Tuesday of Advent 1 (St. Andrew)

Psalmody
1 To you I lift | up my eyes,*
         O you who are enthroned
         in the | heavens!

2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to
the hand of their master, as the eyes of a
maidservant to the hand of her | mistress,*
         so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
         till he has mercy up- | on us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD,
have mercy up- | on us,*
         for we have had more than enough | of contempt.

4 Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who | are at ease,*
         of the contempt | of the proud.

       —Psalm 123

Additional Psalm: Psalm 7

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 6:1–7:9
Isaiah’s Vision of the LORD
1In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

6Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Isaiah’s Commission from the LORD
8And I heard the voice of the LORD saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” 9And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;

keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

10Make the heart of this people dull,
         and their ears heavy,
         and blind their eyes;

lest they see with their eyes,
         and hear with their ears,

and understand with their hearts,
         and turn and be healed.”

11Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”

And he said:

“Until cities lie waste
         without inhabitant,

and houses without people,
         and the land is a desolate waste,

12and the LORD removes people far away,
         and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.

13And though a tenth remain in it,
         it will be burned again,

like a terebinth or an oak,
         whose stump remains
         when it is felled.”

The holy seed is its stump.

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz
7:1In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. 2When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

3And the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. 4And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. 5Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, 6“Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” 7thus says the Lord GOD:

“‘It shall not stand,
         and it shall not come to pass.

8For the head of Syria is Damascus,
         and the head of Damascus is Rezin.

And within sixty-five years
         Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.

9And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
         and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.

If you are not firm in faith,
         you will not be firm at all.’”

New Testament Reading: 1 Peter 2:13–25
Submission to Authority
13Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

18Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Writing
Reverent hearts, we hold the feast of the apostle Andrew in Christendom as the first in the [Church] Year not only because it falls near the season of Advent but also because Andrew was called first, before the other apostles, by the Lord Jesus. Even Durandus, the bishop of Mende, says, “The saints are to be honored by imitation, not adored, as if to honor them as gods. They are to be honored with love, not adored with servitude.”

Now history tells us how St. Andrew together with his fellows conducted their new office. Right away they left their nets and followed the Lord Jesus. And again, right away they left the ship and their father and followed Him. To them, Jesus is now the most precious one on earth—according to His mind they learn, according to His words they teach, according to His will they live, according to His decree they suffer and die. When St. Andrew was threatened with the cross, he said joyfully, “If I feared the punishment of the cross, I would never have preached the mystery of the cross.” Then when he saw the cross, he spoke, “Hail, precious cross, you who were dedicated by the body of Christ; may He receive me through you, who redeemed me through you.” And when he was living after three days on the cross, his hearers wanted to take him down by force, but he said, “Ah, let God take care of it! Do not make the peace of the Gospel suspect by your unnecessary revolt against the government.” That was apostolic constancy and long-suffering! This is what it means to “leave everything and follow Christ,” all the way to the last catch of fish!

    —Valerius Herberger

Hymnody
When we seek relief

From a long-felt grief,

When temptations come alluring,

Make us patient and enduring.

Show us that bright shore

Where we weep no more.

    —Jesus, Lead Thou On (LSB 718:3)

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, by Your grace the apostle Andrew obeyed the call of Your Son to be a disciple. Grant us also to follow the same Lord Jesus Christ in heart and life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (F01)

St. Andrew, Apostle
St. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was born in the Galilean village of Bethsaida. Originally a disciple of St. John the Baptist, Andrew then became the first of Jesus’ disciples (John 1:35–40). His name regularly appears in the Gospels near the top of the lists of the Twelve. It was he who first introduced his brother Simon to Jesus (John 1:41–42). He was, in a real sense, the first home missionary, as well as the first foreign missionary (John 12:20–22). Tradition says Andrew was martyred by crucifixion on a cross in the form of an X. In AD 357, his body is said to have been taken to the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople and later removed to the cathedral of Amalfi in Italy. Centuries later, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. St. Andrew’s Day determines the beginning of the Western Church Year, since the First Sunday in Advent is always the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew’s Day.

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Large Catechism Short Preface 1–13

By Rev. Michael Mayer

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