Easter Wednesday Devotion

Invocation

In the name of the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

Psalm 61; antiphon: vv. 6–7

6Prolong the life of the king;

may his years endure to all generations!

7May he be enthroned forever before God;

appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

1Hear my cry, O God,

listen to my prayer;

2from the end of the earth I call to you

when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock

that is higher than I,

3for you have been my refuge,

a strong tower against the enemy.

4Let me dwell in your tent forever!

Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!

5For you, O God, have heard my vows;

you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

6Prolong the life of the king;

may his years endure to all generations!

7May he be enthroned forever before God;

appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

8So will I ever sing praises to your name,

as I perform my vows day after day.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,

And to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning,

Is now and ever shall be.

6Prolong the life of the king;

may his years endure to all generations!

7May he be enthroned forever before God;

appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!

 

Collect of the Day

P: 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

Colossians 3:1–7

1If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.

Meditation

Our theme today is seeking. In this moment of devotion in the Word of God what are you seeking?

There were people found in the act of seeking on the first Easter. In Luke’s Gospel when the women came to the tomb Easter morning to anoint the body of their Lord the angels asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24 :5). Then after the other women had departed John’s gospel recounts that Mary Magdalene remained by the tomb weeping when her Lord asked her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” (John 20:15). In our lesson today Paul encourages the church in Colossae to “to seek the things that are above, where Christ is…” (Colossians 1:1).

The seeking women on Easter first had their minds sent on things below, on earthly things. They were looking for a way to mourn the dreadful loss of their rabbi and friend. So, they brought the appropriate oil and spices to prepare Jesus’ body for proper burial as was customary for the Jews. They were too late. Jesus had told them as much before He died. You might remember He had already been anointed for burial in Bethany before He was crucified. A woman came into the house and broke an alabaster jar and poured out an ointment on the Lord worth 300 day’s wages. Jesus said she had done a beautiful thing. He was now prepared for burial because there wouldn’t be enough time for any others to anoint Him, He would have already been raised from the dead.

The women had death on their mind when they came to the tomb. They didn’t expect to find the living among the dead. And isn’t it the same when we set our minds so frequently on things below? We worry about what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, and how we’re going to make it day-to-day. We are living in anxious times with the outbreak of Covid-19 and there is much fear about death and dying. And of course, there is always our constant need for repentance. Paul lists some sins which we know from the Scriptures only lead to death: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 1:6). Ironically, it’s often when we’re afraid that we turn to our idols in an attempt to escape fear or try to convince ourselves that we have some semblance of control over the things on earth that scare us.

Easter breaks into the things here below and sets our eyes to seeking a much higher and comforting thing above – the risen Lord Jesus Christ. The women were told by the angels, “He is not here. He is risen.” (Matther 28:6), and to go to Galilee to see Him. The Lord Jesus greeted Mary Magdalene by name and she saw He had not been taken from her, but rather He lives just as He promised. And likewise Jesus appeared to all His disciples to cast away all their fears that they may not be concerned about the things below and rather they would seek Him and announce the powerful news that Jesus has triumphed over sin, death, and the devil.

Dead and raised by our Baptism into Christ our lives are now hidden with Him in the heavenly places. We have an inheritance like no other St. Paul explains. “When Christ your life appears, then you will also appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 1:4). Just as the women at the tomb sought Jesus only to be joyously and happily surprised to find the risen and living Christ, so now we can seek the Lord and find Him. We seek Him and He gives us forgiveness of sins and a peace and assurance that we need not fear the things here on earth that can seem so overwhelming. He has overwhelmed them all by swallowing up death and overcoming our woes by the power of His resurrection. With our eyes fixed on the things above, that is with eyes fixed on Jesus, we are strengthened to live each day to the glory of His name. We are prepared to meet Him when He returns and in the meantime seek to glorify Him by proclaiming the Easter Gospel as we love one another and our neighbors as Christ so loves us. 

Prayers

Lord’s Prayer

Additional Petitions

Collect for Midday

Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Let us bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God!

 

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