Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30

Robert Barnes, Confessor and Martyr 
Remembered as a devoted disciple of Martin Luther, Robert Barnes is considered to be among the first Lutheran martyrs. Born in 1495, Barnes became the prior of the Augustinian monastery at Cambridge, England. Converted to Lutheran teaching, he shared his insights with many English scholars through writings and personal contacts. During a time of exile to Germany he became a friend of Luther and later wrote a Latin summary of the main doctrines of the Augsburg Confession titled Sententiae. Upon his return to England, Barnes shared his Lutheran doctrines and views in person with King Henry VIII and initially had a positive reception. In 1529 Barnes was named royal chaplain. The changing political and ecclesiastical climate in his native country, however, claimed him as a victim; he was burned at the stake in Smithfield in 1540. His final confession of faith was published by Luther, who called his friend Barnes "our good, pious table companion and guest of our home, this holy martyr, Saint Robertus."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany were disciples with whom Jesus had a special bond of love and friendship. John's Gospel records that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:15). On one occasion Martha welcomed Jesus into their home for a meal. While she did all the work, Mary sat at Jesus' feet listening to his Word and was commended by Jesus for choosing the “good portion which will not be taken away from her” (Lk 10:38–42). When their brother Lazarus died, Jesus spoke to Martha this beautiful Gospel promise: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. (John 11:25–27). Ironically, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the death, this made Jesus' enemies more determined than 
ever to kill him (John 11:39–54). Six days before Jesus was crucified, Mary anointed his feet with a very expensive fragrant oil and wiped them with her hair, not knowing at the time that she was doing it in preparation for Jesus' burial (John 12:1–8; Mt 26:6-13).

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28

J. S. Bach (March 31, 1685 to July 28, 1750)
Johann Sebastian Bach is acknowledged as one of the most famous and gifted of all composers past and present in the entire western world. Orphaned at the age of ten, Bach was mostly self-taught in music. His professional life as conductor, performer, composer, teacher, and organ 
consultant began at the age of 19 in the town of Arnstadt and ended in Leipzig, where for the last 27 years of his life he was responsible for all the music in the city's four Lutheran churches. In addition to his being a superb keyboard artist, the genius and bulk of Bach's vocal and instrumental compositions remain overwhelming. A devout and devoted Lutheran, he is especially honored in Christendom for his 
lifelong insistence that his music was written primarily for the liturgical life of the church to glorify God and edify God's people. 

Lessons for the Week of July 28 to August 3, 2014

Prayer
Glorious God, your generosity waters the world with goodness, and you cover creation with abundance. Awaken in us a hunger for the food that satisfies both body and spirit, and with this food fill all the starving world; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. 

Isaiah 55.1-5
Psalm 145.8-9, 14-21
Romans 9.1-5
Matthew 14.13-21

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25

Saint James, Apostle

Prayer
Gracious God, we remember before you today your servant and apostle James, the first among the twelve to be martyred for the name of Jesus Christ. Pour out on the leaders of your church that spirit of self-denying service which is the true mark of authority among your people, through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

1 Kings 19.9-18
Psalm 7.1-10
Acts 11.27-12.3a
Mark 10.35-45

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lessons for the Week of July 21 to 27, 2014

Prayer
Beloved and sovereign God, through the death and resurrection of your Son you bring us into your kingdom of justice and mercy. By your Spirit, give us your wisdom, that we may treasure the life that comes from Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

1 Kings 3.5-12
Psalm 119.129-136
Romans 8.26-39
Matthew 13.31-33, 44-52 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lessons for the Week of July 14 to 20, 2014

Prayer
Faithful God, most merciful judge, you care for your children with firmness and compassion. By your Spirit nurture us who live in your kingdom, that we may be rooted in the way of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Isaiah 44.6-8
Psalm 86.11-17
Romans 8.12-25
Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43