Recipients of God’s Miraculous Grace

by Rev. Donald Anthony

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The Resurrection
by Gustave Doré

Each Sunday, our church was providing bookmarkers with information about people from our history. On the opposite side of the marker was a brief excerpt from our church history. Our members looked forward to and enjoyed receiving the markers, which were being designed and donated by a member.

One week, the machine the member used to cut and laminate the markers was broken. She took the markers to a local office-supply store, where she was quoted a price our church could not afford. A customer standing in line asked what she was making the markers for. She told him the church. He then volunteered to pay for the work.

What a surprise! What a wonderful gift! We took that experience as one of God’s miracles in the life of Grace Lutheran Church.

The celebration of Easter is a reminder that the God who saved us on the cross of Calvary is the God of miracles in our everyday lives.

Read John 20:1–18. Who arrives at the tomb of Jesus?

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What do they encounter?

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Has God ever “surprised” you? The apostle John’s resurrection account provides us another example of God’s miraculous surprise for those who went to the tomb of Jesus early on that first Easter.

Although Mary arrives first, she does not enter the tomb. Notice what she sees when she finally looks into the tomb.

What conclusions might Mary and the other disciples draw after seeing the strips of cloth still in the tomb?

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The empty tomb is a reminder of God’s miraculous intervention in the lives of His people.

Read Luke 5:1–10. What miraculous event does Peter experience? How is Peter changed?

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Read Luke 5:12–14. What is this man’s physical condition? How does Jesus heal him?

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Think of ways God has miraculously touched you when others shunned you.

Read Luke 9:10–17. Why is there such a large crowd of people following Jesus?

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Although the disciples want to send the hungry crowd away, what are the instructions of Jesus?

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The apparent food supply is limited, but Jesus gives thanks to God and uses what is available. Although only the men are identified in the text, do you think the women and children are left out? Who benefits from this miraculous feeding?

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Today, we are still recipients of God’s miraculous grace. We are invited to the waters of Baptism, and there God washes us clean of our sin and adopts us into His royal priesthood of believers forever. Resurrection Sunday after Sunday, the Word of God is proclaimed, sins are forgiven, the true body and blood of Jesus is distributed, and our faith is strengthened. We rejoice again this season as we peer into the empty tomb and believe that our Savior is risen. He is risen indeed!

About the Author: Rev. Donald Anthony is chairman of the LCMS Board for Black Ministry Services and pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Concord, and Crown in Glory Lutheran Church, Salisbury, N.C.

The Lutheran Witness — Providing Missouri Synod laypeople with stories and information that
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contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.

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