Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rogate (Easter 6)

What a blessing to be in our Lord's House this morning for Divine Service on this Rogate Sunday.  The liturgical theme of the day on this Sunday is true Christian prayer.  We baptized Christians, who have received the sign of the holy cross, been marked as those redeemed by Christ the Crucified, and bear the Divine Name, are members of the Divine Family, invited and encouraged to pray to our Father in heaven confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father.  Jesus, our Lord and Brother, has ascended into heaven to be our Advocate.  He is our Mediator and stands between us and the Heavenly Father, still bearing the wounds He suffered to atone for our sins as a constant reminder of the forgiveness, life, and salvation we have through Him.  And, the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, is our great Comforter, pointing us always to Jesus, sanctifying our prayers in His Name, and picking up the slack when our prayers fall short or are lacking, constantly praying to the Father for us in Jesus' Name.

As part of the Introit on this day, we chant Ps. 66:17, 19:
I cried to him | with my mouth,*
     and high praise was | on my tongue.
But truly God has | listened;*
     because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast | love from me!

The Collect of the Day
O God, the giver of all that is good, by Your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by Your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 

Old Testament Reading:  Numbers 21:4-9
Epistle:  James 1:22-27 (or 1 Timothy 2:1-6)
Holy Gospel:  John 16:23-33

Lectionary Summary for the Day:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you" (John 16:23).  To pray in Jesus' name is to pray as one who has been baptized.  For it is in the water that He put His name upon you, claiming you as His own, making you a son of God with access to the Father.  By His incarnation and crucifixion, our Lord Jesus broke through the barrier of sin which separated us from God, opening a portal to the Father.  To pray in Jesus' name is to pray with faith in Him as the one Mediator between God and men, who gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:1-6).  Like Moses in the wilderness, Jesus is our go-between and intercessor before the throne of heaven.  He was lifted up for us on the cross that we might be saved and restored to fellowship with the Father (Num. 21:4-9).  Looking into this perfect teaching of liberty (James 1:22-27) we pray with boldness and confidence as dear children of God.

Processional Hymn:  LSB 837 "Lift High the Cross"
Hymn of the Day:  LSB 773 "Hear Us, Father, When We Pray" (we sang LSB 766 "Our Father, Who From Heaven Above" as one of our Distribution Hymns)
Recessional Hymn:  895 "Now Thank We All Our God"   

Speaking of prayer, here is the perfect prayer chanted beautifully in Latin:

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