First Sunday In Advent

(03 December 2017)

Isaiah 64:1–9; Ps. 80:1–7; 1 Corinthians 1:3–9; Mark 11:1–10 or Mark 13:24–37

Entrance: LSB 343 Prepare the Royal Highway

Of the Day: LSB 332 Savior of the Nations, Come

Offertory: LSB 333 Once He Came in Blessing

Distribution: LSB 334 O Lord, How Shall I Meet You;

LSB 340 Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

Closing: LSB 339 Lift Up Your Heads, You Everlasting Doors

The Lord Jesus Comes in Meekness and Humility to Save Us

Although we pray that God “would rend the heavens and come down” (Is. 64:1), that He would take vengeance against our enemies, we ourselves “have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Is. 64:6). We have continued in our sins for “a long time, and shall we be saved?” (Is. 64:5). Yet the Lord does not punish us in anger. He comes in voluntary meekness and humility to save us by His grace. Just as He once came into Jerusalem to sacrifice Himself for us upon the cross (Mark 11:4–8), He still comes to His Church with the fruits of His Passion. By His ministry of the Gospel, we are “enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge,” and so He will “sustain you to the end” (1 Cor. 1:5, 8). Although “heaven and earth will pass away,” His words “will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). As He sends disciples to call us to Himself in the fellowship of His Church, so will He “send out the angels” to gather us and all of His elect “from the ends of the earth” to Himself in heaven forever (Mark 13:27).

 

The Second Sunday in Advent

(10 December 2017)

Isaiah 40:1–11; Ps. 85:1-13; 2 Peter 3:8–14; Mark 1:1–8

Entrance: LSB 733 The Advent of Our King

Of the Day: LSB 344 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry

Offertory: LSB 347: LSB Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People

Distribution: LSB 348 The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns;

LSB 346 When All the World Was Cursed

Closing: LSB 515 Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers

You Are Prepared through Repentance for the Coming of the Lord

“The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1) begins when John the Baptist appears and comes “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). As the prophet Isaiah had written, John is the messenger of the Lord, sent before His face to prepare His way. To this day, the ministry of the forerunner continues in the preaching of the Law and the Gospel and in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. By these ways and means, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Is. 40:5), and the Good Shepherd “will gather the lambs in his arms” (Is. 40:11). He speaks “tenderly to Jerusalem,” and He comforts His people by pardoning their iniquity (Is. 40:1–2). What is more, He promises “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Repent, therefore, and humble yourself as you wait for His coming in peace (2 Peter 3:14), because He “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

 

The Third Sunday in Advent

(17 December 2017)

Isaiah 61:1–4, 8–11; Ps. 126:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24; John 1:6–8, 19–28

Entrance: LSB 349 Hark the Glad Sound

Of the Day: LSB 345 Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding

Offertory: LSB 511 Herald, Sound the Note of Judgment

Distribution: LSB 347 Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People;

LSB 354 Arise, O Christian People

Closing: LSB 338 Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

The Coming of the Christ Brings True Rejoicing in His Forgiveness

When he preaches repentance, John the Baptist points us to Christ Jesus. John was sent by God “as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him” (John 1:7). He baptizes with water in order to “make straight the way of the Lord,” who shall redeem His people from their sins (John 1:23). That Lord Jesus “who comes after” John now stands among us and makes Himself known to us (John 1:26–27). He has been anointed by the Holy Spirit “to bring good news to the poor” and “to bind up the brokenhearted” (Is. 61:1). By the washing of the water with His Word and Spirit, He clothes His Church with “the garments of salvation” and adorns her with His own righteousness “as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Therefore, we “rejoice always” in the Lord, “pray without ceasing” and “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16–18). For “the God of peace,” who has called you by the Gospel, will surely “sanctify you completely,” so that “your whole spirit and soul and body” will “be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23–24).

 

The Fourth Sunday In Advent

(24 December 2017)

2 Samuel 7:1–11, 16; Ps. 89:1–5, 19–29; Romans 16:25–27; Luke 1:26–38

Entrance: LSB 900 Jesus! Name of Wondrous Love

Of the Day: LSB 356 The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came

Offertory: LSB 353 Jesus Came, the Heavens Adoring

Distribution: LSB 357 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel;

LSB 332 Savior of the Nations, Come

Closing: LSB 387 Joy to the World

The Lord Builds a House for David: Jesus Christ Who Comes in the Flesh

When King David “lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies,” he piously supposed that he would build a house for God (2 Sam. 7:1–2). But the Lord would turn it around: LSB He would establish a house for David and an everlasting throne. This He has done not only for David, but also for all His people, in the Son of David, Jesus Christ, “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary” (Apostles’ Creed). That holy child, the incarnate “Son of the Most High,” receives “the throne of his father David” and begins to reign “over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32–33). Having given Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, His body is the true and eternal temple of God in which His people have their own place of peace and rest. That is “the mystery that was kept secret for long ages” but is now “made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God” in order that we may have faith and life in Christ (Rom. 16:25–26).

 

Christmas Eve

(24 December 2017)

Isaiah 7:10–14; Ps. 110:1–4; 1 John 4:7–16; Matthew 1:18–25

Entrance: LSB 376 Once in Royal David’s City

Of the Day: LSB 359 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Distribution: LSB 332 Savior of the Nations, Come;

LSB 383 A Great and Mighty Wonder;

LSB 357 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Closing: LSB 377 On Christmas Night All Christians Sing

The Word of the Lord Is Fulfilled in the Flesh of Jesus

Though Ahaz would not ask, the Lord gives a sign to the House of David — “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Is. 7:14). With this promise, He signifies that salvation is by His grace alone. It is no work or achievement of man, but the Lord’s own work and His free gift. The promise is fulfilled as the Son of God is conceived and born of the Virgin Mary, and the sign is received in faith by the House of David in the person of Joseph (Matt. 1:20–24). “Incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary” (Nicene Creed), God is with us (Immanuel) in the flesh of Jesus, Mary’s Son. Joseph believes that Word of God and so demonstrates a marvelous example in his immediate and quiet obedience, taking Mary to be his wife and caring for her in faith and love. He loves her because the love of God is manifest in this, that “the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world,” to be “the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10–14).

 

Christmas Midnight

(25 December 2017)

Isaiah 9:2–7; Ps. 96:1-13; Titus 2:11–14; Luke 2:1–14, 15–20

The Light of Christ Shines Forth in the Darkness

Heaven and earth rejoice this night because the glory of the holy Triune God is manifested in the human birth of “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). In Him, the Father’s grace, mercy and peace rest upon the world. The silence of death is broken by this “good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). And all we who have gone astray like lost and wandering sheep, who have “walked in the darkness” of doubt and fear and sinful unbelief, behold “a great light” in the nativity of Christ (Is. 9:2). In Him “the grace of God has appeared” (Titus 2:11). For this child of Mary who is born for us, this dear Son of God who is given to us, bears the burden of our sin and death in His own body to the cross. He thereby establishes a government of peace, “with justice and with righteousness,” which shall have no end; not by any work of man, but “the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this” (Is. 9:7).

 

Christmas Dawn

(25 December 2017)

Isaiah 62:10–12; Ps. 98:1-9; Titus 3:4–7; Luke 2:1–14, 15–20

Christ Jesus Reveals Himself in the Signs He Has Given to His Church

The Lord has not forsaken us. He has come to us and sought us out to save us (Is. 62:11–12), “so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). In Christ Jesus, conceived and born of Mary, “the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared” (Titus 3:4). Now He is lifted up in the Gospel, “a signal over the peoples” (Is. 62:10), that He might call us to rejoice in His salvation. St. Luke emphasizes the signs by which the shepherds once found Him: LSB in Bethlehem, the City of David, “wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). The same Lord Jesus reveals Himself to us in the sure and certain signs of His Gospel. His Church is a true Bethlehem (House of Bread); for the Son of David, “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), feeds us with His body and His blood from the manger of His altar, wrapped in swaddling cloths of bread and wine. Let us ponder these mysteries and, like the shepherds, go about our vocations, “glorifying and praising God” (Luke 2:19–20).

 

Christmas Day

(25 December 2017)

Isaiah 52:7–10; Ps. 2:1-12; Hebrews 1:1–6, 7–12; John 1:1–14, 15–18

Entrance: LSB 379 O Come, All Ye Faithful

Of the Day: LSB 382 We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth

Distribution: LSB 387 Joy to the World;

LSB 384 Of the Father’s Love Begotten;

LSB 380 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Closing: LSB 386 Now Sing We, Now Rejoice

The Living and Life-Giving Word of God Dwells Among Us in the Flesh

The Lord sends out His ministers of the Gospel to make disciples “of all the nations,” so that “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” For the Lord has “bared his holy arm” in the incarnate Christ (Is. 52:7, 10). The child in the manger, born of the Virgin Mary, is the very Word of God, the only begotten Son of the Father, “whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb. 1:2). As “all things were made through him” (John 1:3), so are all things redeemed and made new in Him. In His body of flesh and blood, we behold “the radiance of the glory of God” (Heb. 1:3), “glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He dwells among us in peace, that we might have life and light and salvation in Him. For by His Word of the Gospel, we are born again as the children of God, bearing His name and sharing His eternal life.

