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Life Words

These brief paragraphs highlight the Christian concern for the gift of life found in the One Year Series of Sunday Scripture readings. Some paragraphs originated with Lutherans for Life.

2023

 

Life Thought for The Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 16:33. The world can destroy physical life ... gradually, violently, maliciously. Without a knowledge of the Father and the Son, the world will also destroy the life of the soul ... through lies and withholding truth. However, in Christ Jesus, because He is raised from the grave, whatever the tribulation, we have the twofold hope: the hope that causes us to rejoice now and the hope that those believe in Him, though they die, yet shall they live.

 

Life Thought for The Fifth Sunday of Easter

James 1:18. What we are now is not what we shall be; we are the firstfruits; that is the truth. Yet only the fullness of the harvest will proclaim the life, in body and spirit, that the Word implanted shall reveal. Until that day, let us by the Holy Spirit bear the fruit that is fitting for us, whom live in Christ, produce.

 

Life Thought for The Fourth Sunday of Easter

John 16:21. Because of Eve's disbelief, motherhood, before the birth and after the birth, will be an admixture of pains and happiness; note, though, motherhood, Jesus teaches, intends to bring joy because motherhood brings forth life. However, in order to assert its own kind of life and control, man would rob women of the joy of giving life by deriding motherhood and by destroying life while yet in the womb. As God has given to us the joy of life in the name of His Son, we have an opportunity to support and to encourage those weighed down by the sin of life and distressed by motherhood, that they might rejoice in their high calling.

 

Life Thought for The 3rd Sunday of Easter

John 10:11-18. No man has a greater gift in life to give to another than his own life; and this is what the Lord Jesus has done for us. Now that we have come to know God's life in Christ Jesus, let us also give life to each other, that is, protect the bodily welfare of each other and use the world's goods to support brothers and sisters in need. And what is laid down in the name of Jesus will be raised up at the last day.

 

Life Thought for The 2nd Sunday of Easter

1 John 5:4-10. The death and resurrection of our Lord together--and always together--proclaim that God our Father created and redeemed these bodies. Though frail in constitution and beset by our sin, He would not cast them aside; He displayed His personal commitment to us. What manner of love He has; we see His testimony through the witness of John and others. O Father, grant to us this manner of love, that we bear others' lives to testify to Your love.

 

Life Thought for The Resurrection of Our Lord

The Father has raised from the grave His Son's body, which declares that by His bodily death God has reconciled Himself to us (a full payment for our whole life has been rendered) and that the body is indeed precious to God. How, then, shall we love? We love in deeds that address the needs of our neighbors' lives.

 

Life Thought for Palm Sunday

Psalm 22 (Tract). The sin of the world would teach us to disregard life and treat it as expendable and even despicable, less than a worm. Though life is often despised by the world, in the midst of suffering we will call upon the Father, whom offered His Son in our place, that we would know His love for us, in body and spirit. He has bought us with the price of Christ, and He considers us His treasured possession. If God has given the life of His Son for the world, even when it was His enemy, how then shall we view life? Is then not every life precious in His sight?

 

Life Thought for The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Genesis 22. How could God even propose to Abraham the sacrifice of his son? He takes away and gives. Blessed be His name! But man cannot take away and give; man takes away life in abortion, in infanticide, in the murder of the terminally ill, and now even in murder of the mentally distressed. God have mercy on us! In Christ forgiveness frees our hands from control of life and opens them to receive life from our Father and also the will and strength to protect life.

 

Life Thought for The Fourth Sunday in Lent

John 6:1-15. Our need to satisfy our hunger in this body is essential, for without bread / food, we will die. Our Lord, who hungered after His forty days of fasting, demonstrates His compassion for this need when He sated the physical hunger of the thousands. Though we cannot multiply loaves and fish as He had, as the young boy we share what we have, not coerced or for personal glory, but in the love for our neighbors as the Father has loved us.

