December 16th, 2018

Gaudete (Advent 3)

Explanation of the Week

The voice of the Baptizer cried out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord . . ." (Is 40:1-8). John called the people to be made ready for the Messiah's coming through repentance, for "all flesh is grass." Now He asks from prison, "Are you the Coming One?" (Mt 11:2-10) Jesus' works bear witness that He is. The sick are made well; the dead are raised, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Their iniquity is pardoned; they have received from the Lord's hand double forgiveness for all their sins. The stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor 4:1-5) still deliver Christ's overflowing forgiveness to the poor in spirit, comforting God's people with the word of the Gospel which stands forever. This Gospel produces rejoicing among those who believe. For in it, "the Lord is at hand" (Introit).


Rejoice in the Lord | always.*
     Again will I | say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to | all men.*
     The Lord | is at hand. (Philippians 4:4-5)

LORD, You have been favourable | to Your land;*
     You have brought back the captivity of | Jacob.
You have forgiven the iniquity of Your | people;*
     You have covered | all their sin.
Will You not revive | us again,*
     that Your people may re- | joice in You?
I will hear what God the | Lord will speak,*
     for He will speak peace to His | people. (Psalm 85:1-2, 6, 8)

Collect (LSB)

Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect (TLH)

Lord, we beseech Thee, give ear to our prayers and lighten the darkness of our hearts by Thy gracious visitation; who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost ever one god, world without end. Amen.

Collecta Latina

Aurem tuam quaesumus Domine precibus nostris accommoda, et menti nostrae tenebras gratia tuae visitationis illustra, Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus. Per omnia secula seculorum, Amen.

Old Testament (LSB): Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort for God’s People

 1(A) Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2(B) Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to herthat(C) her warfare[a] is ended,
   that her iniquity is pardoned,that she has received from the LORD’s hand
   double for all her sins.

 3(D) A voice cries:[b](E) "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
   (F) make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4(G) Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain. 5(H) And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
   and all flesh shall see it together,
   (I) for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

The Word of God Stands Forever

 6A voice says, "Cry!"
   And I said,[c] "What shall I cry?"(J) All flesh is grass,
   and all its beauty[d] is like the flower of the field. 7The grass withers, the flower fades
   when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
   surely the people are grass. 8(K) The grass withers, the flower fades,
   but the word of our God will stand forever.

The Greatness of God

 9Get you up to a high mountain,
   O Zion,(L) herald of good news;[e]lift up your voice with strength,
   O Jerusalem, herald of good news;[f]
   lift it up, fear not;say to the cities of Judah,
   "Behold your God!" 10(M) Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might,
   and his arm rules for him;(N) behold, his reward is with him,
   and his recompense before him. 11(O) He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
   (P) he will gather the lambs in his arms;(Q) he will carry them in his bosom,
   and gently lead those that are with young.

Footnotes:Isaiah 40:2 Or time of service Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one crying Isaiah 40:6 Revocalization based on Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Vulgate; Masoretic Text And someone says Isaiah 40:6 Or all its constancy Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Zion Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good news to Jerusalem
Cross references:Isaiah 40:1 : Isaiah 51:12; Luke 2:25 Isaiah 40:2 : Hos 2:14 Isaiah 40:2 : 2 Chr 36:22; Jer 25:12 Isaiah 40:3 : Cited Matt 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23 Isaiah 40:3 : Mal 3:1; Isaiah 57:14 Isaiah 40:3 : Psalm 68:4 Isaiah 40:4 : Cited Luke 3:5; Isaiah 49:11 Isaiah 40:5 : Luke 3:6 Isaiah 40:5 : Isaiah 1:20 Isaiah 40:6 : Cited 1 Pet 1:24, 25; Job 14:2; Psalm 102:11; 103:15; James 1:10 Isaiah 40:8 : Cited James 1:11 Isaiah 40:9 : Isaiah 52:7 Isaiah 40:10 : Isaiah 59:16, 17; Luke 11:22 Isaiah 40:10 : Isaiah 62:11; Rev 22:12 Isaiah 40:11 : Ezek 34:23; Zech 11:7; John 10:11; 21:15; Acts 20:28 Isaiah 40:11 : Matt 18:12; Luke 15:5 Isaiah 40:11 : Num 11:12

Old Testament: Mal. 3:1-6

 1(A) "Behold, I send(B) my messenger, and(C) he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord(D) whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and(E) the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2But(F) who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For(G) he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3He will sit(H) as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring(I) offerings in righteousness to the LORD.[a] 4(J) Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

 5"Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be(K) a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those(L) who oppress the hired worker in his wages,(M) the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

