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


Sign of the Fleece

 36Then Gideon said to God, "(A)If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,

 37behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken."

 38And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.

 39Then Gideon said to God, "(B)Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground."

 40God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.

Cross references:Judges 6:36 : Judg 6:14, 16, 17 Judges 6:39 : Gen 18:32


Epistle: Eph. 1:3-6


 3(A)Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in (B)the heavenly places in Christ,

 4just as (C)He chose us in Him before (D)the foundation of the world, that we would be (E)holy and blameless before [a]Him (F)In love

 5He (G)predestined us to (H)adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, (I)according to the kind intention of His will,

 6(J)to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in (K)the Beloved.

Footnotes:Ephesians 1:4 Or Him, in love
Cross references:Ephesians 1:3 : 2 Cor 1:3 Ephesians 1:3 : Eph 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12 Ephesians 1:4 : Eph 2:10; 2 Thess 2:13 Ephesians 1:4 : Matt 25:34 Ephesians 1:4 : Eph 5:27; Col 1:22 Ephesians 1:4 : Eph 4:2, 15, 16; 5:2 Ephesians 1:5 : Acts 13:48; Rom 8:29 Ephesians 1:5 : Rom 8:14-ff Ephesians 1:5 : Phil 2:13; Col 1:19 Ephesians 1:6 : Eph 1:12, 14 Ephesians 1:6 : Matt 3:17


Gospel: John 20:24-31


 24But (A)Thomas, one of (B)the twelve, called (C)Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

 25So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in (D)His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, (E)I will not believe."

 26After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "(F)Peace be with you."

 27Then He said to Thomas, "(G)Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."

 28Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

 29Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? (H)Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

Why This Gospel Was Written
 30(I)Therefore many other (J)signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;

 31but these have been written (K)so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, (L)the Son of God; and that (M)believing you may have life in His name.

Cross references:John 20:24 : John 11:16 John 20:24 : John 6:67 John 20:24 : John 11:16 John 20:25 : John 20:20 John 20:25 : Mark 16:11 John 20:26 : Luke 24:36; John 14:27; 20:19, 21 John 20:27 : Luke 24:40; John 20:25 John 20:29 : 1 Pet 1:8 John 20:30 : John 21:25 John 20:30 : John 2:11 John 20:31 : John 19:35 John 20:31 : Matt 4:3 John 20:31 : John 3:15


First Reading: Is. 42:1-25


God's Promise concerning His Servant
    1"(A)Behold, My (B)Servant, whom I uphold;
         My (C)chosen one in whom My (D)soul delights
         I have put My (E)Spirit upon Him;
         He will bring forth (F)justice to the nations.
    2"He will not cry out or raise His voice,
         Nor make His voice heard in the street.
    3"A bruised reed He will not break
         And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
         He will faithfully bring forth (G)justice.
    4"He will not be (H)disheartened or crushed
         Until He has established justice in the earth;
         And the (I)coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."

 5Thus says God the LORD,
         Who (J)created the heavens and (K)stretched them out,
         Who spread out the (L)earth and its offspring,
         Who (M)gives breath to the people on it
         And spirit to those who walk in it,
    6"I am the LORD, I have (N)called You in righteousness,
         I will also (O)hold You by the hand and (P)watch over You,
         And I will appoint You as a (Q)covenant to the people,
         As a (R)light to the nations,
    7To (S)open blind eyes,
         To (T)bring out prisoners from the dungeon
         And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
    8"(U)I am the LORD, that is (V)My name;
         I will not give My (W)glory to another,
         Nor My praise to graven images.
    9"Behold, the (X)former things have come to pass,
         Now I declare (Y)new things;
         Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you."
    10Sing to the LORD a (Z)new song,
         Sing His praise from the (AA)end of the earth!
         (AB)You who go down to the sea, and (AC)all that is in it
         You (AD)islands, and those who dwell on them.
    11Let the (AE)wilderness and its cities lift up their voices,
         The settlements where (AF)Kedar inhabits
         Let the inhabitants of (AG)Sela sing aloud,
         Let them shout for joy from the tops of the (AH)mountains.
    12Let them (AI)give glory to the LORD
         And declare His praise in the (AJ)coastlands.
    13(AK)The LORD will go forth like a warrior,
         He will arouse His (AL)zeal like a man of war
         He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry
         He will (AM)prevail against His enemies.

