly accused.  Grant that I would be bold and witness of my loyalty to Jesus, no matter what the cost may be.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church. 

Friday, March 23 Devotion

“But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed.”  (John 7:49)

They do not know what we know, so there is no way they could know the truth.  A mob may not be intelligent, but people are.  Those who have an agenda often bully their way through things because they actually believe they are superior.  Jesus calls for each of us to be humble and gentle in spirit.

Lord, I have bullied with a superior attitude before.  Help me learn to be gentle and humble that I may be like You.  Let me not become overly concerned when others do not agree with me, but instead help me always learn and grow in Your wisdom.  Help me to know, but also to never become egotistical because I do know.

Thank You Jesus for standing firm.  You who knows all things accepted the bullying for our sake.  I know You will do things that will surprise me, but help me to trust in You no matter what may come.  Grant that I would live today standing up to those who try to intimidate and hold fast to what You have shown me is true.  Amen.

These devotionals are written by Rev. Dr. Jeffray Greene, pastor of American Lutheran Church in Rantoull, Illinois. He serves on the Court of Adjudication of the North American Lutheran Church.