1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph | like a flock!*
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, | shine forth.
2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Ma- | nasseh,*
stir up your might and come to | save us!
3Restore us, | O God;*
let your face shine, that we | may be saved!
4O LORD | God of hosts,*
how long will you be angry
with your | people’s prayers?
5You have fed them with the | bread of tears*
and given them tears to drink
in full | measure.
6You make us an object of contention for our | neighbors,*
and our enemies laugh a- | mong themselves.
7Restore us, O | God of hosts;*
let your face shine, that we | may be saved!
Additional Psalm: Psalm 27
Old Testament Reading: Exodus 33:1–23
The Command to Leave Sinai
1The LORD said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ 2I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
4When the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. 5For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you.’” 6Therefore the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
The Tent of Meeting
7Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. 8Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. 9When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. 10And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. 11Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
12Moses said to the LORD, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
17And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 18Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
New Testament Reading: Luke 7:1–17
Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant
1After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” 6And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 7Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.
Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son
11Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. 12As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. 13And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” 17And this report about him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
From the Gospel of today and from the son of the widow we should learn to perceive the great power which God, through Christ, will apply to us at the last day, when, by a word, He will recall to life all men and give everlasting salvation to believers. This will be done in the twinkling of an eye, in order that we may not doubt in the least either the power of our Lord Jesus to do this or His will gladly to do it. For here we have the example. The son of the widow is dead; he has lost the gift of hearing and all other senses. But when Christ speaks to him, he hears. This is certainly a strange and wonderful incident. He that does not hear, hears; and he that does not live, lives. Nothing is done but that Christ opens His mouth and bids him arise. The single word is so powerful that death has to vanish and life return.…
Before the Lord death is not death at all. For us it is called and is death when we die. But before God it is a light sleep which could not be any lighter.
These very facts our Lord Jesus wishes to impress upon our minds, so that we may not fear when pestilence and death itself draw near, but that we may learn to say: O death, what can you do even in your worst form? You have terrible teeth, which you show to frighten me, for I do not like to die. But I will not merely behold your work when you, like an executioner, draw the sword; but I will remember what our Lord can and will do when you have slain me; namely, that He is not afraid of you and does not care for you raging and destroying, but says: “O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.” If you can kill my Christians, I can destroy you and recall them to life again.
In the very midst of life
Snares of death surround us;
Who shall help us in the strife
Lest the foe confound us?
Thou only, Lord, Thou only!
We mourn that we have greatly erred,
That our sins Thy wrath have stirred.
Holy and righteous God!
Holy and mighty God!
Holy and all-merciful Savior!
Eternal Lord God!
Save us lest we perish
In the bitter pangs of death.
Have mercy, O Lord!
—In the Very Midst of Life (LSB 755:1)
Prayer of the Day
O God, by Your almighty Word You set in order all things in heaven and on earth. Put away from us all things hurtful, and give us those things that are beneficial for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (C62)
Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord VII 77–84