We continue in our new series on “the Solas,” the Reformation foundations of our faith as we focus on Sola Gratia … “grace alone!”
╬ Sola Gratia
The story of God’s grace in Scripture was a life-transforming revelation for Martin Luther. In our own lives and in the lives of people everywhere, the Gospel proclamation of God’s unmerited love and claim of us all as daughters and sons is an invitation to live freely as the people we were created to be. “Grace alone” becomes a foundation stone of Christian faith, testifying to God’s goodness, and God’s promise fulfilled in us.
The Readings and Prayer of the Day are below.
It is a blessing to make this journey toward our Reformation Celebration with you all!
- Pr. Brad Highum
PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------------
Creating God, in ultimate compassion and love, you give us the gift of your Son. Help us simply to receive this gift of grace and the gift of life that flows to us through him. Amen.
First Reading: Jeremiah 31:2-6
2 Thus says the Lord: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, 3 the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall take your tambourines, and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. 5 Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy the fruit. 6 For there shall be a day when sentinels will call in the hill country of Ephraim: "Come, let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God."
1 Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord, or declare all his praise?
3 Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you deliver them;
5 that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory in your heritage.
6 Both we and our ancestors have sinned; we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.
7 Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wonderful works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name's sake, so that he might make known his mighty power.
Second Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10
2 You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3 All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God — 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
Gospel: John 1:9-18
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'") 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.