 

Life Thought for The Third Sunday in Lent

Ephesians 5:13, "But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible." You are lamps, lit with the life of Christ Jesus and shining by the strength of the Holy Spirit. Not all desire to have their lives illuminated by our lives; they will reject and oppose the light, as they did with our Lord Jesus (compare John 1:10,11). By our testimony to the truth, especially in regard to human life and its care in this culture, what is the darkness of lies becomes evident. Pray our Father that we remain bright and that our testimony will neither be dimmed or quenched by the world.

 

Life Thought for The Second Sunday in Lent

Romans 5:1-5. Suffering weighs heavily upon us, so much that in this life some despair of hope and even life itself. They attempt various remedies and long for escape from weakness and affliction. Shall we surrender the hope that God has spoken to us when we must endure disease and death? Shall we concede to the world and satan as they offer falsely labeled antidotes? No, for the love that God has for us has been poured into our hearts; by the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are assured that when heart and flesh fail, our crucified and resurrected Lord is our strength.

 

Life Thought for The First Sunday in Lent

Matthew 4. Man can live by bread alone--but that life will not be full and it will have a tragic end: eternal death for body and spirit. When man lives by the Word that comes from God's mouth, he hears the will of God, that he commend himself to the Creator, praying "Give us this day our daily bread" and also inwardly digesting the Bread that comes down from Heaven, our Lord Jesus, so that he may live forever. We work and pray, then, that no man be deprived of life, either in body or in spirit.

 

Life Thought for The Transfiguration of Our Lord Sunday

The ministry that brought condemnation had glory; it was temporary, it was fading. How much more glorious then is the ministry that has brought life and righteousness! Therefore because we have this hope we act with great boldness; we are not discouraged, we do not act in a deceitful way, and we do not distort the Word of God. We endure the momentary, light afflictions that seem to bring death as we fix our eyes on the glory beyond comparison.

 

Life Thought for The 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 37 (introit). The Christian is surrounded by a chorus of voices that shout down life. Though that opposing clamor sounds off loudly and boisterously today, the Lord hears and will remember those that have spoken for and defended life from conception to natural death; those who do wrong, who perpetuate evil, who strive to take away life, will be cut off. Stand firm and this righteousness will shine.

 

Life Thought for The 5th Sunday after the Epiphany

God's work is oriented toward the creation and sustenance of life, in creation (Isaiah 55:10) and in fellowship with Him (Isaiah 55:11-13). Thus, as those created in His image of holiness and righteousness, our works have the same orientation; we bring forth life according to His command and then protect and sustain that life, and the life that He brings forth by His word we likewise defend, not causing anyone to stumble but strengthening the weak and the weary with His lively promises.

 

Life Thought for The 4th Sunday after the Epiphany

Romans 8:18-25. The promise of the redemption of the body is no reason to surrender now to the frailty and frustration of the present age, following some into the purposeful destruction of life. Rather we are encouraged and therefore bear by means of the strength of the promise in Christ Jesus the inward groanings. In the hope of our participation in the glorious inheritance of the resurrected life of Christ, we bear each other's burdens, waiting for the imperishable, immortal life.

 

Life Thought for The 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany

Matthew  8:17, "This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”" The Christ, Jesus, has established a reign in which God's compassion on the body is evident, for He brings healing to the body. Thus life, as first created by God in Genesis 1-2, restored anticipates the healing of all the faithful when He who has all authority in heaven and earth raises them from the dust of the earth. Though the Church is not promised the power to heal bodies, she does good to all as she has opportunity, especially speaking for those that cannot defend or speak for themselves.

 

Life Thought for The 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany

Ephesians 5:25, " ... Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her." From where else could true life come except the life that the Lord has given to us? Without the strength of His life in marriage and in every calling of our lives, to what life are we testifying and depending on? Our own? And how well does that work? Our Lord laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. By that we witness to His life and His love.

 

Life Thought for The Baptism of Our Lord

Isaiah 42:3, "a bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench". In body and spirit our lives are battered by careless words, disease, injustice, anger; so with tenderness our Lord calls to us so that He may bandage our wounds with His forgiveness and teach us to mend broken lives with compassion and to tend to the hurt and needy with daily bread.

