Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Last Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 27, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 13:32-37 (NKJV)
13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
Our Lord Jesus has completed His task of atoning for the sins of the world. Having risen from the dead, He who had all authority in heaven and earth instituted the pastoral office with the authority to make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching. After Jesus ascended and “went away,” these servants of Christ have been placed in the Office of the Keys to manage the house of God, Christ’s Church. The closing key is the Law, which condemns the sins of unrepentant sinners. The opening key is the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins, preached to repentant sinners. John 20:23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The ministers of Christ are the doorkeepers, declaring God’s will according to His holy Word.
Until our Lord returns, the Church is directed to “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is” (Mark 13:33). God has commanded us to pray, and He has promised to hear us. Luther says, “Consequently nothing is so necessary as to call upon God incessantly and drum into His ears our prayer that He may give, preserve, and increase in us faith and obedience to the Ten Commandments and remove all that stands in our way and hinders us from fulfilling them” (Large Catechism).
Collect: Absolve, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy people from their offenses, that from the bonds of our sins which, by reason of our frailty, we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Thy bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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