Robbing God
 6"For(N) I the LORD do not change;(O) therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Footnotes:Malachi 3:3 Or and they will belong to the LORD, bringers of an offering in righteousness
Cross references:Malachi 3:1 : Cited Matt 11:10; Mark 1:2; Luke 7:27; Malachi 4:5; Luke 1:76 Malachi 3:1 : Malachi 2:7 Malachi 3:1 : Isa 40:3 Malachi 3:1 : Malachi 2:17 Malachi 3:1 : Malachi 4:5 Malachi 3:2 : Joel 2:11 Malachi 3:2 : Isa 4:4 Malachi 3:3 : Isa 1:25; Zech 13:9 Malachi 3:3 : Malachi 1:7 Malachi 3:4 : Ezek 20:40 Malachi 3:5 : Malachi 2:14; Jer 29:23 Malachi 3:5 : Lev 19:13 Malachi 3:5 : Deut 24:17 Malachi 3:6 : Psalm 102:27; Num 23:19 Malachi 3:6 : Lam 3:22


You who dwell between the cherubim, | shine forth!*
     Stir up Your | strength and come!
Give ear, O Shepherd of | Israel,*
     You who lead Joseph | like a flock. (Psalm 80:1–2)

Epistle: 1 Cor. 4:1-5

The Ministry of Apostles

 1This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and(A) stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4(B) For I am not aware of anything against myself,(C) but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore(D) do not pronounce judgment before the time,(E) before the Lord comes,(F) who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.(G) Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

Cross references:1 Corinthians 4:1 : 1 Corinthians 9:17; 1 Pet 4:10 1 Corinthians 4:4 : Acts 23:1 1 Corinthians 4:4 : Job 9:2, 15; Psalm 130:3; 143:2; 1 John 3:21 1 Corinthians 4:5 : Matt 7:1; Rom 2:1; Matt 13:29 1 Corinthians 4:5 : John 21:22; Rom 2:16 1 Corinthians 4:5 : 1 Corinthians 3:13 1 Corinthians 4:5 : 2 Cor 10:18; 1 Corinthians 3:8


Alle- | luia.*
     Alle- | luia.
Stir | up Your strength,*
     and come and save us! Alle- | luia. (Psalm 80:2)

Gospel: Matt. 11:2-10

 2(A) Now when John heard(B) in prison about the deeds of(C) the Christ, he sent word by(D) his disciples 3and said to him, "Are you(E) the one who is to come, or shall we(F) look for another?" 4And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5(G) the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and(H) the poor have good news preached to them. 6And blessed is the one who(I) is not offended by me."

 7As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out(J) into the wilderness to see?(K) A reed shaken by the wind? 8What then did you go out to see? A man[b] dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9What then did you go out to see?(L) A prophet?[c] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10This is he of whom it is written,
   (M) "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
   who will prepare your way before you.'

Footnotes:Matthew 11:5 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13 Matthew 11:8 Or Why then did you go out? To see a man  . . . Matthew 11:9 Some manuscripts Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?
Cross references:Matthew 11:2 : For Matthew 11:2-19, Luke 7:18-35 Matthew 11:2 : Matthew 14:3; Matthew 4:12 Matthew 11:2 : Matthew 1:17 Matthew 11:2 : Matthew 9:14 Matthew 11:3 : John 4:25; 6:14; 11:27 Matthew 11:3 : Luke 3:15 Matthew 11:5 : Luke 7:22 Matthew 11:5 : Luke 4:18; Matthew 5:3; James 2:5 Matthew 11:6 : Isa 8:14, 15; John 6:61 Matthew 11:7 : Matthew 3:1; Luke 1:80 Matthew 11:7 : Eph 4:14; James 1:6 Matthew 11:9 : Matthew 14:5; 21:26; Luke 1:76 Matthew 11:10 : Mark 1:2; Mal 3:1


LORD, You have been favourable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people. (Psalm 85)

Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 4

Answer Me When I Call

To the(A) choirmaster: with(B) stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

 1Answer me when I call, O God of my(C) righteousness!
   You have given me relief when I was in distress.
   Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

 2O men,[a] how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
   How long will you love vain words and seek after(D) lies?
3But know that the LORD has(E) set apart(F) the godly for himself;
   the LORD hears when I call to him.

 4(G) Be angry,[b] and do not sin;
   (H) ponder in your own hearts(I) on your beds, and be silent.
5Offer(J) right sacrifices,
   and put your(K) trust in the LORD.

 6There are many who say, "Who will show us some good?
   (L) Lift up(M) the light of your face upon us, O LORD!" 7You have put(N) more joy in my heart
   than they have when their grain and wine abound.

 8In peace I will both(O) lie down and sleep;
   for you alone, O LORD, make me(P) dwell in safety.