 

The First Sunday After Christmas

(31 December 2017)

Isaiah 61:10—62:3; Ps. 111:1-10; Galatians 4:4–7; Luke 2:22–40

Entrance: LSB 374 Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

Of the Day: LSB 389 Let All Together Praise our God

Distribution: LSB 384 Of the Father’s Love Begotten;

LSB 937 Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace

Closing: LSB 897 O Rejoice, Ye Christians, Loudly

The Time Has Fully Come for Redemption and Purification through Jesus Christ, Our Lord

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,” born of the woman, “to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal. 4:4–5). Therefore, “according to the Law of Moses,” Mary and Joseph “brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22). There He was received and taken up into the arms of Simeon, who was righteous and devout, “waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). Simeon praised God and blessed the parents by confessing the cross for which this child was appointed. “At that very hour,” old and faithful Anna, who had watched, prayed and worshiped in the temple for so long, came up and “began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). The Lord causes “righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations” (Is. 61:11). We also “greatly rejoice in the Lord,” because this child has clothed us “with the garments of salvation,” covered us “with the robe of righteousness” and called us “by a new name” (Is. 61:10; 62:2).

 

New Year’s Eve

(31 December 2017)

Isaiah 30:8–14, 15–17; Ps. 90:1–12; Romans 8:31b–39; Luke 12:35–40

Entrance: LSB 733 O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Of the Day: LSB 896 Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year

Distribution: LSB 899 Across the Sky the Shades of Night

Closing: LSB 747 No Saint on Earth Lives Life to Self Alone

The Lord Comes by Way of the Cross to Serve Us at His Table in Peace

When we despise the Lord’s Word “and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on them” (Is. 30:12), we face catastrophe. Our idolatry “is smashed so ruthlessly” (Is. 30:14), so that we are called to repentance. The Lord calls us by the cross, “like a signal on a hill” (Is. 30:17), to return to Him and rest in His salvation. For “he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all” graciously provides us with all good things in Him (Rom. 8:32). Since “Christ Jesus is the one who died,” who is risen from the dead and seated at God’s right hand, “interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34), “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). It is in that hope that we live “like men who are waiting for their master” (Luke 12:36). He daily awakens us by His preaching of repentance, raises us by His Word of forgiveness and keeps our lamps burning by the grace of His Gospel. He comes to us by way of the cross, in order to bless us and serve us at His table in peace.

 

The Feast Of The Circumcision And Name Of Jesus (New Year’s Day)

(01 January 2018)

Numbers 6:22–27; Ps. 8:1-9; Galatians 3:23–29; Luke 2:21

Entrance: LSB 818 In Thee Is Gladness

Of the Day: LSB 900 Jesus! Name of Wondrous Love

Distribution: LSB 896 Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year;

LSB 362 O Sing of Christ

Closing: LSB 924 Lord, Dismiss Us with Your Blessing

The Lord Jesus Comes in the Flesh to Fulfill the Law for Us and Save Us from Our Sins

Circumcision is the covenant God made with Abraham and his seed. It sealed God’s promises and blessings in the flesh, but also signified the burden of the Law. When the Lord Jesus came in the flesh to redeem His people, He subjected Himself to the Law, in order to fulfill the Law and release all men from its captivity. “He was called Jesus” (Luke 2:21) because He came to save His people from their sins. He would shed His blood on their behalf, as He did already when “he was circumcised” (Luke 2:21). As He also sacrificed Himself upon the cross, you are “justified by faith” in His blood (Gal. 3:24). Therefore, “you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29), not by the circumcision of your flesh, but in the flesh and blood of Christ Jesus, the true seed of Abraham. “Baptized into Christ,” you belong to Him and are clothed and covered by His righteousness (Gal. 3:27). Holy Baptism is the true circumcision made without hands, by which the Lord Jesus puts His name on you and blesses you (Num. 6:22, 27).

 

The Feast Of The Epiphany Of Our Lord

(06 January 2018)

Isaiah 60:1–6; Ps. 72:1–11, 12–15; Ephesians 3:1–12; Matthew 2:1–12

Entrance: LSB 367 Angels from the Realms of Glory

Of the Day: LSB 395 O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright

Offertory: LSB 400 Brightest and Best of the Stars of the Morning

Distribution: LSB 399 The Star Proclaims the King Is Here

Closing: LSB 397 As with Gladness Men of Old

The Lord God Is Manifested in the Incarnate Son

The Feast of the Epiphany centers in the visit of the Magi from the East. In that respect, it is a “thirteenth day” of Christmas, and yet it also marks the beginning of a new liturgical season. Where Christmas has focused on the incarnation of our Lord, that is, on God becoming flesh, the season of Epiphany emphasizes the manifestation or self-revelation of God in that same flesh of Christ. For the Lord Himself has entered our darkness and rises upon us with the brightness of His true light (Is. 60:1–2). He does so chiefly by His Word of the Gospel, which He causes to be preached within His Church on earth, not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles (Eph. 3:8–10). As the Magi were guided by the promises of Holy Scripture to find and worship the Christ Child with His mother in the house (Matt. 2:5–11), so does He call disciples from all nations by the preaching of His Word to find and worship Him within His Church (Is. 60:3–6).

 

The Baptism Of Our Lord (The First Sunday after the Epiphany)

(07 January 2018)

Genesis 1:1–5; Ps. 29:1-11; Romans 6:1–11; Mark 1:4–11

Entrance: LSB 405 To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord

Of the Day: LSB 406 To Jordan Came the Christ, Our Lord

Offertory: LSB 601 All Who Believe and Are Baptized

Distribution: LSB 596 All Christians Who Have Been Baptized;

LSB 399 The Star Proclaims the King Is Here

Closing: LSB 594 God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It

In Holy Baptism, the Triune God Reveals Himself and Recreates Us in His Image

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Then, as “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2), God spoke His Word: LSB “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). In the same way, “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1) brings about the new creation through the waters of Baptism by the same Word and Spirit of God. When John the Baptist came, “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” Jesus also came “and was baptized by John in the Jordan” (Mark 1:4, 9). Although He had no sins of His own, He took His stand with sinners in His Baptism and took the sins and mortality of the world upon Himself. He was baptized into His own death, by which the heavens are opened and the Spirit is given to us. God the Father is well pleased with His beloved Son and raises Him from the dead. As we share His Baptism and are “united with him in a death like his” (Rom. 6:5), we also share His resurrection unto “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

 

The Second Sunday After The Epiphany

(14 January 2018)

1 Samuel 3:1–10; 11–20; Ps. 139:1–10; 1 Corinthians 6:12–20; John 1:43–51

Entrance: LSB 807 When Morning Gilds the Skies

Of the Day: LSB 402 The Only Son from Heaven

Offertory: LSB 783 Take My Life and Let It Be

Distribution: LSB 589 Speak, O Lord, Your Servant Listens;

LSB 827 Hark, the Voice of Jesus Calling

Closing: LSB 830 Spread the Reign of God the Lord

The Lord God Is with You and Reveals Himself to You by the Preaching of His Word

The Lord Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael to “come and see” that He is “the Son of God” and “the King of Israel” (John 1:43–49). And they shall see even “greater things than these” (John 1:50). For His body is the temple of God on earth, and by His priestly sacrifice the heavens will be opened to all who believe and are baptized into Him. Therefore, He calls Philip and Nathanael, first to hear His Word and then to speak as apostles, even as He once called Samuel and established him “as a prophet of the Lord” (1 Sam. 3:20). As the Lord was with Samuel “and let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Sam. 3:19), He also accompanies and upholds the preachers of His Word in our day. Thus, by the Gospel that is preached to you, “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you” (1 Cor. 6:19). Since your body thus belongs to the Body of Christ, is meant “for the Lord” and shall be raised up like Him, now “glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:13–20).

 

The Third Sunday After The Epiphany

(21 January 2018)

Jonah 3:1–5, 10; Ps. 62:1-12; 1 Corinthians 7:29–31, 32–35; Mark 1:14–20

Entrance: LSB 836 O God of Light

Of the Day: LSB 839 O Christ, Our True and Only Light

Offertory: LSB 688 “Come, Follow Me,” the Savior Spake

Distribution: LSB 856 O Christ, Who Called the Twelve;

LSB 685 Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus

Closing: LSB 810 O God of God, O Light of Light

The Lord Calls Us to Himself by the Preaching of Repentance in His Name

When “the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time,” sending him to preach judgment against the great city of Nineveh, “Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord” (Jonah 3:1, 3). By this preaching, the people were brought to repentance. Because they “believed God,” as He spoke to them through His prophet, “they turned from their evil way” and were spared “the disaster that he had said he would do to them” (Jonah 3:5, 10). St. Paul also warns that “the appointed time has grown very short” (1 Cor. 7:29). Therefore, while we live in this world and deal with it, we are not to cling to it, nor put our trust in it, for “the present form of this world is passing away” (1 Cor. 7:31). Rather, give “your undivided devotion to the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:35). When our Lord Jesus Christ comes and is proclaimed in the Gospel, “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:14–15). Therefore, He still calls men and sends them to become “fishers of men” with the net of that Gospel (Mark 1:17).

 

The Fourth Sunday After The Epiphany

(28 January 2018)

Deuteronomy 18:15–20; Ps. 111:1-10; 1 Corinthians 8:1–13; Mark 1:21–28

Entrance: LSB 528 Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Of the Day: LSB 541 “Away from Us!” the Demon Cried

Offertory: LSB 842 Son of God, Eternal Savior

Distribution: LSB 754 Entrust Your Days and Burdens;

LSB 698 May We Thy Precepts, Lord, Fulfill

Closing: LSB 583 God Has Spoken by His Prophets

Our Lord Jesus Christ, True God in the Flesh, Cleanses Our Consciences from Sin

As He promised, the Lord our God has raised up “a prophet” like Moses, namely Jesus, our brother in the flesh. “To him you shall listen,” because the Word of the Lord is “in his mouth” (Deut. 18:15–18). Indeed, He is more than a prophet and more than a scribe of the Scriptures; He is the incarnate Word, and He speaks “a new teaching with authority” (Mark 1:22, 27). He enters “the synagogue” of His Church and provides true Sabbath rest, using His authority to silence and cast out “even the unclean spirits” (Mark 1:21–27). By His Word of the cross, He removes the accusations of the Law and of the devil, and He cleanses our consciences before God the Father, “from whom are all things and for whom we exist.” Hence, we are now set free from bondage and commended to God by the one Lord, Jesus Christ, “through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Cor. 8:6). Therefore, use your freedom to care for your brothers and sisters, neither causing them to stumble nor wounding their consciences (1 Cor. 8:9–12), but cleansing and strengthening them with the Gospel.

