Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after Reminiscere Sunday

Posted on March 9, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 12:20-26 (NKJV)
12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
The approaching hour which would bring glorification to Jesus was His upcoming atonement for the sins of the world. Jesus would soon begin His suffering at the hands of the authorities and religious leaders, resulting in His death upon the cross. Our Savior would sacrificially endure bodily harm that we might receive salvific benefits for both our body and soul. On account of Christ, our body will rise from the dead, and our soul will forever enjoy the beatific heavenly vision. Jesus is the grain of wheat who dies so that through faith in Christ we will receive eternal life.
Today’s collect reminds us that there are two realms in which we need God’s defense. He has created us with both an outward body and an inward soul. These two realms are always under attack. Adversities happen to the body. Sinful, evil thoughts seek to assault and hurt the communion of our soul with our loving God.
Jesus warns us, lest by clinging to the external bodily benefits of this world we lose the benefits of eternal life in the next world. He warns us against entertaining evil thoughts which destroy faith. We need God’s defense. Those who trust in Christ must be prepared to follow Christ’s suffering and rely on God’s defense.
Prayer: O God, who seest that of ourselves we have no strength: Keep us both outwardly and inwardly; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Season of Lent
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; 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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