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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 241

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From the Word: As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Abide in my love. (John 15:9)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Daily Prayers

Evening Prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Pulling It Together: Jesus wants us to do more than follow him. Following Jesus is the starting point, from which eventually, there must be something more, lest following becomes stiff habit and we hang dead upon the vine, until some wind knocks us off, or the gardener’s shears remove us. Following is fine when you are able to see the one who called you. We do not always see — even spiritually — so clearly. Though Jesus has promised to be with us, we do not see him physically. What are we to do when we have followed but cannot see the next step? What are we to do when the next step is simply the habit of repeating something done for many years?

Jesus prepares his followers for such a time. He teaches us to do more than follow; he urges us to abide. There is so much to say about abiding. Let it suffice for the moment to say that sleep is an abiding in Christ. We may lay down each night, commending ourselves to the Father’s care. Though we venture into the darkness where we cannot see to follow Jesus, we may nonetheless, abide in him for the night. He is faithful to forgive us the sins of the day and keep us in the Vine through the night.

Prayer: Into your hands I commend myself—my body and soul. Amen.

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It's time to get ready for Vacation Bible School—even if we are social-distancing. It will be here before you know it. So, consider Sola's VBS series. Here's one of those:

Rebekah & Her Family, a five-session VBS series, uses the Book of Genesis as its biblical focus. God's hand is seen at work throughout the story — from Rebekah’s being chosen as a bride for Isaac, through the birth and lives of their twin sons, Esau and Jacob. The story illustrates how God remains faithful to his promise, despite our sin, and that God's power can change our lives.

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