Tuesday after Trinity 9 (Joanna, Mary, and Salome, Myrrhbearers)

Psalmody
4Sing to God, sing praises | to his name;*
         lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult be- | fore him!

5Father of the fatherless and protector of | widows*
         is God in his holy habi- | tation.

6God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to pros- | perity,*
         but the rebellious dwell in a | parched land.

7O God, when you went out before your | people,*
         when you marched through the | wilderness,

8the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of | Sinai,*
         before God, the God of | Israel.

9Rain in abundance, O God, you | shed abroad;*
         you restored your inheritance as it | languished;

10your flock found a dwell- | ing in it;*
         in your goodness, O God, you provided for the | needy.
               —Psalm 68:4–10

Additional Psalm: Psalm 68

Old Testament Reading:
1 Samuel 17:48–18:9
[David and Goliath]
48When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.

55As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

David and Jonathan’s Friendship
18:1As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

Saul’s Jealousy of David
6As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,

“Saul has struck down his thousands,
         and David his ten thousands.”

8And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9And Saul eyed David from that day on.

New Testament Reading: Acts 27:9–26
[Paul Sails for Rome]
9Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

The Storm at Sea
13Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. 15And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 16Running under the lee of a small island called Cauda, we managed with difficulty to secure the ship’s boat. 17After hoisting it up, they used supports to undergird the ship. Then, fearing that they would run aground on the Syrtis, they lowered the gear, and thus they were driven along. 18Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. 19And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

21Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But we must run aground on some island.”

Writing
Why was Christ’s resurrection revealed to these women first? There are several answers. First, God was keeping His ancient custom of choosing what is foolish, undistinguished, and despised in the eyes of the world in order to put the strong and lofty to shame. These women were despised not only due to the weakness of their gender but also because of Galilee, their homeland. But God exalts them by revealing to them the resurrection of His Son, which is an excellent article of our faith. Indeed, He even sends them to the apostles to share the message of Christ’s resurrection with them, so that they become, as the ancients say, like “apostles to the apostles.”…

Third, in this way God wanted to prevent the accusations of the Jews. The high priests lied, saying that Christ’s disciples had stolen the body of their master. In order to prove the shamelessness and absurdity of this lie, it happened by God’s marvelous providence that these women came to the grave before the apostles. Now, it is highly unlikely that these few women could have stolen the body from a grave guarded by soldiers and closed by a large stone.

Fourth, through the woman Eve, death came to all human beings. On account of this, Christ wanted His resurrection, which brings us righteousness and life, to be told to others by women. At the fall of the first human being, these three worked together: the devil, who deceived; the woman, who proclaimed his talk further; the man, who ate and corrupted human nature. So also, at Christ’s resurrection, these three worked together: Christ, who rose and redeemed human nature; the angel, who proclaimed the resurrection; and the women, who carried the joyful message further.

Now if Christ was pleased with the zeal of these women, which was yet bound together with significant weaknesses of faith, and did not let them come away from the tomb empty, how much less will He let those go away empty who in true faith seek Him who rules at the right hand of the Father!
               —Martin Chemnitz

Hymnody
Now that the daylight fills the sky,
We lift our hearts to God on high,
That He, in all we do or say,
Would keep us free from harm today.
               —Now That the Daylight Fills the Sky (LSB 870:1)

Prayer of the Day
Mighty God, Your crucified and buried Son did not remain in the tomb for long. Give us joy in the tasks set before us, that we might carry out faithful acts of service as did Joanna, Mary, and Salome, offering to You the sweet perfume of our grateful hearts, so that we, too, may see the glory of Your resurrection and proclaim the Good News with unrestrained eagerness and fervor worked in us through our Lord Jesus Christ, who rose and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (1071)

Joanna, Mary, and Salome, Myrrhbearers
Known in some traditions as “the faithful women,” the visit of these three persons and other women to the tomb of Jesus on the first Easter morning is noted in the Gospel records of Matthew (28:1), Mark (16:1), and Luke (24:10). Joanna was the wife of Chuza, a steward in Herod’s household (Luke 8:3). Mary, the mother of James (the son of Alphaeus), was another of the women who faithfully provided care for Jesus and His disciples from the time of His Galilean ministry through His burial after the crucifixion. Salome, the mother of the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 27:56), joined with the women both at the cross and in bringing the spices to the garden tomb. These faithful women have been honored in the Church through the centuries as examples of humble and devoted service to the Lord.

Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession V (III) 26–37 [147–158]

By Rev. Michael Mayer

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