Saturday after Trinity 22

25Save us, we pray, | O LORD!*
         O LORD, we pray, give | us success!

26Blessèd is he who comes in the name | of the LORD!*
         We bless you from the house | of the LORD.

27The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine up- | on us.*
         Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the | altar!

28You are my God, and I will give | thanks to you;*
         you are my God; I will ex- | tol you.

29Oh give thanks to the LORD, for | he is good;*
         for his steadfast love endures for- | ever!
               —Psalm 118:25–29

Additional Psalm: Psalm 118

Old Testament Reading:
Jeremiah 8:18–9:12
Jeremiah Grieves for His People
18My joy is gone; grief is upon me;
         my heart is sick within me.
19Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people
         from the length and breadth of the land:
“Is the LORD not in Zion?
         Is her King not in her?”
“Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images
         and with their foreign idols?”
20“The harvest is past, the summer is ended,
         and we are not saved.”
21For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded;
         I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.

22Is there no balm in Gilead?
         Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of the daughter of my people
         not been restored?
9:1Oh that my head were waters,
         and my eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night
         for the slain of the daughter of my people!
2Oh that I had in the desert
         a travelers’ lodging place,
that I might leave my people
         and go away from them!
For they are all adulterers,
         a company of treacherous men.
3They bend their tongue like a bow;
         falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land;
for they proceed from evil to evil,
         and they do not know me, declares the LORD.

4Let everyone beware of his neighbor,
         and put no trust in any brother,
for every brother is a deceiver,
         and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
5Everyone deceives his neighbor,
         and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
         they weary themselves committing iniquity.
6Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
         they refuse to know me, declares the LORD.

7Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Behold, I will refine them and test them,
         for what else can I do, because of my people?
8Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
         it speaks deceitfully;
with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor,
         but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.
9Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD,
         and shall I not avenge myself
         on a nation such as this?

10“I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains,
         and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness,
because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
         and the lowing of cattle is not heard;
both the birds of the air and the beasts
         have fled and are gone.
11I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
         a lair of jackals,
and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation,
         without inhabitant.”

12Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the LORD spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through?

New Testament Reading:
Matthew 23:13–39
[Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees]
13[Jesus said,] “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

16“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

23“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

25“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem
37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38See, your house is left to you desolate. 39For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

[Jesus] directs His speech to the city, in this way also being mindful to correct His hearers, and says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!” What does the repetition mean? This is a way of expressing His pity for her and bemoaning her and greatly loving her. Like a woman ever loved by Him, but she has despised the One who loved her, and therefore she is on the point of being punished. Being now about to inflict the punishment, He pleads with her. This is also the pattern of the prophets, who said, “Turn to me, and she returned not.”

Then having called her, Jesus tells of her blood-stained deeds, “You who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, and you would not.” In this way He is also explaining His own dealings with her. Not even with these things has He turned her aside nor withdrawn His great affection toward her, but it was His desire even so, not once or twice but often, to draw her to Himself. “For how often would I,” says He, “have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks, and you would not.” He says this to show that they were ever scattering themselves by their sins. He indicates His affection by similitude; for indeed the hen is warm in its love toward its brood. Everywhere in the prophets it is this same image of the wings, and in the song of Moses and in the Psalms, indicating God’s great protection and care.
               —John Chrysostom

A glorious band, the chosen few,
         On whom the Spirit came,
Twelve valiant saints—their hope they knew
         And mocked the cross and flame.
They met the tyrant’s brandished steel,
         The lion’s gory mane;
They bowed their necks their death to feel—
         Who follows in their train?
               —The Son of God Goes Forth to War (LSB 661:3)

Prayer of the Day
Lord God, heavenly Father, the holy city of Jerusalem rejected the prophets and stoned those who were sent to her, killing Your Son, the final prophet sent to redeem her and the whole world from their sins. Through His innocent suffering and death, gather Your Church into His loving embrace that we may truly be the Body of Christ; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (1103)

Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXIV (XII) 60–67