Reflections: Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 16, 2024

Today’s Reading: The Lord’s Prayer – Fifth Petition 

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 16:41-17:13Numbers 18:1-19:22; Luke 20:1-18

We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by His grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us. (Explanation to the 5th Petition)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you run the 100-yard dash and win, you expect to get a medal or ribbon. If you go to work, you expect a paycheck. If you play Super Mario Brothers and defeat Bowser, you expect to rescue Princess Peach. This is the way the world works; you get what you deserve. You earn what you have worked for, and so on. When it comes to the Gifts of God, we expect God to play by our rules. But guess what? God doesn’t do what we expect. God doesn’t give us what we deserve, and that’s a good thing.

If God gave us what we deserved or rewarded us with what we had earned, what would that mean? Quite simply, death. The wages of sin is death, St. Paul writes in Romans 6:23. This is why Jesus gave us the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In the Fifth Petition, we pray for forgiveness. We pray for a gift from God that we do not deserve. 

And the good news is that God gives us both mercy and grace. In His mercy, He doesn’t punish us as we deserve. Instead, Jesus takes all of the punishment for our sin and God’s wrath of judgment upon Himself on the cross. In His grace, He also gives us what we don’t deserve: His forgiveness, life, and salvation. This is what we pray for in this Petition, and by God’s grace and love, this is what He gives us. By God’s grace, we also are called to give this undeserved forgiveness to others as well. And we pray in this Petition that we would love and forgive others as God in Christ has forgiven us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, You despise nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and contrite hearts that lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness we may receive from You full pardon and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

– Pastor Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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