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Tag Archives: Treasury of Daily Prayer

The Day of Pentecost

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The Church lives and moves and has her being through the gracious inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Without God’s Spirit, no one could come to Christ or believe in Him. The fifty-day celebration of Easter ends with this joyous festival. The risen and ascended Savior has sent the Holy Spirit to be our Sanctifier, entering our hearts at Holy Baptism, nurturing us through the Word, and enabling us to understand the Gospel and to live a life that honors God and serves our neighbor.

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The Ascension of Our Lord

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Ascension Day is the coronation celebration of our Lord as He is proclaimed to be King of the universe. Jesus’ ascension to the Father is His entrance to the greater existence beyond the confines of time and space, being no longer bound by the limitations of His state of humiliation. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God, which Luther correctly taught is everywhere, having again taken up the power and authority that were His since before time. Yet our Lord is present with us who remain bound by time and space. He is with us as true God and true man, exercising His rulership in the Church through the means of grace which He established: His Word and His Sacraments. We mortals in those means of grace can grasp the King of the universe and receive a foretaste of the feast to come.

The Easter Season–The Great Fifty Days

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The Easter season is a fifty-day-long season of joy extending from Easter to Pentecost. During this time, the Church celebrates the end of Christ’s struggles and proclaims His victory over death and the reception of the benefits of His life, death, and resurrection as gracious gifts of love and mercy for all those who believe in Him. This is the Church’s great season of joy! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The Resurrection of Our Lord–Easter Sunday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Easter is the oldest and highest of all Christian festivals–the festival of festivals, the feast of feasts! On this day, when Christ first stepped triumphantly from the ranks of the dead, all our waiting is declared to be a waiting that is already completed; Christ’s triumph makes all the waiting that follows in our lives of faith a building anchored on the foundation that was laid when He whom the builders rejected became the Cornerstone. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Holy Saturday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

The commemoration of Holy Saturday encompasses our Lord’s rest in the tomb and His descent into hell. The descent into hell is not, however, the depth of Christ’s humiliation but rather the demonstration of His complete victory over death. This day takes us out of the depths of most painful sorrow and out of the solitude of holy meditation upon Christ’s Passion to the celebration of victory as we anticipate the Lord’s resurrection breaking forth in all its glory on Easter.

Good Friday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Good Friday is the high point of Holy Week, but not of the Church Year–for we know that after Good Friday a day is coming when death will give way to life. If the commemoration of Good Friday was separated from Easter, we would remain in our sins, and thus the ultimate word of Good Friday would be “you are condemned.” Even as we stand at the foot of the cross and contemplate the price of our sin, we gather as children reconciled to God. In the services of Good Friday, the Church does not leave us in the darkness and the shadow of death but rather fills us with the certainty of victory over sin, death, and the devil, pointing us to the final victory that will be celebrated on Easter.

Maundy Thursday

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Maundy Thursday, the Day of Commandment (Dies Mandati), most properly refers to the example of service given us by our Lord and the directive to love as we have been loved (John 13:34). Yet we must not forget the command given in the Words of Our Lord to “do this in remembrance of Me.” This day, with its commemoration of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, is set off from the rest of Holy Week as a day of festive joy.

Lent and Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the forty-day season of Lent. Many churches, as part of their Ash Wednesday services, practice the imposition of ashes, in which the sign of the cross is made upon the heads of the faithful, as a reminder that we “are dust, and to dust we shall return.” The ashes are often the product of burning the palm branches from the previous year’s observance of Palm Sunday. The imposition of ashes is not a requirement, but rather a nice, visible reminder of the frailty of our lives, and Christ’s sacrifice for us. This begins the “purple season;” however, like Good Friday, Ash Wednesday can also be observed with simple black banners and paraments in the church.

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

During the forty days of Lent, God’s baptized people cleanse their hearts through the discipline of Lent: repentance, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Lent is a time in which God’s people prepare with joy for the Paschal Feast (Easter). It is a time in which God renews His people’s zeal in faith and life. It is a time in which we pray that we may be given the fulness of grace that belongs to the children of God.

December 28–The Holy Innocents, Martyrs

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Matthew’s Gospel tells of King Herod’s vicious plot against the infant Jesus after being “tricked” by the Wise Men. Threatened by the one “born King of the Jews,” Herod murdered all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or younger (Matthew 2:16-18). These “innocents,” commemorated just three days after the celebration of Jesus’ birth, remind us not only of the terrible brutality of which human beings are capable but more significantly of the persecution Jesus endured from the beginning of His earthly life. Although Jesus’ life was spared at this time, many years later, another ruler, Pontius Pilate, would sentence the innocent Jesus to death.

December 27–St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

St. John was a son of Zebedee and brother of James the Elder (whose festival day is July 25). John  was among the first disciples to be called by Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22) and became known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” as he refers to himself in the Gospel that bears his name (e.g., John 21:20). Of the Twelve, John alone did not forsake Jesus in the hours of His suffering and death. With the faithful women, he stood at the cross, where our Lord made him the guardian of His mother. After Pentecost, John spent his ministry in Jerusalem and at Ephesus, where tradition says he was bishop. He wrote the fourth Gospel, the three Epistles that bear his name, and the Book of Revelation. Especially memorable in his Gospel are the account of the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12), the “Gospel in a nutshell” (John 3:16), Jesus’ saying about the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16), the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11), and Jesus’ encounter with Mary Magdalene on Easter morning (John 20:11-18). According to tradition, John was banished to the island of Patmos (off the coast of Asia Minor) by the Roman emperor Domitian. John lived to a very old age, surviving all the apostles, and died at Ephesus around AD 100.

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