December 28th, 2018

Holy Innocents, Martyrs


Collect (LSB)

Almighty God, the martyred innocents of Bethlehem showed forth Your praise not by speaking but by dying. Put to death in us all that is in conflict with Your will that our lives may bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Old Testament: Jer. 31:15-17


 15Thus says the LORD:(A) "A voice is heard in(B) Ramah,
   lamentation and bitter weeping.(C) Rachel is weeping for her children;
   she refuses to be comforted for her children,
   (D) because they are no more."

 16Thus says the LORD:"Keep your voice from weeping,
   and your eyes from tears,for there is a reward for your work,
         declares the LORD,
   and(E) they shall come back from the land of the enemy. 17(F) There is hope for your future,
         declares the LORD,
   and your children shall come back to their own country.

Cross references:Jeremiah 31:15 : Cited Matt 2:18 Jeremiah 31:15 : Josh 18:25 Jeremiah 31:15 : Gen 35:19, 20; 48:7; 1 Sam 10:2 Jeremiah 31:15 : Jeremiah 10:20 Jeremiah 31:16 : Ezra 1:5; Hos 1:11 Jeremiah 31:17 : Jeremiah 29:11


Epistle: Rev. 14:1-5


The Lamb and the 144,000

 1Then I looked, and behold, on(A) Mount Zion(B) stood the Lamb, and with him(C) 144,000 who(D) had his name and his Father’s name written(E) on their foreheads. 2And I heard a voice from heaven(F) like the roar of many waters and(G) like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of(H) harpists playing on their harps, 3and they were singing(I) a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.(J) No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for(K) they are virgins. It is these(L) who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as(M) firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5and(N) in their mouth no lie was found, for they are(O) blameless.

Cross references:Revelation 14:1 : Psalm 2:6; Heb 12:22 Revelation 14:1 : Revelation 5:6 Revelation 14:1 : Revelation 7:4 Revelation 14:1 : Revelation 3:12 Revelation 14:1 : Revelation 7:3 Revelation 14:2 : Revelation 1:15 Revelation 14:2 : Revelation 6:1; 19:6 Revelation 14:2 : Revelation 5:8; 15:2 Revelation 14:3 : Revelation 5:9 Revelation 14:3 : Revelation 2:17; 19:12 Revelation 14:4 : 2 Cor 11:2 Revelation 14:4 : Revelation 3:4; 17:14 Revelation 14:4 : James 1:18 Revelation 14:5 : Zeph 3:13; Psalm 32:2; Isa 63:8; John 1:47 Revelation 14:5 : Jude 24


Gospel: Matt. 2:13-18


The Flight to Egypt

 13Now when they had departed, behold,(A) an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." 14And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15and remained there until the death of Herod.(B) This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet,(C) "Out of Egypt I called my son."

Herod Kills the Children

 16Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17(D) Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
 18(E) "A voice was heard in Ramah,
   weeping and loud lamentation,Rachel weeping for her children;
   she refused to be comforted, because they(F) are no more."

Cross references:Matthew 2:13 : Matthew 2:19; Matthew 1:20; Matthew 2:12, 22 Matthew 2:15 : Matthew 1:22 Matthew 2:15 : Hos 11:1 Matthew 2:17 : Matthew 27:9; Matthew 1:22 Matthew 2:18 : Jer 31:15 Matthew 2:18 : Gen 42:13, 36; Lam 5:7


First Reading: Is. 52:13-54:10


He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions

 13Behold,(A) my servant shall act wisely;[a]
   he shall be high and lifted up,
   and shall be exalted. 14As many were astonished at you—
   (B) his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
   and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15so(C) shall he sprinkle[b] many nations;
   (D) kings shall shut their mouths because of him;(E) for that which has not been told them they see,
   and that which they have not heard they understand. 1(F) Who has believed what he has heard from us?[c]
   And to whom has(G) the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2For he grew up before him like a young plant,
   (H) and like a root out of dry ground;(I) he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
   and no beauty that we should desire him. 3(J) He was despised and rejected[d] by men;
   a man of sorrows,[e] and acquainted with[f] grief;[g]and as one from whom men hide their faces[h]
   he was despised, and(K) we esteemed him not.

 4(L) Surely he has borne our griefs
   and carried our sorrows;yet we esteemed him stricken,
   (M) smitten by God, and afflicted. 5(N) But he was wounded for our transgressions;
   he was crushed for our iniquities;upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
   (O) and with his stripes we are healed. 6(P) All we like sheep have gone astray;
   we have turned—every one—to his own way;(Q) and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
   (R) yet he opened not his mouth;(S) like a(T) lamb that is led to the slaughter,
   and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
   so he opened not his mouth. 8By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
   and as for his generation,(U) who consideredthat he was cut off out of the land of the living,
   stricken for the transgression of my people? 9And they made his grave with the wicked
   (V) and with a rich man in his death,although(W) he had done no violence,
   and there was no deceit in his mouth.

 10Yet(X) it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
   he has put him to grief;[i](Y) when his soul makes[j] an offering for guilt,
   he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;(Z) the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[k] and be satisfied;by his knowledge shall(AA) the righteous one, my servant,
   (AB) make many to be accounted righteous,
   (AC) and he shall bear their iniquities. 12(AD) Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[l]
   (AE) and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[m]because he poured out his soul to death
   and was numbered with the transgressors;(AF) yet he bore the sin of many,
   and makes intercession for the transgressors.

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

 1(AG) "Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
   break forth into singing and cry aloud,
   you who have not been in labor!For the children of(AH) the desolate one(AI) will be more
   than the children of her who is married," says the LORD. 2(AJ) "Enlarge the place of your tent,
   and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;do not hold back; lengthen your cords
   and strengthen your stakes. 3(AK) For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
   and your offspring will possess the nations
   and will people the desolate cities.

