12th Sunday after Trinity

Watchword from the holy prophet Isaiah chapter 42: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Isaiah 42:3)

The Introit is from Psalm 147:  Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

God’s Holy Word from the Old Testament by the holy prophet Isaiah the twenty-ninth chapter: In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seem like a forest?  18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.  19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.  20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down–  21 those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.  22 Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.  23 When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.  24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.” (Isaiah 29:17-24 This is also the sermon text and here my sermon on this lesson held in the St.Timothy’s chapel at the ALM service 2017: 

God’s Holy Word from the acts of the apostles chapter nine: Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest  2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.  3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.  6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”  7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.  8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.  9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. (Acts 9:1-9)

The Holy Gospel by the holy evangelist St. Mark in the seventh chapter: Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.  32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.  33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.  34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”).  35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.  36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.  37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (Mark 7:31-37)

The liturgical colour is green.

Together with the Christian Church we pray a collect for the 12th Sunday after Trinity: Almighty and merciful God, by Your gift alone Your faithful people render true and laudable service. Help us steadfastly to live in this life accourding to Your promises and finally attain Your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (LSB Altar Book Pg. 922)

Hymn for the week:  “My Soul, Now Bless Thy Maker” by Johann Gramann, 1487-1541 (The Lutheran Hymnal Pg. 34)

1. My soul, now bless thy Maker!
Let all within me bless His name
Who maketh thee partaker
Of mercies more than thou dar’st claim.
Forget Him not whose meekness
Still bears with all thy sin,
Who healeth all thy weakness,
Renews thy life within;
Whose grace and care are endless
And saved thee through the past;
Who leaves no sufferer friendless,
But rights the wronged at last.

2. He shows to man His treasure
Of judgment, truth, and righteousness,
His love beyond all measure,
His yearning pity o’er distress,
Nor treats us as we merit,
But lays His anger by,
The humble, contrite spirit
Finds His compassion nigh;
And high as heaven above us,
As break from close of day,
So far, since He doth love us,
He puts our sins away.

3. For as a tender father
Hath pity on his children here,
He in His arms will gather
All who are His in childlike fear.
He knows how frail our powers
Who but from dust are made;
We flourish like the flowers,
And even so we fade;
The wind but o’er them passes,
And all their bloom is o’er,-
We wither like the grasses,
Our place knows us no more.

4. God’s grace alone endureth,
And children’s children yet shall prove
How He with strength assureth
The hearts of all that seek His love.
In heaven is fixed His dwelling,
His rule is over all;
Angels, in might excelling,
Bright hosts, before Him fall.
Praise Him, who ever reigneth,
All ye who hear His Word,
Nor our poor hymns disdaineth-
My soul, oh, bless the Lord!

Author: Johann Gramann, 1525 translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1863, alt. titled: Nun lob, mein Seel den Herren… (Orginal in Evangelisches Gesangbuch 289

If you are called to preach this weekend, may the triune God give you joy and strength, wisdom, knowledge and insight – and the true words and pictures to preach his holy will faithfully according to his most precious revelation of his will and promises in both the Old and New Testament! However if you are not preaching, but listening – then listen as if God is talking to you + His precious gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16 NIV

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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