Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment. Psalm 51:1-4
And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, . . . David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 2 Samuel 1261:1-7a,13
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. . . .
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. . . .
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts. . . 1 Corinthians 12:1-7, 12-14, 27-31
16] 7. We believe, teach, and confess that not only the true believers in Christ and the worthy, but also the unworthy and unbelievers receive Christ’s true body and blood. However, they do not receive them for life and consolation, but for judgment and condemnation, if they are not converted and do not repent (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
17] Although they thrust Christ as a Savior away from themselves, yet they must receive Him, even against their will, as a strict Judge. They must admit that He is just as present to exercise and render judgment on unrepentant guests as He is present to work life and consolation in the hearts of the true believers and worthy guests. [Epitome of the Formula of Concord Article VII.16-16: The Lord’s Supper]
What we call the mass is a promise of the forgiveness of sins made to us by God, and such a promise as has been confirmed by the death of the Son of God. . . . The testament (i.e., a promise which involves the death of the one who makes it) of Christ is foreshadowed in all the promises of God from the beginning of the world. . . . Hence the words “compact,” covenant,” and “testament of the Lord” occur so frequently in the Scriptures. These words signified that God would one day die. . . . Now God made a testament; therefore, it was necessary that he should die. But God could not die unless he became a man. Thus the incarnation and the death of Christ are both comprehended most concisely in this one word, “testament”–[which is why Jesus says Holy Communion “is the the new covenant/testament in my blood.” (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; Mark 14:24; 1 Corinthians 11:25)] [The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, pastor, theologian, reformer 1483-1546.]
O Lord, merciful and holy Bridegroom; we grieve the fall of Your Church. It is our fault that we beauty of Your Bride is no longer recognized. Therefore we pray You: give and increase in us faith, love, and hope in You; root out of us all sins and vice, all strife, all disbelief, all error and heresy; rebuke the erring, convert the unbelievers, bring the rebellious again to the unity of the Christian Church and show them the light of Your truth. Protect our shepherd from all danger of body and soul. Bless all pastors and those who administer in the Church in the building of Your congregation; grant them success in all things. Equip Your whole Church with the power and proof of the holy faith. Stand by You witness among the nations and further the course of Your Gospel in all the world.
Fill all government with the fear of You and let their ruling serve to foster and preserve peace. Have mercy on our people and country. Let the youth be brought up in discipline and in a right knowledge of You, so that they may recognize Your law and the way of Your salvation. Give constancy and loyalty to all pious teachers.
Comfort all the troubled and sorrowful. Impart health of body and soul to the sick. Grant to all pregnant women, according to Your mercy, a happy result in their childbearing. To the needy give bodily and spiritually according to Your good pleasure. Let those who travel be commended to the protection of Your holy angels. And be a strong help to all who need You. For the sake of Your holy wounds, O Jesus. Amen.