Easter Wednesday Devotion

Introit
I shall not die, but | I shall live,*
and recount the deeds | of the LORD.

I was pushed hard, so that I was | falling,*
but the LORD | helped me.

The LORD is my strength | and my song;*
he has become my sal- | vation.

I shall not die, but | I shall live,*
and recount the deeds | of the LORD.

The LORD has disciplined me se- | verely,*
but he has not given me o- | ver to death.

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for | he is good;*
for his steadfast love endures for- | ever!

Glory be to the Father and | to the Son*
and to the Holy | Spirit;
as it was in the be- | ginning,*
is now, and will be forever. | Amen.

I shall not die, but | I shall live,*
and recount the deeds | of the LORD.

COLLECT
Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

PSALM
Psalm 61:1-8

FIRST LESSON
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

EPISTLE
Colossians 3:1-7

GOSPEL
John 21:1-14

SHORT MEDITATION

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that yours sins may be blotted out.” Peter exhorted the crowds at Pentecost. The Christ whom the Jews had rejected was in fact their Savior and He was risen from the dead. Peter wanted nothing more than for the crowds to come back home to their God and Father; the Father who had sent His Son to them. They needed to repent, to “turn back.” We often think of repentance as a negation, in other words stopping bad things and starting to do good things. Indeed, part of the fruit of repentance is stop habitually sinning like Paul lists in our Epistle lesson (“sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry”). Turning away from our sin is part of repentance, but it is not all of repentance. In fact, it is the lesser part because we are not forgiven by our deeds and even the fruit of repentance is a gift of God’s grace.  If we are to truly repent we must always remember the greater part of repentance: to trust the promised mercy of God’s Son. To “turn back” supposes that there is somewhere to return to, a destination. Peter’s sermon is giving them that destination and it is none other than the grace of the risen Savior and the power of our Triune God.  Peter’s calling them and us with them, to receive the forgiveness of our sins!

“Repentance is therefore not a negation of what lies behind us…rather it is a joyful setting out for what lies ahead of us. To receive forgiveness means that our past is cancelled. The Day of Repentance is the solemn promise that there is One who is waiting for us and that there is always a tomorrow. The one thing needful is also the one thing that is promised. Blessed are those who have a home, for they can come home.” -Helmut Thielicke

Thielicke, Helmut. Christ and the Meaning of Life. New York: Harper and Row. 1962. New York.

LORD’S PRAYER

PRAYERS FOR OTHERS AND OURSELVES
Suggested additional prayer for Wednesday: For marriage and for family, that husbands and wives, parents and children live in ordered harmony according to the Word of God; for parents who must raise children alone; for our communities and our neighborhoods.

LUTHER’S MORNING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

-or-

LUTHER’S EVENING PRAYER

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

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