December 23rd, 2018

Rorate coeli (Advent 4)


Explanation of the Week

The coming of God in all His unveiled power at Mt. Sinai was terrifying to the people of Israel. The thundering voice of the Lord puts sinners in fear of death (Deut 18:15-19). God, therefore, raised up a prophet like Moses, the Messiah, the Christ. God came to His people veiled in human flesh. The skies poured down the Righteous One from heaven; the earth opened her womb and brought forth Salvation (Introit) through the blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of the Lord (Lk 1:39-56). The fruit of her womb is the very Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, the One whose sandal strap John was not worthy to loose (Jn 1:19-28). In Jesus we are delivered from fear and anxiety. In Him alone we have the peace of God which surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:4-7).

Introit

Antiphon:
Rain down, you heavens, | from above,*
     and let the skies pour down the | Righteous One;
Let the earth o- | pen her womb,*
     and bring forth Sal- | vation. (Isaiah 45:8)

Psalm:
The heavens declare the glo- | ry of God;*
     and the firmament shows His | handiwork.
Their voice is gone out into | all the earth,*
     and their words to the end | of the world.
In the heavens He has set a tabernacle | for the sun,*
     which is like a Bridegroom coming out of His | chamber.
His going forth is from the end of the | heaven,*
     and his circuit unto the | end of it. (Psalm 19:1, 4-6)

Collect (LSB)

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Collect (TLH)

Stir up, O Lord, we beseech Thee, Thy power, and come and help us with Thy great might, that by Thy grace whatsoever is hindered by our sins may be speedily accomplished through Thy mercy and satisfaction; who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghoest, ever one God world without end. Amen.

Collecta Latina

Excita quaesumus Domine potentiam tuam et veni, et magna nobis virtute succurre, ut per auxilium gratiae tuae quod nostra peccata praepediunt, indulgentia tuae propitiationis acceleret. Qui cum Patre et Spiritu sancto vivis et regnas DEUS, per omnia secula seculorum, Amen.

Old Testament (LSB): Deut. 18:15-19


A New Prophet Like Moses

    15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.



Old Testament: Isaiah 40:1-8


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.”
      

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.


Gradual

The LORD is near to all who call up- | on Him,*
     to all who call upon | Him in truth.
My mouth shall speak the praise | of the LORD,*
     and all flesh shall bless His | holy name. (Psalm 145:18, 21)

Epistle: Phil. 4:4-7


4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.



Verse

Alle- | luia.*
     Alle- | luia.
You are my help and my de- | liverer;*
     do not delay, O my God. Alle- | luia. (Ps.40:17)

Gospel: John 1:19-28


A Voice in the Wilderness

    19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said: “I am
      ‘ The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      “ Make straight the way of the LORD,”’[a]

   as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” 28 These things were done in Bethabara[b] beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Footnotes:John 1:23 Isaiah 40:3 John 1:28 NU-Text and M-Text read Bethany.


Offertory

Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. (Luke 1)

Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 5


To the Chief Musician. With flutes.[a] A Psalm of David.

 1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
         Consider my meditation.
 2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
         My King and my God,
         For to You I will pray.
 3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
         In the morning I will direct it to You,
         And I will look up.
         
 4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
         Nor shall evil dwell with You.
 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
         You hate all workers of iniquity.
 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
         The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
         
 7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
         In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
 8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
         Make Your way straight before my face.
         
 9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
         Their inward part is destruction;
         Their throat is an open tomb;
         They flatter with their tongue.
 10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
         Let them fall by their own counsels;
         Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
         For they have rebelled against You.
         
 11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
         Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
         Let those also who love Your name
         Be joyful in You.
 12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
         With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Footnotes:Psalm 5:1 Hebrew nehiloth


First Reading: Is. 43:25-44:20


25 “ I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
      And I will not remember your sins.
       26 Put Me in remembrance;
      Let us contend together;
      State your case, that you may be acquitted.
       27 Your first father sinned,
      And your mediators have transgressed against Me.
       28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary;
      I will give Jacob to the curse,
      And Israel to reproaches.