 4"Fear not,(AL) for you will not be ashamed;
   be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;for you will forget the shame of your youth,
   and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. 5(AM) For your Maker is your husband,
   the LORD of hosts is his name;(AN) and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
   (AO) the God of the whole earth he is called. 6(AP) For the LORD has called you
   like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
   says your God. 7(AQ) For a brief moment I deserted you,
   but with great compassion I will gather you. 8(AR) In overflowing anger for a moment
   I hid my face from you,(AS) but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,"
   says the LORD, your Redeemer.

 9"This is like(AT) the days of Noah[n] to me:
   as I swore that the waters of Noah
   should no more go over the earth,so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
   and will not rebuke you. 10For the mountains may depart
   and the hills be removed,but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
   and(AU) my covenant of peace shall not be removed,"
   says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Footnotes:Isaiah 52:13 Or shall prosper Isaiah 52:15 Or startle Isaiah 53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard? Isaiah 53:3 Or forsaken Isaiah 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4 Isaiah 53:3 Or and knowing Isaiah 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4 Isaiah 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us Isaiah 53:10 Or he has made him sick Isaiah 53:10 Or when you make his soul Isaiah 53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light Isaiah 53:12 Or with the great Isaiah 53:12 Or with the numerous Isaiah 54:9 Some manuscripts For this is as the waters of Noah
Cross references:Isaiah 52:13 : Isaiah 42:1 Isaiah 52:14 : Isaiah 53:2, 3 Isaiah 52:15 : Lev 4:6, 17 Isaiah 52:15 : Isaiah 49:7, 23 Isaiah 52:15 : Cited Rom 15:21; Rom 16:25 Isaiah 53:1 : Cited John 12:38; Rom 10:16 Isaiah 53:1 : Isaiah 51:9 Isaiah 53:2 : Isaiah 11:1 Isaiah 53:2 : Isaiah 52:14 Isaiah 53:3 : Isaiah 49:7; Psalm 22:6; Mark 9:12 Isaiah 53:3 : John 1:10, 11 Isaiah 53:4 : Matt 8:17 Isaiah 53:4 : Psalm 69:26 Isaiah 53:5 : Rom 4:25 Isaiah 53:5 : Cited 1 Pet 2:24 Isaiah 53:6 : Cited 1 Pet 2:25; Jer 50:6, 17 Isaiah 53:6 : 2 Cor 5:21; Isaiah 53:10; Col 2:14 Isaiah 53:7 : Matt 26:63; Mark 14:61; John 19:9; 1 Pet 2:23 Isaiah 53:7 : Cited Acts 8:32 Isaiah 53:7 : Jer 11:19 Isaiah 53:8 : Isaiah 57:1 Isaiah 53:9 : Matt 27:57, 60 Isaiah 53:9 : Cited 1 Pet 2:22; Heb 4:15; 1 John 3:5 Isaiah 53:10 : Isaiah 53:4 Isaiah 53:10 : Isaiah 53:6 Isaiah 53:10 : Isaiah 44:28 Isaiah 53:11 : 1 John 2:1 Isaiah 53:11 : Acts 13:39; Rom 5:18, 19 Isaiah 53:11 : Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah 53:12 : Isaiah 52:13; Phil 2:9 Isaiah 53:12 : Col 2:15 Isaiah 53:12 : Isaiah 53:6, 8, 10 Isaiah 54:1 : Cited Gal 4:27 Isaiah 54:1 : Isaiah 62:4 Isaiah 54:1 : 1 Sam 2:5 Isaiah 54:2 : Isaiah 49:19, 20 Isaiah 54:3 : Isaiah 11:14; Gen 28:14 Isaiah 54:4 : Isaiah 45:17 Isaiah 54:5 : Isaiah 62:4, 5; Hos 2:7 Isaiah 54:5 : Isaiah 43:14 Isaiah 54:5 : Zech 14:9 Isaiah 54:6 : Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 49:14; 60:15; 62:4 Isaiah 54:7 : Isaiah 26:20 Isaiah 54:8 : Isaiah 54:7 Isaiah 54:8 : Isaiah 55:3 Isaiah 54:9 : Gen 8:21; 9:11 Isaiah 54:10 : Num 25:12; Ezek 34:25; 37:26; Mal 2:5


Second Reading: Matt. 2:13-23


The Flight to Egypt

 13Now when they had departed, behold,(A) an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." 14And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15and remained there until the death of Herod.(B) This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet,(C) "Out of Egypt I called my son."

Herod Kills the Children

 16Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17(D) Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
 18(E) "A voice was heard in Ramah,
   weeping and loud lamentation,Rachel weeping for her children;
   she refused to be comforted, because they(F) are no more."

The Return to Nazareth

 19But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for(G) those who sought the child’s life are dead." 21And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and(H) being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23And he went and lived in a city called(I) Nazareth,(J) that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Cross references:Matthew 2:13 : Matthew 2:19; Matthew 1:20; Matthew 2:12, 22 Matthew 2:15 : Matthew 1:22 Matthew 2:15 : Hos 11:1 Matthew 2:17 : Matthew 27:9; Matthew 1:22 Matthew 2:18 : Jer 31:15 Matthew 2:18 : Gen 42:13, 36; Lam 5:7 Matthew 2:20 : Exodus 4:19 Matthew 2:22 : Matthew 2:12 Matthew 2:23 : Matthew 4:13; Mark 1:9; Luke 1:26; 2:39; 4:16; John 1:45 Matthew 2:23 : Matthew 1:22


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