February 4th, 2018

Sexagesima


Epistle: 2 Cor. 11:19-12:9


19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! 20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. 21 To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.

Suffering for Christ
    22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.
The Vision of Paradise
 1 It is doubtless[a] not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.
The Thorn in the Flesh
    7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Footnotes:2 Corinthians 12:1 NU-Text reads necessary, though not profitable, to boast.


Gospel: Luke 8:4-15


The Parable of the Sower

    4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. 8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

    9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” 10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that
      ‘ Seeing they may not see,
      And hearing they may not understand.’[a]

The Parable of the Sower Explained

    11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

Footnotes:Luke 8:10 Isaiah 6:9


Old Testament: Isaiah 55:10-13


10 “ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
      And do not return there,
      But water the earth,
      And make it bring forth and bud,
      That it may give seed to the sower
      And bread to the eater,
       11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
      It shall not return to Me void,
      But it shall accomplish what I please,
      And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
       12 “ For you shall go out with joy,
      And be led out with peace;
      The mountains and the hills
      Shall break forth into singing before you,
      And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
       13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
      And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
      And it shall be to the LORD for a name,
      For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”



Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 24


A Psalm of David.

 1 The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
         The world and those who dwell therein.
 2 For He has founded it upon the seas,
         And established it upon the waters.
         
 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
         Or who may stand in His holy place?
 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
         Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
         Nor sworn deceitfully.
 5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
         And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
 6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
         Who seek Your face.  Selah  
         
 7 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
         And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
         And the King of glory shall come in.
 8 Who is this King of glory?
         The LORD strong and mighty,
         The LORD mighty in battle.
 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
         Lift up, you everlasting doors!
         And the King of glory shall come in.
 10 Who is this King of glory?
         The LORD of hosts,
         He is the King of glory.  Selah  



Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 25


A Psalm of David.

 1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
 2 O my God, I trust in You;
         Let me not be ashamed;
         Let not my enemies triumph over me.
 3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
         Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
         
 4 Show me Your ways, O LORD;
         Teach me Your paths.
 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
         For You are the God of my salvation;
         On You I wait all the day.
         
 6 Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
         For they are from of old.
 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
         According to Your mercy remember me,
         For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.
         
 8 Good and upright is the LORD;
         Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
 9 The humble He guides in justice,
         And the humble He teaches His way.
 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth,
         To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
 11 For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
         Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
         
 12 Who is the man that fears the LORD?
         Him shall He[a] teach in the way He[b] chooses.
 13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity,
         And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
 14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him,
         And He will show them His covenant.
 15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
         For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
         
 16 Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
         For I am desolate and afflicted.
 17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged;
         Bring me out of my distresses!
 18 Look on my affliction and my pain,
         And forgive all my sins.
 19 Consider my enemies, for they are many;
         And they hate me with cruel hatred.
 20 Keep my soul, and deliver me;
         Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
         For I wait for You.
         
 22 Redeem Israel, O God,
         Out of all their troubles!

Footnotes:Psalm 25:12 Or he Psalm 25:12 Or he


Collect

O God, who seest that we put not our trust in anything that we do, mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament (LSB): Isaiah 55:10-13


10 “ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
      And do not return there,
      But water the earth,
      And make it bring forth and bud,
      That it may give seed to the sower
      And bread to the eater,
       11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
      It shall not return to Me void,
      But it shall accomplish what I please,
      And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
       12 “ For you shall go out with joy,
      And be led out with peace;
      The mountains and the hills
      Shall break forth into singing before you,
      And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
       13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
      And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
      And it shall be to the LORD for a name,
      For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”



Collect (LSB)

O God, the Strength of all who put their trust in You, mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Collecta Latina

Deus qui conspicis, quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus, concede propitius ut contra omnia mundi pericula, et Diaboli tentationes tua benignitate muniamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus. Per omnia secula seculorum, Amen.

Explanation of the Week

The Sower sows the Seed of His Word. (Lk 8:4-15) This Word is living and powerful (Heb 4:9-13) to conceive new life in those who hear it. But the planting of Christ is attacked by the devil, the world, and the flesh. Satan snatches the Word away from hard hearts. The riches and pleasures of this life choke off faith. Shallow and emotional belief withers in time of temptation and trouble. But see how Christ bears this attack for us! Christ's cross was planted in the hard and rocky soil of Golgotha. A crown of thorns was placed upon His head. Satan and His demons hellishly hounded and devoured Him. Yet, through His dying and rising again, He destroyed these enemies of ours. Jesus is Himself the Seed which fell to the ground and died in order that it might sprout forth to new life and produce much grain. In Him the weak are strong. (2 Cor 11:19 - 12:9) He is the Word of the Father which does not return void (Is 55:10-13) but yields a hundredfold.

Introit

Antiphon:
Awake! Why do You | sleep, O Lord?*
     Arise! Do not cast us off for- | ever.
For our soul is bowed down | to the dust;*
     arise for our help and re- | deem us. (Psalm 44:23, 25-26)

Psalm:
We have heard with our | ears, O God,*
     our fathers have told us the deeds You did in | days of old:
You drove out the nations | with Your hand,*
     but you planted our fathers because you | favored them.
You have saved us from our | enemies,*
     and have put to shame those who | hated us.
In God we boast | all day long,*
     and praise Your name for- | ever. (Psalm 44:1-3, 7-8)

Offertory

Uphold my steps in Your paths, That my footsteps may not slip. Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous loving-kindness by Your right hand, O Lord, O You who save those who trust in You. (Psalm 17)

Gradual

Let the nations know that You, whose name alone | is the LORD,*
     are the Most High over | all the earth.
O my God, make them like the | whirling dust,*
     like the chaff be- | fore the wind! (Psalm 83:18, 13)

Verse

O God, You have | cast us off;*
     You have bro- | ken us down;
You have | been displeased;*
     oh, restore | us again!
You have made the earth tremble; You have | broken it;*
     heal its breaches, for it is | shaking.
That Your beloved may be de- | livered,*
     save with Your right hand, and | hear me. (Psalm 60:1–2, 5)

First Reading: Job 1:1-22


Job and His Family in Uz

 1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. 2 And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. 4 And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed[a] God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

Satan Attacks Job’s Character

    6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” 9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Job Loses His Property and Children

    13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 when the Sabeans[c] raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 16 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 17 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across[d] the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said:
      “ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
      And naked shall I return there.
      The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
      Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Footnotes:Job 1:5 Literally blessed, but used here in the evil sense, and so in verse 11 and 2:5, 9 Job 1:6 Literally the Adversary, and so throughout this book Job 1:15 Literally Sheba (compare 6:19) Job 1:19 Septuagint omits across.


Second Reading: John 1:1-18


The Eternal Word

 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.

John’s Witness: The True Light

    6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.[b] 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own,[c] and His own[d] did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Word Becomes Flesh

    14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” 16 And[e] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[f] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Footnotes:John 1:5 Or overcome John 1:9 Or That was the true Light which, coming into the world, gives light to every man. John 1:11 That is, His own things or domain John 1:11 That is, His own people John 1:16 NU-Text reads For. John 1:18 NU-Text reads only begotten God.


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