Wednesday after Septuagesima

Psalmody
1 Clap your hands, all | peoples!*
         Shout to God with loud | songs of joy!

2 For the LORD, the Most High,
is | to be feared,*
         a great king over | all the earth.

3 He subdued peoples | under us,*
         and nations un- | der our feet.

4 He chose our heritage | for us,*
         the pride of Jacob | whom he loves.

5 God has gone up | with a shout,*
         the LORD with the sound of a | trumpet.

6 Sing praises to God, sing | praises!*
         Sing praises to our King, sing | praises!

7 For God is the King of | all the earth;*
         sing praises | with a psalm!

8 God reigns over the | nations;*
         God sits on his | holy throne.

9 The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of | Abraham.*
         For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly ex- | alted!

    —Psalm 47

Additional Psalm: Psalm 135

Old Testament Reading:
Zechariah 14:1–21
The Coming Day of the LORD
1Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. 5And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

6On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. 7And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.

8On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.

9And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.

10The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.

12And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

13And on that day a great panic from the LORD shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever beasts may be in those camps.

16Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. 17And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. 19This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.

20And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the LORD.” And the pots in the house of the LORD shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.

New Testament Reading: Titus 2:7–3:15
[Teach Sound Doctrine]
7Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

15Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Be Ready for Every Good Work
3:1Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Final Instructions and Greetings
12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

15All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.

Grace be with you all.

Writing
It was highly necessary to instruct the people that the true worship and honor of Christ and of His Holy Sacrament does not consist in such external gestures or services alone, also that our dear Lord Christ did not institute this venerable Sacrament for the sake of seeing and worshiping or being present there for that purpose, but so that we would partake of it, as the Lord’s words say, “Take, eat; take, drink,” etc. These words have power and avail so much as to say, “This is My body; this is My blood; this do in remembrance of Me.” … Therefore the Word is most important, through the power of which, from the institution of the Lord, the true body and blood of Christ are there. The Word teaches us what kind of treasure we have there, what we should use it for, and why Christ is there, so that true invocation and spiritual worship are enkindled in us. Now, here we are not saying that one should not worship our dear Lord Jesus Christ in this Sacrament, being present, or that one should not hold this Sacrament with all honor and reverence. On the contrary, since these divine, almighty, true words are believed, all of this follows of itself, and not only in external gestures but also both externally and, first and foremost, in the heart, spirit, and truth. On account of this, such adoration of Christ is not thereby cancelled, but much rather, confirmed. For where the Word is rightly seen, considered, and believed, the adoration of the Sacrament will happen of itself. For whoever believes that Christ’s body and blood are there (as there is plenty of evidence so to believe, and it is necessary so to believe), he cannot, to be sure, deny his reverence to the body and blood of Christ without sin. For I must confess that Christ is there when His body and blood are there. His words do not lie to me, and He is not separate from His body and blood.

    —Georg von Anhalt

Hymnody
Alleluia! Let praises ring!

Unto the Lamb of God we sing,

In whom we are elected.

He bought His Church with His own blood,

He cleansed her in that blessed flood,

And as His bride selected.

   Holy, holy

Is our union

And communion.

   His befriending

Gives us joy and peace unending.

    —Alleluia! Let Praises Ring (LSB 822:2)

Prayer of the Day
O Lord, we pray that Your grace may always go before and follow after us, that we may continually be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (H76)

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Smalcald Articles Preface 8–15

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.