Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday of Rogationtide

Posted on May 8, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 17:1-19 (NKJV)
17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”
Jesus is facing the shadow of the cross when He prays this prayer. The disciples are subdued and terrified. They’ve sensed that something is wrong; they think Jesus might be leaving them. And now, He’s telling them plainly; their hearts are wrenched with fear and anxiety. But in this prayer, there’s not one word from Jesus that reflects fear or weakness.
We often understand this prayer as being rather gloomy. But it is not, for this prayer is uttered by One who’s just affirmed He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and the prayer starts with that conviction. Jesus is looking toward the cross in a mood of hope and fulfillment. This prayer anticipates the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and looks forward to the ongoing work of His disciples and those who would follow them. Therefore, Jesus is praying for all of us.
Note the content of Jesus’ prayer. He doesn’t pray that we be taken out of the world, but that we be protected from the world. Jesus prays that His disciples would be guarded in God’s name, guarded in the Word, guarded from the Evil One. God’s name and His Word are the only shield and weapon we have to hold off the devil, the world, and our own sinful selves. But just as we dare not minimize the ways of Satan, let us also not minimize what Christ brings to bear for us: the Mighty Fortress who is our God, our trusty Shield and Weapon—a God who prays for His people.
Collect: Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who in our affliction put our trust in Thy mercy, may ever be defended by Thy protection against all adversity; through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for Rogate Sunday
O God, from Whom all good things do come: Grant to us Thy humble servants, that by Thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be right and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same; 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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