Hope for the Church II: Do Our People….

Devotional Thought fo the Day:
15  After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” 16  A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” 17  A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.   John 21:15-17 (TEV)

“Thy kingdom come.”
7 What does this mean?
Answer: To be sure, the kingdom of God comes of itself, without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.
8 How is this done?
Answer: When the heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit so that by his grace we may believe his holy Word and live a godly life, both here in time and hereafter forever.  (1)

16 Ultimately, if we should list as sacraments all the things that have God’s command and a promise added to them, then why not prayer, which can most truly be called a sacrament? It has both the command of God and many promises. If it were placed among the sacraments and thus given, so to speak, a more exalted position, this would move men to pray. (2)

79      I will not stop repeating until it is deeply engraved in your soul: Piety, piety, piety! For if you lack charity it will be for want of interior life, not for any defect of character. (3)

There is a secret to ministry, A secret because it seems like we’ve forgotten it, not because someone has hidden it.  It is something Luther and Melancthon, Ignatius and Escriva all understood.

The necessity of prayer. The necessity of what is called “the interior life” or a devotional life.  Prayer not just as obligation, prayer not as a conversation between good friends (though that is part of it).  Prayer that actively turns over to God the things that are His, our very lives, and finds comfort and peace in the midst of it all.

But prayer is the kind of conversation that Jesus and Peter had on the beach, a time where we, broken, finally hear Jesus. It is then that we realize that He knows we love Him, that we realize He accepts us, and is transforming us, and is calling us to serve, even as we ourselves are being healed.

This is the piety that Escriva talks about, the piety that makes the difference, that teaches us to love, (to be charitable, to be grace-driven, not purpose driven) For as we realize the richness of God’s grace, of His love, of His presence, of His knowing we love Him; that love causes us to be devoted to Him, to adore Him.  (I think the old A.C.T.S. prayer model had it wrong, it should be Confession, Supplication, Thanksgiving, Adoration – for adoration flows out of the freedom given in that which precedes it!)

It is from that place of devotion, that place of adoring the God who welcomes Himself into out life, and walks with us, that ministry begins.  It is in knowing he accepts our love that our holiness and piety matures, a holiness and piety that sees the Kingdom of God established and revealed here, in our daily lives.

We do love Him, He accepts that love, because of the incredible dimensions of His love for us.

And realizing that changes everything in the church, including giving broken churches the hope we need to know…..

The Lord is with us!

AMEN!

 

(1)  Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 213). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.  (The Small Catechism Article III:The Second Petition

(2) Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 346). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press. (Apology of the Augsburg Confession: Article XIII)

(3)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 495-497). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on April 25, 2016, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, Poiema, st josemaria escriva, The Forge, The Small Catechism, Theology in Practice and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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