Lent is a season of reflection and renewed faith in the miracle of Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and his promised coming again in glory. Through Advent and Christmas we prepared our lives for his arrival, “Ready or Not Here He Comes.” And in Epiphany we witnessed his glory, “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14) — “Here’s Jesus!” For the next six weeks we will follow Jesus to the pinnacle of his glory, revealed surprisingly, shockingly, on the cross and there we humbly pray, “Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus.”
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Sunday, February 21 (Click to watch)
– In Martin Luther’s Small Catechism he wrote in the explanation to the 6th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation” — God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory. Jesus’ victory over Satan in the wilderness gives us assurance that the evil foe indeed has no power over us. He is defeated by the cross and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Thy Kingdom Come
Sunday, February 28
– Martin Luther’s explanation of the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in his Small Catechism reads: “The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also. God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.” The kingdom comes to us today as we learn with Peter and the disciples what it means to confess that Jesus is the Christ.
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Sunday, March 7
-Martin Luther’s explanation of the First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in his Small Catechism reads: “God’s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us. God’s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God’s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father!” Jesus’ confrontation in the temple reveals our tendency to turn our relationship with God into a transaction. By his death and resurrection we enter into the real presence of our heavenly Father.
Thy Will Be Done
Sunday, March 14
– Martin Luther’s explanation of the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in his Small Catechism reads: “The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also. God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.” Perhaps nowhere in Scripture is God’s will more clearly expressed than in the familiar words of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.”
Forgive Us Our Trespasses
Sunday, March 21
– Martin Luther’s explanation of the Fifth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer in his Small Catechism reads: “We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.” Our fallen, broken human nature seeks positions of power and glory at the expense of others. Jesus’ sacrificed his life as a ransom to work our forgiveness and make us forgiving.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory
Sunday, March 28 – Martin Luther’s explanation of the Conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer in his Small Catechism reads: “This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen means ‘yes, yes, it shall be so.’” Jesus entered Jerusalem to the shouts of the crowd knowing that the kingdom they longed for, that we long for, will only be possible through the cross. And there he will say for us all, “Yes, yes, it shall be so.”