 

The Fifth Sunday After The Epiphany

(04 February 2018)

Isaiah 40:21–31; Ps. 147:1–11; 1 Corinthians 9:16–27; Mark 1:29–39

Entrance: LSB 797 Praise the Almighty

Of the Day: LSB 398 Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Offertory: LSB 693 O Holy Spirit, Grant Us Grace

Distribution: LSB 846 Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old;

LSB 849 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Closing: LSB 664 Fight the Good Fight

The Son of God, Christ Jesus, Makes Us a New Creation

The Lord alone “is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Is. 40:28). He “sits above the circle of the earth” and “stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (Is. 40:22). Yet His almighty power is demonstrated chiefly by His mercy and compassion. “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Is. 40:29). The only begotten Son of the Father, the very Word by whom all things were made, becomes flesh and takes all the poverty and weakness of our sin and death upon Himself, bearing it in His body to the cross. As He dies for us there, He also raises us up, a new creation, in His resurrection from the dead. Thus, by the preaching of this Word, He heals “many who were sick with various diseases,” and He casts out “many demons” (Mark 1:34, 39). And His preaching continues through those whom He has sent, who are “entrusted with a stewardship” to “preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 9:16–17). Thus, we are set free by the Word of Christ, and we exercise our freedom in loving service to others.

 

The Transfiguration Of Our Lord

(11 February 2018)

2 Kings 2:1–12 or Exodus 34:29–35; Ps. 50:1–6; 2 Corinthians 3:12–13, 14–18; 4:1–6; Mark 9:2–9

Entrance: LSB 415 Jesus on the Mountain Peak

Of the Day: LSB 413 O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair

Offertory: LSB 414 ‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here

Distribution: LSB 416 Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory;

LSB 537 Beautiful Savior

Closing: LSB 417 Alleluia, Song of Gladness

The Face of Jesus Christ Manifests the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God

It was “a hard thing” that Elisha asked, but by his persistence he was able to see the Prophet Elijah being taken “by a whirlwind into heaven.” Although “chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them,” Elisha received Elijah’s cloak and a “double portion” of his spirit for preaching the Lord’s Word (2 Kings 2:9–11). It was a hard thing, too, for Israel to see Moses and come near to him, when “the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God” (Ex. 34:29–30). Therefore, after “he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai,” Moses “put a veil over his face” (Ex. 34:32–33). Only the Word of the Gospel lifts the veil, and “only through Christ is it taken away” (2 Cor. 3:14). Thus are we able to behold “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” who is “the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4–6). For the Law and the prophets are all fulfilled in Him. Therefore, “listen to him,” and fix your sights on “Jesus only” (Mark 9:7–8).

 

Ash Wednesday

(14 February 2018)

Joel 2:12–19; Ps. 51:1–13, 14–19; 2 Corinthians 5:20b–6:10; Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21

Entrance: LSB 419 Savior, When in Dust to Thee

Of the Day: LSB 607 From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee

Offertory: LSB 574 Before the Throne of God Above

Distribution: LSB 915 Today Your Mercy Calls Us;

LSB 563 Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

Closing: LSB 610 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

Return to the Lord Your God, for He Has Reconciled You to Himself

On Ash Wednesday, we come down from the mountain with Jesus and set our faces toward His cross and Passion in Jerusalem. We make our pilgrimage with Him by the way of repentance, and thus we return to the dying and rising of Holy Baptism. Christ Jesus, “who knew no sin,” became our sin, so that by His death we are released from sin and in His resurrection we “become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Since God has thus reconciled the world to Himself in Christ, “now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). He has provided the sacrificial Lamb, and He has left “a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering” in the Eucharist (Joel 2:14, 19). He summons us to return to Him with all our hearts, because He is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Joel 2:13). Return to Him in faith and confidence, and so pray to Him as your Father; give to the needy from a heart of love; and fast for the sake of repentance (Matt. 6:3–4, 6, 17–18).

 

The First Sunday In Lent

(18 February 2018)

Genesis 22:1–18; Ps. 25:1–10; James 1:12–18; Mark 1:9–15

Entrance: LSB 656 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Of the Day: LSB 714 Who Trusts in God a Strong Abode

Offertory: LSB 418 O Lord, throughout These Forty Days

Distribution: LSB 424 O Christ, You Walked the Road;

LSB 594 God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It

Closing: LSB 718 Jesus, Lead Thou On

Christ Jesus Defeats Our Temptation and Saves Us by His Faithfulness

In faith and the fear of God, Abraham prepared to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. At the Word of the Lord, he “took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son.” And “when they came to the place of which God had told him,” Abraham bound Isaac “and laid him on the altar” (Gen. 22:6, 9). Then God stayed Abraham’s hand and provided “for himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:8). That Lamb is God’s own beloved Son, Jesus, in whom “all the nations of the earth” are blessed (Gen. 22:18). As the Substitute for all the sons of men, Jesus is driven by the Spirit “into the wilderness” to be “tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:12–13), in order to endure and defeat all temptation. We are tempted by our own desire, which conceives and “gives birth to sin” (James 1:14–15). But this blessed Man, Christ Jesus, remained “steadfast under trial,” and He has received “the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). His faithfulness, His victory and His life are now given to us by His grace in the Gospel.

 

The Second Sunday In Lent

(25 February 2018)

Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Ps. 22:23–31; Romans 5:1–11; Mark 8:27–38

Entrance: LSB 837 Lift High the Cross

Of the Day: LSB 708 Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart

Offertory: LSB 734 I Trust, O Lord, Your Holy Name

Distribution: LSB 763 When Peace, like a River;

LSB 753 All for Christ I Have Forsaken

Closing: LSB 563 Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

By the Cross of Our Lord Jesus, We Inherit Life Everlasting with God

In His covenant with Abraham, the Lord promised to be with him, to bless him and to make him “the father of a multitude of nations.” It is “an everlasting covenant” in Christ Jesus, the seed of Abraham who is blameless before God Almighty. All who believe in this Lord Jesus are the offspring of Abraham and are blessed “throughout their generations” (Gen. 17:1–7), because the Christ has suffered many things. He was rejected and killed, and after three days He rose again (Mark 8:31). To comprehend this theology of the cross, we must set our minds “on the things of God,” and not “on the things of man” (Mark 8:33). “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Therefore, having been “reconciled to God by the death of his Son,” much more “shall we be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10). Baptized into His cross and resurrection, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” and by faith we rejoice in the hope of His glory (Rom. 5:1–2).

 

The Third Sunday In Lent

(04 March 2018)

Exodus 20:1–17; Ps. 19:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18–31; John 2:13–22 (23–25)

Entrance: LSB 823 May God Bestow on Us His Grace

Of the Day: LSB 581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands

Offertory: LSB 429 We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died

Distribution: LSB 579 The Law of God Is Good and Wise;

LSB 426 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Closing: LSB 838 The Saints in Christ Are One in Every Place

The Crucified and Risen Body of Jesus Is the True Temple of the Lord

The Lord rescues His people, Israel, “out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Ex. 20:2) and makes His gracious covenant with them, defined by the Ten Commandments. Since He has become their God by His grace, they shall be His people, having “no other gods” before Him (Ex. 20:3). He is “jealous” for them as a husband for his wife and as a father for his children. He has named them with His name and called them to rest in Him (Ex. 20:5–9). The incarnate Son, Christ Jesus, is likewise jealous for His Father’s house, because it is to be a place of divine grace and Sabbath rest for His people, and not “a house of trade” (John 2:16–17). His zeal consumes Him as He gives up “the temple of his body” to the destruction of the cross, but in three days He raises it up again to be the true temple forever (John 2:17–21). By His crucifixion He cleanses the entire household, and in His resurrection, He becomes “wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

 

The Fourth Sunday In Lent

(11 March 2018) 

Numbers 21:4–9; Ps. 107:1–9; Ephesians 2:1–10; John 3:14–21

Entrance: LSB 420 Christ, the Life of All the Living

Of the Day: LSB 972 I Trust, O Christ, in You Alone (Lutheran Service Builder)

Offertory: LSB 571 God Loved the World So That He Gave;

Distribution: LSB 702 My Faith Looks Up to Thee

LSB 847 Christ, Our Human Likeness Sharing

Closing: LSB 918 Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Jesus Is Lifted Up on the Cross so that We May Look to Him and Live

The people sinned by speaking “against God and against Moses,” and the Lord called them to repentance by sending fiery serpents, which “bit the people, so that many people of Israel died” (Num. 21:4–6). When the people confessed their sin, the Lord provided a means of rescue from death. He instructed Moses to “make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole,” so that “if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live” (Num. 21:8). Thus God sent His Son into the world, in the likeness of our sin and death, and lifted Him up on the pole of the cross, that whoever looks to Him in faith “may have eternal life” (John 3:14–16). By His cross, “the light has come into the world,” not for condemnation, but “that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17–19). While we “were dead in the trespasses and sins” in which we once lived (Eph. 2:1), God loved us, calling us to repentance and raising us up with Christ to live “with him in the heavenly places” (Eph. 2:4–6).

