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January 31st, 2021

Septuagesima

  1. Explanation of the Week
  2. Introit
  3. Collect
  4. Old Testament  · Ex. 17:1-7
  5. Gradual
  6. Epistle  · 1 Cor. 9:24-10:5
  7. Verse
  8. Gospel  · Matt. 20:1-16
  9. Morning Psalm  · Ps. 23
  10. First Reading  · Zech. 10:1-11:3
  11. Evening Psalm  · Ps. 114
  12. Second Reading  · 2 Tim. 3:1-17

Explanation of the Week

The people of Israel contended with the Lord in the wilderness. (Ex 17:1-7) They were dissatisfied with His provision. In the same way, the first laborers in the vineyard complained against the landowner for the wage he provided them. (Mt 20:1-16) They charged him with being unfair. But in fact he was not being unfair but generous. The Lord does not wish to deal with us on the basis of what we deserve but on the basis of His abounding grace in Christ. The first, those who rely on their own merits, will be last. "Their bodies were scattered in the wilderness." But the last, those who rely on Christ, will be first. For Christ is the Rock. (1 Cor 9:24Ñ10:5) He is the One who was struck and from whose side blood and water flowed that we may be cleansed of our sin. Therefore, "Let him who glories, glory in the Lord." (Jer 9:23-24)
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Introit

Antiphon:
The sorrows of Sheol sur- | rounded me;*
     the snares of death con- | fronted me.
In my distress I called up- | on the LORD,*
     He heard my voice from His | temple. (Psalm 18:5-6)

Psalm:
I will love You, O | LORD, my strength.*
     The LORD is my rock and my | fortress.
For You will save the humble | people,*
     but will bring down | haughty looks.
It is God who arms | me with strength,*
     and makes my way | perfect.
Therefore I will give thanks to | You, O LORD,*
     and sing praises | to Your name. (Psalm 18:1-2, 27, 32, 49)
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Collect

O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we, who justly suffer the consequence of our sin, may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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Old Testament · Ex. 17:1-7

Water from the Rock

17 All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah[a] and Meribah,[b] because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 17:7 Massah means testing
  2. Exodus 17:7 Meribah means quarreling

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Gradual

The LORD also will be a refuge for | the oppressed,*
     a refuge in times of | trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their | trust in You;*
     for You, LORD, have not for- | saken them.
For the needy shall not always be for- | gotten;*
     the expectation of the poor shall not perish for- | ever.
A- | rise, O LORD,*
     do not let | man prevail. (Psalm 9:9–10, 18–19)
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Epistle · 1 Cor. 9:24-10:5

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[a] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Warning Against Idolatry

10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[b] that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown[c] in the wilderness.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 9:27 Greek I pummel my body and make it a slave
  2. 1 Corinthians 10:1 Or brothers and sisters
  3. 1 Corinthians 10:5 Or were laid low

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Verse

Out of the depths I have cried to | You, O LORD;*
      Lord, | hear my voice!
Let Your ears be at- | tentive*
     to the voice of my suppli- | cations.
If You, LORD, should mark in- | iquities,*
     O Lord, | who could stand?
But there is forgive- | ness with You,*
     that You | may be feared. (Psalm 130:1–4)
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Gospel · Matt. 20:1-16

Laborers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius[a] a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ 13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’[b] 16 So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 20:2 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
  2. Matthew 20:15 Or is your eye bad because I am good?

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Morning Psalm · Ps. 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.[a]
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness[b]
    for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,[c]
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord
    forever.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23:2 Hebrew beside waters of rest
  2. Psalm 23:3 Or in right paths
  3. Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of deep darkness
  4. Psalm 23:6 Or Only
  5. Psalm 23:6 Or steadfast love
  6. Psalm 23:6 Or shall return to dwell
  7. Psalm 23:6 Hebrew for length of days

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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First Reading · Zech. 10:1-11:3

The Restoration for Judah and Israel

10 Ask rain from the Lord
    in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
    and he will give them showers of rain,
    to everyone the vegetation in the field.
For the household gods utter nonsense,
    and the diviners see lies;
they tell false dreams
    and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
    they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.

“My anger is hot against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;[a]
for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
    and will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
From him shall come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,
from him the battle bow,
    from him every ruler—all of them together.
They shall be like mighty men in battle,
    trampling the foe in the mud of the streets;
they shall fight because the Lord is with them,
    and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.

“I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
    and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
    for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
    and their hearts shall be glad as with wine.
Their children shall see it and be glad;
    their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.

“I will whistle for them and gather them in,
    for I have redeemed them,
    and they shall be as many as they were before.
Though I scattered them among the nations,
    yet in far countries they shall remember me,
    and with their children they shall live and return.
10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria,
and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
    till there is no room for them.
11 He shall pass through the sea of troubles
    and strike down the waves of the sea,
    and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up.
The pride of Assyria shall be laid low,
    and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12 I will make them strong in the Lord,
    and they shall walk in his name,”
declares the Lord.

The Flock Doomed to Slaughter

11 Open your doors, O Lebanon,
    that the fire may devour your cedars!
Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
    for the glorious trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
    for the thick forest has been felled!
The sound of the wail of the shepherds,
    for their glory is ruined!
The sound of the roar of the lions,
    for the thicket of the Jordan is ruined!

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 10:3 Hebrew the male goats

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Evening Psalm · Ps. 114

Tremble at the Presence of the Lord

114 When Israel went out from Egypt,
    the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
Judah became his sanctuary,
    Israel his dominion.

The sea looked and fled;
    Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
    the hills like lambs.

What ails you, O sea, that you flee?
    O Jordan, that you turn back?
O mountains, that you skip like rams?
    O hills, like lambs?

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
    the flint into a spring of water.


English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Second Reading · 2 Tim. 3:1-17

Godlessness in the Last Days

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom[a] you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Timothy 3:14 The Greek for whom is plural
  2. 2 Timothy 3:17 That is, a messenger of God (the phrase echoes a common Old Testament expression)

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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