Wednesday in Holy Week (Year A) Wednesday, April 16
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a The servant is vindicated by God Psalm: Psalm 70 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. (Ps. 70:1) Second Reading: Hebrews 12:1-3 Look to Jesus, who endured the cross Gospel: John 13:21-32 The departure of Jesus' betrayer Liturgical Color: Scarlet or Purple
First Reading: Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14 The passover of the LORD Psalm: Psalm 116:1, 10-17 (Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 NRSV) I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. (Ps. 116:11) Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 Proclaim the Lord's death until he comes Gospel: John 13:1-17, 31b-35 The service of Christ: footwashing and meal Liturgical Color: Scarlet or White
Olavus Petri, priest, died 1552; Laurentius Petri, Bishop of Uppsala, died 1573; renewers of the church Saturday, April 19
These two brothers studied with Luther at the University of Wittenberg and then returned to their native Sweden to introduce the Lutheran reforms. Olavus published a catechism and hymnal; Laurentius was a professor who defended the office of bishop and later became one.
Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury, died 1109 Monday, April 21
This eleventh-century monk was one of the greatest theologians of the Middle Ages. He is remembered for emphasizing the maternal aspects of God, and for the theory that the Son of God became human in order to make the necessary payment for our sin.
Welcome to Midland Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Please join us each Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. for Christian Education followed by our Worship / Holy Communion Service at 10:30 a.m.
Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." ( John 11:1-45 )
It's hard for us to read the story and understand. Understand what it's all about. Not just because we live at a different time in a different place. But because we don't look at death in the same way.
For us, death - at least in our minds - isn't a stench. It's just one more step on the path of eternity. A transition fresh and new! Death isn't, simply, the moment a heartbeat is silenced and a breath stilled. It's when the spirit crosses over and the soul passes on. In spite of the heartache and the tears, death, for us, has become one of life's "happily-ever-afters."
To Lazarus, it was the enemy. Ultimate. Final. It was the complete undoing of everything god had done. It wasn't the devil who was god's equal and opposite. It was death. And for Lazarus... and Mary... and Martha... and for a while, even for Jesus... death had the last word.
So, Lazarus dies and, for four days, he lies in the tomb. But then, the stone is removed and Jesus steps forward. With a loud voice, he cries out into the darkness, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man appears. Hands and feet bound. Face wrapped in a cloth. A captive. A prisoner. Vanquished. Defeated. And with five words, Jesus undoes the undoing. "Unbind him! Let him go!"