Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after Quasimodogeniti

Posted on April 15, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 20:19-23 (NKJV)
20:19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Like any of us would be, the Disciples were afraid following the death of their Lord. Now that the Shepherd had been dispatched, what was next for the sheep? Were they appointed for slaughter? Had Christ failed to be what He said He was? What message could console their quaking? “Peace to you!” That is the message Christ brings to His disciples, “…peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Peace comes from the forgiveness of our sins, earned at the cross, proved by the resurrection, and given through the Ministry of Reconciliation.
Christ commissioned His Apostles with the duty to exercise the Power of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. That power is opening the kingdom by remitting sins unto the penitent, and closing the kingdom by retaining the sins of the impenitent. Through the Holy Ministry the Lord offers, gives, and seals to us the blessings He obtained by His suffering, death, and resurrection. Forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation come to us through the Means of Grace: the Gospel and the Holy Sacraments. This Ministry is meant to console our quaking when we feel convicted by the Law. Our hearts can take comfort at the words of absolution proclaimed by our pastors, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.
Prayer: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the solemnities of the Lord’s resurrection may, by the help of Thy grace, bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conversation; through the same 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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