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The Week of Palm Sunday / Sunday of the Passion

“He sanctifies me”

The week begins with the joy of the Palm Sunday procession and then turns to the passion of Jesus. In him is the faithful Son of God. In him is the truly human one. In him is the power and presence of the Spirit. In him is the perfection of divine love. In him is the end of sin and the dawn of God’s healing of the world.

But the story is not just about how Jesus died for us. It is about how we die with him. How we are united with him. How we are clothed in him. How we participate in his faithfulness. How we share in the Spirit. How we are inheritors of the kingdom, sons and daughters of light, children of the resurrection, the body of Christ in the world.

The story is about God and Jesus and redemption. It is also about our sanctification, our “being made holy,” our healing and restoration, our becoming the true sons and daughters of God we were created to be.

We are not observers of this story; we are participants. We are dying and rising with Christ, as Paul will say. We are being born anew/born from above as Jesus will say. We are being made into a holy temple, as Peter will say, an abiding place of God.

The Prayer for Week 6:

In the mystery of your love, O God,
Jesus came to Jerusalem
knowing the sacrifice he would offer.
Grant us a share of his Spirit
and the courage to follow his way of love;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Luther’s Small Catechism

The Third Article:

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort
believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him.
But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel,
enlightened me with his gifts,
and sanctifed and kept me in the true faith.

In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies
the whole Christian church on earth,
and keeps it united with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

In this Christian church day after day
he fully forgives my sins and the sins of all believers.
On the last day he will raise me and all the dead
and give me and all believers in Christ eternal life.

This is most certainly true.

The Small Catechism by Martin Luther in Contemporary English, Augsburg Publishing, ©1960,1968
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