Reflections: Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 14, 2024 

Today’s Reading: 1 John 5:9-15

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 16:1-22; Luke 19:11-28

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:13-14)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther explains the opening of the Lord’s Prayer, the words “Our Father,” by saying that with these words, God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father. Whenever I hear these words, I think of my own children who, with boldness and confidence, ask for a treat after dinner. Why? Because they know their father loves and cares for them, so they ask with boldness and confidence!

Boldness. Confidence. You might not think about those words when it comes to prayer, but that is how we are instructed to pray as Christians. Why? Where is our confidence? Not in ourselves and not in anything we think, say, or do. No. There’s no confidence in our sinful flesh. Our confidence is in Christ crucified for us. The catechism teaches us to pray this way because Jesus lived, died, and rose again for you. We have boldness and confidence before God the Father through Jesus, who continues to be our intercessor and mediator before God. We pray in boldness and confidence, knowing that our confidence rests on Jesus and in the Father’s love for us in Jesus.

This is what St. John is teaching us in 1 John 5, that our confidence in prayer rests not upon our shoulders, but on the shoulders of Jesus who bore the sins of the world on the cross. Because Jesus saves and gives eternal life, you can be confident that He hears your prayer. Our Lord commands us to pray but also promises to hear us. St. John also teaches trust along with confidence in Christ. Whenever we pray, we pray, “Thy will be done.” And even though we don’t always know how God will answer our prayer, we can pray in confidence knowing that God’s will towards us is good and gracious in Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O God, You make the minds of your faithful to be of one will. Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes and chances of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter)

– 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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