 

The Fifth Sunday In Lent

(18 March 2018)

Jeremiah 31:31–34; Ps. 119:9–16; Hebrews 5:1–10; Mark 10:(32–34) 35–45

Entrance: LSB 435 Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain

Of the Day: LSB 430 My Song Is Love Unknown

Offertory: LSB 624 The Infant Priest Was Holy Born

Distribution: LSB 847 Christ, Our Human Likeness Sharing;

LSB 756 Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me

Closing: LSB 433 Glory Be to Jesus

In the Holy Sacraments, We Share the Glory of the Cross of Christ

Jesus catechizes His disciples in the way of the cross, revealing that He will be condemned and put to death “and after three days he will rise” (Mark 10:33–34). But the Twelve do not understand. Instead, they argue among themselves about who will be the greatest, with James and John requesting the places of honor on either side of Jesus in His glory. However, Jesus has come to make Himself the “slave of all” and “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43–45). He shares the true glory of His cross with all who are baptized with His Baptism and with those who drink His cup of salvation, the New Testament in His blood (Mark 10:39). By these Holy Sacraments, the Lord makes Himself known to all His people, forgiving their sins “from the least of them to the greatest” (Jer. 31:33–34). Though He is the very Son of God, “he learned obedience through what he suffered” and so became our great High Priest, that we may enter His glory by the way of His sacrifice (Heb. 5:8–10).

 

Palm Sunday / Sunday Of The Passion

(25 March 2018)

John 12:12–19 (Palm Sunday Procession)

Zechariah 9:9–12; Ps. 118:19–29 or 31:9–16; Philippians 2:5–11; Mark 14:1—15:47 or Mark 15:1–47 or John 12:20–43

Entrance: LSB 442 All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Of the Day: LSB 438 A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth

Offertory: LSB 444 No Tramp of Soldiers’ Marching Feet

Distribution: LSB 430 My Song Is Love Unknown;

LSB 428 Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow

Closing: LSB 441 Ride On, Ride On in Majesty

The Son of David Ascends His Throne and Reigns in Love from His Cross

The Son of David comes in gentle humility, “sitting on a donkey’s colt,” yet as the King of Israel “in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13–15). He comes to be lifted up in glory on the cross in order to cast out “the ruler of this world” and draw all people to Himself (John 12:23–32). The Church is thus called to “rejoice greatly,” because her King comes with salvation, and “he shall speak peace to the nations” (Zech. 9:9–10). As He is anointed “beforehand for burial” (Mark 14:8), He also ascends His royal throne as “the King of the Jews” by way of His Passion (Mark 15:2, 17–19, 26). He goes “as it is written of him,” wherefore “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power” (Mark 14:21, 62). For the glory of God is love, which crescendos in the humble obedience and voluntary self-sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of sinners. So God the Father has “highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:9), that He might reign over us in love with the forgiveness of His cross.

 

Holy Thursday

(29 March 2018)

Ex 24:3–11 or Ex 12:1–14; Ps 116:12–19; 1 Cor 10:16–17 or 1 Cor 11:23–32; Mk 14:12–26 or Jn 13:1–17, 31b–35

Entrance: LSB 563 Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness

Of the Day: LSB 630 Now, My Tongue, the Mystery Telling

Offertory: LSB 574 Before the Throne of God Above

Distribution: LSB 617 O Lord, We Praise Thee;

LSB 445 When You Woke That Thursday Morning

Closing: LSB None

Let Us Love One Another, as Christ Has Loved Us and Loves Us to the End

“The Lord’s Passover” (Ex. 12:11) and “the blood of the covenant” at Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:8) are preeminent types of the Lord’s Supper. The blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, now covers us, and we keep His Supper “as a feast to the Lord” (Ex. 12:13–14). In Him, we see “the God of Israel” (Ex. 24:10), and yet He does not lay His hand on us to punish us. As disciples of Jesus, we recline at the table with Him to eat and drink in peace (Mark 14:18). The apostles, who received the New Testament in His blood “on the night when he was betrayed,” delivered the same to His Church, which we also now receive in remembrance of Him (1 Cor. 11:23–26; Mark 14:22–25). So He has “loved his own who were in the world,” and He loves us “to the end” (John 13:1). As He thus feeds us in love, let us love one another, just as He has loved us (John 13:34). For “we who are many are one body” because “we all partake of the one bread,” which is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:17).

 

Good Friday

(30 March 2018)

Isaiah 52:13—53:12; Ps. 22:1-31 or 31:1-24; Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9; John 18:1—19:42 or John 19:17–30

Entrance: LSB None

Of the Day: LSB 454 Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle

Distribution: LSB None

Closing: LSB None

Behold the Lamb of God, Who Takes Away the Sin of the World

Jesus, the Lamb of God, is led to the slaughter of His cross as the Sacrifice of Atonement for the sin of the world. “Despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Is. 53:3), He is the righteous Servant who justifies many by His innocent suffering and death. He bears our griefs and sorrows; He is wounded for our transgressions; He is crushed for our iniquities; He suffers our chastisement; “and with his wounds we are healed” (Is. 53:4–5). As the Son of God, He fulfills the Law for us in human flesh, and so fulfills the Scriptures (John 19:7, 24). In perfect faith and faithfulness, He shares all our weaknesses and temptations, “yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). As our merciful High Priest, He brings us to the Father in peace, “makes intercession for the transgressors” (Is. 53:12) and joins our prayers to His own, so that we are heard “because of his reverence” (Heb. 5:7). From His cross, He gives us His Spirit (John 19:30), washes us with water from His side and covers us with His blood (John 19:34).

 

Easter Sunrise

(01 April 2018)

Exodus 15:1–11; Ps. 118:15–29; 1 Corinthians 5:6b–8; John 20:1–18

Of the Day: LSB 467 Awake My Heart with Gladness

The Risen Lord Jesus Is Our Strength and Our Song, for He Has Become Our Salvation

O come, let us “sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously” (Ex. 15:1). By His cross, He has shattered the enemy, crushing sin and death beneath His feet; and in His resurrection, He has brought us out of Egypt into the freedom of the Gospel. He has called us out of darkness into light, and led us from confusion, fear and weeping into the joy and gladness of His resurrection. He is our strength and our song, and He has become our salvation (Ex. 15:2). Thus do we hear and respond to His voice of the Gospel, as He calls each of us by name. We enter His tomb by our Baptism into His death, and just as surely as He has risen, so we also “must rise from the dead” (John 20:9). “Let us therefore celebrate the festival” (1 Cor. 5:8), not in the revelry of self-indulgence, nor in the debauchery of lust, but in sincere faith and genuine love. For “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7). He has thereby set us free from sin and death, and now He feeds us with Himself unto life everlasting.

 

Easter Sunday

(01 April 2018)

Isaiah 25:6–9; Ps. 16:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1–11; Mark 16:1–8

Entrance: LSB 457 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

Of the Day: LSB 458 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

Offertory: LSB 459/460 Christ Is Arisen/Christians, to the Paschal Victim (Victimae Paschali)

Distribution: LSB 467 Awake, My Heart, with Gladness;

LSB 474 Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen;

LSB 633 At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing

Closing: LSB 462 All the Earth with Joy Is Sounding

The Risen Christ Has Swallowed Up Death Forever!

The entire fallen world is veiled in a funeral shroud “that is spread over all nations” and “cast over all peoples” (Is. 25:7). But the Lord of hosts, in the Person of the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ, has removed that terrible pall and swallowed up death forever. By submitting Himself to death, He burst it apart from the inside out. Now He wipes away all tears from our faces, and He invites us to “be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Is. 25:9). His body and His blood, crucified and risen, are given and poured out for us as a feast “of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined” (Is. 25:6). We enter that feast through Holy Baptism, whereby our old man is buried with Jesus Christ, and we are raised up in Him, “dressed in a white robe” of His perfect righteousness (Mark 16:5). What St. Paul and the other apostles received “by the grace of God” is also “delivered to you” by the preaching of Christ, “in which you stand, and by which you are being saved” (1 Cor. 15:1–11).

 

Easter Evening/Monday

(01/02 April 2018)

Exodus 15:1–18 or Daniel 12:1c–3; Ps. 100; Acts 10:34–43 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b–8; Luke 24:13–35 (36–49)

Of the Day: LSB 463 Christ the Lord is Risen Today

The Passover Lamb of God Is Known in the Breaking of the Bread

The celebration of Easter is a never-ending feast, because “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor. 5:7). “Let us therefore celebrate the festival” (1 Cor. 5:8), and let us “sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously” (Ex. 15:1). He is our strength and our song because He has become our salvation. “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day” (Acts 10:39). His chosen witnesses, “who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:41), now preach “forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). By this preaching, Jesus draws near and leads us to His holy abode. He opens the Scriptures to us, and He opens our minds to understand “the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). He opens our eyes to recognize His wounds and to know Him “in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:35). At His Table, He pours out the Spirit of His Father upon us, so that we shall be delivered; we shall be awakened from the dust of the earth, not to shame and everlasting contempt, but “to everlasting life” (Dan. 12:2).

 

Second Sunday Of Easter

(08 April 2018)

Acts 4:32–35; Ps. 148:1-14; 1 John 1:1—2:2; John 20:19–31

Entrance: LSB 487 Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain

Of the Day: LSB 471 O Sons and Daughters of the King

Offertory: LSB 603 We Know That Christ Is Raised

Distribution: LSB 472 These Things Did Thomas Count as Real;

LSB 720 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

Closing: LSB 917 Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise

The Risen Christ Breathes His Peace in the Holy Absolution

The crucified and risen Lord Jesus appeared to His apostles on the first Easter Sunday. He “came and stood among them,” and with His Word and the wounds in “his hands and his side,” He granted them His peace (John 20:19–20). He sent them as ministers of the Gospel in His name to bestow the life-giving Holy Spirit for us and for His whole Church through the forgiveness of sins (John 20:21–23). Through this apostolic ministry, He calls us to believe that He “is the Christ, the Son of God,” so that by such faith we “may have life in his name” (John 20:31). The apostles “have seen and heard” this divine life manifested in the flesh of Christ, and those who succeed them in this apostolic ministry now proclaim that same Absolution to us, so that we “too may have fellowship with the risen Christ, with the apostles and “with one another” (1 John 1:1–7). The one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church lives by “their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,” and all who believe this Word are “of one heart and soul,” because in Him they truly have “everything in common” (Acts 4:32–33).

