Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Monday Matins

There were eight of us who gathered together for Matins this morning.  What a glorious way to begin Holy Monday!  Frankincense burning on the altar to accompany our prayer and meditation upon God's Holy Word, and Martin Chemnitz preaching the homily into our ears.  Yep, great way to begin Holy Monday!  Some features of this morning's Matins:

P:  Christ became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
C:  O come, let us worship Him.

Office Hymn:  LSB 531 "Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus" (st. 4)
Worship, honor, pow'r, and blessing
     Thou art worthy to receive;
Highest praises, without ceasing,
     Right it is for us to give.
Help, ye bright angelic spirits,
     All your noblest anthems raise;
Help to sing our Savior's merits,
     Help to chant Immanuel's praise!

Old Testament Reading:  Lamentations 1:1-22
From The Lutheran Study Bible:  Jeremiah describes the terrible conditions in Jerusalem after it fell to the Babylonians and its leading citizens were taken captive.  Contrasted with the wealth and beauty of its former days, the ruins lie as a testimony to God's just response against persistent sin and rebellion.  The foundation of sin and rebellion is unbelief, a refusal to trust God and follow Him.  Even in the face of His people's faithlessness, God proves Himself faithful to His promise of a Savior by preserving a remnant that will return to Jerusalem.  * Teach us to live wisely, O Lord, according to Your will and in the joy of our salvation in Jesus Christ.  Amen.
New Testament Reading:  Hebrews 2:1-18
From The Lutheran Study Bible (vv. 5-18):  Jesus, as true man, willingly humbled Himself to taste death.  As resurrected Lord, and as our firstborn brother (v. 11), He serves as our High Priest to intercede for us before the Father.  Without a Savior, we would live in slavery to the fear of death.  But Jesus has taken the consequence of our sin and removes our fear.  Knowing our weaknesses, He will always help us when we are tempted.  * Lord Jesus, You know my weakness.  Help me always to turn away from sin and to put all my trust in You.  Amen.
P:  We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.
C:  He was delivered up to death; He was delivered for the sins of the people.
P:  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is put away.
C:  He was delivered up to death; He was delivered for the sins of the people.
P:  We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.
C:  He was delivered up to death; He was delivered for the sins of the people.

The Writing (in place of the homily) by Martin Chemnitz (From Treasury of Daily Prayer):
And it is the sweetest comfort that sin, which made its habitation in human flesh, was condemned in the same human flesh, in the person of Christ.  Our body is the body of death, but in that same body of ours which the Son of God assumed from us, death was again destroyed.  Although our sins have separated us very far from God (Is. 59:2), so that we have been alienated from the grace, righteousness, and life of God (Eph. 2:12), yet the Son of God has brought very close to us those heavenly blessings which had been removed far from us (Eph. 2:13-19), laying them before us through His incarnation in the flesh, which is of the same substance with our own, so that of His fullness we have received grace for grace (John 1:16).  This is the most comforting and salutary exchange, that the Son of God has received from us a human nature and sanctified and blessed and exalted and glorified it in His own person.
Moreover, in His Holy Supper He joins Himself to us in that flesh, so that we may be strengthened by this most certain pledge of the salvation and glorification of our nature; for He does not blush to call us brothers.  Therefore, because we are such, He also joins Himself to us in that flesh and blood (Heb. 2:14).  Flesh brought death into this world and, again, the flesh of the Son of Man was given for the life of the world in order that he who eats the flesh of Christ may have eternal life (John 6:54). 

Collect of the Day:
Almighty God, grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

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