 

Life Thought for The First Sunday after Christmas

Luke 2:40, "And the Child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom." Our Father has given to us our bodies, senses, and reason, and then adorns them with clothing and food, and also surrounds them with family and neighbors, and protects us. As He has bestowed those temporal gifts upon us, may we fear, love, and trust in Him that in this life we serve our neighbors with those gifts and protect the good gifts that He has given to them.

 

Life Thought for The Nativity of Our Lord

John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Through all of our hardships, all of our sorrows, all of our pains and loneliness, Jesus’ light shines in the darkness, and we are not overcome. In the face of our sin, in the midst of our pettiness, against all our pride, Jesus’ light shines and illuminates our hearts and changes us, day by day, into a greater reflection of His likeness.

 

Life Thought for Fourth Sunday of Advent

Luke 1:41, "... the baby leaped in her womb." God filled the heavens with stars; He fills the fields with creatures; He fills the wombs with children! Man, created in God's image in order to be fruitful and multiply, yet wishes and succeeds in emptying -- to his profound shame and abasement of his identity -- what God fills. Let us, then, speak for those who cannot defend themselves; for in word and deed, our Lord partook of our blood and flesh in the womb that He might speak for us before the Father's throne of grace. And He, as true man, remains our Mediator.

 

Life Thought for Third Sunday of Advent

Matthew 11:5, " ... the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up ..." The hope promised is the restoration of all creation; behold, the down payment that He has given to those who believe; what He began to do, the deliverance of the body from mortal weakness, He will complete when He returns in glory. And then the good news preached and longed for will be the good news fully revealed in the resurrection.

 

Life Thought for Second Sunday of Advent

Luke 21:34, "But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap." What impedes faith and hinders trust in the Father--are such things truly serving life? We give thanks for daily bread but never let the perishable gifts be idolized lest we set aside the imperishable life in Christ Jesus.

 

Life Thought for First Sunday of Advent

Romans 13:8-10. Love acts in two ways: it defends the neighbor from harm and also seeks to provide what is good to the neighbor--consider how the Small Catechism explains the Ten Commandments. The love for the neighbor is possible because God has poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who daily teaches us this love of God: Christ Jesus loved us and gave Himself for us.

 

2022

 

Life Thought for Last Sunday of the Church Year

Our Savior considers human bodies so precious that He has already begun making a new earth for them to enjoy eternally (Isaiah 65:17-25). He has not designed humankind’s bodily existence as disposable but as indispensable to our identity and abundant life. How shall this affect our approach to illness, disability, conception, and age? Prayer: King of creation, increase our respect and protection for the bodies of others with the esteem You bestow upon our own. Amen.

 

Life Thought for 2nd Last Sunday of the Church Year

Often the present powers search for ways to practice an observable righteousness: if the important and noteworthy are identified, they will receive care. However, the Church has a hidden unobserved righteous, which mourns, suffers, and is persecuted along with her Lord Jesus; thus, to receive those servants persecuted for righteousness' sake--for the sake of the Righteous One--is to receive Jesus the King Himself. (Matthew 25:31-46) Prayer: O Father, give us such love and faithfulness that we welcome those persecuted for righteousness' sake, that we may joyfully welcome Your Son the King on the Last Day. Amen

 

Life Thought for All Saints Day

The revelation of the love of the Father assures no commendation in or from this world; yet, we are assured that our present life in Christ, in and under all its tribulations, belongs to Him. With such confidence we therefore may extend His love to those who are in need, from the youngest yet hidden in the womb to the oldest hidden in isolation. (1 John 3:1-3) Prayer: Let Your love, O Father, empower and embolden us in every opportunity for service. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Michaelmas 4

God would have us forgive each other “from your heart” (Matthew 18:35). When terrible sins are involved, such as abuse or incest, it is no easy matter to forgive—maybe it even seems impossible. The same is true when trying to forgive ourselves when we have committed some horrible sin, like abortion, for example. The starting point for forgiveness in all situations is not what we should do but what God in Christ has done for us. Only His complete forgiveness can give us peace as we strive to forgive others and ourselves.

