Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Tuesday after Misericordias Domini

Posted on April 20, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 21:15-19 (NKJV)
21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
Our Lord graciously affirmed St. Peter three times, which stands in contrast to the three times that Peter denied Jesus. Simon Peter, son of Jonah, made big promises about following the Christ, but when challenged, Peter failed miserably. Men stumble and fall. Sometimes we fall in very bad, very profound ways. But Christ still calls us back to His way and desires to restore us in grace and forgiveness.
Undershepherds are still regular men. They sin, but Christ can still call them back to proper faith and love so that they may feed the other lambs with the very same mercy that the Lord showed them. Pastors are called to be living examples of the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Tending the Lord’s flocks and feeding His lambs is a vocation that brings many temptations and difficulties, and no pastor does it perfectly. Pastors and hearers alike should always remember to pray for help, patience, and forgiveness, because all of us who live and serve in the fellowship of God’s Church are His lambs, and we are only sustained through the grace and forgiveness of our crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ!
Prayer: God, who by the humiliation of Thy Son didst raise up the fallen world, grant unto Thy faithful ones perpetual gladness, and those whom Thou hast delivered from the danger of everlasting death do Thou make partakers of eternal joys; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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