Friday after Trinity 18

Psalmody
1When the LORD restored the fortunes of | Zion,*
         we were like | those who dream.

2Then our mouth was filled with | laughter,*
         and our tongue with | shouts of joy;

then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great | things for them.”*
          3The LORD has done great things for us; | we are glad.

4Restore our fortunes, | O LORD,*
         like streams in the | Negeb!

5Those who | sow in tears*
         shall reap with | shouts of joy!

6He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for | sowing,*
         shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his | sheaves with him.
               —Psalm 126

Additional Psalm: Psalm 141

Old Testament Reading:
Deuteronomy 7:1–19
A Chosen People
1“When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, 2and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

6“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

12“And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. 14You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. 15And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. 16And you shall consume all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

17“If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ 18you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.”

New Testament Reading:
Matthew 10:1–23
The Twelve Apostles
1And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
5These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, 10no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Persecution Will Come
16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Writing
That you may know that the Spirit of God is the same as the Holy Spirit, as we read also in the apostle: “No one speaking in the Spirit of God says anathema to Jesus; and no one can say, Lord Jesus, but in the Holy Spirit,” the apostle calls Him the Spirit of God. He called Him also the Spirit of Christ… The same is, then, the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of Christ.…

Receive now the saying of the Lord, that the same is the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth, for you read in the end of [the Gospel of John]: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” And Peter teaches that the same is the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of the Lord when he says: “Ananias, why has it seemed good to you to tempt and to lie to the Holy Spirit?” … When he says “to you,” he shows that he is speaking of the same Spirit of whom he had spoken to Ananias. He Himself is, then, the Spirit of the Lord who is the Holy Spirit.

And the Lord Himself made clear that the same who is the Spirit of the Father is the Holy Spirit when, according to Matthew, He said that we should not think about what we should say in times of persecution: “For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you.” Again He says according to St. Luke: “Be not anxious how you shall answer or speak, for the Holy Spirit of God shall teach you in that hour what you ought to say.” So, though many are called spirits, as it is said, “Who makes His angels spirits,” yet the Spirit of God is but one.

Both apostles and prophets received that one Spirit, as the vessel of election, the Doctor of the Gentiles, says: “For we have all drunk of one Spirit”—Him, as it were, who cannot be divided but is poured into souls and flows into the senses that He may quench the burning of this world’s thirst.
               —Ambrose of Milan

Hymnody
His strength within my weakness
         Will make me bold to say
How His redeeming power
         Transforms my stubborn clay;
His touch of fire ignites me,
         With courage I am sent,
My tongue-tied silence broken,
         With grace made eloquent.
               —On Galilee’s High Mountain
(LSB 835:3)

Prayer of the Day
Almighty, eternal God, in the Word of Your apostles and prophets You have proclaimed to us Your saving will. Grant us faith to believe Your promises that we may receive eternal salvation; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (A64)

Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession XV (VIII) 45–52

By Rev. Michael Mayer

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