 

Life Thought for Michaelmas 3

As the Creator of all life, God also fashioned man in His own image, endowing man with the divine task of procreation, which includes the nurture and support of life. To act in any way contrary to this created role--including murder and the refusal to aid those in need as well as abortion and euthanasia--rebels against God Himself and intends to replace God's desire for life with a culture that aims for death. For those who confess God as Creator and Jesus Christ the Son of God who appeared in the flesh, born of the virgin Mary, for our bodily salvation, let us stand with those who cannot speak or defend themselves.

 

Life Thought for Michaelmas 2

The priorities of the self can crowd out an ability to see and serve the neighbor. The Spirit of Christ teaches us that we Christians in our new nature live in the community of the saints, thus caring for each other's life, in body and spirit (Ephesians 5:15-21). And as those in Christ, this light shines into the darkness of the world around, that they, too, may know the love of Christ in their lives (see also Galatians 6:10).

 

Life Thought for Michaelmas 1

The wicked horror of abortion happening over 3,000 times each day in the U.S. should cause Christians to weep and to fear for society will reap what it sows. For what reason should Christians remain silent? How can a Christian, aware of the clear Word of God, suggest that indifference is a proper path for "love your neighbor as yourself"? This present evil age must not lead us to rash, ungodly responses, into sin (Ephesians 4:26). Returning evil for evil is not the way of the body of Christ. We pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to speak the Truth without “bitterness and wrath” (Ephesians 4:31).

 

Life Thought for St Michael and All Angels

The Holy Spirit calls us into the household of God as children to father, as heirs in Christ Jesus to our Father; and He is jealous, that He would protect us from all harm. What grace for life has He demonstrated, that to rescue the wayward rebellious child He Himself would wear our blood and flesh, delivering us from everlasting contempt and the wrath of Satan and bringing us safely into His Presence. O Father, watch our every footstep, giving to us light by Your word and the protection of Your heavenly messengers. Amen

 

Life Thought for Trinity 17

In Christ God embraced and befriended hearts and bodies ruined by sin. He allowed neither disabilities nor disobedience to separate anyone from His love (Luke 14:1-4). This forgiveness heals us to share the same gracious kingdom with the ones right in front of us who struggle with impairment and iniquity (Luke 14:12-14). Prayer: Extend Your kingdom, Lord Jesus, through me to those who are broken like I am. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 16

In both the Old Testament and Gospel readings we see a great ultimate miracle, sons raised from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24, Luke 7:11-17). Yet they present but a tiny picture of what will happen because God raised His Son from the dead! All the dead in Christ will be raised to eternal life. Death is a defeated enemy! Prayer: Lord, may Your defeat of death give us courage as we confront a culture of death. Amen

 

Life Thought for Trinity 15

Jesus’ merciful words and ways work life and healing (Proverbs 4:20-22); to those given new birth by the Spirit, He brings forth brilliant and abundant fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). We who take these words to heart—and the hearts we touch with them—will live indeed. Gracious Savior, bring life to us and bring life through us. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 14

Jesus’ merciful words and ways work life and healing (Proverbs 4:20-22). He brings forth brilliant and abundant fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) even from flesh like ours (Galatians 5:19-21) that was born broken. We who take these words to heart—and the hearts we touch with them—will live indeed. Gracious Savior, bring life to us and bring life through us. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 13

The compassionate Samaritan does not euthanize or terminate the already half-dead traveler. He treats this stranger and rival not as less human but as dear neighbor and trades his own convenience, cost, and comfort to help a brother (Luke 10:33-35). Our Savior showers us with just such grace so that we may share it as well. Dear Savior, grant me fully to appreciate Your grace to me and freely to extend it to all in need. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 12

The Word of God’s love and Christ’s life brings forth healing, hope, purpose, and everlasting salvation. This He delights to do even for impaired or undeveloped human bodies (Mark 7:32-35) and no matter how dismal the situation (Isaiah 29:17-19). Dear Father, give desperate hearts life and confidence knowing that their sufficiency comes from Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 11