God’s Blessing on Israel
 1 “Yet hear me now, O Jacob My servant,
      And Israel whom I have chosen.
       2 Thus says the LORD who made you
      And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
      ‘ Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
      And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
       3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
      And floods on the dry ground;
      I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
      And My blessing on your offspring;
       4 They will spring up among the grass
      Like willows by the watercourses.’
       5 One will say, ‘I am the LORD’s’;
      Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
      Another will write with his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
      And name himself by the name of Israel.
There Is No Other God
    6 “ Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel,
      And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
      ‘ I am the First and I am the Last;
      Besides Me there is no God.
       7 And who can proclaim as I do?
      Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
      Since I appointed the ancient people.
      And the things that are coming and shall come,
      Let them show these to them.
       8 Do not fear, nor be afraid;
      Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
      You are My witnesses.
      Is there a God besides Me?
      Indeed there is no other Rock;
      I know not one.’”
Idolatry Is Foolishness
    9 Those who make an image, all of them are useless,
      And their precious things shall not profit;
      They are their own witnesses;
      They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.
       10 Who would form a god or mold an image
      Thatprofits him nothing?
       11 Surely all his companions would be ashamed;
      And the workmen, they are mere men.
      Let them all be gathered together,
      Let them stand up;
      Yet they shall fear,
      They shall be ashamed together.
       12 The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals,
      Fashions it with hammers,
      And works it with the strength of his arms.
      Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails;
      He drinks no water and is faint.
       13 The craftsman stretches out his rule,
      He marks one out with chalk;
      He fashions it with a plane,
      He marks it out with the compass,
      And makes it like the figure of a man,
      According to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.
       14 He cuts down cedars for himself,
      And takes the cypress and the oak;
      He secures it for himself among the trees of the forest.
      He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it.
       15 Then it shall be for a man to burn,
      For he will take some of it and warm himself;
      Yes, he kindles it and bakes bread;
      Indeed he makes a god and worships it;
      He makes it a carved image, and falls down to it.
       16 He burns half of it in the fire;
      With this half he eats meat;
      He roasts a roast, and is satisfied.
      He even warms himself and says,
      “ Ah! I am warm,
      I have seen the fire.”
       17 And the rest of it he makes into a god,
      His carved image.
      He falls down before it and worships it,
      Prays to it and says,
      “ Deliver me, for you are my god!”
       18 They do not know nor understand;
      For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see,
      And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
       19 And no one considers in his heart,
      Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say,
      “ I have burned half of it in the fire,
      Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals;
      I have roasted meat and eaten it;
      And shall I make the rest of it an abomination?
      Shall I fall down before a block of wood?”
       20 He feeds on ashes;
      A deceived heart has turned him aside;
      And he cannot deliver his soul,
      Nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”



Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 145


A Praise of David.

 1 I will extol You, my God, O King;
         And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
 2 Every day I will bless You,
         And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
 3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
         And His greatness is unsearchable.
         
 4 One generation shall praise Your works to another,
         And shall declare Your mighty acts.
 5 I[a] will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
         And on Your wondrous works.[b]
 6 Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
         And I will declare Your greatness.
 7 They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
         And shall sing of Your righteousness.
         
 8 The LORD is gracious and full of compassion,
         Slow to anger and great in mercy.
 9 The LORD is good to all,
         And His tender mercies are over all His works.
         
 10 All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
         And Your saints shall bless You.
 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
         And talk of Your power,
 12 To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
         And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
         And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.[c]
         
 14 The LORD upholds all who fall,
         And raises up all who are bowed down.
 15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
         And You give them their food in due season.
 16 You open Your hand
         And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
         
 17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways,
         Gracious in all His works.
 18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
         To all who call upon Him in truth.
 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
         He also will hear their cry and save them.
 20 The LORD preserves all who love Him,
         But all the wicked He will destroy.
 21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD,
         And all flesh shall bless His holy name
         Forever and ever.

Footnotes:Psalm 145:5 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read They. Psalm 145:5 Literally on the words of Your wondrous works Psalm 145:13 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate add The Lord is faithful in all His words, And holy in all His works.


Second Reading: Rev. 11:1-19


The Two Witnesses

 1 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood,[a] saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. 3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God[b] of the earth. 5 And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. 6 These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.

The Witnesses Killed

    7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our[c] Lord was crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow[d] their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

The Witnesses Resurrected

    11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they[e] heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Proclaimed

    15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms[f] of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying:
      “ We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
      The One who is and who was and who is to come,[g]
      Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
       18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
      And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
      And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
      And those who fear Your name, small and great,
      And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant[h] was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

Footnotes:Revelation 11:1 NU-Text and M-Text omit And the angel stood. Revelation 11:4 NU-Text and M-Text read Lord. Revelation 11:8 NU-Text and M-Text read their. Revelation 11:9 NU-Text and M-Text read nations see . . . and will not allow. Revelation 11:12 M-Text reads I. Revelation 11:15 NU-Text and M-Text read kingdom . . . has become. Revelation 11:17 NU-Text and M-Text omit and who is to come. Revelation 11:19 M-Text reads the covenant of the Lord.


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