The Blindness of the People
    14"(AN)I have kept silent for a long time,
         I have kept still and restrained Myself.
         Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
         I will both gasp and pant.
    15"I will (AO)lay waste the mountains and hills
         And wither all their vegetation;
         I will (AP)make the rivers into coastlands
         And dry up the ponds.
    16"I will (AQ)lead the blind by a way they do not know,
         In paths they do not know I will guide them
         I will (AR)make darkness into light before them
         And (AS)rugged places into plains
         These are the things I will do,
         And I will (AT)not leave them undone."
    17They will be turned back and be (AU)utterly put to shame,
         Who trust in idols,
         Who say to molten images,
         "You are our gods."
    18(AV)Hear, you deaf!
         And look, you blind, that you may see.
    19Who is blind but My (AW)servant,
         Or so deaf as My (AX)messenger whom I send?
         Who is so blind as he that is (AY)at peace with Me,
         Or so blind as the servant of the LORD?
    20(AZ)You have seen many things, but you do not observe them;
         Your ears are open, but none hears.
    21The LORD was pleased for His righteousness' sake
         To make the law (BA)great and glorious.
    22But this is a people plundered and despoiled;
         All of them are (BB)trapped in caves,
         Or are (BC)hidden away in prisons;
         They have become a prey with none to deliver them,
         And a spoil, with none to say, "Give them back!"
    23Who among you will give ear to this?
         Who will give heed and listen hereafter?
    24Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers?
         Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned,
         And in whose ways they (BD)were not willing to walk,
         And whose law they did not (BE)obey?
    25So He poured out on him the heat of His anger
         And the (BF)fierceness of battle;
         And it set him aflame all around,
         Yet he did not recognize it;
         And it burned him, but he (BG)paid no attention.

Cross references:Isaiah 42:1 : Matt 12:18-21 Isaiah 42:1 : Is 41:8; 43:10; 49:3-6; 52:13; 53:11; Matt 12:18-21; Phil 2:7 Isaiah 42:1 : Luke 9:35; 1 Pet 2:4, 6 Isaiah 42:1 : Matt 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22 Isaiah 42:1 : Is 11:2; 59:21; 61:1; Matt 3:16; Luke 4:18, 19, 21 Isaiah 42:1 : Is 2:4 Isaiah 42:3 : Ps 72:2, 4; 96:13 Isaiah 42:4 : Is 40:28 Isaiah 42:4 : Is 11:11; 24:15; 42:10, 12; 49:1; 51:5; 60:9; 66:19 Isaiah 42:5 : Ps 102:25, 26; Is 45:18 Isaiah 42:5 : Ps 104:2; Is 40:22 Isaiah 42:5 : Ps 24:1, 2; 136:6 Isaiah 42:5 : Job 12:10; 33:4; Is 57:16; Dan 5:23; Acts 17:25 Isaiah 42:6 : Is 41:2; Jer 23:5, 6 Isaiah 42:6 : Is 41:13; 45:1 Isaiah 42:6 : Is 26:3; 27:3 Isaiah 42:6 : Is 49:8 Isaiah 42:6 : Is 49:6; 51:4; 60:1, 3; Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47; 26:23 Isaiah 42:7 : Is 29:18; 35:5 Isaiah 42:7 : Is 49:9; 61:1 Isaiah 42:8 : Is 43:3, 11, 15 Isaiah 42:8 : Ex 3:15; Ps 83:18 Isaiah 42:8 : Ex 20:3-5; Is 48:11 Isaiah 42:9 : Is 48:3 Isaiah 42:9 : Is 43:19; 48:6 Isaiah 42:10 : Ps 33:3; 40:3; 98:1 Isaiah 42:10 : Is 49:6; 62:11 Isaiah 42:10 : Ps 65:5; 107:23 Isaiah 42:10 : Ex 20:11; 1 Chr 16:32; Ps 96:11 Isaiah 42:10 : Is 42:4 Isaiah 42:11 : Is 32:16; 35:1, 6 Isaiah 42:11 : Is 21:16; 60:7 Isaiah 42:11 : Is 16:1 Isaiah 42:11 : Is 52:7; Nah 1:15 Isaiah 42:12 : Is 24:15 Isaiah 42:12 : Is 42:4 Isaiah 42:13 : Ex 15:3 Isaiah 42:13 : Is 9:7; 26:11; 37:32; 59:17 Isaiah 42:13 : Is 66:14-16 Isaiah 42:14 : Ps 50:21; Is 57:11 Isaiah 42:15 : Is 2:12-16; Ezek 38:19, 20 Isaiah 42:15 : Is 44:27; 50:2; Nah 1:4-6 Isaiah 42:16 : Is 29:18; 30:21; 32:3; Jer 31:8, 9; Luke 1:78, 79 Isaiah 42:16 : Is 29:18; Eph 5:8 Isaiah 42:16 : Is 40:4; Luke 3:5 Isaiah 42:16 : Josh 1:5; Ps 94:14; Is 41:17; Heb 13:5 Isaiah 42:17 : Ps 97:7; Is 1:29; 44:9, 11; 45:16 Isaiah 42:18 : Is 29:18; 35:5 Isaiah 42:19 : Is 41:8 Isaiah 42:19 : Is 44:26 Isaiah 42:19 : Is 26:3; 27:5 Isaiah 42:20 : Rom 2:21 Isaiah 42:21 : Is 42:4; 51:4 Isaiah 42:22 : Is 24:18 Isaiah 42:22 : Is 24:22 Isaiah 42:24 : Is 30:15 Isaiah 42:24 : Is 48:18; 57:17 Isaiah 42:25 : Is 5:25; 9:19 Isaiah 42:25 : Is 29:13; 47:7; 57:1; Hos 7:9