Heaven and earth grieve every life ended by another (Genesis 4:10). Worse yet is believing ourselves any better than murderers (Luke 18:11-14). Lord God regards all as precious as little babies, and His Son’s forgiving Word and works of faith rescue from death’s mouth when tempted (Genesis 4:7) and from hell’s mouth when guilty (Genesis 4:15). Merciful Father, intervene that we may be saved and safe from death and hell. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 10

With God’s prophets we call the culture around us to turn away from the destruction they are bringing upon themselves (Jeremiah 8:5, 11; Luke 19:43-44). With us they each remain precious to Jesus, who by His visitation in the flesh (Luke 19:44) for forgiveness delivers the Gospel that makes for peace (Luke 19:42) and righteousness (Romans 10:4). O Lord God, intervene and redeem our people that we may behold and inhabit Your kingdom. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 9

Temptations to idolatry exist today as they did in biblical times. The great idol “Death” draws many to its altar. They look to death for rescue from a crisis pregnancy or chronic disease or pain. Death’s allure is so great it even tempts Christians to bow before it. But we have a way out of such temptations to faithlessness: “God is faithful” (1 Corinthians 10:1-13). Christ our “Rock” never leaves us (10:4). We can trust in Him. Rock of our salvation, may Your faithful service to us through Your cross and resurrection move us to be faithful to You. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 8

The relaxing lies our culture prophesies cannot even approach our Lord’s promises (Jeremiah 23:16-18). We speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ boldly and gladly (Jeremiah 23:28-29), though it earns us persecution, because He sets great joy before us. In this faith we will sit around His throne with the cloud of witnesses His Word saved. Lamb of God, You have given me Your people’s crown of life; forge in me Your prophets’ faith. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 7

Jesus declares and demonstrates the Father's compassion for Jew and Gentile (compare Mark 6:30-42 with Mark 8:1-10). For He breathes life into each human body (Genesis 2:7) and therefore provides everything necessary to survive (Mark 8:8); for all who know what sin pays out as a wage, the Father in Christ Jesus promises the new creation's abundance in the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23). And He mercifully involves us in this ministry of life (Mark 8:5-8). Almighty Maker, show through us the life-giving compassion You have shown to us. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 6

The death Jesus died, He died “once for all” (Romans 6:10). He purchased “all.” Thus, He gives value to “all.” Every person we encounter, no matter their size or location or condition of health, is someone for whom Jesus died. Our responsibility is to acknowledge their value and lead them to see its true source. Loving Savior, reflect Your self-giving mercy and devotion in us. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 5

Sacrificing relatives or slaughtering rivals—either for their own good or for ours—results in no righteousness. God has chosen those we are tempted to treat as disposable for demonstrating the depths of His blessings (1 Corinthians 1:26-30). Patiently awaiting His salvation as humble companions reaps the great reward. Lamb of God, gather me in together with all Your little ones. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 4

Whether it be the evils of abortion or the assaults on biblical marriage, it becomes easier to attack people rather than confront the evil. We end up fighting evil with evil. But the way of Christ is different. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14). “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (12:21). Jesus, help us boldly confront evil and compassionately deal with those caught up in it. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 3

The banquet testifies to the Father's great joy when the lost have returned home; all of Heaven rejoices at the lavish love of God. He is not stingy or frugal with His restoration, for in Holy Baptism He has named us His children and dressed us in the finery of Christ's righteousness. This is the life of the Church: to point to the Father's abounding mercy with all that she has. Holy Father, accompany the Church with Your grace through this dying world that no more may be lost. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 2

Our Savior and our Scriptures do not recognize a functional distinction between physical deficiency and spiritual deficiency. All human beings suffer from a fallen sinfulness that makes us decisively compromised (Luke 14:21-23). And Christ’s sacrifice, victory, and companionship call and escort every such one into His heavenly household! God of compassion and mercy, gather together Your precious ones so that we embrace both You and each other. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Trinity 1

Life does not consist in temporal possessions, goods that rust and decay; those who pursue them may be satisfied for a moment, but the moment passes--and then what shall they have? Rejoice that our Father, who provides daily bread, has a greater and imperishable heritage for His children. Be wise and set your hearts on His promise that cannot change; and ask for the Spirit so that you may live wisely. Dear Father, let us endure all things in body and spirit, and always commend ourselves to Your care. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Holy Trinity

