Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Daily Bible Readings and Lessons for May 13-19, 2012

What is it “to keep the commandments or the Word of the Lord Jesus”? “Keeping” is a word that describes the nature of faith. Faith clings to Christ. Faith trusts His Word. Faith relies upon everything He says. Faith draws its life and strength from Jesus’ Words. “His commandments” are not burdensome, like the Law is burdensome, because the “commandments” of the Lord Jesus invite us to trust in Him and to live from what He commands. Here are some of His commands: “It is finished! Your salvation is complete! Your sins are forgiven! Peace be with you! Take, eat, this is My body. Take and drink, this is My blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.” We love Christ and cling to His Words and commandments, because they give us life and salvation. Even His command to “love one another as I have loved you” is not burdensome, because it is the invitation to live by faith in His love and sacrifice for us in our love and forgiveness toward one another. Jesus’ words and commands always give freedom to the conscience and heart of a Christian who trusts in Him.

Daily Lectionary
May 13                                       Numbers 3:1-16, 39-48; Luke 14:25-15:10
May 14                                                     Numbers 8:5-26; Luke 15:11-32 
May 15                                                        Numbers 9:1-23; Luke 16:1-18
May 16                                                   Numbers 10:11-36; Luke 16:19-31
Ascension Day                                 Numbers 11:1-23, 31-35; Luke 17:1-19
May 18                                      Numbers 11:24-29; 12:1-16; Luke 17:20-37
May 19                                                            Looking Ahead to Sunday
                                               2 Kings 2:5–15; Acts 1:1–11; Mark 16:14–20

Next Weeks Lessons:  The Ascension of Our Lord
2 Kings 2:5–15; Acts 1:1–11; Mark 16:14–20
Jesus Is Ascended, but Not Absent
On the fortieth day after His resurrection, our Lord ascended to the right hand of the Father. But although Jesus is hidden from your eyes, He is not absent from you. For He now fills all things in heaven and on earth. He continues “to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1), preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins through those sent in His name (Mark 16:14–20; Luke 24:44–53), giving you His true body and blood in the Supper. Jesus is your great Elijah who pours out on you a double portion of His Spirit in the Word and the Sacraments (2 Kings 2:5–15). He is Lord over all things for the sake of the Church. He whom heaven cannot contain has raised your human nature to share fully in the glory of God. You who believe and are baptized into Christ’s body are already sitting in the heavenly places; for you are in Him who is at the Father’s right hand. When He comes again in the clouds on the Last Day, you also will appear with Him in glory.

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