Friday after Sexagesima

Psalmody
1 In you, O LORD, do I take | refuge;*
         let me never be | put to shame!

2 In your righteousness deliver me
and | rescue me;*
         incline your ear to me, and | save me!

3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may contin- | ually come;*
         you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my | fortress.

4 Rescue me, O my God,
from the hand of the | wicked,*
         from the grasp of the unjust
         and | cruel man.

5 For you, O Lord, | are my hope,*
         my trust, O LORD, | from my youth.

6 Upon you I have leaned from before
my birth; you are he who took me
         from my | mother’s womb.*
         My praise is continually | of you.

17 O God, from my youth you have | taught me,*
         and I still proclaim your | wondrous deeds.

18 So even to old age and gray hairs, O God,
do not for- | sake me,*
         until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all | those
         to come.

    —Psalm 71:1–6, 17–18

Additional Psalm: Psalm 99

Old Testament Reading: Job 8:1–22
Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent
1Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

2“How long will you say these things,
         and the words of your mouth be a great wind?

3Does God pervert justice?
         Or does the Almighty pervert the right?

4If your children have sinned against him,
         he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.

5If you will seek God
         and plead with the Almighty for mercy,

6if you are pure and upright,
         surely then he will rouse himself for you
         and restore your rightful habitation.

7And though your beginning was small,
         your latter days will be very great.

8“For inquire, please, of bygone ages,
         and consider what the fathers have searched out.

9For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
         for our days on earth are a shadow.

10Will they not teach you and tell you
         and utter words out of their understanding?

11“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
         Can reeds flourish where there is no water?

12While yet in flower and not cut down,
         they wither before any other plant.

13Such are the paths of all who forget God;
         the hope of the godless shall perish.

14His confidence is severed,
         and his trust is a spider’s web.

15He leans against his house, but it does not stand;
         he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.

16He is a lush plant before the sun,
         and his shoots spread over his garden.

17His roots entwine the stone heap;
         he looks upon a house of stones.

18If he is destroyed from his place,
         then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never seen you.’

19Behold, this is the joy of his way,
         and out of the soil others will spring.

20“Behold, God will not reject a blameless man,
         nor take the hand of evildoers.

21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
         and your lips with shouting.

22Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
         and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

New Testament Reading: John 4:27–45
[Jesus and the Woman of Samaria]
27Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29“Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30They went out of the town and were coming to him.

31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

39Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

43After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44(For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

Writing
The woman had listened to Jesus with increasing understanding, not unmixed, however, with some measure of bewilderment over the depth of wisdom which lay in the
         words of Jesus. But the drift of the Lord’s speech seemed to be that the time of Mes-sianic glory was about to be revealed. Now the Samaritans had some dim and uncertain idea of the promised Messiah out of the Pen-tateuch. And the woman now voices her hope in this Messiah, who is called the Christ; with His coming, she knows, all type, symbol, and prophecy would be at an end, for He would bring them a full and complete message, clear and unmistakable to their understanding, without type and external worship. Jesus now revealed Himself to the woman in a few simple words: I am He, the man that is speaking with you. Jesus is the one Savior that can and will give to all men the full Gospel of salvation. He is the Savior of the world. There was no danger in this announcement of the Lord in Samaria, for, unlike the Jews, the Samaritans did not regard the promised Messiah as a king who was to inaugurate political changes, but as a prophet and teacher who would give them the full revelation of God’s Word and will. But the plain words of Jesus had taught the woman the true meaning of the Messiah, and she, the sinner, believed Him to be the Savior of sinners.

    —Paul E. Kretzmann

Hymnody
Open now the crystal fountain

Whence the healing stream doth flow;

Let the fiery, cloudy pillar

Lead me all my journey through.

Strong deliv’rer, strong deliv’rer,

Be Thou still my strength and shield;

Be Thou still my strength and shield.

    —Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer (LSB 918:2)

Prayer of the Day
Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, help us ever to seek You and to seek others for You, that Your harvest may be full and we may join those from every tribe and nation at the heavenly feast, where You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (1143)

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Smalcald Articles III III 10–19

By Rev. Michael Mayer

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