God the Father sent His Son because He loves life. God the Son paid the price necessary to redeem life. God the Holy Spirit calls people to faith, giving them new life now and eternally (John 3:1-17). The Holy Trinity is For Life! Holy Father, Son, and Spirit, make my life reflect Your own and extend it especially to those in the shadow of death. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Easter 7

The loving Creator’s presence and power surmounts every impediment to life and sanctifies all its impairments. He works new life in those as dead as stones (Ezekiel 36:26), abundant life among those as abandoned as exiles (Ezekiel 36:24, 28), and everlasting life for those as bereft as beggars (Ezekiel 36:29-30). Jesus stoops these gifts into – and brings them up out of – every kind of uncleanness (Ezekiel 36:25). Dear Father, invite and involve us in Your overcoming. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Easter 6

Religion that speaks pious thoughts but does not protect the life of another person ... is that a genuine lively faith? Christians, having been recreated in the image of true righteousness, defend those that cannot speak for themselves and are advocates for those trampled by the mighty and rich. We avoid the staining injustice, lies, sexual immortality, and ungodliness of the world; rather, we speak for godly marriage and morality, a generosity that is rooted in our Creator's goodness, and support life even as our Father daily bestows on us all we need for life.

 

Life Thought for Easter 5

Only the grace of God could supply as supreme a blessing as a mother’s company and comfort. In the same way (John 16:7b), the Holy Spirit gives life and saves life even and especially when sorrow fills the heart (John 16:6). Indeed, the Word of forgiveness, joy, and hope He implants redeems both hopeless situations and helpless souls for everlasting celebration (James 1:21). ­Ever-present Redeemer, embrace us with Your Spirit until we trust Your truth, follow Your way, and enjoy Your life. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Easter 4

The joy that comes from the risen Christ cannot be taken away (John 16:22). This is not a feel-good happiness dependent upon circumstances. It is a fruit of Christ’s Spirit, the joy of our salvation in Christ that circumstances cannot change or diminish. Many of the life issues we deal with today are “joy robbers” and present opportunities to share the joy of the resurrection. Gracious Savior, fill my words with the comfort and hope of resurrection to everlasting life with You. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Easter 3

The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11-16). Herein lies our assurance that our Shepherd does not abandon His sheep. He loves them too much. He paid too much for them to forsake them. We live our lives, not in the absence of suffering, but in the presence of the Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd, thank You for laying down Your life for me. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Easter 2

Our bodily life matters in this way to God that He Himself took on human flesh. Even after accomplishing atonement by His body’s death, He did not discard it but inhabits it by resurrection as His eternal instrument (John 20:27). When we are physically suffering sin’s consequences, our Savior’s words of forgiveness breathe healing (John 20:21-23), and His ways of faith bring peace into our very bodies. Lord Jesus, let me take hold of You by faith until Your wounded and resurrected body redeems my own. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Resurrection of Our Lord

The resurrected Jesus first appeared to a formerly demon-possessed woman, Mary Magdalene. The hope of the resurrection is for those hopelessly lost in their sins. We could say that this hope is especially for those who are—like the rest of us—hopelessly lost! Thanks be to God! Heavenly Father, draw me into rejoicing in Jesus’ resurrection and the value it gives to all humankind. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Palm Sunday

In the midst of the darkness and forsakenness of that Friday we now call Good, we see God “hiding” in it all, demonstrating His love in a way we cannot comprehend but only apprehend by faith. The passion of Christ assures us that God works in our darkness demonstrating His love, bringing good, and promising never to forsake. Lord Jesus, redeem all our fallenness by Your humility, compassion, forgiveness, and company. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Lent 5

