Introduction to Refresh & Renew
This year Redeemer is focusing on Martin Luther’s Catechisms for Lent. Each day a new devotion will be published with the assigned reading from the Small Catechism. Additional readings form the Large Catechism highlighting one part of the day’s topic will be included. You may desire to read one part of this devotion in the morning and the other part in the evening. Readings are hyperlinked to source sites for convenience.
Order for Devotion
In the name of the Father, + the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Pray: Psalm 16:1-11
Reading for Holy Saturday
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
62Next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
Morning Small Catechism Reading – Confession
Evening Preparation for Confession
After reflecting on the Commandments confess your sins to God in prayer and pray the Lord’s Prayer asking Him to forgiven your trespasses. Attend the Divine Service on Sunday, confess your sins, and receive Christ’s Holy Absolution knowing that He is rich in mercy to poor sinners for whom He died upon a cross and rose again that they may be forgiven and have eternal life.
- You Shall Have No Other Gods. – What or whom do I fear the most? – What or whom do I trust most for financial security, physical safety, or emotional support? – Do I fear God’s wrath and therefore avoid sin? – Is my love for God evident in my daily life? – Do expect only good things from God or do I doubt, worry, complain, and feel unfairly treated when things go wrong?
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. – Does the good news of Jesus’ forgiveness adorn my speech, or do I curse, speak carelessly, or misuse God’s name? – Have I kept any promises I have made in God’s name? – Am I diligent in prayer? – Do I call upon God in all times of trouble? – Do I forget to pray when things are well?
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. – Do I despise the Word by not paying attention when it is read to me or when I hear it preached? – Do I attend the Divine Service as often as I can or do I excuse myself from regular worship? – Do I prefer to be elsewhere then at worship with the church?
- Honor your father and mother. – Do I submit to the authorities God has put over me? – Have I been disrespectful to my parents, teachers, employer, or other authorities? – Have I failed to thank God for those authorities who protect me? – Do I obey the laws of my nation and pay my rightful share of all taxes?
- You shall not murder. – Have I unjustly taken the life of someone, born or unborn? – Do I hate anyone, or am I angry with anyone? – Am I hold a grudge, unwilling to forgiven, or otherwise harboring resentment towards anyone? – Am I abusive in word or deed toward others, my spouse, or my children? – Have I been callous to those in genuine need?
- You shall not commit adultery. – Have I held in highest regard God’s gift of sexuality or have I debased it with any thought, word, or deed? – Am I guilty of lust, indecency, or the use of pornography? – Have I reserved my sexual activity for the pleasure and consolation of my spouse, and when God wills, the procreation of children?
- You shall not steal. – Have I gotten anything dishonestly? – Have I made illegal copies of copyrighted materials such as music, computer software, or videos? – Do I faithfully attend to my vocations or have I been lazy and not done my best work for my employer? – Do I take care of what I have and do I return what I borrow? – Do I give generously or am I selfish and stingy?
- You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. – Do I speak truthfully? – Do I gossip or take pleasure in talking about the faults of others? – Do I defend the reputation of others, even my enemies when they are being slandered? – Have I judged those I am not authorized to judge? – Have I explained in the best way the actions of others?
- You shall not covet your neighbors house. – Do my desires for things consume my thoughts? – Do I resent or envy others who have things that I do not have? – Do I neglect giving to the mission of my church in the pursuit of entertainment, pleasure, and property? – Do I neglect my family and other relationships as a result of promotion in my career or in the pursuit of wealth? – Do my wants prevent me from being happy and thankful for what God has given me?
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. – Am I discontented with the spouse that God has given me? – Am I discontented with the job that provides my income or with the employees I supervise? – Have I neglected to urge someone to be faithful to their spouse? – Have I wanted my neighbors husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, workers or property to be mine?
Prayers for Others and Ourselves
Closing Prayer – Morning
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.
Then go joyfully to your work, singing a hymn, like that of the Ten Commandments, or whatever your devotion may suggest.
Closing Prayer – Evening
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.
Then go to sleep at once and in good cheer.