Seventh Sunday after Easter

SERMON TEXT:  Proverbs 31:1-9

So if everything could have been brought to its goal through the Levitical priesthood (for the people received the law on the basis of that priesthood), what further need was there for another priest to arise who was like Melchizedek, yet not said to be like Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, by necessity a change in the law also happens. Yet these things are said about the one who belonged to another tribe, from which no one had served at the altar. It is certainly clear that our Lord is descended from Judah. Moses said nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. And this becomes even clearer if another priest arises like Melchizedek, who became a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement about physical descent, but on the basis of the power of an endless life. For it has been testified in Scripture about him: You are a priest forever, like Melchizedek. To be sure, the former requirement is annulled, because it was weak and useless— for the law did not bring anything to its goal—but now a better hope is introduced, by which we approach God. And something like this did not happen without an oath. Indeed, others who became priests did so without an oath, but this one became a priest with an oath, through the one who said to him: The Lord has sworn an oath and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever.” In this way, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. There were many who became priests because death prevented any of them from continuing to remain in office. But because this one endures forever, he has a permanent priesthood. So for this reason he is able to save forever those who come to God through him, because he always lives to plead on their behalf. This is certainly the kind of high priest we needed: one who is holy, innocent, pure, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices on a daily basis, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. In fact, he sacrificed for sins once and for all when he offered himself.

Bible Readings

FIRST LESSON:  Acts 7:54–60

When they heard these things, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed up into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He said, “Look, I see heaven opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they screamed at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and rushed at him with one purpose in mind. They threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After he said this, he fell asleep.

SECOND LESSON:  Proverbs 7:11-27

See Sermon Text

VERSE OF THE DAY:  John 14:18

I will not leave you as orphans.

GOSPEL: John 17:11b-19

“Holy Father, protect them by your name, which you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I kept those you gave me safe in your name. I protected them and not one of them was destroyed, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture might be fulfilled. “But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so that they may be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not asking that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the Evil One. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world. I sanctify myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth.”