Life Thoughts in the Church Year
Life Thoughts in the Church Year are designed to help pastors and congregations see the church year through the lens of the sanctity of human life. Life Thoughts are based on the appointed readings from Lutheran Service Book using the Three-Year Lectionary.
February 5 – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – Jesus has brought love to fullness for us (Matthew 5:17-18) by giving Himself freely to us (1 Corinthians 2:2, 12) as Lord and Savior. Including the vulnerable ones around us in this abundant life (Isaiah 58:6-7) imparts shades and tastes of heaven (Matthew 5:13-14) that exceed whatever aggression and apathy can offer (Matthew 5:19-20). Almighty God, grant us the joy of sharing in Your self-giving. Amen.
February 12 – Sixth Sunday after Epiphany – Comparing and preferring one person to another (1 Corinthians 3:3-4) amounts to idolatry (Deuteronomy 30:17-18) and leads to suffering and death for all (Matthew 5:22). Instead, our Father has reconciled humankind to Himself by the offering (Matthew 5:24) of His Son Jesus Christ, and He gives life and growth when and how it pleases Him (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). Real peace and true joy trusts this justification for oneself and everyone else. Mighty Redeemer, overcome all our competition with Your unconditional acceptance. Amen.
February 19 – Seventh Sunday after Epiphany – God has designated every human person to be a holy dwelling for His Spirit (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). He makes each His own not by punishment or putting us to death – though we deserve it – but by loving us as He loves Himself (Leviticus 19:18). Sheltering our neighbors with the same respect and protection, whether we regard them worthy or unworthy, reflects the Creator’s perfected purpose. Maker and Giver of all good, let Your love overflow in our service to each other. Amen.
February 26 – Transfiguration of Our Lord – What glory Almighty God lent to humankind by transfiguring His Son as He inhabited our flesh! Jesus not only shows us this everlasting Fatherhood and Sonship, but He bestows it upon us, wretched as we are! Perhaps our greatest honor consists in likewise using our privileges and resources to exalt the lowliest of persons into this majesty. O Light Everlasting, keep us mindful that all humankind is made for Your favor as much as we ourselves are. Amen.
March 5 – First Sunday in Lent – Even private choices eventually have unintended consequences (Genesis 3:16-19). Every individual’s decisions inevitably involve and affect others (Romans 5:12). But failures to perform as expected or produce as requested cannot undercut anyone’s preciousness (Matthew 5:3-4). Jesus Christ grants God’s life to all human beings as His free gift (Romans 5:17-18). Great Deliverer, let none among us be deceived by Satan’s lies but trust in Your loving promises. Amen.
March 12 – Second Sunday in Lent – The nation’s God blesses through Abraham’s offspring (Genesis 12:3), and the world He loves by Christ’s sacrifice (John 3:16) includes the whole human race – whether old or in the womb (John 3:4) or anywhere between. God-given blessings of being human (including life!) belong to every human being, and each life displays His pleasure and His power. Life-giving Father, Son, and Spirit, by our neighbors’ needs remind us of Your bountiful goodness. Amen.
March 19 – Third Sunday in Lent – God our Father can draw water from rock (Exodus 17:6), reconcile His own enemies (Romans 5:10), and salvage the powerless (Romans 5:6). Surely He will overhaul the hopeless circumstances and lost causes our pains and mistakes have brought about (John 4:17-18). Indeed, we not only witness it but participate in it as well (Exodus 17:5). Keeper of our souls, work faith in us and those we serve to await great transformation at Your hand. Amen.
March 26 – Fourth Sunday in Lent – The God who is Jesus Christ displays His miraculous compassion especially amid ailments and inabilities (John 9:2-3). Though we occupy evil days (Ephesians 5:16), we ought not give up on anybody before God does (Isaiah 42:16). After all, He never forsakes us (Ephesians 5:8)! Merciful Master, teach us and lead us to walk with Your children in light. Amen.
April 2 – Fifth Sunday in Lent – How precious has the Lord made each human body! He designates them as residences for His own Spirit. He purposes each one to participate in His everlasting life through His Son’s resurrection (Romans 8:11). We have the privilege of reflecting His blessing by respecting our body and protecting our neighbor’s body. Almighty Maker, bring about in us Your value and reverence for life in the body. Amen.
