Monday after Invocabit

1Why do the | nations rageand*
          the peoples | plot in vain?

2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel to- | gether,*
         against the LORD and against his anointed, | saying,

3“Let us burst their | bonds apart*
         and cast away their | cords from us.”

4He who sits in the | heavens laughs;*
         the Lord holds them in de- | rision.

5Then he will speak to them | in his wrath,*
         and terrify them in his fury, | saying,

6“As for me, I have | set my King*
         on Zion, my | holy hill.”

7I will tell of | the decree:*
         The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have be- | gotten you.

8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your | heritage,*
         and the ends of the earth your
pos- | session.

9You shall break them with a | rod of iron*
         and dash them in pieces like a
potter’s | vessel.”

10Now therefore, O | kings, be wise;*
         be warned, O rulers | of the earth.

11Serve the | LORD with fear,*
         and rejoice with | trembling.

12Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly | kindled.*
         Blessèd are all who take ref- | uge in him.
         —Psalm 2

Additional Psalm: Psalm 77, Psalm 130

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 6:1–7:5
Increasing Corruption on Earth

1When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

5The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Noah and the Flood

9These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

7:1Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. 2Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, 3and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.” 5And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

New Testament Reading: Mark 3:1–19
A Man with a Withered Hand

1Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

A Great Crowd Follows Jesus

7Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

The Twelve Apostles

13And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15and have authority to cast out demons. 16He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

In order to raise up Adam after the fall, God gave him this promise when he said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” [Gen. 3:15]. In this word of promise Adam, together with his descendants, was carried as it were in God’s bosom, and by faith in it he was preserved, waiting patiently for the woman who should bruise the serpent’s head, as God had promised. And in that faith and expectation he died, not knowing when or who she would be, yet never doubting that she would come. For such a promise, being the truth of God, preserves even in hell those who believe it and wait for it. After this came another promise, made to Noah—to last until the time of Abraham—when a bow was set in the clouds as a sign of the covenant [Gen. 9:12–17], by faith in which Noah and his descendants found God gracious. After that, he promised Abraham that all the nations should be blessed in his seed [Gen. 22:18]. And this is Abraham’s bosom [Luke 16:22], into which his descendants have been received. Then to Moses and the children of Israel [Deut. 18:18], especially to David [II Sam. 7:12–16], he gave the plainest promise of Christ, and thereby at last made clear what the promise to the men of old really was. And so it finally came to the most perfect promise of all, that of the new testament, in which, with plain words, life and salvation are freely promised, and actually granted to those who believe the promise.
         —Martin Luther

Lord, ’tis not that I did choose Thee;
         That, I know, could never be;
For this heart would still refuse Thee
         Had Thy grace not chosen me.
Thou hast from the sin that stained me
         Washed and cleansed and set me free
And unto this end ordained me,
         That I ever live to Thee.
         —Lord, ’Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee (LSB 573:1)

Prayer of the Day
Lord Jesus, prepare us for that eternal Sabbath when You will rest in us, just as now You work in us. The rest that we shall enjoy will be Yours, just as the work that we now do is Your work done through us. But You, O Lord, are eternally at work and eternally at rest. It is not time that You see or in time that You move or in time that You rest, yet You make what we see in time. You make time itself and the repose which comes when time ceases; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (1002)

Lenten Catechesis:
The First Commandment
You shall have no other gods.

A god means that from which we are to expect all good and in which we are to take refuge in all distress. So, to have a God is nothing other than trusting and believing Him with the heart. I have often said that the confidence and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol. If your faith and trust is right, then your god is also true. On the other hand, if your trust is false and wrong, then you do not have the true God. For these two belong together, faith and God [Hebrews 11:6]. Now, I say that whatever you set your heart on and put your trust in is truly your god.
         —Large Catechism I 2–3

We are to trust in God alone and look to Him and expect from Him nothing but good, as from one who gives us body, life, food, drink, nourishment, health, protection, peace, and all necessaries of both temporal and eternal things. He also preserves us from misfortune. And if any evil befall us, He delivers and rescues us. So it is God alone (as has been said well enough) from whom we receive all good and by whom we are delivered from all evil.
         —Large Catechism I 24

Even though we experience much good from other people, whatever we receive by God’s command or arrangement is all received from God. For our parents and all rulers and everyone else, with respect to his neighbor, have received from God the command that they should do us all kinds of good. So we receive these blessings not from them, but through them, from God. For creatures are only the hands, channels, and means by which God gives all things. So He gives to the mother breasts and milk to offer to her child, and He gives corn and all kinds of produce from the earth for nourishment [Psalm 104:27–28; 147:8–9]. None of these blessings could be produced by any creature of itself.
         —Large Catechism I 26

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord I 5–15

By Rev. Michael Mayer

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