March 31st, 2019
Laetare (Lent 4)
Explanation of the Week
The Lord provided bread from heaven for His people in the wilderness. (Ex 16:2-21) Now He who is Himself the Living Bread from heaven miraculously provides bread for the 5000. (Jn 6:1-15) This takes place near the time of the Passover, after a great multitude followed Jesus across the Sea, when He went up on a mountain. Thus we see that Jesus is our new and greater Moses, who releases us from the bondage of Mt. Sinai and makes us free children of the promise. (Gal 4:21-31) Five loaves become twelves baskets, that is, the five books of Moses find their goal and fulfillment in Christ, whose people continue steadfastly in the doctrine and fellowship of the twelve apostles, and in the breaking and receiving of the Bread of Life, which is the body of Christ together with His precious blood, and in the prayers. (Acts 2:41-47) So it is that God's people "shall neither hunger nor thirst." (Is 49:8-13) For He abundantly provides for them in both body and soul.
Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be | glad with her,*
all you who | love her;
that you may feed and be | satisfied*
with the consolation of her | bosom. (Isaiah 66:10-11)
I was glad when they | said to me,*
"Let us go into the house | of the LORD."
Our feet have been | standing*
within your gates, O Je- | rusalem!
Pray for the peace of Je- | rusalem:*
"May they prosper who | love you."
For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will | now say,*
"Peace be with- | in you." (Psalm 122:1-2, 6, 8)
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who for our evil deed do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Concede quaesumus omnipotens Deus, ut qui ex merito nostrae actionis affligimur, tuae gratiae consolatione respiremus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus. Per omnia secula seculorum, Amen.
Old Testament (LSB): Exodus 16:2-21
2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days."
6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?" 8 Moses also said, "You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD."
9 Then Moses told Aaron, "Say to the entire Israelite community, 'Come before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.' "
10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud.
11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "
13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. 15 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.
Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer [a]
for each person you have in your tent.' "
17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.
19 Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."
20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.
21 Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away.Footnotes:
Exodus 16:16 That is, probably about 2 quarts (about 2 liters also in verses 18, 32, 33 and 36
Old Testament: Isaiah 49:8-13
Restoration of Israel
8 This is what the LORD says:
"In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
"They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highways will be raised up.
12 See, they will come from afar—
some from the north, some from the west,
some from the region of Aswan. [a]
13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.Footnotes:
Isaiah 49:12 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text Sinim
I was glad when they | said to me,*
“Let us go into the house | of the LORD.”
Peace be with- | in your walls,*
Prosperity within your | palaces. (Psalm 122:1, 7)
Epistle: Gal. 4:21-31
Hagar and Sarah
21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise.
24These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written:
"Be glad, O barren woman,
who bears no children;
break forth and cry aloud,
you who have no labor pains;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband."[a]
28Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son."[b]
31Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.Footnotes:
Galatians 4:27 Isaiah 54:1
Galatians 4:30 Gen. 21:10
Those who trust | in the LORD*
are like Mount | Zion,
which can- | not be moved,*
but abides for- | ever.
As the mountains surround Je- | rusalem,*
so the LORD surrounds His | people
from this time forth and for- | ever.*
Peace be upon | Israel! (Psalm 125:1–2, 5)
Gospel: John 6:1-15
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
1Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), 2and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick. 3Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4The Jewish Passover Feast was near.
5When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
7Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages[a]
would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 9"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
10Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
14After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." 15Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.Footnotes:
John 6:7 Greek two hundred denarii
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant. Whatever the LORD pleases He does, In heaven and in earth. (Psalm 135)
Matins Psalm(s): Ps. 46
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A song. [a]
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields [b]
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1 Title: Probably a musical term
Psalm 46:9 Or chariots
First Reading: Gen. 41:28-57
"It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29
Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30
but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31
The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32
The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. 33
"And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34
Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35
They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36
This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine." 37
The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38
So Pharaoh asked them, "Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God [a]
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40
You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."
Joseph in Charge of Egypt 41
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt." 42
Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43
He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, [b]
and men shouted before him, "Make way [c]
!" Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 44
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt." 45
Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, [d]
to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt. 46
Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh's presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47
During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48
Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49
Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure. 50
Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51
Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh [e]
and said, "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." 52
The second son he named Ephraim [f]
and said, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering." 53
The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54
and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55
When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph and do what he tells you." 56
When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57
And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world.Footnotes:
Genesis 41:38 Or of the gods
Genesis 41:43 Or in the chariot of his second-in-command
; or in his second chariot
Genesis 41:43 Or Bow down
Genesis 41:45 That is, Heliopolis; also in verse 50
Genesis 41:51 Manasseh
sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for forget
Genesis 41:52 Ephraim
sounds like the Hebrew for twice fruitful
Vespers Psalm(s): Ps. 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a]
you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b]
me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.Footnotes:
Psalm 139:8 Hebrew Sheol
Psalm 139:17 Or concerning
Second Reading: Mk. 11:20-33
The Withered Fig Tree
20In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!" 22
faith in God," Jesus answered. 23
"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."[b]
The Authority of Jesus Questioned
27They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. 28"By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you authority to do this?" 29
Jesus replied, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 30
John's baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!" 31
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?' 32
But if we say, 'From men'...." (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) 33
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know."
Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."Footnotes:
Mark 11:22 Some early manuscripts If you have
Mark 11:25 Some manuscripts sins. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.