God’s gifts do not always make immediate human sense (John 8:48, 53, 57). What remains certain regardless is that God is good and God gives. The Father who eternally gives Himself to the Son (John 8:42) and the Son who offers Himself to the Father in appreciative obedience (John 8:55) are the Holy Trinity who imparts this life-giving Spirit even where only death appears possible (Genesis 22:10). Trusting His Word and work releases from death’s threatening grip (John 8:51, Genesis 22:13). Father, Son, and Spirit, guide us to trust Your Gospel that we may share in Your abundant life. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Lent 4

Christ in the flesh assures us that God knows how to care for what He creates (John 6:11-12). His Gospel gives sustenance, company, and community along with forgiveness and salvation (Acts 2:42-45). Having such a Father and family nearby can stave off sin and death. Good Shepherd, let us bring care by being it. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Lent 3

Children of light (Ephesians 5:8) need not hold back a word, even when it becomes politically dangerous or elicits cultural hostility. Indeed, we find great blessing (Luke 11:28) in lovingly shining the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the haunts of darkness and death. Light of the World, let us walk and speak Your image as beloved children. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Lent 2

We as God’s people regard it our privilege and delight to abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7). The eternal joys of godly relationships and bodily service to neighbors (1 Thessalonians 4:9) more than make up for whatever momentary gratification we forego. Heavenly Bridegroom, captivate our hearts by Your self-giving love that we desire in body and soul to receive Your blessings and serve Your kingdom. Amen.

 

Life Thought for Lent 1

Satan’s temptations of Jesus reveal his main tactic—make that which is bad look good. These days he spends much time making death look good; abortion is good and the way out of a difficult situation; assisted suicide is good and the way to relieve suffering. But death is not good! It is the curse of sin! It is our enemy. But just as Jesus defeated Satan, so He has defeated death. We can trust and live in His victory. O Father, may Your Word be ever on our hearts and lips that we might resist the snare of the devil. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Transfiguration of Our Lord

Matthew 17. Jesus radiates the glory of God among human beings humbled by sinful brokenness. This glory resides not in a certain age or a particular appearance or a specific ability but in God’s love for us creatures as His children. Let us behold this glory embodied in the least of these and remind neighbors of their eternal worth. Holy Son of God, lead us to listen and imitate You in respecting, protecting, advocating, and assisting. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Seventh Sunday after The Epiphany

Job 38. The thoughtful preservation of the created world remains our God-given calling. And since we endeavor to manage the inanimate world with care and to tend to the creatures, how much more, then, shall we protect the life that has been created in the image of God.

 

Life Thought for The Sixth Sunday after The Epiphany

Abraham and God thought Lot’s household worth having though they resided in Sodom (Genesis 18:23-32). Jesus dealt gently with fields of worthless weeds because He beheld the wheat He had hidden within (Matthew 13:29-30). Like surprise pregnancies and terminal diagnoses, there are inconvenient (and even evil) aspects about us all. If God desires and saves us still, how much more does the One Righteous Man’s sacrifice make every human life a privilege, no matter what age, appearance, or ability. Gracious Savior, lend us Your eyes to see past nuisance and receive every neighbor as gift. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Fourth Sunday after The Epiphany

God’s Word does things, guaranteed (Isaiah 55:11)! That’s because God Himself works in and through His Word, accomplishing His will. His work through the Word made flesh changes hearts. That is why Lutherans For Life bases everything upon that Word. When hearts and minds are changed, people change. People changed and motivated by the Word can influence and bring change to our society. Almighty Father, bring forth fruit from the seeds You plant in and through us. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Fourth Sunday after The Epiphany

The whole creation groans (Romans 8:22) because of sin’s brokenness. Every life involves suffering, especially as last days draw near and bodies begin to fail. Still such circumstances have significance—our Lord describes them as the labor of childbirth. Jesus redeems our weaknesses to bear witness of a better life by His power that sustains us in our pain (Romans 8:18). Injuries, infections, and impairments only affect us as far as He permits (Matthew 8:26), and elderly and terminal lives matter eternally! Almighty Maker, comfort us with community in You even as our flesh crumbles. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Third Sunday after The Epiphany

