Today’s reading focuses on the Gospel of the day and talks about how Christians are all one body in Christ. Our devotion is from Luther’s Works, Volume 69 (Sermons on the Gospel of St. John Chapters 17–20).
Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.
Just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us.
Jesus touches on the high article of His divinity, and He uses Himself and the Father as a likeness and example to explain the kind of unity to which He is referring. “I and You are one,” He means to say, “in one divine essence and majesty. According to this same example, they also should be one with one another, in such a way that they are also one with Us in the same unity, that is, that they should be one body with You and Me. In sum, they should all be one and wholly one in both of Us, indeed, so completely one loaf that they possess everything that lies in Your power and in Mine.” That is, we, too, become partakers of the divine nature, as Peter says (2 Peter 1 [:4]). For though Christ and the Father are one in a different, higher, incomprehensible manner because of the divine essence, we nevertheless possess all this so that it is ours, and we enjoy what is His.
This is now repeated for our comfort and assurance against the power of the world and the devil. For even though he attacks one lone weak member of Christendom and thinks he has devoured him—yes, even though he would like to attack all Christendom and mock it, saying, “Of what concern is Christendom to me? What are they but flesh and blood?”—he must instead hear and feel that he is not attacking us but Christ in us, and indeed, not Christ alone, but the Father, that is, the almighty, eternal Majesty, before whom he must quake in terror and fall to the earth.
See how everything here is connected together. Whoever touches one member touches heaven and earth and all creatures. In sum, you cannot scorn, slander, persecute, or do violence to a Christian, nor, on the other hand, honor him or treat him well, without having done it unto God Himself. Thus, on the Last Day, Christ Himself in His majesty will pronounce judgment on both the righteous and the ungodly: “As you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me” [Matt. 25:40]. For God has bound all He has to Christ; and Christ [has bound all He has] to His Bride; and every Christian is bound to her as a member of the body; and everything is joined together like a chain and makes a complete, round circle—yes, a lovely, beautiful garland.
Devotional reading is adapted from Luther’s Works, Volume 69 (Sermons on the Gospel of St. John Chapters 17–20), pages 105–6 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Hymn is “Christ Is the World’s Redeemer” from Enter His Gates with Praise: Eight Organ Preludes for the Church Year © 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.