Acts 20:17-35. Listen closely to what is going on in today’s First Reading: the apostle Paul is on his way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to him there, but being warned by the Holy Spirit that imprisonment and afflictions await him. Notice that as he passed through Asia Minor he wanted to see the leaders of the church in Ephesus. These are his final words to the Ephesians Christians. What might he say to them? He assures them that he has told them the whole counsel of God, and he commends them to the care of the Lord. Even as he was now facing the likelihood of death, Paul wanted the Ephesians to continue in the Lord. Would that among our final words to loved-ones we would commend them to the Lord, and that they would continue in God’s grace.
Loving Lord, may we follow Paul’s urging and continue to walk as Your disciples every day. And may we commend our loved-ones to You so that they will also walk as Your children. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Psalm 23. This psalm is among the most precious passages of the Bible. Take time to read it slowly, to meditate on each verse, and to see the blessings of following the Lord, our shepherd. What love and compassion fill this psalm.
O Lord, our Good Shepherd, lead us each day into Your blessings. Enable us to trust in You, just as sheep trust in their shepherd, knowing that You will lead us through all the blessings and trials of life to eternal life through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Revelation 7:9-17. How many people will be heaven? According to John’s vision, a great multitude that no one could number, from all nations and groups! God’s grace is great! God’s mercy extends to all who are in Christ! Notice the songs of praise that fill this passage. Let us also daily sing the song, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Yes, our salvation is in the Lord!. Thanks be to God!
Almighty and loving God, salvation belongs to You alone! We give You thanks for the salvation we have in Your grace and mercy; grace and mercy centered in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Let us sing Your praises today, tomorrow, and into eternity. Amen.
John 10:22-30. Today’s Gospel begins a shift away from the resurrection appearances of Jesus to encounters He had during His public ministry. Notice that the religious leaders are challenging Jesus to declare whether He is the Messiah or not. Jesus replies that His words and actions of love and compassion declare Who He is, but that their lack of faith keep them from seeing Who He is. May we grow in faith so that we see Him as our Lord and Savior, trusting Him to give us eternal life as we listen to Him. Notice that as His disciples we are His sheep, He is the shepherd Who keeps and protects us into eternal life. Listen to Him, continue to follow Him, be safe in His hands.
Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, we give You thanks and praise for making Yourself known to us through the means You use: Your Word and Sacraments. Enable us to follow You as our Good Shepherd, trusting that no one nor anything can snatch us out of Your nail-scarred and risen hands. Amen.