Monday of Advent 1 (Noah)

19 Open to me the gates of | righteousness,*
         that I may enter through them and give thanks | to the LORD.

20 This is the gate | of the LORD;*
         the righteous shall enter | through it.

21 I thank you that you have | answered me*
         and have become my sal- | vation.

22 The stone that the builders re- | jected*
         has become the | cornerstone.

23 This is the LORD’s | doing;*
         it is marvelous | in our eyes.

24 This is the day that the | LORD has made;*
         let us rejoice and be | glad in it.

       —Psalm 118:19–24

Additional Psalm: Psalm 118

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 5:1–25
The Vineyard of the LORD Destroyed
1Let me sing for my beloved
         my love song concerning his vineyard:

My beloved had a vineyard
         on a very fertile hill.

2He dug it and cleared it of stones,
         and planted it with choice vines;

he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
         and hewed out a wine vat in it;

and he looked for it to yield grapes,
         but it yielded wild grapes.

3And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem
         and men of Judah,

judge between me and my vineyard.

4What more was there to do for my vineyard,
         that I have not done in it?

When I looked for it to yield grapes,
         why did it yield wild grapes?

5And now I will tell you
         what I will do to my vineyard.

I will remove its hedge,
         and it shall be devoured;

I will break down its wall,
         and it shall be trampled down.

6I will make it a waste;
         it shall not be pruned or hoed,
         and briers and thorns shall grow up;

I will also command the clouds
         that they rain no rain upon it.

7For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts
         is the house of Israel,

and the men of Judah
         are his pleasant planting;

and he looked for justice,
         but behold, bloodshed;

for righteousness,
         but behold, an outcry!

Woe to the Wicked
8Woe to those who join house to house,
         who add field to field,

until there is no more room,
         and you are made to dwell alone
         in the midst of the land.

9The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing:

“Surely many houses shall be desolate,
         large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.

10For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath,
         and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”

11Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
         that they may run after strong drink,

who tarry late into the evening
         as wine inflames them!

12They have lyre and harp,
         tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,

but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
         or see the work of his hands.

13Therefore my people go into exile
         for lack of knowledge;

their honored men go hungry,
         and their multitude is parched with thirst.

14Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
         and opened its mouth beyond measure,

and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down,
         her revelers and he who exults in her.

15Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,
         and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.

16But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice,
         and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

17Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,
         and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.

18Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
         who draw sin as with cart ropes,

19who say: “Let him be quick,
         let him speed his work
         that we may see it;

let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
         and let it come, that we may know it!”

20Woe to those who call evil good
         and good evil,

who put darkness for light
         and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet
         and sweet for bitter!

21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
         and shrewd in their own sight!

22Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
         and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

23who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
         and deprive the innocent of his right!

24Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
         and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,

so their root will be as rottenness,
         and their blossom go up like dust;

for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
         and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

25Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
         and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
         and the mountains quaked;

and their corpses were as refuse
         in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger has not turned away,
         and his hand is stretched out still.

Additional Reading: Amos 1:1–9:15

New Testament Reading: 1 Peter 2:1–12
A Living Stone and a Holy People
1So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—3if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

4As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For it stands in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
         a cornerstone chosen and precious,

and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

7So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

“The stone that the builders rejected
         has become the cornerstone,”


“A stone of stumbling,
         and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Now the rest are eucharistic sacrifices, which are called sacrifices of praise (Leviticus 3; 7:11[–18]; Psalm 56:12). These are the preaching of the Gospel, faith, prayer, thanksgiving, confession, the troubles of saints, yes, all good works of saints. These sacrifices are not satisfactions for those making them, nor can they be applied to others to merit the forgiveness of sins or reconciliation by the outward act (ex opere operato). They are made by those who have been reconciled. These are the sacrifices of the New Testament, as Peter teaches, “a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices” (1 Peter 2:5). Spiritual sacrifices, however, are contrasted not only with those of cattle, but even with human works offered by the outward act, because spiritual refers to the movements of the Holy Spirit in us. Paul teaches the same thing, “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:1). “Spiritual worship” means, however, a service in which God is known and is grasped by the mind. This happens in the movements of fear and trust toward God. Therefore, it contrasts not only with the Levitical service, in which cattle are slain, but also with a service in which a work is imagined to be offered by the outward act. The Epistle to the Hebrews teaches the same thing, “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God” (13:15). He adds the interpretation, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. He asks us to offer praises, that is, prayer, thanksgiving, confession, and the like. These benefit not by the outward act, but because of faith. This is taught by the clause “Through Him then let us continually offer,” that is, by faith in Christ.

    —Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXIV (XII) 25–26

Christ is our cornerstone,

On Him alone we build;

With His true saints alone

The courts of heav’n are filled.

On His great love

Our hopes we place

Of present grace

And joys above.

    —Christ Is Our Cornerstone (LSB 912:1)

Prayer of the Day
Almighty and eternal God, according to Your strict judgment You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. Grant that we may be kept safe and secure in the holy ark of the Christian Church, so that with all believers in Your promise, we would be declared worthy of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. (1117)

Noah (נֹחַ in Hebrew, [No’ahch]), the son of Lamech (Genesis 5:30), was instructed by God to build an ark in which his family would find security from the destructive waters of a devastating flood that God warned would come. Noah built the ark, and the rains descended. The entire earth was flooded, destroying “every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals” (Genesis 7:23). After the flood waters subsided, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. When Noah determined it was safe and God confirmed it, Noah, his family, and all the animals disembarked. Then Noah built an altar and offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God for having saved his family from destruction. A rainbow in the sky was declared by God to be a sign of His promise that never again would a similar flood destroy the entire earth (Genesis 8:20–22; 9:8–17). Noah is remembered and honored for his obedience, believing that God would do what He said He would.

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Large Catechism Longer Preface 14–20