 

Third Sunday Of Easter

(15 April 2018)

Acts 3:11–21; Ps. 4:1-8; 1 John 3:1–7; Luke 24:36–49

Entrance: LSB 483 With High Delight Let Us Unite

Of the Day: LSB 479 Christ Is Risen, Christ Is Living

Offertory: LSB 720 We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

Distribution: LSB 633 At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing;

LSB 482 This Joyful Eastertide

Closing: LSB 464 The Strife Is O’er, the Battle Done

The Preaching of Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins Makes Us Pure

The risen Lord Jesus taught His disciples “that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead” and “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:46–47). Therefore, St. Peter preaches repentance and forgiveness to the people of Jerusalem. As he proclaims that Jesus fulfilled all that “God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets” (Acts 3:18), he also convicts the people of their sin, because they “delivered over and denied” this Lord Jesus and “killed the Author of life.” Yet God “glorified his servant Jesus” and raised Him from the dead (Acts 3:13–15). St. Peter calls the people to repent, so that their “sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20). Through this forgiveness of sins and by faith in this forgiveness, the Father shows His love for us in order that “we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1). Thus, we hope in Him and are made pure even “as he is pure,” because “he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin” (1 John 3:3, 5).

 

Fourth Sunday Of Easter

(22 April 2018)

Acts 4:1–12; Ps. 23:1-6; 1 John 3:16–24; John 10:11–18

Entrance: LSB 475 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Sing

Of the Day: LSB 709 The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Offertory: LSB 588 Jesus Loves Me

Distribution: LSB 740 I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb;

LSB 711 Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us

Closing: LSB 473 Our Paschal Lamb, That Sets Us Free

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Lays Down His Life for the Sheep

The Lord Jesus is “the good shepherd” who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). His life is not taken from Him, but He lays it down willingly, of His own accord, because He knows and loves the sheep. As the One sent by the Father, He has the “authority to lay it down” and the “authority to take it up again” (John 10:18). So has He done, and now He continues to love and serve as the Good Shepherd of the sheep by the voice of His Gospel. He thus calls all people into the fold of His Church, so that there may be “one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16). That is why the apostles “were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:2). Since “there is salvation in no one else,” His voice rings out to this day through the preaching of His name, “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). His voice comforts our hearts against all condemnation and gives us courage to “love one another” and “to lay down our lives for the brothers,” as He laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16, 23).

 

Fifth Sunday Of Easter

(29 April 2018)

Acts 8:26–40; Ps. 150:1-6; 1 John 4:1–11 (12–21); John 15:1–8

Entrance: LSB 837 Lift High the Cross

Of the Day: LSB 474 Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen

Offertory: LSB 611 Chief of Sinners Though I Be

Distribution: LSB 633 At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing;

LSB 706 Love in Christ Is Strong and Living

Closing: LSB 768 To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray

Jesus Christ Is the True Vine Who Bears Much Fruit in Us

“God is love,” and He has manifested Himself to us by sending “his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9, 16). By the ministry of the Gospel, “he has given us of his Spirit,” so that we also believe and confess “that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” In this way, we “abide in him and he in us,” and we “love one another” (1 John 4:2, 7, 13). Such divine love is exemplified in Philip’s preaching of “the good news about Jesus” to the Ethiopian eunuch. And when “they came to some water,” the eunuch was baptized into the very Gospel that Philip had preached (Acts 8:35–38). That Ethiopian was thereby grafted into “the true vine,” Jesus Christ (John 15:1), just as we are. Already we are clean because of the Word that Christ has spoken to us and by the washing of water with His Word. We now abide in Him by faith in His forgiveness. As He abides in us, both body and soul, with His own body and His blood, He “bears much fruit” in us (John 15:3–5).

 

Sixth Sunday Of Easter

(06 May 2018)

Acts 10:34–48; Ps. 98:1-9; 1 John 5:1–8; John 15:9–17

Entrance: LSB 490 Jesus Lives! The Victory’s Won

Of the Day: LSB 556 Dear Christians, One and All, Rejoice

Offertory: LSB 597 Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying

Distribution: LSB 683 Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me;

LSB 542 When I Behold Jesus Christ

Closing: LSB 548 Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious

The Lord Jesus Is with His Church in the Apostolic Ministry of the Gospel

The crucified and risen Lord Jesus is with His Church through the word of His apostles, who “are witnesses of all that he did.” He was anointed by God “with the Holy Spirit and with power,” and “he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil,” and so He was with those whom He sent “to preach to the people” (Acts 10:38–42). The Holy Spirit is bestowed on those who hear that apostolic preaching, who are “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” so that “everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43–44, 48). For as He came by the water of His Baptism, even to the blood of His Passion, so the Spirit testifies to the truth with “the water and the blood” in the apostolic ministry of the Gospel (1 John 5:6–7). By these means, Christ Jesus speaks to us, that His joy may be in us and that our “joy may be full.” For this purpose, He appointed the apostles to “go and bear fruit” in order to make known His divine friendship to us (John 15:11, 15–16).

 

The Ascension Of Our Lord

(10 May 2018)

Acts 1:1–11; Ps. 47:1-9; Ephesians 1:15–23; Luke 24:44–53

Entrance: LSB 532 The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns

Of the Day: LSB 491 Up through Endless Ranks of Angels

Offertory: LSB 529 Since Our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus

Distribution: LSB 493 A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing;

LSB 494 See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph

Closing: LSB 339 Lift Up Your Heads, You Everlasting Doors

The Ascended Lord Jesus Is with Us Always in His Church on Earth

After He rose from the dead, the Lord Jesus presented Himself alive to the apostles, “appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). When He ascended to the right hand of the Father, He did not orphan His Church, but He fills all things in heaven and on earth and gives gifts to His disciples. Even now, through His Church, He continues “to do and teach” (Acts 1:1), preaching “repentance and forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:47), even “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Though the cloud hid Jesus from the sight of His disciples then, and He remains hidden from sight even now, He remains with His people through His Gospel and Sacraments. He comes to us by the word of His apostles, by the promise of His Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, whom He pours out upon “the church, which is his body” (Eph. 1:22–23). In this holy, Christian Church, we bless God and worship Christ with joy, for in His Church He blesses us with forgiveness, lifts us up in His hands and seats us with Himself “in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20).

 

Seventh Sunday Of Easter

(13 May 2018)

Acts 1:12–26; Ps. 1:1-6; 1 John 5:9–15; John 17:11b–19

Entrance: LSB 491 Up through Endless Ranks of Angels

Of the Day: LSB 539 Christ Is the World’s Redeemer

Offertory: LSB 771 Be Still, My Soul, before the Lord

Distribution: LSB 708 Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart;

LSB 821 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus

Closing: LSB 842 Son of God, Eternal Savior

Our Great High Priest Preserves Us in the Name of His Father

On the eve of His Passion, Christ Jesus intercedes for the disciples as their merciful and great High Priest. He prays that His Father would protect them “from the evil one” and preserve them in His name (John 17:11–12, 15). Along with His prayer, Christ Himself comes to the Father by His self-sacrifice upon the cross, thereby consecrating Himself for the sake of His disciples, “that they also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:19). To that same end, He speaks to them in the world and gives them His Father’s Word, that is, Himself. His apostles, in turn, have written these things “to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). For “this life is in his Son,” whom He has given by His Word, and “whoever has the Son has life” (1 John 5:11–12). By this apostolic testimony, disciples are gathered together “with one accord,” as one Body in Christ, “devoting themselves to prayer” and waiting upon the Lord in “the upper room” of His Church on earth (Acts 1:13–14).

 

 

Pentecost Eve

(19 May 2018)

Exodus 19:1–9; Ps. 113; Romans 8:12–17 (22–27); John 14:8–21

Of the Day: LSB 500: LSB Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid

Our Lord Makes Us His Holy People and Seals Us with His Spirit

At Mount Sinai, “Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God” (Ex. 19:2–3). Through Moses, God gave the Law and sealed His covenant through sacrifice. The Lord made Israel His “treasured possession among all peoples” as well as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:5–6), if they would listen to His voice and do what He had spoken. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, who has come down to us and gone up to God by the way of His death and resurrection. He has fulfilled the Law and poured out His own blood as the New Covenant. Therefore, “that the Father may be glorified in the Son,” He will do whatever we ask in His name (John 14:13–14). He gives “another Helper… even the Spirit of truth to be with us forever (John 14:16–17). The Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us “with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). Now we pray with confidence as we eagerly await “the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19).

