1The LORD is my | shepherd;*
I | shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green | pastures.*
He leads me beside still | waters.
3He re- | stores my soul.*
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his | name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are | with me;*
your rod and your staff, they | comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my | enemies;*
you anoint my head with oil; my cup | overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days | of my life,*
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for- | ever.
Additional Psalm: Psalm 114
Old Testament Reading:
[The Golden Calf]
23“And when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, ‘Go up and take possession of the land that I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God and did not believe him or obey his voice. 24You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
25“So I lay prostrate before the LORD for these forty days and forty nights, because the LORD had said he would destroy you. 26And I prayed to the LORD, ‘O Lord GOD, do not destroy your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin, 28lest the land from which you brought us say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.” 29For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.’
New Tablets of Stone
10:1“At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make an ark of wood. 2And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’ 3So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me. 5Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark that I had made. And there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”
6(The people of Israel journeyed from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried. And his son Eleazar ministered as priest in his place. 7From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with brooks of water. 8At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day. 9Therefore Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers. The LORD is his inheritance, as the LORD your God said to him.)
10“I myself stayed on the mountain, as at the first time, forty days and forty nights, and the LORD listened to me that time also. The LORD was unwilling to destroy you. 11And the LORD said to me, ‘Arise, go on your journey at the head of the people, so that they may go in and possess the land, which I swore to their fathers to give them.’
Circumcise Your Heart
12“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? 14Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15Yet the LORD set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. 16Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. 17For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. 18He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. 19Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 20You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. 21He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. 22Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.”
New Testament Reading:
Woe to Unrepentant Cities
20Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. 21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.”
Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest
25At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
So long as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written in Job: “The life of man upon earth is a warfare.” Everyone, therefore, must guard against temptation and must watch in prayer lest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may devour, find occasion to deceive him. No one is so perfect or so holy but he is sometimes tempted; man cannot be altogether free from temptation.
Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away. There is no state so holy, no place so secret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them as long as he lives, for they come from within us—in sin we were born. When one temptation or trial passes, another comes; we shall always have something to suffer because we have lost the state of original blessedness.…
The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted in many ways. Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just. Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are.…
We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue with temptation that we may be able to bear it.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
So weary, worn, and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.
—I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and everlasting God, we give thanks to You for Your servant Philip the Deacon. You called him to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Samaria and Ethiopia. Raise up in this and every land messengers of Your kingdom, that Your Church may proclaim the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. (1098)
Philip the Deacon
Philip, also called the evangelist (Acts 21:8), was one of the seven men appointed to assist in the work of the twelve apostles and of the rapidly growing Early Church by overseeing the distribution of food to the poor (Acts 6:1–6). Following the martyrdom of Stephen, Philip proclaimed the Gospel in Samaria and led Simon the Sorcerer to become a believer in Christ (Acts 8:4–13). He was also instrumental in bringing about the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26–39), through whom Philip became indirectly responsible for bringing the Good News of Jesus to the people on the continent of Africa. In the town of Caesarea, he was host for several days to the apostle Paul, who stopped there on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8–15).
Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession XVIII 67–76, XIX 77