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.   

Life Thoughts in the Church Year – One-Year Lectionary (PDF)

Life Thoughts in the Church Year – One-Year Lectionary – July-September 2017 (PDF)

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.

July 2 – Pentecost IV (Proper 8A) – Speaking and showing the truth about how God loves life may not bring temporal peace (Matthew 10:34), but it does give the all-surpassing hope and joy of living forever in His family. And this sure promise and confidence not only preserves us in adversity but also even saves those deceived by the devil’s falsehoods. Lord and Father, let us share Your prophets’ message and Your Son’s reward. Amen.

July 9 – Pentecost V (Proper 9A) – The Savior Jesus gently assumes every human burden as His own, including unplanned pregnancies and incurable conditions (Matthew 11:29). Whether or not they come about by our own fault, He humbly accompanies through them. His unconditional accepting and steadfast assisting sets us free from sin and self (Romans 8:24-25) and gives rest from fear and grief. Jesus Christ, King and Lord, come among us to reveal deliverance and salvation. Amen.

July 16 – Pentecost VI (Proper 10A) – Defending life involves declaring the dangers of using death as a solution. As intimidating and discouraging as it sometimes seems (Matthew 13:4-7), God finds His own greatest joy in the Gospel message. He guarantees that His Word of life in Christ alone will yield abundantly (Isaiah 55:11, Matthew 13:23). Almighty Father, cultivate Your Word in us unto joy and life. Amen.

July 23 – Pentecost VII (Proper 11A) – Weeds infiltrate even the Lord’s gardens (Matthew 13:26-27), and creation itself groans (Romans 8:22). Choosing life can mean suffering, but soon comes harvest. God’s glory cannot stay long concealed (Matthew 13:43), and Christ’s resurrection assures that it will more than make up to us for all annoyances (Romans 8:18). Son of Man, our Rock and our Redeemer, sow such hope in our hearts that we fear not in any weakness. Amen.

July 30 – Pentecost VIII (Proper 12A) – God proclaims every human person His treasure (Deuteronomy 7:6, Matthew 13:44), whatever contrary appearances they may be hidden under. He loves them and you enough to bind Himself inseparably (Romans 8:38-39) to you and your circumstances. He will give heaven and move earth itself to bring you into His joyful kingdom. O Lord our God, give us patience until You graciously give us all goodness even through hardship. Amen.

August 6 – Pentecost IX (Proper 13A) – Jesus shows God has as much concern for physical essentials as for spiritual necessities (Matthew 14:14). His people also care so much that we point out the world’s ways that do not sustain or save (Isaiah 55:2). Instead we put before all people (Matthew 14:16-19) the grace of God and faith in Christ that satisfies body and soul. Holy One, God over all, draw us into Your compassion to serve the vulnerable ones before us. Amen.

August 13 – Pentecost X (Proper 14A) – He who commands the winds and waves (Matthew 14:27, 32), who controls all human history and destiny (Job 38:4-18), also manages the sufferings and situations of our lives. Even the unborn, unconscious, unhealthy, and unproductive do not fall outside His everlasting arms. His incarnate love bestows riches without distinction (Romans 10:12-13). Almighty Maker of heavens and earth, take hold of all who fear and save us. Amen.

August 20 – Pentecost XI (Proper 15A) – Our words of respect and works of protection even for disregarded lives (Isaiah 56:6, Matthew 15:27) often appear to crumble under the force of popular opinion. Nevertheless, our Lord, the Father Almighty, attends to these prayers and effects life-giving mercy through them (Matthew 15:28; Romans 11:15, 29-32). Son of David and Son of God, gather us and all our fellow outcasts into Your holy house forevermore. Amen.

August 27 – Pentecost XII (Proper 16A) – Utilizing death to address disappointment makes sense to our sinful minds. Certain circumstances don’t feel worth living, and God’s ways often seem unsearchable (Romans 11:33). Yet even amid pain the very gates of hell cannot prevail against Christ’s righteous will (Matthew 16:18-19, Isaiah 51:5). His Gospel alone comforts what all others dismiss as waste places (Isaiah 51:3). Son of the Living God, transform our people into Your heavenly kingdom by renewing our minds in Christ. Amen.

September 3 – Pentecost XIII (Proper 17A) – Like Peter, the world imitates Satan in talking or acting as if some situations even Jesus shouldn’t redeem (Matthew 16:21-23). Though we often allow this or even agree, still the Lord God does not forget or forsake us (Jeremiah 15:15, 20-21). Indeed, He lifts up the lowly (Romans 12:16), because His vengeance has been repaid against our crucified Savior instead (Romans 12:19). His forgiving goodness overcomes every evil, even sins against life. Lord God of Hosts, by Your words let us bring rejoicing to those who weep. Amen.

September 10 – Pentecost XIV (Proper 18A) – We warn our neighbors to turn from abortion, embryo destruction, assisted suicide, abuse, pornography, promiscuity, and perversion (Ezekiel 33:7-9). This is not merely because it is wicked but even more because they are God’s precious children to whom He has come in Christ to share His whole kingdom (Matthew 18:3-4, 10-14). Father in heaven, strengthen us to tell brothers, sisters, and lost ones of Your deliverance. Amen.

September 17 – Pentecost XV (Proper 19A) – All human choices, including ours, affect others­—often significantly (Romans 14:7). The devil uses the illusion of autonomy to bring about death. We cannot disconnect from each other any more than God will separate from us (Romans 14:8-9). Jesus Christ surrounds us even in sin and suffering with forgiveness, compassion, fellowship, and community (Matthew 18:27) that keeps us alive (Genesis 50:20). God of all goodness, make us stand and provide for our little ones. Amen.

September 24 – Pentecost XVI (Proper 20A) – God’s plans and actions don’t always look good (Isaiah 55:8-9), especially when unforeseen events saddle us with panic and labor (Philippians 1:22). But He provides purpose and worth even in times of trouble (Philippians 1:20-21). Great reward awaits all who settle themselves into His generosity (Matthew 20:9, 15). Lord Most High, lead us to speak the Word without fear, for the sake of all our fellow laborers. Amen.