December 21st, 2017

St. Thomas the Apostle


Collect (LSB)

Almighty and ever-living God, You strengthened Your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of Your Son. Grant us such faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that we may never be found wanting in Your sight; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Old Testament (LSB): Judges 6:36-40


The Sign of the Fleece

    36 So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.



Epistle: Eph. 1:3-6


Redemption in Christ

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.



Gospel: John 20:24-31


Seeing and Believing

    24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

That You May Believe

    30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Footnotes:John 20:29 NU-Text and M-Text omit Thomas.


First Reading: Is. 42:1-25


The Servant of the LORD

 1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
      My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
      I have put My Spirit upon Him;
      He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
       2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
      Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
       3 A bruised reed He will not break,
      And smoking flax He will not quench;
      He will bring forth justice for truth.
       4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
      Till He has established justice in the earth;
      And the coastlands shall wait for His law.”
       5 Thus says God the LORD,
      Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
      Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
      Who gives breath to the people on it,
      And spirit to those who walk on it:
       6 “ I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness,
      And will hold Your hand;
      I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
      As a light to the Gentiles,
       7 To open blind eyes,
      To bring out prisoners from the prison,
      Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
       8 I am the LORD, that is My name;
      And My glory I will not give to another,
      Nor My praise to carved images.
       9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
      And new things I declare;
      Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Praise to the LORD

    10 Sing to the LORD a new song,
      And His praise from the ends of the earth,
      You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
      You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
       11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice,
      The villages that Kedar inhabits.
      Let the inhabitants of Sela sing,
      Let them shout from the top of the mountains.
       12 Let them give glory to the LORD,
      And declare His praise in the coastlands.
       13 The LORD shall go forth like a mighty man;
      He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.
      He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud;
      He shall prevail against His enemies.

Promise of the LORD’s Help

    14 “ I have held My peace a long time,
      I have been still and restrained Myself.
      Now I will cry like a woman in labor,
      I will pant and gasp at once.
       15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills,
      And dry up all their vegetation;
      I will make the rivers coastlands,
      And I will dry up the pools.
       16 I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
      I will lead them in paths they have not known.
      I will make darkness light before them,
      And crooked places straight.
      These things I will do for them,
      And not forsake them.
       17 They shall be turned back,
      They shall be greatly ashamed,
      Who trust in carved images,
      Who say to the molded images,
      ‘ You are our gods.’
       18 “ Hear, you deaf;
      And look, you blind, that you may see.
       19 Who is blind but My servant,
      Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?
      Who is blind as he who is perfect,
      And blind as the LORD’s servant?
       20 Seeing many things, but you do not observe;
      Opening the ears, but he does not hear.”

Israel’s Obstinate Disobedience

    21 The LORD is well pleased for His righteousness’ sake;
      He will exalt the law and make it honorable.
       22 But this is a people robbed and plundered;
      All of them are snared in holes,
      And they are hidden in prison houses;
      They are for prey, and no one delivers;
      For plunder, and no one says, “Restore!”
       23 Who among you will give ear to this?
      Who will listen and hear for the time to come?
       24 Who gave Jacob for plunder, and Israel to the robbers?
      Was it not the LORD,
      He against whom we have sinned?
      For they would not walk in His ways,
      Nor were they obedient to His law.
       25 Therefore He has poured on him the fury of His anger
      And the strength of battle;
      It has set him on fire all around,
      Yet he did not know;
      And it burned him,
      Yet he did not take it to heart.



Second Reading: Rev. 9:1-12


Fifth Trumpet: The Locusts from the Bottomless Pit

 1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.



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