Discussion, Study, and Prayer Guide for God's Priestly People

                              for the week of 18 - 24 March (THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT)



                                    Theme:  REPENT!  GOD WILL HAVE MERCY


            VERSE:  "[The Lord] is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2Pe. 3:9b, c).


            + HYMNS FOR NEXT SUNDAY:  614*; 755; 824; 597 in Lutheran Service Book.  (In Lutheran Worship:  235*; 265; 288.  InThe Lutheran Hymnal:  331*; 590; 500.)  Meditate on and learn by heart the hymn(s) marked with an asterisk (*).


   614  "As Surely as I Live," God Said
   755  In the Very Midst of Life
   824  May God Bestow on Us His Grace
   597  Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying



            + THE Psalm 85:1-13  (Pray the Psalm daily)


                                           THE PROPERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY


            + Psalm 85:1-13  The psalmist describes the mercy God has shown to his people in the past, and on the basis of this prays that God would again relent from his anger and restore his people.  At the same time the psalmist notes that God's people dare not return to folly, for the Lord's salvation "is near those who fear him" (v. 9).  God grant us to sincerely repent of our sins and to respond to his love with faithfulness.

            + Ezekiel 33:7-20:  The Lord addresses Ezekiel at some length concerning the message he is to preach.  It is a clear message of Law and Gospel:  turn from the Lord to evil ways and you will surely perish, but turn from your wickedness to the Lordand he will be merciful. The Lord makes clear that the righteous man will perish if he turns to evil.  There is no hope for sinners except in the Lord, and there is no repentant sinner beyond the reach of God's mercy.  God grant that we would respond to his Word in repentance and faithfulness. 

            + 1 Corinthians 10:1-13:  St. Paul warns his readers not to become complacent in their status as God's people.  Repeatedly he recalls the sins of Israel during the Exodus and the tragic results they brought.  He then concludes, "these things took place as examples for us" (v. 6).  Don't become overconfident in your own status or strength.  Trust in God, rely on his help—that's what it's there for.  With his surpassing power we will be able to endure in the faith whatever the temptation until he brings us to himself in heaven.

            + Luke 13:1-9:  Jesus speaks to the idea that when bad things happen to people it's because the people deserve them.  Jesus doesn't deny that people who suffer tragedies are sinners, but he absolutely rejects the idea that they are worse than anyone else.  Learn a lesson from what happened to them, he says, "unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (vv. 3, 5).  He expects the fruits of faith to be evidenced in our lives.  May his Word nourish and strengthen us to live as his people. 


                                             DAILY READINGS FOR THE WEEK


            Monday:                Genesis 18:1-15                            Mark 6:14-34

            Tuesday:               Genesis 21:1-21                            Mark 6:35-56

            Wednesday:          Genesis 22:1-19                            Mark 7:1-23

            Thursday:              Genesis 24:1-31                            Mark 7:24-37

            Friday:                   Genesis 24:32-52, 61-67              Mark 8:1-21

            Saturday:              STUDY the Readings for Sunday (the Propers noted above)

                                 OR   Genesis 27:1-29                            Mark 8:22-38

            Sunday:                 Genesis 27:30-45; 28:10-22         Mark 9:1-13


                        CATECHISM FOR THE WEEK:  (Please learn by heart).



THE SECOND ARTICLE:  What does this mean?  I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.  This is most certainly true.


            THE COLLECT FOR NEXT SUNDAY [Third Sunday in Lent] "O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever."  AMEN!