The Gospel (Romans 1:16) brought struggle to St. Paul, but God’s grace also gave him unconditional worth and purpose. He could not help but rejoice to proclaim and perform it. Sometimes declaring the sanctity of human life sets us at odds with popular opinion and even our own loved ones. Yet we need not be ashamed. Indeed, we may be most excited to speak and share it, for Jesus makes us and every neighbor a precious treasure from fertilization to forever. Heavenly Father, fill us to overflowing with the courage and compassion of Your creating, redeeming, and calling. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Second Sunday after The Epiphany

Perhaps we could raise the level of respect and honor for marriage if we focused less on what it is not and more upon what it is, and teach, as Paul, that “it refers to Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32b). Lord, help us see marriage as a picture of Your sacrificial and loving relationship to Your Church. Amen.

 

Life Thought for The Epiphany of Our Lord

Matthew 2. Our Lord and creation's king made His appearance in humility and weakness, and the wise men brought treasures and their worship. Shall we not show honor and respect to those who wear the blood and flesh of the Incarnate Lord, especially when their lives wear frail and afflicted flesh, whether in the womb or in great age? Prayer: O Father, You revealed Your Son in the way that faith alone could grasp Him; increase our faith so that we may not despise the flesh that He kindly took on. Amen.

 

Life Thought for the Second Sunday after Christmas

Matthew 2:16. Herod demonstrates that evil is unkind and always envies; evil always insists on its own way and is always resentful; it rejoices at wrongdoing. Evil despises life and everything that supports life. Be watchful and be aware, lest you be ensnared in what has the appearance of freedom but actually seeks to destroy life. Pray to God almighty that the tyrants of these days be overthrown by His justice and that life may be supported. Prayer: O God, deliver us from the evil of body and soul, and give us courage to stand against in these days. Amen.

 

2021

 

Life Thought for the First Sunday after Christmas

Oh, what manner of love the Father has shown to us, that His Son, born of woman, born under the law, would give Himself for us. His kinship with us and all mankind in the flesh did not begin with His birth; the Father prepared a body for Him, fearfully and wonderfully knit together in Mary's womb. With what joy we may love each other (Galatians 4:4). Prayer: O Father, teach us to love in deed and truth, for Your Son is Your love in genuine action. Amen.

 

Life Thought for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

The lesser greets the Greater; John welcomes his Lord. Eternal life has come down from Heaven and resides in the womb of Mary, who became a new Eve, for she is the mother of the Living One. As John was recognized as a son in his sixth month, so our Lord's participation in our life did not begin outside of the womb when He drew His first breath, but at His conception (Luke 1). Prayer: O Father, Your love humble and pure dwelt in the womb of Mary; oh, what manner of love You have shown to us, that Your Son took the form of a servant that we might become lords in the new creation. Amen

 

Life Thought for the Third Sunday of Advent

God in His wisdom and kindness uses the frail body, beset by weakness and even imprisonment, for the proclamation of grace and faith. So we cannot judge the life of the person by simple human observation; greatness cannot be measured by standards and weights of man but rather by God's purposes, which cannot be fully comprehended by man (Matthew 11:11) Prayer: O Father, in whatever circumstance You place us, give us the grace to remain strong in the faith so that we confess our Lord Jesus. Amen

 

Life Thought for the Second Sunday of Advent

Fathers, to you has been given the task of teaching life to your children. Hand down to them the Word of Life, the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus; and teach them that life has been wonderfully created by Our Father for them to enjoy in all His goodness and mercy (Malachi 4:6). Prayer: By Your Holy Spirit, O God, instruct us in the Word of Life that fathers teach their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and children receive instruction with joy and obedience. Amen

 

Life Thought for the First Sunday of Advent

The commandments demand that life be shielded from evil and that life be intentionally nurtured. The love demanded by the laws cannot be self-created; it is planted within us by the Word of God, the life of Christ Himself. So, to pray to live in genuine love is to pray for the old man to die and for new man, created in Christ Jesus, to come forth by the Spirit. Only then can we desire and then act in the love of God our Father for the life of our neighbors. (Romans 13:8-10). Prayer: O Father, Your Son walked in perfect love, fulfilling the law for us; as You have joined us to Him, empower us to walk in the same love. Amen

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