Monday of Easter V – Prayer of the Week

what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

I served my vicarage at First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School in Las Vegas, NV. Yes, I was a vicar in Sin City. I think the Holy Spirit decided that this kid who had grown up in a parsonage in small farming communities in the Midwest, attended Concordia in Seward, NE, and had spent the last couple years in the virtual cloister of the Seminary needed to expand his horizons. He was right. It was a wild ride. My second day there my supervisor took me to the ministerial meeting at which each of the attendees were invited to share something that was happening at their church. The first person to stand up was a woman wearing a clerical collar. This was already outside my frame of reference. She said, “Well, at the Buddhist temple we…” I honestly do not know what she said next. I think my brain just shut down. I was not in Kansas anymore. The next thing I really remember was my supervisor, a wonderful pastor from Minnesota whom I came to love and respect greatly, laughing at the look of perplexed wonder that must have been written all over my face.

A preacher in that context needs grounding and some support. My supervisor took me to a text study every week. It was populated with Lutherans and Episcopalians. We did not all agree all the time. In fact, there were a few people there I rarely agreed with. But we all were of one mind. We had come to listen to this text and what our Lord Jesus said to us there.  

This prayer asserts that Jesus has made his faithful people to be of one will. I think that we mistakenly imagine that means we all get along or agree all the time. It would be nice if we agreed and got along better than we do. Sometimes sin wreaks its worst work in the ranks of the faithful. But even the Christian whom I disagree with profoundly, whose theology or practice I find to be a great problem, remains someone whom Jesus loves and so I do to. We pray that we might love what Jesus commands us to love. He says, “Love one another.”

We also pray to desire his promises, not our hearts’ wishes or the imaginations of our sinful flesh. We pray to desire what he has promised to us. If you need something to do or have a few minutes free. Do not pick up your phone or check your Facebook; rather, spend a few minutes just listing to your self what Jesus has promised you. It is a good list. Desire those things.

Scroll to Top