December 7th, 2018

Ambrose of Milan, Pastor and Hymnwriter

First Reading: Is. 24:1-13

Impending Judgment on the Earth

 1 Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste,
      Distorts its surface
      And scatters abroad its inhabitants.
       2 And it shall be:
      As with the people, so with the priest;
      As with the servant, so with his master;
      As with the maid, so with her mistress;
      As with the buyer, so with the seller;
      As with the lender, so with the borrower;
      As with the creditor, so with the debtor.
       3 The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered,
      For the LORD has spoken this word.
       4 The earth mourns and fades away,
      The world languishes and fades away;
      The haughty people of the earth languish.
       5 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,
      Because they have transgressed the laws,
      Changed the ordinance,
      Broken the everlasting covenant.
       6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,
      And those who dwell in it are desolate.
      Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,
      And few men are left.
       7 The new wine fails, the vine languishes,
      All the merry-hearted sigh.
       8 The mirth of the tambourine ceases,
      The noise of the jubilant ends,
      The joy of the harp ceases.
       9 They shall not drink wine with a song;
      Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it.
       10 The city of confusion is broken down;
      Every house is shut up, so that none may go in.
       11 There is a cry for wine in the streets,
      All joy is darkened,
      The mirth of the land is gone.
       12 In the city desolation is left,
      And the gate is stricken with destruction.
       13 When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people,
      It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree,
      Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.

Second Reading: 1 John 1:1-2:14

What Was Heard, Seen, and Touched

 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your[a] joy may be full.

Fellowship with Him and One Another

    5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The Test of Knowing Him

    3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 7 Brethren,[b] I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.[c] 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Their Spiritual State

    12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
       13 I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
      I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one.
      I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
       14 I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
      I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.

Footnotes:1 John 1:4 NU-Text and M-Text read our. 1 John 2:7 NU-Text reads Beloved. 1 John 2:7 NU-Text omits from the beginning.


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