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

                          for the week of 16 - 22 April (FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER)



                              Theme:  THE LORD IS OUR FAITHFUL SHEPHERD


            VERSE:  “ALLELUIA!  We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  ALLELUIA!  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.  ALLELUIA!”  (Rom 6:9, Jn. 10:14; VERSE)



            + HYMNS FOR NEXT SUNDAY:  666; 468; 709; 740* in Lutheran Service Book.  (In Lutheran Worship 300; 145; 412; 517*.  In The Lutheran Hymnal:  263; 196; 431; 648*.  Meditate on and learn by heart the hymn(s) marked with an asterisk (*).)


   666  O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe
   468  I Am Content! My Jesus Ever Lives
   709  The King of Love My Shepherd Is
   740*  I Am Jesus' Little Lamb



            + THE Psalm 23:1-6 (Pray the Psalm daily)



                                           THE PROPERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY


            + Psalm 23:1-6  This beloved psalm presents one of the most dearly loved pictures of God’s relationship to his people, that of a shepherd to his sheep.  What firm confidence and trust this image produces in our hearts.  Our God blesses us with his mercy and goodness throughout life—and then does the same and even more for us eternally in heaven. 

            + Acts 4:1-12:  Even in the face of prohibition by the authorities the apostles would not stop proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  Peter uses his interrogation by the Sanhedrin as an opportunity to bear witness to Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah God had promised.  Christ crucified and risen is the only source of salvation and the center of all Christian proclamation.  God grant that we may always cling to this Gospel as our hope and comfort.

            + 1 John 3:16-24:  St. John writes here about the life of the Christian as a child of God.  He calls us to faith in Christ and love for one another, urging us to imitate the love shown us by our heavenly Father and our brother Jesus.  Even more though, John emphasizes the unity with God that we have as he lives in us and works through us in accordance with his promises.  May we always respond to him in faith and love.

            + John 10:11-18:  In this middle section of John’s “Good Shepherd” chapter Jesus explains that what particularly distinguishes him as the Good Shepherd is that he “lays down his life for the sheep” (v. 11).  Yet he has authority not only to lay it down, but also to take it up again. The one who claims us as his sheep is not a defeated and executed teacher, but the Lord God himself, who now rules over all things for the benefit of his church.  Praise the Lord!



                                             DAILY READINGS FOR THE WEEK


            Monday:                Exodus 33:1-23                                Luke 7:1-17

            Tuesday:               Exodus 34:1-28                                Luke 7:18-35

            Wednesday:          Exodus 34:29-35:21                         Luke 7:36-50

            Thursday:              Exodus 38:21-39:8, 22-23, 27-31    Luke 8:1-21

            Friday:                   Exodus 39:32-40:16                         Luke 8:22-39

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

                                 OR   Exodus 40:17-38                              Luke 8:40-56

            Sunday:                 Leviticus 8:1-13, 30-36                    Luke 9:1-17



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



What is the Office of the Keys?  The Office of the Keys is that special authority

which Christ has given to His church on earth to forgive the sins of repentant sinners, but to withhold forgiveness from the unrepentant as long as they do not repent.

Where is this written?  This is what St. John the Evangelist writes in chapter twenty:  The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”



            THE COLLECT FOR NEXT SUNDAY [Fourth Sunday of Easter] “Almighty God, merciful Father, since You have wakened from death the Shepherd of Your sheep, grant us Your Holy Spirit that when we hear the voice of our Shepherd we may know Him who calls us each by name and follow where He leads; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”  AMEN!