The Transfiguration of Our Lord (St. Timothy, Pastor and Confessor)

1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not | raised too high;*
         I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvel- | ous for me.

2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its | mother;*
         like a weaned child is my soul
         with- | in me.

3 O Israel, hope | in the LORD*
         from this time forth and for- | evermore.

    —Psalm 131

Additional Psalm: Psalm 84

Old Testament Reading: Joel 3:1–21
The LORD Judges the Nations
1“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, 2I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, 3and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

4“What are you to me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? Are you paying me back for something? If you are paying me back, I will return your payment on your own head swiftly and speedily. 5For you have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried my rich treasures into your temples. 6You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border. 7Behold, I will stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will return your payment on your own head. 8I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far away, for the LORD has spoken.”

9Proclaim this among the nations:

Consecrate for war;
         stir up the mighty men.

Let all the men of war draw near;
         let them come up.

10Beat your plowshares into swords,
         and your pruning hooks into spears;
         let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

11Hasten and come,
         all you surrounding nations,
         and gather yourselves there.

Bring down your warriors, O LORD.

12Let the nations stir themselves up
         and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;

for there I will sit to judge
         all the surrounding nations.

13Put in the sickle,
         for the harvest is ripe.

Go in, tread,
         for the winepress is full.

The vats overflow,
         for their evil is great.

14Multitudes, multitudes,
         in the valley of decision!

For the day of the LORD is near
         in the valley of decision.

15The sun and the moon are darkened,
         and the stars withdraw their shining.

16The LORD roars from Zion,
         and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
         and the heavens and the earth quake.

But the LORD is a refuge to his people,
         a stronghold to the people of Israel.

The Glorious Future of Judah
17“So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
         who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain.

And Jerusalem shall be holy,
         and strangers shall never again pass through it.

18“And in that day

the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
         and the hills shall flow with milk,

and all the streambeds of Judah
         shall flow with water;

and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD
         and water the Valley of Shittim.

19“Egypt shall become a desolation
         and Edom a desolate wilderness,

for the violence done to the people of Judah,
         because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

20But Judah shall be inhabited forever,
         and Jerusalem to all generations.

21I will avenge their blood,
         blood I have not avenged,
         for the LORD dwells in Zion.”

New Testament Reading:
Romans 12:14–13:14
[Marks of the True Christian]
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Submission to the Authorities
13:1Let every person be subject to the gov-erning authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Fulfilling the Law Through Love
8Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

11Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Dearly beloved, today we celebrate the commemoration of St. Timothy. He was born in Lystra (Acts 16:2); his father was a pagan, but his mother, Eunice, born an Israelite, had accepted the Christian faith and had committed her son, Timothy, to be raised by her mother, Lois, who was also a Christian. So Timothy learned the catechism from his grandmother. See, dear parents, what the diligent training of children can do! Now since he was a good, excellent thinker, St. Paul accepted him as his colleague or chaplain, and since he improved himself daily, Paul eventually ordained him as bishop of Ephesus, where he was also killed by the raging pagans. St. Paul loved him dearly, which we can see from both epistles that he wrote to him. In 1 Timothy 1:2, he calls him his true son in the faith. From these two epistles, many passages shine forth like the stars of heaven. 1 Timothy 1:5: “The aim of the commandment is love from a pure heart and from a good conscience and from a faith unfeigned.” 1 Timothy 1:15: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 2 Timothy 3:12: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:16–17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Since St. Paul and St. Timothy were dear friends, they were put beside each other in the calendar, and also on the day of St. Timothy, the Gospel of John 15:9–16 is read, which speaks of pure love and friendship.

    —Valerius Herberger

The nation You have blest

May well Your love declare,

From foes and fears at rest,

Protected by Your care.

For this bright day,

For this fair land—

Gifts of Your hand—

Our thanks we pay.

    —Before You, Lord, We Bow (LSB 966:2)

Prayer of the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, You have always given to Your Church on earth faithful shepherds such as Timothy to guide and feed Your flock. Make all pastors diligent to preach Your holy Word and administer Your means of grace, and grant Your people wisdom to follow in the way that leads to life eternal; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (F09)

St. Timothy, Pastor and Confessor
St. Timothy had Christian believers in his family. His mother, Eunice, was a Christian woman and was the daughter of a Christian woman named Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). Acts records that St. Paul met Timothy on his second missionary journey and wanted Timothy to continue on with him (16:1–3). Over time, Timothy became a dear friend and close associate of Paul to whom Paul entrusted mission work in Greece and Asia Minor. Timothy was also with Paul in Rome. According to tradition, after Paul’s death, Timothy went to Ephesus, where he served as bishop and was martyred around AD 97. Timothy is best remembered as a faithful companion of Paul, one who rendered great service among the Gentile churches.

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Large Catechism IV 47–55