 

The Day Of Pentecost

(20 May 2018)

Ezekiel 37:1–14; Ps. 139:1–12, 13–16; Acts 2:1–21; John 15:26–27; 16:4b–15

Entrance: LSB 497 Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord

Of the Day: LSB 502 Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven

Offertory: LSB 650 Holy Spirit, Ever Dwelling

Distribution: LSB 700 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling;

LSB 768 To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray

Closing: LSB 503 O Day Full of Grace

The Holy Spirit Brings the Dead to Life by the Righteousness of Christ

In returning to His Father by way of the cross and resurrection, Christ Jesus sends “the Helper” to His Church, that is, “the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father.” The Spirit testifies of Christ and glorifies Him, by taking what is His and declaring it to the world in the preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (John 15:26; 16:7, 14). He convicts the world of sin by the word of the Law, He forgives sins and justifies sinners by the Word of the Gospel, and He bestows the faith that says “Amen” to this righteousness of God (John 16:8–11). Therefore, the Lord pours out His Spirit on the apostles, that by their preaching, the Spirit should be given to His entire Church. As the multitudes are gathered from all the nations by “this sound,” that is, by the preaching of “the mighty works of God” in Christ Jesus, so does God the Father pour out the Spirit of His Son “on all flesh” (Acts 2:6, 11, 17). The Lord God breathes upon the slain, and so shall they live; for so the Lord has spoken, and He shall do it (Ezek. 37:5–14).

 

The Feast Of The Holy Trinity

(27 May 2018)

Isaiah 6:1–8; Ps. 29:1-11; Acts 2:14a, 22–36; John 3:1–17

Entrance: LSB 507 Holy, Holy, Holy

Of the Day: LSB 498 Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

Offertory: LSB 960 Isaiah, Mighty Seer in Days of Old

Distribution: LSB 565 Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ;

LSB 571 God Loved the World So That He Gave

Closing: LSB 822 Alleluia! Let Praises Ring

The Glory of the Lord of Hosts Shines in Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation

When Isaiah “saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,” he cried out and confessed that he was “a man of unclean lips.” If even the holy angels cover their faces in the presence of “the King, the Lord of hosts,” how can sinful humans stand before Him (Is. 6:1–5)? Yet, the glory of the Lord is saving grace, and with “a burning coal” from the altar the angel touched Isaiah’s lips, removing his guilt (Is. 6:6–7). Likewise, from the altar of Christ’s cross, by the ministry of the Gospel, “the whole earth is full of his glory” (Is. 6:3). For He was crucified, died and was buried, “according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,” and God “raised him up, loosing the pangs of death” (Acts 2:23–24). He “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33), and He raises up the fallen world by pouring out His life-giving Spirit upon sinners through His earthly Means of Grace. To give this saving gift, God sent His Son into the world, “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16–17).

 

Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 4B)

(3 June 2018)

Deuteronomy 5:12–15; Ps. 81:1-10; 2 Corinthians 4:5–12; Mark 2:23–28; 3:1–6

Entrance: LSB 906 O Day of Rest and Gladness
Of the Day: LSB 566 By Grace I’m Saved
Offertory: LSB 757 Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care
Distribution: LSB 627 Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior;
LSB 639 Wide Open Stand the Gates
Closing: LSB 849 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Christ Jesus Is the Sabbath Rest that Remains for the People of God Forevermore

The Lord brought the sons of Israel out of Egypt “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,” in order to give them rest (Deut. 5:15). When He commanded them to “observe the Sabbath day,” therefore, it meant not doing “any work” but resting in His works (Deut. 5:12, 14). So has the same Lord, Jesus Christ, come in the flesh to fulfill the Law and to become our Sabbath Rest. As David “entered the house of God,” and not only “ate the bread of the Presence” but “also gave it to those who were with him” (Mark 2:26), the Lord Jesus entered the Holy of Holies as our great High Priest, in order to feed us with His flesh as the true bread of the Presence of God. As “lord even of the Sabbath,” He works “to do good,” to heal and “to save life” (Mark 2:28; 3:2, 4). He brings us out of sin and death and gives us rest in His own crucified and risen body. Though it is given “in jars of clay,” the life of Jesus is thereby manifested in our bodies (2 Cor. 4:7–11).

 

Third Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 5B)

(10 June 2018)

Genesis 3:8–15; Ps. 130:1-8; 2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1; Mark 3:20–35

Entrance: LSB 825 Rise, Shine, You People

Of the Day: LSB 668 Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You

Offertory: LSB 569 In Adam We Have All Been One

Distribution: LSB 461 I Know that My Redeemer Lives;

LSB 714 Who Trusts in God a Strong Abode

Closing: LSB 672 Jerusalem the Golden

Jesus Has Defeated the Devil and Released Us from the Bondage of Sin and Death

The devil deceived us, enticing us to disregard and disobey the Word of God and driving us to hide “from the presence of the Lord God.” But the Lord, in His mercy, promised a Savior, who would set Himself against the devil on our behalf (Gen. 3:8–15). The Son of Man came, the incarnate Son of God, conceived and born of the woman. He “first binds the strong man,” Satan, by atoning for the sins of the world, thereby removing the condemnation of the Law and the fear of death (Mark 3:27). Now He plunders the devil’s house by calling all men to repent. Though He appears to be “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21), He fulfills the will of God and makes of us His own brothers and sisters. Therefore, “we do not lose heart,” despite the suffering, sin and death that we experience in this fallen world. “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus.” By His grace, we are “being renewed day by day.” For the Gospel is daily bringing us into His presence, not for punishment, but for “an eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:14–17).

 

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 6B)

(17 June 2018)

Ezekiel 17:22–24; Ps. 1:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:1–10, 11–17; Mark 4:26–34

Entrance: LSB 790 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Of the Day: LSB 834 O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth

Offertory: LSB 500 Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid

Distribution: LSB 625 Lord Jesus Christ, Life-Giving Bread;

LSB 742 For Me to Live Is Jesus

Closing: LSB 863 Our Father by Whose Name

The Cross of Christ Is the Tree of Life, Which Bears Abundant Fruit after Its Own Kind

The parables of our Lord convey the mysteries of the kingdom of God to those who are “able to hear it,” that is, “to his own disciples,” who are catechized to fear, love and trust in Him by faith (Mark 4:33–34). He scatters “seed on the ground,” which “sprouts and grows” unto life, even as “he sleeps and rises” (Mark 4:26–27). “On the mountain height of Israel,” He plants a young and tender twig, and it becomes “a noble cedar.” Indeed, His own cross becomes the Tree of Life, under which “every kind of bird” will dwell, and in which “birds of every sort will nest” (Ezek. 17:22–25). His cross is our resting place, even while now in mortal bodies, we “groan, being burdened” (2 Cor. 5:1–4). Yet in faith, we live for God in Christ, who for our sake “died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15). We know that, in His resurrected body, “we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).

 

 

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 7B)

(24 June 2018)

Job 38:1–11; Ps. 85:1-6, 7-13; 2 Corinthians 6:1–13; Mark 4:35–41

Entrance: LSB 819 Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good

Of the Day: LSB 726 Evening and Morning

Offertory: LSB 818 In Thee Is Gladness

Distribution: LSB 715 Jesus, Savior Pilot Me;

LSB 714 Who Trusts in God a Strong Abode

Closing: LSB 717 Eternal Father Strong to Save

The Word of Christ Bestows Peace on His Creation through His Forgiveness of Sins

In his anguish and affliction, Job must be reminded that, as a finite creature, he is in no position to question the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Job’s “words without knowledge” are unable to penetrate the wisdom of the Lord (Job 38:1–2). For the Lord has “prescribed limits” and “set bars and doors,” so that “here shall your proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:9–11). That’s how He humbles us unto repentance. But also by His powerful Word, He calms the “great windstorm” and the waves “breaking into the boat.” He does not permit the chaos of this fallen world to overwhelm us or bring us to despair. By the Word of His Gospel, He speaks “Peace!” to us, which bestows the “great calm” of His new creation (Mark 4:37–39). Therefore, do not be afraid, and do not receive this grace of God in vain. “Now is the favorable time,” and “now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:1–2).

 

OR

 

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist

(24 June 2018)

Isaiah 40:1–5; Ps. 85:1-6, 7-13; Acts 13:13–26; Luke 1:57–80

Entrance: LSB 936 Sing Praise to the God of Israel

Of the Day: LSB 346 When All the World Was Cursed

Offertory: LSB 511 Herald, Sound the Note of Judgment

Distribution: LSB 344 On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry;

LSB 545 Word of God, Come Down on Earth

Closing: LSB 345 Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding

St. John the Baptist Was Sent to Prepare the Way of the Lord

St. John the Baptist is not the Christ, only His forerunner (Acts 13:25). He was called from the womb to bring Jacob back to God through his Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Is. 49:5), just as Christ was the true Servant of the Lord. Miraculously conceived by Zechariah the priest of barren Elizabeth, John was marked to be the greatest born of women (Matt. 11:11). The Church rejoices over the Lord’s mercy just as Elizabeth’s neighbors and relatives did at John’s birth (Luke 1:58). But when Zechariah’s tongue was loosed, John was not the subject of his song. Instead, he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68). John is the voice crying, “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Is. 40:3); Jesus, the virgin-born Son of God, is that Lord. John is the prophet of the Most High” (Luke 1:76). He is born “to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,” because Christ the Dayspring is visiting (Luke 1:76–79). Thus, what John preaches is the comfort of iniquity pardoned by Jesus, the promised Savior of Israel (Acts 13:23), so that [His] salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Is. 49:6).

