January 25th, 2018

The Conversion of Saint Paul

Collect (LSB)

Almighty God, You turned the heart of him who persecuted the Church and by his preaching caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world. Grant us ever to rejoice in the saving light of Your Gospel and, following the example of the apostle Paul, to spread it to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Old Testament (LSB): Acts 9:1-22

The Damascus Road: Saul Converted

 1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Ananias Baptizes Saul

    10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus,[b] who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

Saul Preaches Christ

    20 Immediately he preached the Christ[c] in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. 21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

Footnotes:Acts 9:5 NU-Text and M-Text omit the last sentence of verse 5 and begin verse 6 with But arise and go. Acts 9:17 M-Text omits Jesus. Acts 9:20 NU-Text reads Jesus.

Epistle: Gal. 1:11-24

Call to Apostleship

    11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Contacts at Jerusalem

    18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter,[a] and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.) 21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.

Footnotes:Galatians 1:18 NU-Text reads Cephas.

Gospel: Matt. 19:27-30

27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[a] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Footnotes:Matthew 19:29 NU-Text omits or wife.

First Reading: Zech. 1:1-21

A Call to Repentance

 1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, 2 “The LORD has been very angry with your fathers. 3 Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. 4 “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the LORD.
       5 “ Your fathers, where are they?
      And the prophets, do they live forever?
       6 Yet surely My words and My statutes,
      Which I commanded My servants the prophets,
      Did they not overtake your fathers? “So they returned and said:
      ‘ Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us,
      According to our ways and according to our deeds,
      So He has dealt with us.’”’”

Vision of the Horses

    7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet: 8 I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white. 9 Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” So the angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.” 10 And the man who stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, “These are the ones whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro throughout the earth.” 11 So they answered the Angel of the LORD, who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, “We have walked to and fro throughout the earth, and behold, all the earth is resting quietly.”

The LORD Will Comfort Zion

    12 Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?” 13 And the LORD answered the angel who talked to me, with good and comforting words. 14 So the angel who spoke with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:
      “ I am zealous for Jerusalem
      And for Zion with great zeal.
       15 I am exceedingly angry with the nations at ease;
      For I was a little angry,
      And they helped—but with evil intent.” 16 ‘Therefore thus says the LORD:
      “ I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
      My house shall be built in it,” says the LORD of hosts,
      “ And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”’ 17 “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:
      “ My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
      The LORD will again comfort Zion,
      And will again choose Jerusalem.”’”

Vision of the Horns

    18 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were four horns. 19 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these?” So he answered me, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” 20 Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen. 21 And I said, “What are these coming to do?” So he said, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, so that no one could lift up his head; but the craftsmen[a] are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”

Footnotes:Zechariah 1:21 Literally these

Second Reading: Rom. 14:1-23

The Law of Liberty

 1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;[a] and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose[b] and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.[c] 11 For it is written:
      “ As I live, says the LORD,
      Every knee shall bow to Me,
      And every tongue shall confess to God.”[d] 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

The Law of Love

    14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things[e]is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.[f] 22 Do you have faith?[g] Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.[h]

Footnotes:Romans 14:6 NU-Text omits the rest of this sentence. Romans 14:9 NU-Text omits and rose. Romans 14:10 NU-Text reads of God. Romans 14:11 Isaiah 45:23 Romans 14:18 NU-Text reads this. Romans 14:21 NU-Text omits or is offended or is made weak. Romans 14:22 NU-Text reads The faith which you have—have. Romans 14:23 M-Text puts Romans 16:25–27 here.


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