Tuesday after Trinity 24

1O God, save me, | by your name,*
         and vindicate me | by your might.

2O God, | hear my prayer;*
         give ear to the words | of my mouth.

3For strangers have risen against me; ruthless men | seek my life;*
         they do not set God be- | fore themselves.

4Behold, God is my | helper;*
         the Lord is the upholder | of my life.

5He will return the evil to my | enemies;*
         in your faithfulness put an | end to them.

6With a freewill offering I will sacri- | fice to you;*
         I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for | it is good.

7For he has delivered me from every | trouble,*
         and my eye has looked in triumph on my | enemies.
               —Psalm 54

Additional Psalm: Psalm 139:7–18

Old Testament Reading:
Jeremiah 31:1–17, 23–34
The LORD Will Turn Mourning to Joy
1“At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

2Thus says the LORD:
“The people who survived the sword
         found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
          3the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
         therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
         O virgin Israel!
Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines
         and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5Again you shall plant vineyards
         on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant
         and shall enjoy the fruit.
6For there shall be a day when watchmen will call
         in the hill country of Ephraim:
‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion,
         to the LORD our God.’”

7For thus says the LORD:
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
         and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
         ‘O LORD, save your people,
         the remnant of Israel.’
8Behold, I will bring them from the north country
         and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
         the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
         a great company, they shall return here.
9With weeping they shall come,
         and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
I will make them walk by brooks of water,
         in a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
for I am a father to Israel,
         and Ephraim is my firstborn.

10“Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
         and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
         and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.’
11For the LORD has ransomed Jacob
         and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
         and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
         and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden,
         and they shall languish no more.
13Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
         and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy;
         I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,
         and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
         declares the LORD.”

15Thus says the LORD:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
         lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
         she refuses to be comforted for her children,
         because they are no more.”

16Thus says the LORD:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
         and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
         declares the LORD,
         and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17There is hope for your future,
         declares the LORD,
         and your children shall come back to their own country.…

23Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Once more they shall use these words in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I restore their fortunes:

“‘The LORD bless you, O habitation of righteousness,
         O holy hill!’

24And Judah and all its cities shall dwell there together, and the farmers and those who wander with their flocks. 25For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

26At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.

27“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the LORD. 29In those days they shall no longer say:

“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
         and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30But everyone shall die for his own sin. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

The New Covenant
31“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

New Testament Reading:
Matthew 27:1–10
Jesus Delivered to Pilate
1When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.

Judas Hangs Himself
3Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. 8Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Additional Reading: Revelation 16:1–21

It would, however, be wholly improper to speak of despair (desperatio) on the part of Christ. Despair is iniquity and would conflict with the sinlessness of Christ, which is attested by Scripture. Besides, Scripture expressly bears witness that Christ, while forsaken of God, continued to trust in God (Ps. 22:1, 19ff.; Luke 23:46). While He was forsaken of God, He still cried to God as His God, saying, “My God, my God!” Gerhard writes of this: “Other men cannot, without sinning, feel the wrath of God deserved by their sins, because of the utter corruption of their nature; for secretly in their hearts they become impatient, and at times they also murmur against God in words, as the examples of Job and Jeremiah testify. But Christ bears these tortures without any sin, persists in holy obedience to God, and retains filial trust in His heart. For these are by no means the words of one despairing when He exclaims: ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ But they are the words of one giving notice that He is enduring extreme agony of the soul and pains which are truly of hell. And so Christ, by wrestling with the power of the devil, with the horror of death, and with the agonies of the damned, brought back from them a glorious triumph for our salvation.” … Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that while Christ was forsaken of God, the Father’s declaration still was true: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). By the very fact that Christ took upon Himself, in the place of sinful mankind, this extreme punishment of being forsaken of God and so fulfilled His Father’s will, He remained the object of God’s supreme love, even while He was under His wrath, just as He says: “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again.” (John 10:17).
               —Francis Pieper

I caused Your grief and sighing
By evils multiplying
         As countless as the sands.
I caused the woes unnumbered
With which Your soul is cumbered,
         Your sorrows raised by wicked hands.
               —Upon the Cross Extended
(LSB 453:4)

Prayer of the Day
Almighty, everlasting God, through Your only Son, our blessed Lord, You commanded us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, and to pray for those who persecute us. Therefore, we earnestly implore You that by Your gracious working our enemies may be led to true repentance, may have the same love toward us as we have toward them, and may be of one accord and of one mind and heart with us and with Your whole Church; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (110)

Suggested Reading from the Book of Concord
Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXVII (XIII) 28–33