 

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 8B)

(01 July 2018)

Lamentations 3:22–33; Ps. 30:1-12; 2 Corinthians 8:1–9, 13–15; Mark 5:21–43

Entrance: LSB 809 Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Of the Day: LSB 552 O Christ, Who Shared Our Mortal Life

Offertory: LSB 846 Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old

Distribution: LSB 750 If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee;

LSB 755 In the Very Midst of Life

Closing: LSB 548 Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious

The Lord Jesus Is Faithful, and in Mercy He Raises You Up from Death to Life

The Lord is faithful. His steadfast love never ceases, and “his mercies never come to an end” (Lam. 3:22–23). To keep us in repentance and to make our faith grow, He causes grief for a while, but He does not cast off forever; in due time, “he will have compassion” (Lam. 3:31–33). Therefore, “hope in him,” and “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,” for “the Lord is good to those who wait for him” (Lam. 3:24–26). That is what the woman did who had “a discharge of blood,” and also the ruler whose daughter was “at the point of death.” Each waited on the mercy of the Lord Jesus, and each received His saving help (Mark 5:21–28). The woman had suffered much for 12 years, and the ruler’s daughter had already died before Jesus arrived. Yet at the right time, the woman was immediately “healed of her disease,” and the little girl “got up and began walking” (Mark 5:29, 42). Such is “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who humbled Himself unto the extreme poverty of death “so that you by his poverty might become rich,” even unto life everlasting (2 Cor. 8:9).


 

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 9B)

(08 July 2018)

Ezekiel 2:1–5; Ps. 123:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:1–10; Mark 6:1–13

Entrance: LSB 836 O God of Light

Of the Day: LSB 839 O Christ, Our True and Only Light

Offertory: LSB 612 As Rebels, Lord, Who Foolishly Have Wandered

Distribution: LSB 856 O Christ, Who Called the Twelve;

LSB 728 How Firm a Foundation

Closing: LSB 965 God Bless Our Native Land

The Ministers of Christ Are Sent with His Authority to Forgive Sins and Give Life

The prophet Ezekiel was raised up by the Spirit of the Lord and sent to speak an unpopular Word to the rebellious house of Israel. As a prophet, he was not to speak his own word, but to preach the Law and the Gospel: “Thus says the Lord God,” whether the people “hear or refuse to hear” (Ezek. 2:4–5). So, too, in the footsteps of the prophets before Him, the Lord Jesus “went about among the villages teaching” (Mark 6:6). In His hometown, as elsewhere, “many who heard him were astonished,” marveling at His wisdom and at the “mighty works done by his hands,” and yet “they took offense at him” (Mark 6:2–3). The offense culminates in His cross, which is, ironically, the heart and center of His “authority over the unclean spirits” (Mark 6:7). It is by that authority of His cross that those He sends preach repentance, “cast out many demons” and heal the sick (Mark 6:12–13). Thus, the apostle Paul boasts in the cross of Christ and in his own weaknesses, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and that the power of Christ “is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:8–9).

 

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 10B)

(15 July 2018)

Amos 7:7–15; Ps. 85:1-7, 8-13; Ephesians 1:3–14; Mark 6:14–29

Entrance: LSB 913 O Holy Spirit, Enter In

Of the Day: LSB 743 Jesus, Priceless Treasure

Offertory: LSB 529 Since Our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus

Distribution: LSB 713 From God Can Nothing Move Me

LSB 716 I Walk in Danger All the Way

Closing: LSB 518 By All Your Saints in Warfare

The Lord Jesus Brings His People through Death into Life by the Preaching of Repentance

Amos did not choose to be a prophet, but the Lord took him “from following the flock” and said to him, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel” (Amos 7:15). It was a hard word given him to preach: King Jeroboam would “die by the sword,” and Israel would “go into exile away from his land” (Amos 7:10–11). For this word, Amos was hated and threatened. St. John the Baptist also suffered for his faithful preaching of repentance. King Herod “sent and seized John and bound him in prison,” even though he knew that John “was a righteous and holy man” (Mark 6:17, 20). Out of pride and fear, Herod “sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head” (Mark 6:27). Yet in Christ, St. John the Baptist “has been raised from the dead” (Mark 6:14, 16). For Christ is the destruction of death itself “before the foundation of the world,” and even now by faith, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” has blessed us in Christ “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3–4). Through Baptism into Christ, you also “were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” for life and salvation (Eph. 1:13).

 

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 11B)

(22 July 2018)

Jeremiah 23:1–6; Ps. 23:1-6; Ephesians 2:11–22 Mark 6:30–44

Entrance: LSB 909 Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

Of the Day: LSB 644 The Church’s One Foundation

Offertory: LSB 710 The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want

Distribution: LSB 625 Lord Jesus Christ, Life-Giving Bread;

LSB 709 The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Closing: LSB 646 Church of God, Elect and Glorious

The Lord Jesus Shepherds His Church on Earth by the Ministry of the Gospel

The Lord rebukes and removes “the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep” (Jer. 23:1). He gathers the flock, brings them back to the fold, and sets “shepherds over them who will care for them” (Jer. 23:3–4). He raises up the Son of David, the great Good Shepherd, to “reign as king and deal wisely” (Jer. 23:5). He is “our righteousness,” in whom we “dwell securely” (Jer. 23:6). He has compassion on all of us, who were “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). Not only does He teach us many things, but taking the bread, He blesses and breaks and gives it to the disciples “to set before the people” (Mark 6:41). He abundantly provides for His Church on earth, so that everyone is fed and fully satisfied in body and soul. He preaches peace “to you who were far off,” and “by the blood of Christ,” He brings you near (Eph. 2:13, 17). Though you were “separated from Christ” by your sin, “having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), now “you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).

 

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 12B)

(29 July 2018)

Genesis 9:8–17; Ps. 136:1-9; Ephesians 3:14–21; Mark 6:45–56

Entrance: LSB 849 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Of the Day: LSB 754 Entrust Your Days and Burdens

Offertory: LSB 535 How Wide the Love of Christ

Distribution: LSB 809 Great Is Thy Faithfulness;

LSB 715 Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me

Closing: LSB 717 Eternal Father, Strong to Save

Creation Is Redeemed and Sanctified by the Word of Christ Jesus

Having spared faithful Noah and his family from the flood, the Lord established His covenant with them, “and with every living creature,” that never again would there be “a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen. 9:9–11). He signed and sealed this everlasting covenant with His rainbow in the clouds, by which He sees and remembers His promise that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh” (Gen. 9:13–16). Although creation suffers under the curse of sin, the Lord preserves and orders creation for the benefit of His Church. In particular, all of creation is redeemed and sanctified by the incarnate Son of God. “Take heart,” and “do not be afraid,” for He is with you on the sea. He is not a ghost, but He has come in the flesh to save you. He has gotten “into the boat” with you, and the wind that was against you has ceased (Mark 6:45–51). For He is the Word and promise of the Father, and His own flesh and blood are the covenant by which you are “strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Eph. 3:16–17).

 

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 13B)

(05 August 2018)

Exodus 16:2–15; Ps. 145:10-21; Ephesians 4:1–16; John 6:22–35

Entrance: LSB 816 From All that Dwell Below the Skies

Of the Day: LSB 699 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Offertory: LSB 774 Feed Thy Children, God Most Holy

Distribution: LSB 633 At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing;

LSB 641 You Satisfy the Hungry Heart

Closing: LSB 918 Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Jesus Is the True and Living Bread from Heaven

Having rescued Israel “out of the land of Egypt” (Ex. 16:6), the Lord manifested His glory and made Himself known to His people. He fed them with “meat to eat” in the evening and with “bread from heaven” in the morning (Ex. 16:4, 8, 12). But now, the “true bread from heaven,” which the Father gives to you, is the Son, “who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32–33). Whoever comes to Him “shall not hunger,” and whoever believes in Him “shall never thirst.” He is “the bread of life,” who gives Himself to you as “the food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27, 35). By the gracious working of God, you believe in Him by the calling of one Spirit through the Gospel, so that you also have “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Eph. 4:4–6). As you eat His one body in the Holy Supper, so you belong to the one body of His Church, in which you “are to grow up in every way into him who is the head” (Eph. 4:15).

 

 

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 14)

(12 August 2018)

1 Kings 19:1–8; Ps. 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:17—5:2; John 6:35–51

Entrance: LSB 684 Come unto Me, Ye Weary

Of the Day: LSB 534 Lord, Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor

Offertory: LSB 774 Feed Thy Children, God Most Holy

Distribution: LSB 625 Lord Jesus Christ, Life-Giving Bread;

LSB 641 You Satisfy the Hungry Heart

Closing: LSB 610 Lord Jesus, Think on Me

The Lord Jesus Feeds Us with His Flesh, in Order to Strengthen Us with His Own Life

God the Father sent His Son into the world, so that the world might have life in Him. Now He draws” you to His Son, Christ Jesus, by the preaching of His Gospel. “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father” comes to Jesus, who will never cast him out but “will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44–45). He is “the bread of life,” who “comes down from heaven” in the flesh, that you may eat of Him and “live forever” (John 6:48–51). Although “the journey is too great for you,” in the strength of this food you shall come to “the mount of God.” Do not be afraid, and do not despair, but “arise and eat” (1 Kings 19:5–8). And “no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds” (Eph. 4:17), but “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph. 5:2). In Him, you have been “created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). Therefore, “be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph. 5:1), by “forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).

 

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 15)

(19 August 2018)

Proverbs 9:1–10 or Joshua 24:1–2a, 14–18; Ps. 34:12-22; Ephesians 5:6–21; John 6:51–69

Entrance: 825 Rise, Shine, You People

Of the Day: LSB 696 O God, My Faithful God

Offertory: LSB 411 I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

Distribution: LSB 811 Oh, That I Had a Thousand Voices;

LSB 625 Lord Jesus Christ, Life-Giving Bread

Closing: LSB 818 In Thee Is Gladness

Jesus Is the Word and Wisdom of God, Who Gives You Life and Light in His Flesh

Jesus is the divine Word by whom all things were made, who has become flesh and dwells among us. He gives His flesh “for the life of the world,” not only as a sacrifice for sin but as “the living bread from heaven (John 6:51). Eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6:54–57), and no longer walk in the darkness of sin, but walk in His light. “Arise from the dead” and live in Him, because you are “light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8, 14). Being filled with His Spirit, confess Him to “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Eph. 5:18–19). Fear, love and trust in Him, “and serve him in sincerity and faithfulness” (Josh. 24:14). For He has brought you “out of the house of slavery” by His cross and resurrection, and now He does “great signs” in your sight (Josh. 24:17). Indeed, He is the divine wisdom, who has built His house, prepared His feast and set His table; He bids you to recline and eat of His bread and drink of the wine He has mixed (Prov. 9:1–5).

