December 21st, 2018

St. Thomas the Apostle


Collect (LSB)

Almighty and ever-living God, You strengthened Your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in the resurrection of Your Son. Grant us such faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that we may never be found wanting in Your sight; through the same Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Old Testament (LSB): Judges 6:36-40


The Sign of the Fleece

 36(A) Then Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said." 38And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God,(B) "Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew." 40And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.

Cross references:Judges 6:36 : For Judges 6:36-40, Exodus 4:1-7 Judges 6:39 : Gen 18:32


Epistle: Eph. 1:3-6


Spiritual Blessings in Christ

 3(A) Blessed be(B) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing(C) in the heavenly places, 4(D) even as he(E) chose us in him(F) before the foundation of the world, that we should be(G) holy and blameless before him. In love 5(H) he predestined us[a] for(I) adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,(J) according to the purpose of his will, 6(K) to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in(L) the Beloved.

Footnotes:Ephesians 1:5 Or before him in love, having predestined us
Cross references:Ephesians 1:3 : 2 Cor 1:3; 1 Pet 1:3 Ephesians 1:3 : Rom 15:6 Ephesians 1:3 : Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:6; 3:10; 6:12 Ephesians 1:4 : Ephesians 2:10; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2 Ephesians 1:4 : James 2:5; Deut 7:6; 26:18 Ephesians 1:4 : 2 Tim 1:9; Matt 13:35 Ephesians 1:4 : Ephesians 5:27; Col 1:22; 1 Thess 4:7 Ephesians 1:5 : Ephesians 1:11; Rom 8:29, 30 Ephesians 1:5 : Rom 8:15 Ephesians 1:5 : Ephesians 1:9; Luke 2:14; Heb 2:4; Luke 12:32 Ephesians 1:6 : Ephesians 1:12, 14 Ephesians 1:6 : John 3:35; 10:17; Col 1:13; Matt 3:17


Gospel: John 20:24-31


Jesus and Thomas

 24Now(A) Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin,[a] was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them,(B) "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."

 26Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them.(C) Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." 27Then he said to Thomas, (D) "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." 28Thomas answered him,(E) "My Lord and my God!" 29Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me?(F) Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

The Purpose of This Book

 30(G) Now Jesus did many other signs(H) in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31(I) but these are written so that you may(J) believe that Jesus is the Christ,(K) the Son of God, and that by believing(L) you may have life(M) in his name.

Footnotes:John 20:24 Greek Didymus
Cross references:John 20:24 : John 11:16 John 20:25 : John 20:20; Psalm 22:16 John 20:26 : John 20:19 John 20:27 : John 20:20; 1 John 1:1; Luke 24:39 John 20:28 : John 1:1, 49 John 20:29 : 1 Pet 1:8; 2 Cor 5:7 John 20:30 : John 21:25 John 20:30 : Acts 10:41 John 20:31 : 1 John 5:13 John 20:31 : John 11:27 John 20:31 : Matt 14:33 John 20:31 : John 3:15, 16; 5:40; 6:53; 10:10 John 20:31 : Acts 10:43; 1 Cor 6:11; Acts 3:6


First Reading: Is. 42:1-25


The LORD’s Chosen Servant

 1(A) Behold(B) my servant, whom I uphold,
   my chosen,(C) in whom my soul delights;(D) I have put my Spirit upon him;
   (E) he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,
   or make it heard in the street; 3(F) a bruised reed he will not break,
   and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
   (G) he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not grow faint or be discouraged[a]
   till he has established justice in the earth;
   and(H) the coastlands wait for his law.

 5Thus says God, the LORD,
   who created the heavens(I) and stretched them out,
   who spread out the earth and what comes from it,(J) who gives breath to the people on it
   and spirit to those who walk in it: 6"I am the LORD;(K) I have called you in righteousness;
   I will take you by the hand and keep you;I will give you(L) as a covenant for the people,
   (M) a light for the nations,
 7(N) to open the eyes that are blind,to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
   (O) from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8I am the LORD; that is my name;
   (P) my glory I give to no other,
   nor my praise to carved idols. 9Behold, the former things have come to pass,
   (Q) and new things I now declare;before they spring forth
   I tell you of them."

Sing to the LORD a New Song

 10(R) Sing to the LORD a new song,
   his praise from the end of the earth,(S) you who go down to the sea, and all that fills it,
   (T) the coastlands and their inhabitants. 11Let the desert and its cities lift up their voice,
   the villages that(U) Kedar inhabits;let the habitants of(V) Sela sing for joy,
   let them shout from the top of the mountains. 12Let them give glory to the LORD,
   and declare his praise in(W) the coastlands. 13(X) The LORD goes out like a mighty man,
   like a man of war(Y) he stirs up his zeal;he cries out,(Z) he shouts aloud,
   he shows himself mighty against his foes.

 14For a long time I have held my peace;
   I have kept still and restrained myself;now I will cry out(AA) like a woman in labor;
   I will gasp and pant. 15(AB) I will lay waste mountains and hills,
   and dry up all their vegetation;I will turn the rivers into islands,[b]
   and dry up the pools. 16(AC) And I will lead the blind
   in a way that they do not know,in paths that they have not known
   I will guide them.I will turn the darkness before them into light,
   (AD) the rough places into level ground.These are the things I do,
   and I do not forsake them. 17(AE) They are turned back and utterly put to shame,
   who trust in carved idols,who say to metal images,
   "You are our gods."