April 9 – Palm Sunday – In affirming life, we aim not to establish superiority but to deliver salvation. Jesus’ servant Gospel forgives us, and redeeming others requires nothing different. We approach both defensive and desperate hearts with this same graceful humility and grateful compassion which He has given us (Philippians 2:6-8). Dear Savior, renew my heart, mind, and conduct with Your unconditional love. Amen.
April 16 – Easter Sunday – God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34). He does not discriminate by age, appearance, or ability. He became incarnate and endured crucifixion as one of humankind’s least. Jesus the Risen One extends heaven’s favoritism and victory into every human situation. Lord of life, bring Your Easter to completion in us. Amen.
April 23 – Second Sunday of Easter – Especially facing adversity, we have no firmer hope than following the Heavenly Father. Going through trials with Him beside us beats getting around trouble apart from Him. We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), however sensible men’s suggestions seem. Heavenly Father, strengthen our stand upon Your Word. Amen.
April 30 – Third Sunday of Easter – The Son of God’s lifeblood has ransomed the whole human race from death’s futile ways (1 Peter 1:18-19). The promise and privileges of inheriting and inhabiting His kingdom are for all, including children (Acts 2:39) and those occupying life’s edges. Lamb of God, allow us to accompany You in gathering Your household together. Amen.
May 7 – Fourth Sunday of Easter – Christ in the flesh ensures no sheep goes forth alone, not even the strays or stragglers (John 10:4). His Gospel gives company and community along with forgiveness and salvation (Acts 2:42-45). Having Father and family nearby can stave off sin and death. Good Shepherd, let us bring care by being it. Amen.
May 14 – Fifth Sunday of Easter (Mothers Day) – Motherly love, like Jesus’ other miraculous works, shows the heart of the Lord God (John 14:7-11). Such bonds stay devoted despite the beloved’s shortcomings. This real love holds little ones precious and holy even when rejected by all others (1 Peter 2:4, 9). Loving God, establish Your fierce affection in all our interactions. Amen.
May 21 – Sixth Sunday of Easter – Paul reasoned with his deceived neighbors rather than ridiculing them (Acts 17:17, 22ff.). They must have frustrated him, but he believed them just as much coveted creatures of God as himself. May our speaking truth give voice to Gospel hope, show divine gentleness, and share respect received from Jesus (1 Peter 3:15). Lord Jesus, fill our words with Your own. Amen.
May 28 – Seventh Sunday of Easter – Destroying life or belittling dignity belongs to the devil’s work (1 Peter 5:8). These methods inevitably end tragically for all involved (Acts 1:16-19). Christ’s comfort invites sufferers instead to entrust their anxieties—and those who cause them—to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 5:7). Holy Father, place our souls in Your hands that we may place Your hands on souls. Amen.
June 4 – Pentecost Sunday – God’s own Spirit empowers our witness. As the Lord and Giver of life, He transforms our awkwardest efforts (Numbers 11:24-30) into making God’s mighty works understood (Acts 2:5-11). We may boldly proclaim and gladly perform the Christian Gospel, knowing it saves even skeptics (Acts 2:21). O Lord, lend Your Spirit to my lips and living. Amen.
June 11 – Trinity Sunday – Every offspring of Adam and Eve bears God’s own image (Genesis 1:26-28). Jesus’ coming confirms it with authority and trinitarian majority (Matthew 28:18). This entitles every member of the species to all earth’s possessions and heaven’s blessings. And we get to be ambassadors of the good news (Acts 2:32)! Father, Son, and Spirit, include us in Your dead-raising disciple-making. Amen.
June 18 – Second Sunday after Pentecost (Fathers Day) – Godly fatherhood treats dependents as delights and not burdens. True fatherliness rejoices to defend and provide for them, no matter how incapable or unresponsive they become (Romans 5:6-10). Nothing a person has done or can’t do undermines how ceaselessly special God’s made us all. Dear Father, hold us and help us reach out with Your arms. Amen.
June 25 – Third Sunday after Pentecost – Voices for life won’t avoid hardship and resistance (Matthew 10:21-25). But how can we keep silent or still (Jeremiah 20:9) when He who upholds even the sparrows escorts us like a dread warrior (Jeremiah 20:9-11)? And so He dotes on each human being down to their every hair! Life-giving God, make our bones overflow with your joy. Amen.