Footnotes:Psalm 4:2 Or O men of rank Psalm 4:4 Or Be agitated
Cross references:Psalm 4:1 : Psalm 61, title; Hab 3:19 Psalm 4:1 : Isa 54:17; Jer 23:6 Psalm 4:1 : Job 36:16 Psalm 4:2 : Psalm 5:6 Psalm 4:3 : Exodus 11:7 Psalm 4:3 : Psalm 50:5 Psalm 4:4 : Cited Eph 4:26 Psalm 4:4 : Psalm 77:6 Psalm 4:4 : Psalm 42:8 Psalm 4:5 : Psalm 51:19; Deut 33:19 Psalm 4:5 : Psalm 37:3; 62:8 Psalm 4:6 : Num 6:26 Psalm 4:6 : Psalm 89:15; Psalm 31:16; 67:1; 80:3, 7, 19; 119:135 Psalm 4:7 : Isa 9:3; 16:10; Jer 48:38 Psalm 4:8 : Psalm 3:5 Psalm 4:8 : Psalm 16:9; Lev 25:18, 19; 26:5; Deut 33:28

First Reading: Is. 32:1-20

A King Will Reign in Righteousness

 1Behold,(A) a king will reign in righteousness,
   and princes will rule in justice. 2(B) Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
   a shelter from the storm,(C) like streams of water in a dry place,
   like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. 3(D) Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
   and the ears of those who hear will give attention. 4The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
   (E) and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly. 5(F) The fool will no more be called noble,
   nor the scoundrel said to be honorable. 6For(G) the fool speaks folly,
   and his heart is busy with iniquity,to practice ungodliness,
   to utter error concerning the LORD,(H) to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
   and to deprive the thirsty of drink. 7As for the scoundrel—(I) his devices are evil;
   he plans wicked schemesto ruin the poor with lying words,
   even when the plea of the needy is right. 8But he who is noble plans noble things,
   and on noble things he stands.

Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

 9(J) Rise up, you women(K) who are at ease, hear my voice;
   you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. 10In little more than a year
   you will shudder, you complacent women;for the grape harvest fails,
   the fruit harvest will not come. 11Tremble, you women(L) who are at ease,
   shudder, you complacent ones;(M) strip, and make yourselves bare,
   (N) and tie sackcloth around your waist. 12(O) Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
   for the fruitful vine, 13(P) for the soil of my people
   growing up in thorns and briers,(Q) yes, for all the joyous houses
   in the exultant city. 14For the palace is forsaken,
   the populous city deserted;the hill and the watchtower
   will become dens forever,(R) a joy of wild donkeys,
   a pasture of flocks; 15until(S) the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
   and(T) the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
   and the fruitful field is deemed a forest. 16Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
   and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. 17(U) And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
   and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust[a] forever. 18My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
   in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. 19(V) And it will hail when the forest falls down,
   (W) and the city will be utterly laid low. 20(X) Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
   who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

Footnotes:Isaiah 32:17 Or security
Cross references:Isaiah 32:1 : Psalm 72:1, 2, 4; Jer 23:5; Isaiah 11:1-4 Isaiah 32:2 : Isaiah 4:6; 25:4 Isaiah 32:2 : Isaiah 33:21 Isaiah 32:3 : Isaiah 29:18 Isaiah 32:4 : Isaiah 35:6 Isaiah 32:5 : Isaiah 5:20 Isaiah 32:6 : 1 Sam 24:13 Isaiah 32:6 : Isaiah 3:14, 15 Isaiah 32:7 : Mic 2:1, 2 Isaiah 32:9 : Isaiah 3:16–4:1 Isaiah 32:9 : Amos 6:1 Isaiah 32:11 : Isaiah 32:9 Isaiah 32:11 : Isaiah 47:2, 3 Isaiah 32:11 : Gen 37:34 Isaiah 32:12 : Isaiah 24:7 Isaiah 32:13 : Isaiah 7:23; 34:13; Hos 9:6 Isaiah 32:13 : Isaiah 24:11, 12 Isaiah 32:14 : Jer 2:24 Isaiah 32:15 : Isaiah 11:2; Joel 2:28 Isaiah 32:15 : Isaiah 35:1, 2; Isaiah 29:17 Isaiah 32:17 : James 3:18; Isaiah 1:27; Psalm 72:3; 119:165 Isaiah 32:19 : Isaiah 28:2, 17 Isaiah 32:19 : Isaiah 26:5 Isaiah 32:20 : Eccles 11:1; Isaiah 30:23

Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 98

Make a Joyful Noise to the LORD

A Psalm.

 1Oh sing to the LORD(A) a new song,
   for he has done(B) marvelous things!His(C) right hand and his holy arm
   have worked salvation for him. 2The LORD has(D) made known his salvation;
   he has(E) revealed his righteousness in(F) the sight of the nations. 3He has(G) remembered his(H) steadfast love and faithfulness
   to the house of Israel.All(I) the ends of the earth have seen
   (J) the salvation of our God.

