1 Bless the LORD, | O my soul!*
O LORD my God, you are | very great!
You are clothed with splendor
and | majesty,*
2 covering yourself with light as
with a garment, stretching out the heavens | like a tent.
3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the | waters;he*
makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings | of the wind;
4 he makes his mes- | sengers winds,*
his ministers a | flaming fire.
5 He set the earth on its foun- | dations,*
so that it should nev- | er be moved.
6You covered it with the deep as with a | garment;the*
waters stood above the | mountains.
7At your re- | buke they fled;at*
the sound of your thunder
they | took to flight.
8The mountains rose, the valleys | sank downto*
the place that you appoint- | ed
9You set a boundary that they | may not pass,*
so that they might not again cov- | er
Additional Psalm: Psalm 124, Psalm 143
Old Testament Reading:
[Noah and the Flood]
11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. 12And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, 14they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. 15They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.
17The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. 19And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. 20The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. 21And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. 22Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. 23He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. 24And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.
The Flood Subsides
8:1But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. 2The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, 3and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, 4and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
6At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. 9But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. 11And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.
New Testament Reading: Mark 3:20–35
[A Great Crowd Follows Jesus]
20Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit
22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is com-ing to an end. 27But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
28“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be for-given the children of man, and whatever blas-phemies they utter, 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—30for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
31And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Ah now, my God, thus do I fall
Assured into thy bosom.
Thus speaks the soul which trusts in God
When he the Savior’s brotherhood
And God’s good faith in faith doth praise.
Take me and work thy will with me
Until my life is finished.
I know for sure
That I unfailing blest shall be
If my distress, and this my grief and woe,
By thee will thus an end be granted:
For thou dost know that to my soul
Thereby its help ariseth,
That in my earthly lifetime,
To Satan’s discontent,
Thy heav’nly realm in me be manifest
And thine own honor more and more
Be of itself exalted.
Thus may my heart as thou commandest
Find, O my Jesus, blessed stillness,
And I may to these muted lyres
The Prince of peace a new refrain now offer.
To my shepherd I’ll be true.
Though he fill my cross’s chalice,
I’ll rest fully in his pleasure,
He stands in my sorrow near.
One day, surely, done my weeping,
Jesus’ sun again will brighten.
To my shepherd I’ll be true.
Live in Jesus, who will rule me;
Heart, be glad, though thou must perish,
Jesus hath enough achieved.
Amen: Father, take me now!
If I then, too, the way of death
And its dark journey travel,
Lead on! I’ll walk the road and path
Which thine own eyes have shown me.
Thou art my shepherd, who all things
Will bring to such conclusion,
That I one day within thy courts
Thee ever more may honor.
—Johann Sebastian Bach
Jesus has come and brings pleasure eternal,
Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End;
Godhead, humanity, union supernal,
O great Redeemer, You come as our friend!
Heaven and earth, now proclaim this great wonder:
Jesus has come and brings pleasure eternal!
—Jesus Has Come and Brings Pleasure (LSB 533:1)
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and eternal God, Your Son Jesus triumphed over the prince of demons and freed us from bondage to sin. Help us to stand firm against every assault of Satan, and enable us always to do Your will; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (B63)
The Second and Third Commandments
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
If someone now asks, “How do you understand the Second Commandment?” or “What is meant by taking God’s name in vain, or misusing God’s name?” answer briefly in this way: “It means misusing God’s name when we call upon the Lord God—no matter how—in order to deceive or do wrong of any kind.” Therefore, this commandment makes this point: God’s name must not be appealed to falsely, or taken upon our lips, while the heart knows well enough—or should know—that the truth of the matter is different. … God’s name cannot be misused worse than for the support of falsehood and deceit.
—Large Catechism I 51–52
But the greatest abuse occurs in spiritual matters. These have to do with the conscience, when false preachers rise up and offer their lying vanities as God’s Word [Jonah 2:8].
—Large Catechism I 54
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping
This is the simplest meaning of the [third] commandment: People must have holidays. Therefore, such observances should be devoted to hearing God’s Word so that the special function of the day of rest should be the ministry of the Word for the young and the mass of poor people [Nehemiah 8:2–3, 8]. Yet the resting should not be strictly understood to forbid any work that comes up, which cannot be avoided.…
“To sanctify the holy day is the same as to keep it holy.” “But what is meant by keeping it holy?” “Nothing else than to be occupied with holy words, works, and life.” … God desires the day to be holy to you. Therefore, it becomes holy or unholy because of you, whether you are occupied on that day with things that are holy or unholy.
—Large Catechism I 86–87
God’s Word is the true “holy thing” [Heiligtum; relic] above all holy things. Yes, it is the only one we Christians know and have. … God’s Word is the treasure that sanctifies everything [1 Timothy 4:5]. … Whenever God’s Word is taught, preached, heard, read, or meditated upon, then the person, day, and work are sanctified. This is not because of the outward work, but because of the Word, which makes saints of us all.
—Large Catechism I 91–92
Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord I 16–32