January 25th, 2019

The Conversion of Saint Paul


Collect (LSB)

Almighty God, You turned the heart of him who persecuted the Church and by his preaching caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world. Grant us ever to rejoice in the saving light of Your Gospel and, following the example of the apostle Paul, to spread it to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Old Testament (LSB): Acts 9:1-22


 1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

 2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

 3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

 4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

 5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

 6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

 7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

 8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

 9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

 10And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

 11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

 12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

 13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

 14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

 15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

 16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

 17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

 18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

 19And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

 20And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

 21But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

 22But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.



Epistle: Gal. 1:11-24


 11But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

 12For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 13For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

 14And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

 15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace,

 16To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

 17Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

 18Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

 19But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.

 20Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.

 21Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;

 22And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:

 23But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

 24And they glorified God in me.



Gospel: Matt. 19:27-30


 27Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

 28And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

 29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

 30But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.



First Reading: Zech. 1:1-21


 1In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

 2The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.

 3Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.

 4Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.

 5Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

 6But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

 7Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

 8I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

 9Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.

 10And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

 11And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

 12Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

 13And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

 14So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

 15And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

 16Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

 17Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

 18Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.

 19And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

 20And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.

 21Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.



Second Reading: Rom. 14:1-23


 1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

 4Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

 5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

 6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

 7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

 9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

 10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

 14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

 16Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

 20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

 21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

 22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

 23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.



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