Second Reading: Rev. 9:1-12


The Fifth Trumpet--the Bottomless Pit
 1Then the (A)fifth angel sounded, and I saw a (B)star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the (C)key of the (D)bottomless pit was given to him.

 2He opened the bottomless pit, and (E)smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and (F)the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.

 3Then out of the smoke came (G)locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the (H)scorpions of the earth have power.

 4They were told not to (I)hurt the (J)grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the (K)seal of God on their foreheads.

 5And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for (L)five months; and their torment was like the torment of a (M)scorpion when it stings a man.

 6And in those days (N)men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.

 7The (O)appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men.

 8They had hair like the hair of women, and their (P)teeth were like the teeth of lions.

 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the (Q)sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.

 10They have tails like (R)scorpions, and stings; and in their (S)tails is their power to hurt men for (T)five months.

 11They have as king over them, the angel of the (U)abyss; his name in (V)Hebrew is [a](W)Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.

 12(X)The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.

Footnotes:Revelation 9:11 I e destruction
Cross references:Revelation 9:1 : Rev 8:2 Revelation 9:1 : Rev 8:10 Revelation 9:1 : Rev 1:18 Revelation 9:1 : Luke 8:31; Rev 9:2, 11 Revelation 9:2 : Gen 19:28; Ex 19:18 Revelation 9:2 : Joel 2:2, 10 Revelation 9:3 : Ex 10:12-15; Rev 9:7 Revelation 9:3 : 2 Chr 10:11, 14; Ezek 2:6; Rev 9:5, 10 Revelation 9:4 : Rev 6:6 Revelation 9:4 : Rev 8:7 Revelation 9:4 : Ezek 9:4; Rev 7:2, 3 Revelation 9:5 : Rev 9:10 Revelation 9:5 : 2 Chr 10:11, 14; Ezek 2:6; Rev 9:3, 10 Revelation 9:6 : Job 3:21; 7:15; Jer 8:3; Rev 6:16 Revelation 9:7 : Joel 2:4 Revelation 9:8 : Joel 1:6 Revelation 9:9 : Jer 47:3; Joel 2:5 Revelation 9:10 : 2 Chr 10:11, 14; Ezek 2:6; Rev 9:3, 5 Revelation 9:10 : Rev 9:19 Revelation 9:10 : Rev 9:5 Revelation 9:11 : Luke 8:31; Rev 9:1, 2 Revelation 9:11 : John 5:2; Rev 16:16 Revelation 9:11 : Job 26:6; 28:22; 31:12; Ps 88:11 mg; Prov 15:11 Revelation 9:12 : Rev 8:13; 11:14


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