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

 36 Gideon said to God, "If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised- 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

 39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

Epistle: Eph. 1:3-6

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[a] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Footnotes:Ephesians 1:5 Or sight in love. 5 He

Gospel: John 20:24-31

Jesus Appears to Thomas

 24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
      But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."

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

 29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

 30Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31But these are written that you may[a] believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Footnotes:John 20:31 Some manuscripts may continue to

First Reading: Is. 42:1-25

The Servant of the Lord

 1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
       my chosen one in whom I delight;
       I will put my Spirit on him
       and he will bring justice to the nations.

 2 He will not shout or cry out,
       or raise his voice in the streets.

 3 A bruised reed he will not break,
       and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
       In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

 4 he will not falter or be discouraged
       till he establishes justice on earth.
       In his law the islands will put their hope."

 5 This is what God the LORD says—
       he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
       who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
       who gives breath to its people,
       and life to those who walk on it:

 6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
       I will take hold of your hand.
       I will keep you and will make you
       to be a covenant for the people
       and a light for the Gentiles,

 7 to open eyes that are blind,
       to free captives from prison
       and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

 8 "I am the LORD; that is my name!
       I will not give my glory to another
       or my praise to idols.

 9 See, the former things have taken place,
       and new things I declare;
       before they spring into being
       I announce them to you."

Song of Praise to the Lord

 10Sing to the LORD a new song,
       his praise from the ends of the earth,
       you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
       you islands, and all who live in them.

 11 Let the desert and its towns raise their voices;
       let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
       Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
       let them shout from the mountaintops.

 12 Let them give glory to the LORD
       and proclaim his praise in the islands.

 13 The LORD will march out like a mighty man,
       like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
       with a shout he will raise the battle cry
       and will triumph over his enemies.

 14 "For a long time I have kept silent,
       I have been quiet and held myself back.
       But now, like a woman in childbirth,
       I cry out, I gasp and pant.

 15 I will lay waste the mountains and hills
       and dry up all their vegetation;
       I will turn rivers into islands
       and dry up the pools.

 16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
       along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
       I will turn the darkness into light before them
       and make the rough places smooth.
       These are the things I will do;
       I will not forsake them.

 17 But those who trust in idols,
       who say to images, 'You are our gods,'
       will be turned back in utter shame.

Israel Blind and Deaf

 18 "Hear, you deaf;
       look, you blind, and see!

 19 Who is blind but my servant,
       and deaf like the messenger I send?
       Who is blind like the one committed to me,
       blind like the servant of the LORD ?

 20 You have seen many things, but have paid no attention;
       your ears are open, but you hear nothing."

 21 It pleased the LORD
       for the sake of his righteousness
       to make his law great and glorious.

 22 But this is a people plundered and looted,
       all of them trapped in pits
       or hidden away in prisons.
       They have become plunder,
       with no one to rescue them;
       they have been made loot,
       with no one to say, "Send them back."

 23 Which of you will listen to this
       or pay close attention in time to come?

 24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
       and Israel to the plunderers?
       Was it not the LORD,
       against whom we have sinned?
       For they would not follow his ways;
       they did not obey his law.

 25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,
       the violence of war.
       It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand;
       it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.

Second Reading: Rev. 9:1-12

 1The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

 7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.[a]

 12The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

Footnotes:Revelation 9:11 Abaddon and Apollyon mean Destroyer.


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