 

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 16)

(26 August 2018)

Isaiah 29:11–19; Ps. 14:1-7; Ephesians 5:22–33; Mark 7:1–13

Entrance: LSB 822 Alleluia! Let Praises Ring

Of the Day: LSB 585 Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide

Offertory: LSB 582 God’s Word Is Our Great Heritage

Distribution: LSB 655 Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word;

LSB 689 Let Me Be Thine Forever

Closing: LSB 865 Lord, Help Us Ever to Retain

The True Tradition of the Church Is the Ministry of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, Her Savior

The true tradition of the Church is the Gospel, which is the preaching and administration of Christ Jesus. Other traditions, although not commanded by God, may serve and support that sacred tradition of the Gospel. But the Church dare not “[reject] the commandment of God” in order to establish or hold to “the tradition of men” (Mark 7:8–9). Sinful people attempt to draw near to the Lord “with their mouth and to honor Him “with their lips,” while their hearts are far removed from Him (Is. 29:13). Yet, He is “the Holy One of Israel,” who brings about salvation by His cross. Therefore, “the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,” but “the deaf shall hear” and “the eyes of the blind shall see” (Is. 29:14–19). This mystery of Christ is profound, for He is the Husband of the Church, and He is her Savior. Not because of any works that she has done, but solely for the sake of His great love, He “gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Eph. 5:25–26).

 

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 17)

(02 September 2018)

Deuteronomy 4:1–2, 6–9; Ps. 119:129-136; Ephesians 6:10–20; Mark 7:14–23

Entrance: LSB 905 Come, Thou Almighty King

Of the Day: LSB 566 By Grace I’m Saved

Offertory: LSB 665 Be Strong in the Lord

Distribution: LSB 565 Thy Works, Not Mine, O Christ

LSB 559 Oh, How Great Is Your Compassion

Closing: LSB 664 Fight the Good Fight

We Are Cleansed and Sustained by the Word of God

Wickedness and evil come “from within, out of the heart,” and that is what defiles a person (Mark 7:21–23). Hence, we cannot save ourselves, because we are sinful and unclean from the inside out. But as the Lord Jesus “declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19), so He cleanses us by His Word, by the preaching of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Therefore, “listen to the statutes and the rules” of the Lord, “and do them, that you may live” (Deut. 4:1). For His Word is righteous, and to live according to it is “your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples” (Deut. 4:6). Cling to His Word, and also teach it “to your children and your children’s children” (Deut. 4:9). Put on this “armor of God” by hearing and heeding what He speaks to you, that you may “stand firm” in the evil day (Eph. 6:11–13). Gird yourself with the righteousness of Christ, by faith in the “gospel of peace,” and take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” by confessing Christ Jesus and “praying at all times in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:14–18).

 

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 18)

(09 September 2018)

Isaiah 35:4–7; Ps. 146:1-10; James 2:1–10, 14–18; Mark 7:24–30, 31–37

Entrance: LSB 797 Praise the Almighty

Of the Day: LSB 768 To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray

Offertory: LSB 545 Word of God, Come Down on Earth

Distribution: LSB 524 How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds;

LSB 848 Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service

Closing: LSB 528 Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

Our Merciful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Does All Things Well

The Lord proclaims the Gospel “to those who have an anxious heart” to comfort and encourage them with His presence. He comes not only with threats of “vengeance” and “recompense,” but with His gracious salvation (Is. 35:4). He opens “the eyes of the blind” and “the ears of the deaf,” and He loosens “the tongue of the mute” to “sing for joy” (Is. 35:5–6). Like water on thirsty ground, He speaks His life-giving Word to people of all nations. With His Word and the touch of His hand, He does “all things well,” so that you may now speak “plainly” (Mark 7:31–37). You confess the truth of God in Christ to the glory of His holy name, and you call upon His name in every trouble, confident that He will hear and answer. As you pray and confess with your tongue, so also “love your neighbor as yourself” (James 2:8). Show your faith “in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory,” by loving without partiality. For God has “chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom” (James 2:1–5).

 

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 19)

(16 September 2018)

Isaiah 50:4–10; Ps. 116:1-9; James 3:1–12; Mark 9:14–29

Entrance: LSB 819 Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good

Of the Day: LSB 713 From God Can Nothing Move Me

Offertory: LSB 545 Word of God, Come Down on Earth

Distribution: LSB 533 Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure;

LSB 846 Your Hand, O Lord, in Days of Old

Closing: LSB 849 Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness

Christ Jesus Delivers Us from Sin, Death and the Devil

Those who teach the Word of God “will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1) because it is by the Word that saving faith is obtained, whereas false doctrine always threatens to destroy Christian faith and life. The tongue “boasts of great things,” whether for good or evil (James 3:5). In fallen man, “it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). But anyone who bridles his tongue with the Word of God, who “does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man” (James 3:2). It is Christ who opens His ear to the voice of His Father, so that, with “the tongue of those who are taught,” He is able to sustain the weary “with a word” (Is. 50:4–5). Entrusting Himself to His Father, even to death, He is not put to shame but is vindicated in His resurrection (Is. 50:6–9). By His faith and faithfulness, He casts out the “mute and deaf spirit” from us (Mark 9:25). He has compassion on us and helps us, so that we are not destroyed but cleansed from every evil and raised up from death to life (Mark 9:22–27).

 

Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 20)

(23 September 2018)

Jeremiah 11:18–20; Ps. 34:1-22; James 3:13—4:10; Mark 9:30–37

Entrance: LSB 473 Our Paschal Lamb, That Sets Us Free

Of the Day: LSB 851 Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us

Offertory: LSB 605 Father Welcomes

Distribution: LSB 706 Love in Christ Is Strong and Living;

LSB 725 Children of the Heavenly Father

Closing: LSB 661 The Son of God Goes Forth to War

Our Father Cares for His Children with the Gospel of His Son

The sinful heart is filled with “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” (James 3:14), which causes hostility, quarrels and conflicts, even among those who are fellow members of the body of Christ. This should not be so! Rather, God “opposes the proud” with His Law, in order to humble them unto repentance; He “gives grace to the humble,” in order to exalt them by His Gospel of forgiveness (James 4:6–10). This true “wisdom from above” is found in the gentleness, mercy and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself and sacrificed Himself for the salvation of sinners (James 3:17). He was “like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter,” committing Himself to God, His Father, “who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind” (Jer. 11:19–20). Therefore, “after three days,” His Father exalted Him by raising Him from the dead (Mark 9:31). In Holy Baptism, He takes disciples of all ages into His arms like little children. In receiving Him through repentance and faith in His forgiveness of sins, they receive from His Father a share in the glory of His cross and resurrection (Mark 9:36–37).

 

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21)

(30 September 2018)

Numbers 11:4–6, 10–16, 24–29; Ps. 104:27-35; James 5:1–12, 13–20; Mark 9:38–50

Entrance: LSB 802 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise

Of the Day: 505 Triune God, Be Thou Our Stay

Offertory: LSB 843 “Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive”

Distribution: LSB 690 Hope of the World;

LSB 768 To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray

Closing: LSB 854 Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go

Christ Jesus, the Son of God, Cares for Us and Serves Us with the Forgiveness of Sins

When the people of Israel wept, complaining that they had no meat to eat (Num. 11:4), Moses cried out to the Lord that “the burden of all this people” was too heavy for him and that he was “not able to carry all this people alone” (Num. 11:11–14). So the Lord had Moses gather “seventy men of the elders of Israel” (Num. 11:16), and the Lord “took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders” (Num. 11:25), so that Moses would not carry the burden alone. All who thus labor are honored, and all the people are cared for, in the name of the Lord (Mark 9:39–41). Everything is done with reference to Christ Jesus. So we cling to Him, and we flee from all sins that would separate us from Him (Mark 9:42–48). The life of the Church is one of repentant faith in Christ. Christians confess their sins to one another, and they “pray for one another,” that each would be raised up and healed by the Lord Jesus, who covers “a multitude of sins” and saves our souls from death (James 5:15–20).

 

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22)

(07 October 2018)

Genesis 2:18–25; Ps. 128:1-6; Hebrews 2:1–13 14–18; Mark 10:2–16

Entrance: LSB 532 The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns

Of the Day: LSB 863 Our Father, by Whose Name

Offertory: LSB 594 God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It

Distribution: LSB 529 Since Our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus;

LSB 706 Love in Christ Is Strong and Living

Closing: LSB 862 Oh, Blest the House

Marriage Is a Sign that Manifests the Gospel of Christ and His Church

Humanity is created in the image and likeness of God. “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18). For the Lord Himself is a perfect communion of three Persons — the Father, Son and Holy Spirit — in one God. Therefore, “the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs,” which “he made into a woman” and brought “to the man” (Gen. 2:21–22). It is for this reason that “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24; Mark 10:7). This great mystery of holy marriage signifies Christ Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, and His Bride, the Church. Divorce and all manner of adultery contradict and undermine this sign, and in doing so, they confess a false Christ and a false gospel. “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). In truth, Christ Jesus has atoned for all such sins, and He has perfected marriage in Himself “through suffering,” that He might bring “many sons to glory” in His resurrection (Heb. 2:8–10).


Courtesy: LCMS