Friday after Trinity 3 (Presentation of the Augsburg Confession)

41Let your steadfast love come to me, | O LORD,*
         your salvation according to your | promise;

42then shall I have an answer for him who | taunts me,*
         for I trust | in your word.

43And take not the word of truth utterly out | of my mouth,*
         for my hope is in your | just decrees.

44I will keep your law con- | tinually,*
         forever and | ever,

45and I shall walk in a | wide place,*
         for I have sought your | precepts.

46I will also speak of your testimonies be- | fore kings*
         and shall not be | put to shame,

47for I find my delight in your com- | mandments,*
         which | I love.

48I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, | which I love,*
         and I will meditate on your | statutes.
                  —Psalm 119:41–48

Additional Psalm: Psalm 73

Old Testament Reading: Proverbs 31:10–31
The Woman Who Fears the LORD
10An excellent wife who can find?
         She is far more precious than jewels.

11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
         and he will have no lack of gain.

12She does him good, and not harm,
         all the days of her life.

13She seeks wool and flax,
         and works with willing hands.

14She is like the ships of the merchant;
         she brings her food from afar.

15She rises while it is yet night
         and provides food for her household
         and portions for her maidens.

16She considers a field and buys it;
         with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

17She dresses herself with strength
         and makes her arms strong.

18She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
         Her lamp does not go out at night.

19She puts her hands to the distaff,
         and her hands hold the spindle.

20She opens her hand to the poor
         and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21She is not afraid of snow for her household,
         for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

22She makes bed coverings for herself;
         her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23Her husband is known in the gates
         when he sits among the elders of the land.

24She makes linen garments and sells them;
         she delivers sashes to the merchant.

25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
         and she laughs at the time to come.

26She opens her mouth with wisdom,
         and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27She looks well to the ways of her household
         and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and call her blessed;
         her husband also, and he praises her:

29“Many women have done excellently,
         but you surpass them all.”

30Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
         but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31Give her of the fruit of her hands,
         and let her works praise her in the gates.

New Testament Reading: John 21:1–25
Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
1After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

4Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.

9When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus and Peter
15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Jesus and the Beloved Apostle
20Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

24This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

25Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

These are the chief articles that seem to be in controversy. We could have mentioned more abuses. But here we have set forth only the chief points in order to avoid making this Confession too long. From these chief points the rest may be easily judged. There have been, for example, great complaints about indulgences, pilgrimages, and the abuse of excommunication. Our parishes have been troubled in many ways by dealers in indulgences. There were endless arguments between the pastors and the monks about who has the right in parishes to hear confessions, do funerals, give sermons on extraordinary occasions, and innumerable other things. We have passed over such issues so that the chief points in this matter, briefly set forth, might be more easily understood. Nothing has been said or brought up for the rebuke of anyone. We have mentioned only those things we thought it was necessary to talk about so that it would be understood that in doctrine and ceremonies we have received nothing contrary to Scripture or the Church universal. It is clear that we have been very careful to make sure no new ungodly doctrine creeps into our churches.

We present these articles in accordance with Your Imperial Majesty’s edict, in order to show our Confession and let people see a summary of our teachers— doctrine. If there is anything that anyone might desire in this Confession, we are ready, God willing, to present more thorough information according to the Scriptures.
                  —Augsburg Confession Conclusion 1–7

Send, O Lord, Your Holy Spirit
         On Your servant now, we pray;

Let him prove a faithful shepherd
         That no lamb be led astray.

Your pure teaching to proclaim,

To extol Your holy name,
         And to feed Your lambs, dear Savior,
         Make his aim and sole endeavor. (LSB 681:1)

Prayer of the Day
Lord God, heavenly Father, You preserved the teaching of the apostolic Church through the confession of the true faith at Augsburg. Continue to cast the bright beams of Your light upon Your Church that we, being instructed by the doctrine of the blessed apostles, may walk in the light of Your truth and finally attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (1041)

Presentation of the Augsburg Confession
The Augsburg Confession, the principal doctrinal statement of the theology of Martin Luther and the Lutheran reformers, was written largely by Philip Melanchthon. At its heart, it confesses the justification of sinners by grace alone, through faith alone, for the sake of Christ alone. Signed by leaders of many German cities and regions, the confession was formally presented to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at Augsburg, Germany, on June 25, 1530. A few weeks later, Roman Catholic authorities rejected the Confession, which Melanchthon defended in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531). In 1580, the Unaltered Augsburg Confession was included in the Book of Concord.

Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Augsburg Confession XX 1–18