December 20th, 2018

Katharina von Bora Luther

First Reading: Is. 40:18-41:10

 18(A) To whom then will you liken God,
   (B) or what likeness compare with him? 19(C) An idol! A craftsman casts it,
   and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
   and casts for it silver chains. 20(D) He who is too impoverished for an offering
   chooses wood[a] that will not rot;he seeks out a skillful craftsman
   to set up an idol that will not move.

 21(E) Do you not know? Do you not hear?
   Has it not been told you from the beginning?
   Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
   and its inhabitants are(F) like grasshoppers;(G) who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
   and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; 23(H) who brings princes to nothing,
   and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

 24Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
   scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,when he blows on them, and they wither,
   (I) and the tempest carries them off like stubble.

 25(J) To whom then will you compare me,
   that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 26Lift up your eyes on high and see:
   who created these?(K) He who brings out their host by number,
   calling them all by name,by the greatness of his might,
   and because he is strong in power
   not one is missing.

 27Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and speak, O Israel,(L) "My way is hidden from the LORD,
   (M) and my right is disregarded by my God"? 28Have you not known? Have you not heard?The LORD is(N) the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.He does not faint or grow weary;
   (O) his understanding is unsearchable. 29He gives power to the faint,
   and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30Even youths shall faint and be weary,
   and young men shall fall exhausted; 31but(P) they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
   they shall mount up with wings(Q) like eagles;they shall run and not be weary;
   they shall walk and not faint.

Fear Not, For I Am with You
 1(R) Listen to me in silence,
   (S) O coastlands;
   let the peoples renew their strength;let them approach, then let them speak;
   let us together draw near for judgment.

 2(T) Who stirred up one from the east
   whom victory meets at every(U) step?[b](V) He gives up nations before him,
   so that he tramples kings underfoot;he makes them like dust with his sword,
   (W) like driven stubble with his bow. 3He pursues them and passes on safely,
   by paths his feet have not trod. 4(X) Who has performed and done this,
   calling the generations from the beginning?(Y) I, the LORD, the first,
   and with the last; I am he.

 5(Z) The coastlands have seen and are afraid;
   the ends of the earth tremble;
   they have drawn near and come. 6Everyone helps his neighbor
   and says to his brother, "Be strong!" 7(AA) The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith,
   and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil,saying of the soldering, "It is good";
   and they strengthen it with nails(AB) so that it cannot be moved.

 8But you, Israel,(AC) my servant,
   Jacob,(AD) whom I have chosen,
   the offspring of Abraham,(AE) my friend; 9you whom I took from the ends of the earth,
   and called(AF) from its farthest corners,saying to you, "You are(AG) my servant,
   (AH) I have chosen you and not cast you off"; 10fear not, for I am with you;
   be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with(AI) my righteous right hand.

Footnotes:Isaiah 40:20 Or He chooses valuable wood Isaiah 41:2 Or whom righteousness calls to follow?
Cross references:Isaiah 40:18 : Isaiah 40:25; Isaiah 46:5; Acts 17:29 Isaiah 40:18 : Hos 13:2 Isaiah 40:19 : Isaiah 40:18 Isaiah 40:20 : Isaiah 46:6; Jer 10:3-5; Isaiah 44:9-15 Isaiah 40:21 : Isaiah 40:28; Acts 14:17; Rom 1:19, 20 Isaiah 40:22 : Num 13:33 Isaiah 40:22 : Job 9:8; Psalm 104:2 Isaiah 40:23 : Job 12:21; Psalm 107:40 Isaiah 40:24 : Isaiah 41:2; Psalm 83:13 Isaiah 40:25 : Isaiah 40:18 Isaiah 40:26 : Psalm 147:4 Isaiah 40:27 : Isaiah 49:14 Isaiah 40:27 : Isaiah 49:4 Isaiah 40:28 : Psalm 121:4 Isaiah 40:28 : Psalm 147:5 Isaiah 40:31 : Psalm 103:5 Isaiah 40:31 : Exodus 19:4 Isaiah 41:1 : Hab 2:20; Zech 2:13 Isaiah 41:1 : Isaiah 11:11 Isaiah 41:2 : Isaiah 46:11; Isaiah 45:1 Isaiah 41:2 : Judg 4:10 Isaiah 41:2 : 2 Chr 36:23 Isaiah 41:2 : Isaiah 40:24 Isaiah 41:4 : Isaiah 41:26 Isaiah 41:4 : Isaiah 43:10, 11; 44:6; 48:12; Rev 1:8, 17; 22:13 Isaiah 41:5 : Isaiah 11:11 Isaiah 41:7 : Isaiah 40:19 Isaiah 41:7 : Isaiah 40:20 Isaiah 41:8 : Isaiah 44:1, 2 Isaiah 41:8 : Deut 7:6; 10:15; 14:2; Psalm 135:4; 1 Pet 2:9 Isaiah 41:8 : 2 Chr 20:7; James 2:23 Isaiah 41:9 : Isaiah 43:5, 6 Isaiah 41:9 : Isaiah 41:8 Isaiah 41:9 : Isaiah 41:8 Isaiah 41:10 : Psalm 48:10

Second Reading: Rev. 8:1-13

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

 1When the Lamb opened(A) the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels(B) who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3And another angel came and stood(C) at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with(D) the prayers of all the saints on(E) the golden altar before the throne, 4and(F) the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5Then the angel took the censer and(G) filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and(H) there were peals of(I) thunder, rumblings,[a] flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

The Seven Trumpets

 6Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

 7The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed(J) hail and(K) fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a(L) third of the earth was burned up, and a third of(M) the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

 8The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like(N) a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea(O) became blood. 9A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of(P) the ships were destroyed.

 10The third angel blew his trumpet, and(Q) a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on(R) the springs of water. 11The name of the star is Wormwood.[b] A third of the waters(S) became wormwood, and many people died from the water,(T) because it had been made bitter.

 12The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of(U) the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

 13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead,(V) "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!"

Footnotes:Revelation 8:5 Or voices, or sounds Revelation 8:11 Wormwood is the name of a plant and of the bitter-tasting extract derived from it
Cross references:Revelation 8:1 : Revelation 5:1; 6:1 Revelation 8:2 : Luke 1:19 Revelation 8:3 : Amos 9:1 Revelation 8:3 : Revelation 5:8 Revelation 8:3 : Revelation 9:13; Exodus 30:1, 3 Revelation 8:4 : Psalm 141:2 Revelation 8:5 : Lev 16:12 Revelation 8:5 : Psalm 18:7, 8 Revelation 8:5 : Revelation 4:5 Revelation 8:7 : Exodus 9:23, 24; Psalm 18:13; Ezek 38:22 Revelation 8:7 : Joel 2:30 Revelation 8:7 : Revelation 8:8-12; Revelation 9:15, 18; 12:4; Zech 13:8, 9 Revelation 8:7 : Revelation 9:4; Isa 2:13 Revelation 8:8 : Jer 51:25; Mark 11:23 Revelation 8:8 : Revelation 11:6; Exodus 7:17, 19 Revelation 8:9 : Isa 2:16 Revelation 8:10 : Revelation 9:1; Isa 14:12 Revelation 8:10 : Revelation 14:7; 16:4 Revelation 8:11 : Deut 29:18; Jer 9:15; 23:15 Revelation 8:11 : Exodus 15:23 Revelation 8:12 : Exodus 10:21-23; Isa 13:10; 30:26 Revelation 8:13 : Revelation 9:12; 11:14


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