Greeting and Prayer of the Day
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Beloved and sovereign God, through the death and resurrection of your Son you bring us into your kingdom of justice and mercy. By your Spirit, give us your wisdom, that we may treasure the life that comes from Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
129Your decrees are wonderful;
therefore I obey them with all my heart.
When your word is opened it gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
131I open my mouth and pant
because I long for your commandments.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133Order my footsteps in your word;
let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Rescue me from those who oppress me,
and I will keep your commandments.
135Let your face shine upon your servant
and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your teaching.
26The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
29For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.
30And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?
33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.
35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.
31[Jesus] put before [the crowds] another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field;
32it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls;
46on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind;
48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad.
49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous
50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51“Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.”
52And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.
Children of the Heavenly Father
1 Children of the heav'nly Father
safely in his bosom gather;
nestling bird nor star in heaven
such a refuge e'er was given.
2 God his own doth tend and nourish,
in his holy courts they flourish.
From all evil things he spares them,
in his mighty arms he bears them.
3 Neither life nor death shall ever
from the Lord his children sever;
unto them his grace he showeth,
and their sorrows all he knoweth.
4 Though he giveth or he taketh,
God his children ne'er forsaketh;
his the loving purpose solely
to preserve them pure and holy.
Text: Carolina Sandell Berg, 1832-1903; tr. Ernst W. Olson, 1870-1958