3O LORD, you have brought up my soul | from Sheol;*
restored me to life from among those who go down | to the pit.
4Sing praises to the LORD, O | you his saints,*
give thanks to his | holy name.
5For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a | lifetime.*
Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the | morning.
6As for me, I said in my pros- | perity,*
“I shall nev- | er be moved.”
7By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain | stand strong;*
hid your face; I | was dismayed.
8To you, O | LORD, I cry,*
to the Lord I plead for | mercy:
9“What profit is there in my death, if I go down | to the pit?*
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your | faithfulness?
10Hear, O LORD, and be merci- | ful to me!*
O LORD, be my | helper!”
11You have turned for me my mourning into | dancing;*
have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with | gladness,
12that my glory may sing your praise and not be | silent.*
O LORD my God, I will give thanks
to you for- | ever!
Additional Psalm: Psalm 68
Old Testament Reading: Exodus 19:1–25
Israel at Mount Sinai
1On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
7So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD. 9And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the LORD, 10the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20The LORD came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the LORD to look and many of them perish. 22Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, lest the LORD break out against them.” 23And Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24And the LORD said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest he break out against them.” 25So Moses went down to the people and told them.
New Testament Reading:
Sacrifices Pleasing to God
1Let brotherly love continue. 2Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
7Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
17Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
18Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
“He who hears you, hears Me; he who rejects you, rejects Me,” (Luke 10:16). … This saying of Christ contains the sweet teaching and consolation that when the ministers of the Word prove from the Word of God what they teach, they are to be heard in no other way than as if the voice of God were speaking to us from heaven. For God is present with the ministry and speaks to us through that medium, and it is efficacious, as the Baptist says: “I am the voice of one calling.” For it is God who calls through the Baptist. In 2 Cor. 13:3 Paul says: “You desire proof that Christ is speaking in me.” Thus in 2 Cor. 5:20 he says: “God makes His appeal through us.” But how? By “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” So we read in Is. 59:21: “My Spirit which is upon you and My words which I have put in your mouth, etc.” This teaching wins true reverence for the ministry and inclines the minds to obedience, according to the saying, Heb. 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to them.” When the ministers bring and set forth the Word of God, the hearers accept it not as the word of men, but as it is indeed, the Word of God, as Paul says in 1 Thess. 2:13. And it is most comforting that we can truly conclude that when we hear the Word of God out of the mouth of the minister, the Son of God Himself is with us, speaks to us, and is efficacious through that Word. For upon this depends what Christ declares: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven,” “whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” But this dignity, reverence, obedience, and efficacy of the ministry depend on this, that it brings and sets forth the Word of God.
Oh, what glory, far exceeding
All that eye has yet perceived!
Holiest hearts for ages pleading
Never that full joy conceived.
God has promised, Christ prepares it;
There on high our welcome waits.
Ev’ry humble spirit shares it,
Christ has passed the eternal gates.
—Sing with All the Saints in Glory
Prayer of the Day
Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd, without whom nothing is secure. Rescue and preserve us that we may not be lost forever but follow You, rejoicing in the way that leads to eternal life; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (C77)
Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord VII 28–34