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


 15 This is what the LORD says:
       "A voice is heard in Ramah,
       mourning and great weeping,
       Rachel weeping for her children
       and refusing to be comforted,
       because her children are no more."

 16 This is what the LORD says:
       "Restrain your voice from weeping
       and your eyes from tears,
       for your work will be rewarded,"
       declares the LORD.
       "They will return from the land of the enemy.

 17 So there is hope for your future,"
       declares the LORD.
       "Your children will return to their own land.



Epistle: Rev. 14:1-5


The Lamb and the 144,000

 1Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. 2And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. 3And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. 5No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.



Gospel: Matt. 2:13-18


The Escape to Egypt

 13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."[a]

 16When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 18"A voice is heard in Ramah,
      weeping and great mourning,
   Rachel weeping for her children
      and refusing to be comforted,
   because they are no more."[b]

Footnotes:Matthew 2:15 Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:18 Jer. 31:15


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


The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

 13 See, my servant will act wisely [a] ;
       he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him [b]
       his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
       and his form marred beyond human likeness—

 15 so will he sprinkle many nations, [c]
       and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
       For what they were not told, they will see,
       and what they have not heard, they will understand.

 1 Who has believed our message
       and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
       and like a root out of dry ground.
       He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
       nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

 3 He was despised and rejected by men,
       a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
       Like one from whom men hide their faces
       he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 4 Surely he took up our infirmities
       and carried our sorrows,
       yet we considered him stricken by God,
       smitten by him, and afflicted.

 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.

 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
       each of us has turned to his own way;
       and the LORD has laid on him
       the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
       yet he did not open his mouth;
       he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
       and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
       so he did not open his mouth.

 8 By oppression [d] and judgment he was taken away.
       And who can speak of his descendants?
       For he was cut off from the land of the living;
       for the transgression of my people he was stricken. [e]

 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
       and with the rich in his death,
       though he had done no violence,
       nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
       and though the LORD makes [f] his life a guilt offering,
       he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
       and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

 11 After the suffering of his soul,
       he will see the light of life [g] and be satisfied [h] ;
       by his knowledge [i] my righteous servant will justify many,
       and he will bear their iniquities.

 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, [j]
       and he will divide the spoils with the strong, [k]
       because he poured out his life unto death,
       and was numbered with the transgressors.
       For he bore the sin of many,
       and made intercession for the transgressors.

The Future Glory of Zion

 1 "Sing, O barren woman,
       you who never bore a child;
       burst into song, shout for joy,
       you who were never in labor;
       because more are the children of the desolate woman
       than of her who has a husband,"
       says the LORD.

 2 "Enlarge the place of your tent,
       stretch your tent curtains wide,
       do not hold back;
       lengthen your cords,
       strengthen your stakes.

 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
       your descendants will dispossess nations
       and settle in their desolate cities.

 4 "Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.
       Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
       You will forget the shame of your youth
       and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

 5 For your Maker is your husband—
       the LORD Almighty is his name—
       the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
       he is called the God of all the earth.

 6 The LORD will call you back
       as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
       a wife who married young,
       only to be rejected," says your God.

 7 "For a brief moment I abandoned you,
       but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

 8 In a surge of anger
       I hid my face from you for a moment,
       but with everlasting kindness
       I will have compassion on you,"
       says the LORD your Redeemer.

 9 "To me this is like the days of Noah,
       when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
       So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
       never to rebuke you again.

 10 Though the mountains be shaken
       and the hills be removed,
       yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
       nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
       says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Footnotes:Isaiah 52:13 Or will prosper Isaiah 52:14 Hebrew you Isaiah 52:15 Hebrew; Septuagint so will many nations marvel at him Isaiah 53:8 Or From arrest Isaiah 53:8 Or away. / Yet who of his generation considered / that he was cut off from the land of the living / for the transgression of my people, / to whom the blow was due? Isaiah 53:10 Hebrew though you make Isaiah 53:11 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint Masoretic Text does not have the light of life . Isaiah 53:11 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11 He will see the result of the suffering of his soul / and be satisfied Isaiah 53:11 Or by knowledge of him Isaiah 53:12 Or many Isaiah 53:12 Or numerous


Second Reading: Matt. 2:13-23


The Escape to Egypt

 13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."[a]

 16When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
 18"A voice is heard in Ramah,
      weeping and great mourning,
   Rachel weeping for her children
      and refusing to be comforted,
   because they are no more."[b]

The Return to Nazareth

 19After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

 21So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

Footnotes:Matthew 2:15 Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:18 Jer. 31:15


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