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

God’s People Are Comforted

 1 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
      Says your God.
       2 “ Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
      That her warfare is ended,
      That her iniquity is pardoned;
      For she has received from the LORD’s hand
      Double for all her sins.”
       3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      “ Prepare the way of the LORD;
      Make straight in the desert[a]
      A highway for our God.
       4 Every valley shall be exalted
      And every mountain and hill brought low;
      The crooked places shall be made straight
      And the rough places smooth;
       5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
      And all flesh shall see it together;
      For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
       6 The voice said, “Cry out!”
      And he[b] said, “What shall I cry?”
      “ All flesh is grass,
      And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
       7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
      Surely the people are grass.
       8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever.”
       9 O Zion,
      You who bring good tidings,
      Get up into the high mountain;
      O Jerusalem,
      You who bring good tidings,
      Lift up your voice with strength,
      Lift it up, be not afraid;
      Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
       10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand,
      And His arm shall rule for Him;
      Behold, His reward is with Him,
      And His work before Him.
       11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
      He will gather the lambs with His arm,
      And carry them in His bosom,
      And gently lead those who are with young.

Footnotes:Isaiah 40:3 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint omits in the desert. Isaiah 40:6 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, and Vulgate read I.

Old Testament: Mal. 3:1-6

The Coming Messenger

 1 “Behold, I send My messenger,
      And he will prepare the way before Me.
      And the Lord, whom you seek,
      Will suddenly come to His temple,
      Even the Messenger of the covenant,
      In whom you delight.
      Behold, He is coming,”
      Says the LORD of hosts.
       2 “ But who can endure the day of His coming?
      And who can stand when He appears?
      For He is like a refiner’s fire
      And like launderers’ soap.
       3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
      He will purify the sons of Levi,
      And purge them as gold and silver,
      That they may offer to the LORD
      An offering in righteousness.
       4 “ Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
      Will be pleasant to the LORD,
      As in the days of old,
      As in former years.
       5 And I will come near you for judgment;
      I will be a swift witness
      Against sorcerers,
      Against adulterers,
      Against perjurers,
      Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
      And against those who turn away an alien—
      Because they do not fear Me,”
      Says the LORD of hosts.
       6 “ For I am the LORD, I do not change;
      Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.


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

Stewards of the Mysteries of God

 1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.[a] In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Footnotes:1 Corinthians 4:3 Literally day


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

Gospel: Matt. 11:2-10

2 And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of[a] his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” 7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. 9 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. 10 For this is he of whom it is written:
      ‘ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
      Who will prepare Your way before You.’[b]

Footnotes:Matthew 11:2 NU-Text reads by for two of. Matthew 11:10 Malachi 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

To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

 1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
         You have relieved me in my distress;
         Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
 2 How long, O you sons of men,
         Will you turn my glory to shame?
         How long will you love worthlessness
         And seek falsehood?  Selah  
 3 But know that the LORD has set apart[a] for Himself him who is godly;
         The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
 4 Be angry, and do not sin.
         Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.  Selah  
 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
         And put your trust in the LORD.
 6 There are many who say,
         “Who will show us any good?”
         LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
 7 You have put gladness in my heart,
         More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
 8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
         For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Footnotes:Psalm 4:3 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Targum, and Vulgate read made wonderful.

First Reading: Is. 32:1-20

A Reign of Righteousness

 1 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
      And princes will rule with justice.
       2 A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,
      And a cover from the tempest,
      As rivers of water in a dry place,
      As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
       3 The eyes of those who see will not be dim,
      And the ears of those who hear will listen.
       4 Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge,
      And the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.
       5 The foolish person will no longer be called generous,
      Nor the miser said to be bountiful;
       6 For the foolish person will speak foolishness,
      And his heart will work iniquity:
      To practice ungodliness,
      To utter error against the LORD,
      To keep the hungry unsatisfied,
      And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
       7 Also the schemes of the schemer are evil;
      He devises wicked plans
      To destroy the poor with lying words,
      Even when the needy speaks justice.
       8 But a generous man devises generous things,
      And by generosity he shall stand.

Consequences of Complacency

    9 Rise up, you women who are at ease,
      Hear my voice;
      You complacent daughters,
      Give ear to my speech.
       10 In a year and some days
      You will be troubled, you complacent women;
      For the vintage will fail,
      The gathering will not come.
       11 Tremble, you women who are at ease;
      Be troubled, you complacent ones;
      Strip yourselves, make yourselves bare,
      And gird sackcloth on your waists.
       12 People shall mourn upon their breasts
      For the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
       13 On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers,
      Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city;
       14 Because the palaces will be forsaken,
      The bustling city will be deserted.
      The forts and towers will become lairs forever,
      A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks—
       15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
      And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
      And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.

The Peace of God’s Reign

    16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
      And righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
       17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
      And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
       18 My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
      In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
       19 Though hail comes down on the forest,
      And the city is brought low in humiliation.
       20 Blessed are you who sow beside all waters,
      Who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.

Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 98

A Psalm.

 1 Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
         For He has done marvelous things;
         His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
 2 The LORD has made known His salvation;
         His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
 3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
         All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
 4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
         Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
 5 Sing to the LORD with the harp,
         With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
 6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
         Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.
 7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
         The world and those who dwell in it;
 8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
         Let the hills be joyful together
          9 before the LORD,
         For He is coming to judge the earth.
         With righteousness He shall judge the world,
         And the peoples with equity.

Second Reading: Rev. 4:1-11

The Throne Room of Heaven

 1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was[a] like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns[b] of gold on their heads. 5 And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.[c] Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the[d] seven Spirits of God. 6 Before the throne there was[e] a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
      “ Holy, holy, holy,[f]
      Lord God Almighty,
      Who was and is and is to come!” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
       11 “ You are worthy, O Lord,[g]
      To receive glory and honor and power;
      For You created all things,
      And by Your will they exist[h] and were created.”

Footnotes:Revelation 4:3 M-Text omits And He who sat there was (which makes the description in verse 3 modify the throne rather than God). Revelation 4:4 NU-Text and M-Text read robes, with crowns. Revelation 4:5 NU-Text and M-Text read voices, and thunderings. Revelation 4:5 M-Text omits the. Revelation 4:6 NU-Text and M-Text add something like. Revelation 4:8 M-Text has holy nine times. Revelation 4:11 NU-Text and M-Text read our Lord and God. Revelation 4:11 NU-Text and M-Text read existed.


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