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November 8th, 2020

Third Last Sunday

Johannes von Staupitz, Luther's Father Confessor

  1. Explanation of the Week
  2. Introit
  3. Collect
  4. Old Testament  · Exodus 32:1-20
  5. Gradual
  6. Epistle  · 1 Thess. 4:13-18
  7. Verse
  8. Gospel  · Matt. 24:15-28
  9. Morning Psalm  · Ps. 116
  10. First Reading  · Jer. 20:1-18
  11. Evening Psalm  · Ps. 18:20-29
  12. Second Reading  · Matt. 24:29-51

Explanation of the Week

"The kingdom of God does not come with observation" (Luke 17:20-30). You must use your ears and not your eyes. For God's kingdom in this world is one of faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ. The people of Israel, however, wanted to walk not by faith but by sight. When Moses delayed in coming down the mountain, they decided to make a visible god for themselves, the golden calf (Ex 32:1-20). Upon such faithless and false worshipers God's judgment comes. Only on the Last Day will our faith be turned to sight. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matt 24:15-28). The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and He will gather His people to Himself, both the living and the dead. In a world in which our days are few and full of trouble (Job 14:1-6), let us comfort one another with these words of the resurrection and the coming of our Lord Jesus.
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Introit

Antiphon:
Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in | trouble;*
     deliver me from the hand of my | enemies.
Do not let me be a- | shamed, O LORD,*
     for I have called u- | pon You. (Psalm 31:9, 15, 17)

Psalm:
In You, O LORD, I | put my trust;*
     let me never | be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your | righteousness.*
     Bow down Your ear to me; deliver me | speedily.
Into Your hand I commit my | spirit;*
     You have redeemed me, O LORD | God of truth.
Be of good courage, and He shall streng- | then your heart,*
     all you who hope | in the LORD. (Psalm 31:1-2, 5, 24)
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Collect

Almighty God, we implore You, show Your mercy to Your humble servants that we, who put no trust in our own merits, may not be dealt with after the severity of Your judgment but according to Your mercy; 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 · Exodus 32:1-20

The Gold Calf

32 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us [a]gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.

Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord.” Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a [b]stiff-necked people! 10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may [c]consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”

11 Then Moses pleaded with [d]the Lord his God, and said: “Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” 14 So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.

15 And Moses turned and went down from the mountain, and the two tablets of the Testimony were in his hand. The tablets were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other they were written. 16 Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets.

17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.”

18 But he said:

It is not the noise of the shout of victory,
Nor the noise of the cry of defeat,
But the sound of singing I hear.”

19 So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses’ anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 32:1 Or a god
  2. Exodus 32:9 stubborn
  3. Exodus 32:10 destroy
  4. Exodus 32:11 Lit. the face of the Lord

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

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Gradual

Your enemies roar in the midst of Your / meeting place;*
     they set up their ban- / ners for signs.
Remember Your congregation, which You have pur- / chased of old,*
     the tribe of Your inheritance, which You / have redeemed. (Psalm 74:4, 2)
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Epistle · 1 Thess. 4:13-18

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen [a]asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who [b]sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are [c]asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Died
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:14 Or through Jesus sleep
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Dead

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

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Verse

Alle- / luia.*
     Alle- / luia.
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the ci- / ty of God,*
     the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. Alle- / luia. (Psalm 46:4)
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Gospel · Matt. 24:15-28

The Great Tribulation

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the [a]elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 24:22 chosen ones’

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

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Morning Psalm · Ps. 116

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death

116 I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

The [a]pains of death surrounded me,
And the [b]pangs of Sheol [c]laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
13 I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.

16 O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

[d]Praise the Lord!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 116:3 Lit. cords
  2. Psalm 116:3 distresses
  3. Psalm 116:3 Lit. found me
  4. Psalm 116:19 Heb. Hallelujah

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

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First Reading · Jer. 20:1-18

The Word of God to Pashhur

20 Now Pashhur the son of Immer, the priest who was also chief governor in the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things. Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord.

And it happened on the next day that Pashhur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord has not called your name Pashhur, but [a]Magor-Missabib. For thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword. Moreover I will deliver all the wealth of this city, all its produce, and all its precious things; all the treasures of the kings of Judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried there, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.’ ”

Jeremiah’s Unpopular Ministry

O Lord, You [b]induced me, and I was persuaded;
You are stronger than I, and have prevailed.
I am [c]in derision daily;
Everyone mocks me.
For when I spoke, I cried out;
I shouted, “Violence and plunder!”
Because the word of the Lord was made to me
A reproach and a derision daily.
Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.
10 For I heard many [d]mocking:
“Fear on every side!”
“Report,” they say, “and we will report it!”
All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying,
“Perhaps he can be induced;
Then we will prevail against him,
And we will take our revenge on him.”

11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome One.
Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.
They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper.
Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.
12 But, O Lord of hosts,
You who test the righteous,
And see the [e]mind and heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them;
For I have pleaded my cause before You.

13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord!
For He has delivered the life of the poor
From the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day in which I was born!
Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!
15 Let the man be cursed
Who brought news to my father, saying,
“A male child has been born to you!”
Making him very glad.
16 And let that man be like the cities
Which the Lord overthrew, and did not relent;
Let him hear the cry in the morning
And the shouting at noon,
17 Because he did not kill me from the womb,
That my mother might have been my grave,
And her womb always enlarged with me.
18 Why did I come forth from the womb to see [f]labor and sorrow,
That my days should be consumed with shame?

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 20:3 Lit. Fear on Every Side
  2. Jeremiah 20:7 enticed or persuaded
  3. Jeremiah 20:7 Lit. a laughingstock all the day
  4. Jeremiah 20:10 slandering
  5. Jeremiah 20:12 Most secret parts, lit. kidneys
  6. Jeremiah 20:18 toil

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

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Evening Psalm · Ps. 18:20-29

20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
23 I was also blameless [a]before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
24 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
26 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
27 For You will save the humble people,
But will bring down haughty looks.

28 For You will light my lamp;
The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by You I can [b]run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 18:23 with
  2. Psalm 18:29 Or run through

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

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Second Reading · Matt. 24:29-51

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His [a]elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that [b]it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

No One Knows the Day or Hour

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of [c]heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what [d]hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what [e]hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food [f]in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying [g]his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 24:31 chosen ones
  2. Matthew 24:33 Or He
  3. Matthew 24:36 NU adds nor the Son
  4. Matthew 24:42 NU day
  5. Matthew 24:43 Lit. watch of the night
  6. Matthew 24:45 at the right time
  7. Matthew 24:48 NU omits his coming

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

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