 4(K) Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
   (L) break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 5Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
   with the lyre and the(M) sound of melody! 6With(N) trumpets and the sound of(O) the horn
   (P) make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

 7(Q) Let the sea roar, and(R) all that fills it;
   the world and those who dwell in it! 8Let the rivers(S) clap their hands;
   let(T) the hills sing for joy together 9before the LORD, for he comes
   to(U) judge the earth.He will judge the world with righteousness,
   and the peoples with equity.

Cross references:Psalm 98:1 : Psalm 33:3 Psalm 98:1 : Psalm 96:3; Psalm 72:18 Psalm 98:1 : Exodus 15:6; Luke 1:51; Job 40:14 Psalm 98:2 : Isa 49:6; 52:10; Luke 2:30, 31; Isa 59:16; 63:5 Psalm 98:2 : Isa 62:2; Rom 3:25, 26 Psalm 98:2 : Psalm 96:2, 3 Psalm 98:3 : Luke 1:54, 72 Psalm 98:3 : Psalm 36:5 Psalm 98:3 : Psalm 22:27 Psalm 98:3 : Psalms 42:2 Psalm 98:4 : Psalm 66:1 Psalm 98:4 : Isa 44:23 Psalm 98:5 : Isa 51:3 Psalm 98:6 : Num 10:10; 1 Chr 15:24 Psalm 98:6 : 2 Chr 15:14 Psalm 98:6 : Psalms 42:4 Psalm 98:7 : Psalm 96:11 Psalm 98:7 : Psalm 24:1 Psalm 98:8 : Isa 55:12; Psalm 93:3 Psalm 98:8 : Psalm 89:12 Psalm 98:9 : Psalm 96:13; Psalm 58:11

Second Reading: Rev. 4:1-11

The Throne in Heaven

 1After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me(A) like a trumpet, said, (B) "Come up here, and(C) I will show you what must take place after this." 2At once(D) I was in the Spirit, and behold,(E) a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3And he who sat there had the appearance of(F) jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was(G) a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4Around the throne were(H) twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders,(I) clothed in white garments, with(J) golden crowns on their heads. 5From the throne came(K) flashes of lightning, and rumblings[a] and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning(L) seven torches of fire,(M) which are the seven spirits of God, 6and before the throne there was(N) as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.


   And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are(O) four living creatures,(P) full of eyes in front and behind: 7(Q) the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8And the four living creatures,(R) each of them with six wings, are(S) full of eyes all around and within, and(T) day and night they never cease to say,
   (U) "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
   (V) who was and is and is to come!"

 9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne,(W) who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders(X) fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast(Y) their crowns before the throne, saying,
 11(Z) "Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
   to receive glory and honor and power,for(AA) you created all things,
   and(AB) by your will they existed and were created."

Footnotes:Revelation 4:5 Or voices, or sounds
Cross references:Revelation 4:1 : Revelation 1:10; Exodus 19:19, 20 Revelation 4:1 : Revelation 11:12 Revelation 4:1 : Revelation 1:1, 19; 22:6 Revelation 4:2 : Revelation 1:10 Revelation 4:2 : Psalm 11:4; 103:19; Isa 66:1; Matt 5:34; 23:22; 1 Kgs 22:19 Revelation 4:3 : Revelation 21:11 Revelation 4:3 : Ezek 1:28; Revelation 10:1; Gen 9:13-17 Revelation 4:4 : Revelation 11:16 Revelation 4:4 : Revelation 3:4 Revelation 4:4 : Revelation 4:10; James 1:12 Revelation 4:5 : Revelation 8:5; 11:19; 16:18; Exodus 19:16 Revelation 4:5 : Zech 4:2 Revelation 4:5 : Revelation 1:4 Revelation 4:6 : Revelation 15:2; Revelation 21:18, 21; Psalm 77:19 Revelation 4:6 : Ezek 1:5 Revelation 4:6 : Ezek 10:12 Revelation 4:7 : Ezek 1:10; 10:14 Revelation 4:8 : Isa 6:2 Revelation 4:8 : Revelation 4:6 Revelation 4:8 : Revelation 14:11 Revelation 4:8 : Isa 6:3 Revelation 4:8 : Revelation 1:4 Revelation 4:9 : Revelation 1:18; 5:13; 15:7; Dan 4:34; 12:7 Revelation 4:10 : Revelation 5:8, 14; 7:11; 11:16; 19:4 Revelation 4:10 : Revelation 4:4 Revelation 4:11 : Revelation 5:12 Revelation 4:11 : Revelation 10:6; 14:7; Gen 1:1; Acts 14:15 Revelation 4:11 : Psalm 33:9-11; Eph 1:11


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