Septuagesimae (3rd Sunday before Lent)

For it is not because of our own righteous deeds that we are praying to you, but because your compassion is abundant.

Daniel 9,18 Watchword

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610): Berufung des Hl. Matthäus (1599/1600)

Hymns of the Lutheran Church:

  • Come, Thou bright and morning star (LSB 872)
  • Salvation unto us has come (LSB 555) 

God´s Holy Word for this Sunday 


How great is your favor, 
which you store up for your loyal followers. 
In plain sight of everyone you bestow it on those who take shelter in you. 
You hide them with you, where they are safe from the attacks of men; 
you conceal them in a shelter, where they are safe from slanderous attacks. 
The Lord deserves praise 
for he demonstrated his amazing faithfulness to me when I was besieged by enemies. 
I jumped to conclusions and said, 
“I am cut off from your presence!” 
But you heard my plea for mercy when I cried out to you for help. 

Love the Lord, all you faithful followers of his! 
The Lord protects those who have integrity, 
but he pays back in full the one who acts arrogantly. 
Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the Lord. 

Psalm 31,19-24 

Thus says the triune God Father, Son and Holy Spirit through His holy prophet Jeremiah:

“Wise people should not boast that they are wise. 
Powerful people should not boast that they are powerful. 
Rich people should not boast that they are rich. 
If people want to boast, they should boast about this: 
They should boast that they understand and know me. 
They should boast that they know and understand 
that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth 
and that I desire people to do these things,” says the Lord. 

Jeremiah 9,23f

Inspired by the Holy Spirit the holy Apostle St. Paul writes to the Philippians:

So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort—for the sake of his good pleasure—is God. 

Philippians 2,12-13

Our holy Lord and Savior Jesus Christ told this parable recorded by His evangelist St. Matthew:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work. He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing. And about five o’clock that afternoon[g] he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages starting with the last hired until the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay. And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner, saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” 

Matthew 20,1-16

Hear God´s Word for today´s sermon:

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth. “Follow me,” he said to him. So, he got up and followed him. As Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard this, he said, “Those who are healthy don’t need a physician, but those who are sick do. Go and learn what this saying means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” 

Matthew 9,9-13

Sermon outline

  • Goal: God prefers mercy, not sacrifice (Mt.9) 
  • Malady: Why are You envious, because I am so generous? (Mt.20) 
  • Means: Strive for Your salvation with awe and reference (Law) as He is just, who does both in You: willing & doing! (Gospel)
  • Example: Calling of St. Matthew and the parable of the master of the vineyard.
  • Therefore boast, thank and praise God that You know Him and that He is faithful, fair and just (merciful) (Jeremiah 9), because He forgives, heals and saves by grace alone. He has come to call sinners (not the righteous).

Prayer of the Church—Responsive Form: Septuagesima 5 February 2023 

Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs. 

Master of the vineyard, give grateful hearts to Your Church, that we would not grumble about the blessings we receive, but rejoice in Your generosity. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Master of the vineyard, look with favor on Your laborers, especially pastors in Christ, that they would gladly preach the saving Gospel, not for their own glory nor counting the cost, but for the glory of Christ alone. We pray also for all other church workers, that everything they do would be in service to this same Gospel. Send laborers into Your harvest, Lord, and use Your servants as blessed instruments to bring sinners into Your redemption and love. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Master of the vineyard, fill the congregations of Your Church with gratitude, that we would repent of any quarreling or testing of Your bountiful goodness and instead receive from You all the gifts You bestow. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Master of the vineyard, You call us by Your grace to work and live in Your kingdom not as slaves, but as sons of the Most High and brothers of Christ. Work graciously through the teaching and example of fathers and mothers to preserve the faith of children, and help them grow in Christ until life’s end. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Master of the vineyard, look favorably on the nations of the world, that warfare would cease and that Your peace would abound among mankind. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Master of the vineyard, remember all who suffer ills of body and soul, [especially June, Christoph, ,] that Christ would be their health in sickness, their joy in sorrow and their life in death. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Master of the vineyard, bless all who receive the body and blood of our Savior this day, that they would be strengthened and renewed unto life everlasting. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Lord God, heavenly Father, through Your Holy Word You have called us into Your vineyard. Send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts, that we may labor faithfully in Your vineyard, shun sin and all offense, obediently keep Your Word, and do Your will, putting our whole and only trust in Your grace, which You have bestowed upon us so abundantly; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. 

LCMS Prayers for one-year-series.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
This entry was posted in Prelenten Sundays and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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