Throughout the history of the church, Christians have designated certain days for common thanksgiving to God. From the harvest of food for the body to the harvest of souls for salvation, today and everyday we give thanks for all that our gracious Triune God provides.
Deuteronomy 8:1-10, 18
Galatians 5: 16-18, 22-26
The Branch from the stump of Jesse came from a prophesied stock. The roots of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s promise had been in place since Eden. When the shoot appeared in Bethlehem, God demonstrated his faithfulness. May our connection to him through faith be life-giving and fruit-bearing until we see the Righteous Branch return.
The Christian seeks spiritual wealth. This Sunday's readings are centered around the very ancient Prayer of the Day. For nearly 1600 years God's people on this day have prayed that God might give them true spiritual wealth. "Teach us always to ask according to your will that we may never fail to obtain the blessings you have promised." What a magnificent prayer for the materialistic world in which we live! Our lessons today show people who have come into great wealth, but yet this earthly wealth only serves to illustrate where true treasure lies. Today we see that true, spiritual wealth can only be found in God and his eternal blessings for us in Christ.
Hail the King who humbly comes to save us! For 1700 years the Church has celebrated with Hosannas and palm branches this festival that opens Holy Week. The time for Christ's glory had come. He would not, however, gain glory in the manner of other kings. Rather, he would humble himself in great acts of love for us, and then the Father would exalt him to the highest place, because he had fulfilled God's mission to save mankind.
The First Before the End: Fear God Above All Things
The Holy Ministry is given by God out of compassion for his people. Over the next three Sundays we hear JesusÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ Missionary Discourse (Matthew 10:5-42). Last Sunday we saw the unworthiness of the servants God calls by mercy. Today the emphasis is still on the Ministry of the Word, but the focus shifts from the servants to the people they serve. We see the compassion and love of God for this world, love so great that he called ministers of the Word to share his grace and mercy and foretell of the coming kingdom of heaven. The Prayer of the Day is Gregorian and fits the Sunday beautifully as it emphasizes how God protects us, empowers us, and sanctifies us through the ministry of the Word that shows us mercy and forgiveness and leads us to the glory of heaven. The Verse of the Day is an excellent match: ministers clothed by God make the saints rejoice!
The Holy Ministry: ... given by God out of compassion...