Israel’s Failure to Hear and See

 18Hear, you deaf,
   and look, you blind, that you may see! 19Who is blind but my servant,
   or deaf as my messenger whom I send?Who is blind as my dedicated one,[c]
   or blind as the servant of the LORD? 20(AF) He sees many things, but does not observe them;
   (AG) his ears are open, but he does not hear. 21The LORD was pleased, for his righteousness’ sake,
   to magnify his law and make it glorious. 22But this is a people plundered and looted;
   they are all of them trapped in holes
   (AH) and hidden in prisons;they have become plunder with none to rescue,
   spoil with none to say, "Restore!" 23Who among you will give ear to this,
   will attend and listen for the time to come? 24Who gave up Jacob to the looter,
   and Israel to the plunderers?Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,
   in whose ways they would not walk,
   and whose law they would not obey? 25So he poured on him the heat of his anger
   and the might of battle;it set him on fire all around,(AI) but he did not understand;
   it burned him up,(AJ) but he did not take it to heart.

Footnotes:Isaiah 42:4 Or bruised Isaiah 42:15 Or into coastlands Isaiah 42:19 Or as the one at peace with me
Cross references:Isaiah 42:1 : Cited Matt 12:18-20 Isaiah 42:1 : Isaiah 41:8; 43:10; 52:13; 53:11; Isaiah 42:19; Ezek 34:24; Zech 3:8; Acts 3:26; 4:27; Phil 2:7 Isaiah 42:1 : Matt 3:17 Isaiah 42:1 : Isaiah 11:2; 61:1 Isaiah 42:1 : Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 42:3 : Isaiah 57:15 Isaiah 42:3 : Psalm 9:8 Isaiah 42:4 : Isaiah 60:9; Gen 10:5; Isaiah 2:3; Matt 12:21 Isaiah 42:5 : Isaiah 44:24; 45:12 Isaiah 42:5 : Acts 17:25 Isaiah 42:6 : Isaiah 41:9 Isaiah 42:6 : Isaiah 49:6, 8 Isaiah 42:6 : Luke 2:32 Isaiah 42:7 : Isaiah 35:5; 49:9; 61:1; Heb 2:14, 15 Isaiah 42:7 : Luke 1:79 Isaiah 42:8 : Isaiah 48:11 Isaiah 42:9 : Isaiah 43:19 Isaiah 42:10 : Psalm 33:3 Isaiah 42:10 : Psalm 107:23 Isaiah 42:10 : Isaiah 42:4 Isaiah 42:11 : Isaiah 21:16 Isaiah 42:11 : Isaiah 16:1 Isaiah 42:12 : Isaiah 42:4 Isaiah 42:13 : Isaiah 40:10 Isaiah 42:13 : Isaiah 9:7; 59:17 Isaiah 42:13 : Psalm 78:65 Isaiah 42:14 : Isaiah 13:8 Isaiah 42:15 : Isaiah 50:2 Isaiah 42:16 : Isaiah 35:5, 8 Isaiah 42:16 : Isaiah 40:4 Isaiah 42:17 : Isaiah 1:29; 44:11; 45:16; Psalm 97:7 Isaiah 42:20 : Rom 2:21-23 Isaiah 42:20 : Jer 6:10 Isaiah 42:22 : Isaiah 14:17 Isaiah 42:25 : Isaiah 47:11; Hos 7:9 Isaiah 42:25 : Isaiah 57:1, 11


Second Reading: Rev. 9:1-12


 1And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and(A) I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given(B) the key to the shaft of(C) the bottomless pit.[a] 2He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft(D) rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and(E) the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3Then from the smoke came(F) locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told(G) not to harm(H) the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have(I) the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were allowed to torment them(J) for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. 6And in those days(K) people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.

 7(L) In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle:(M) on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were(N) like human faces, 8their hair like women’s hair, and(O) their teeth like lions’ teeth; 9they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was(P) like the noise of many chariots with(Q) horses rushing into battle. 10They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people(R) for five months is in their tails. 11They have(S) as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is(T) Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.[b]

 12(U) The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

Footnotes:Revelation 9:1 Greek the abyss; also verses 2, 11 Revelation 9:11 Abaddon means destruction; Apollyon means destroyer
Cross references:Revelation 9:1 : Revelation 8:10; Revelation 12:9; Luke 10:18 Revelation 9:1 : Revelation 1:18 Revelation 9:1 : Revelation 9:2, 11; Revelation 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3; Luke 8:31; Rom 10:7 Revelation 9:2 : Gen 19:28; Isa 34:10 Revelation 9:2 : Joel 2:10 Revelation 9:3 : Exodus 10:4 Revelation 9:4 : Revelation 6:6; 7:3 Revelation 9:4 : Revelation 8:7 Revelation 9:4 : Revelation 7:2, 3 Revelation 9:5 : Revelation 9:10 Revelation 9:6 : Job 3:21; 7:15, 16; Jer 8:3 Revelation 9:7 : Joel 2:4 Revelation 9:7 : Nah 3:17 Revelation 9:7 : Dan 7:8 Revelation 9:8 : Joel 1:6 Revelation 9:9 : Joel 2:5 Revelation 9:9 : Jer 8:6; Job 39:21-25 Revelation 9:10 : Revelation 9:5 Revelation 9:11 : Job 18:14; Prov 30:27; Eph 2:2 Revelation 9:11 : Job 26:6 Revelation 9:12 : Revelation 8:13; 11:14


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