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).


Courtesy: LCMS