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Last Sunday

November 24th, 2019

  1. Explanation of the Week
  2. Introit
  3. Collect
  4. Old Testament  · Isaiah 65:17-25
  5. Gradual
  6. Epistle  · 1 Thess. 5:1-11
  7. Verse
  8. Gospel  · Matt. 25:1-13
  9. Morning Psalm  · Ps. 103
  10. First Reading  · Dan. 4:1-37
  11. Evening Psalm  · Ps. 27; Ps. 97
  12. Second Reading  · Rev. 21:1-8

Explanation of the Week

"The day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night" (1 Thess 5:1-11). The arrival of the bridegroom will be sudden and unexpected. Therefore you are to be watchful and ready like the five wise virgins. "For you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming" (Matt 25:1-13). The lamps are the Word of Christ. The oil in the lamps is the Holy Spirit, who works through the Word to create and sustain the flame of faith in Christ. The foolish are those who do not give proper attention to the working of the Holy Spirit in baptism, preaching, and the supper, and so their faith does not endure. The wise, however, are those who diligently attend to these gifts of the Spirit, and who therefore have an abundance of oil. The flame of faith endures to the end. By God's grace they are received into the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth created by the Lord for the joy of His people (Is 65:17-25).
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Introit

Antiphon:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, | says the LORD,*
     thoughts of peace and not of | evil,
Then you will call upon Me and go and | pray to Me,*
     and I will listen | unto you. (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

Psalm:
Lord, You have been favorable | to Your land;*
     You have brought back the captivity of | Jacob.
Show us Your | mercy, LORD,*
     and grant us Your sal- | vation.
Surely His salvation is near to those who | fear Him,*
     that glory may dwell | in our land.
Truth shall spring out | of the earth,*
     and righteousness shall look down from | heaven. (Psalm 85:1, 7, 9, 11)
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Collect

O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that, from the bonds of our sins which by reason of our frailty we have brought upon ourselves, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit , one God, now and forever.
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Old Testament · Isaiah 65:17-25

The Glorious New Creation

17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or [a]come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.

20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
Nor bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord,
And their offspring with them.

24 “It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 65:17 Lit. come upon the heart

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Gradual

The King’s daughter shall be brought / to the King;*
     the virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be / brought to You.
With gladness and rejoicing they / shall be brought;*
     they shall enter the King’s / palace. (Psalm 45:14–15)
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Epistle · 1 Thess. 5:1-11

The Day of the Lord

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be [a]sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

11 Therefore [b]comfort each other and [c]edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 self-controlled
  2. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Or encourage
  3. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 build one another up

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Verse

Alle- / luia.*
     Alle- / luia.
I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heav- / en from God,*
     prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Alle- / luia. (Revelation 21:2)
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Gospel · Matt. 25:1-13

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom [a]is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [b]in which the Son of Man is coming.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 25:6 NU omits is coming
  2. Matthew 25:13 NU omits the rest of v. 13.

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Morning Psalm · Ps. 103

Praise for the Lord’s Mercies

A Psalm of David.

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He [a]knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is [b]gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You [c]ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 103:14 Understands our constitution
  2. Psalm 103:16 not
  3. Psalm 103:21 servants

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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First Reading · Dan. 4:1-37

Nebuchadnezzar’s Second Dream

Nebuchadnezzar the king,

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you.

I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me.

How great are His signs,
And how mighty His wonders!
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And His dominion is from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore I issued a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.

10 “These were the visions of my head while on my bed:

I was looking, and behold,
A tree in the midst of the earth,
And its height was great.
11 The tree grew and became strong;
Its height reached to the heavens,
And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth.
12 Its leaves were lovely,
Its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches,
And all flesh was fed from it.

13 “I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried [a]aloud and said thus:

‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches,
Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit.
Let the beasts get out from under it,
And the birds from its branches.
15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth,
Bound with a band of iron and bronze,
In the tender grass of the field.
Let it be wet with the dew of heaven,
And let him graze with the beasts
On the grass of the earth.
16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man,
Let him be given the heart of a beast,
And let seven times[b] pass over him.

17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.’

18 “This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar, declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.”

Daniel Explains the Second Dream

19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonished for a time, and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spoke, and said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation trouble you.”

Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream [c]concern those who hate you, and its interpretation [d]concern your enemies!

20 “The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home— 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth.

23 “And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven [e]times pass over him’; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: 25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven [f]times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

26 “And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven[g] rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a [h]lengthening of your prosperity.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Humiliation

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking [i]about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! 32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven [j]times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

34 And at the end of the [k]time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom is from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand
Or say to Him, “What have You done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 4:14 Lit. with strength
  2. Daniel 4:16 Possibly years
  3. Daniel 4:19 be for
  4. Daniel 4:19 for
  5. Daniel 4:23 Possibly years
  6. Daniel 4:25 Possibly years
  7. Daniel 4:26 God
  8. Daniel 4:27 prolonging
  9. Daniel 4:29 Or upon
  10. Daniel 4:32 Possibly years
  11. Daniel 4:34 Lit. days

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Evening Psalm · Ps. 27; Ps. 97

An Exuberant Declaration of Faith

A Psalm of David.

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat[a] up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the [b]beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be [c]lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of [d]joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait[e] on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 27:2 devour
  2. Psalm 27:4 delightfulness
  3. Psalm 27:6 Lifted up in honor
  4. Psalm 27:6 joyous shouts
  5. Psalm 27:14 Wait in faith

A Song of Praise to the Sovereign Lord

97 The Lord reigns;
Let the earth rejoice;
Let the multitude of [a]isles be glad!

Clouds and darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
A fire goes before Him,
And burns up His enemies round about.
His lightnings light the world;
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare His righteousness,
And all the peoples see His glory.

Let all be put to shame who serve carved images,
Who boast of idols.
Worship Him, all you gods.
Zion hears and is glad,
And the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments, O Lord.
For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.

10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the righteous,
And gladness for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous,
And give thanks [b]at the remembrance of [c]His holy name.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 97:1 Or coastlands
  2. Psalm 97:12 Or for the memory
  3. Psalm 97:12 Or His holiness

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Second Reading · Rev. 21:1-8

All Things Made New

21 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said [b]to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It[c] is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes [d]shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, [e]unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 21:2 NU, M omit John
  2. Revelation 21:5 NU, M omit to me
  3. Revelation 21:6 M omits It is done
  4. Revelation 21:7 M I shall give him these things
  5. Revelation 21:8 M adds and sinners,

New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Translations

ESV · NKJV · KJV