February 14th, 2018

Ash Wednesday


First Reading: Gen. 1:1-19


The History of Creation
 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7 Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Footnotes:Genesis 1:2 Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.


Second Reading: Mk. 1:1-13


John the Baptist Prepares the Way
 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets:[a]
      “ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
      Who will prepare Your way before You.”[b]
       3 “ The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      ‘ Prepare the way of the LORD;
      Make His paths straight.’”[c] 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
John Baptizes Jesus
    9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from[d] the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Satan Tempts Jesus
    12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

Footnotes:Mark 1:2 NU-Text reads Isaiah the prophet. Mark 1:2 Malachi 3:1 Mark 1:3 Isaiah 40:3 Mark 1:10 NU-Text reads out of.


Epistle: 2 Cor. 5:20-6:10


20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 6

Marks of the Ministry
 1 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says:

      “ In an acceptable time I have heard you,
      And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”[a]

   Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Footnotes:2 Corinthians 6:2 Isaiah 49:8


Gospel: Matt. 6:16-21


Fasting to Be Seen Only by God

    16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.[a]

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

    19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Footnotes:Matthew 6:18 NU-Text and M-Text omit openly.


Old Testament: Jonah 3:1-10


Jonah Preaches at Nineveh

 1 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey[a]in extent. 4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

The People of Nineveh Believe

    5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying,

   Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? 10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

Footnotes:Jonah 3:3 Exact meaning unknown


Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 6


Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 51


Old Testament (LSB): Joel 2:12-19


A Call to Repentance

    12 “ Now, therefore,” says the LORD,
      “ Turn to Me with all your heart,
      With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
       13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
      Return to the LORD your God,
      For He is gracious and merciful,
      Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
      And He relents from doing harm.
       14 Who knows if He will turn and relent,
      And leave a blessing behind Him—
      A grain offering and a drink offering
      For the LORD your God?
       15 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
      Consecrate a fast,
      Call a sacred assembly;
       16 Gather the people,
      Sanctify the congregation,
      Assemble the elders,
      Gather the children and nursing babes;
      Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
      And the bride from her dressing room.
       17 Let the priests, who minister to the LORD,
      Weep between the porch and the altar;
      Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
      And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
      That the nations should rule over them.
      Why should they say among the peoples,
      ‘ Where is their God?’”

The Land Refreshed

    18 Then the LORD will be zealous for His land,
      And pity His people.
       19 The LORD will answer and say to His people,
      “ Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
      And you will be satisfied by them;
      I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.
      



Collect (LSB)

Almighty and everlasting God, You despise nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new and contrite hearts that, lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, we may receive from You full pardon and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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