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Archive for April 25th, 2019

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“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” St. Mark 15

“Mark would have us know our Lord’s entire ministry is a passion story, whereby he tears open the curtain of separation between God and man, and ensuring an everlasting Yom Kippur, that is, a Day of Atonement.” -Dr. Peter Scaer

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, You have enriched Your Church with the proclamation of the Gospel through the evangelist Mark.  Grant that we may firmly believe these glad tidings and daily walk according to Your Word;  through Jesus Christ, our Lord,who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings: Isaiah 52: 7-10 Psalm 146 2 Timothy 4: 4-18 St. Mark 16: 14-20

Bio: St. Mark was the author of the second Gospel, which he composed, according to some Early Church Fathers, when the Christians in Rome asked him to write down the preaching of the apostle Peter. Mark, also known as John Mark, was originally from Jerusalem, where the house of his mother Mary was the center of the early Jerusalem Church (Acts 12:12). He was brought from Jerusalem by Paul and Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 12:25), and it was from this city that they set out on the first missionary journey. When Paul and Barnabas were preparing to go on the second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them again, but Paul objected because Mark had left them during the first journey. Barnabas took Mark and went to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas as his new companion (Acts 15:37-40). Later, Paul reconciled with Mark and was working with him again (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11). Finally, Mark was found laboring with Peter in Rome (1 Peter 5:13). Tradition says that Mark was instrumental in founding the Church in Alexandria, becoming its first bishop, and, also that he suffered a martyr’s death.

The Treasury of Daily Prayer (Concordia Publishing House)

On the Eve of the Festival of St. Mark, thirty-six years ago, I was ordained into the Holy Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  When we say to someone, Let me show you door, it is a rebuke to tell the person to get out. This is rather like the Lord telling us in His Law: you need to get out of the mess you are in. Then He shows us another door. Maybe the main directive for every pastor is to show people and God’s people the open door to heaven by and through teaching and preaching the Word of God, and the right administration of the Sacraments. This was done when the Temple curtain was torn asunder as Jesus died. The goal of every Christian is to show people to the church door, through which, the Lord said He is present in His Word and in His Sacraments.  As Jesus said, I am the door of the sheep.    In Christ, when a pastor says, let me show you the Door, he is guiding you to the gate of eternal life with the door marked with His own blood, the blood of the New Testament, as He is risen! And the curtain torn on Good Friday was more than cloth :

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10

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