Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. This week we will pray the Divine Service Setting Three (audio of this liturgy). The following guide will help you to prepare to hear and sing the Propers, i.e. the varied texts and hymns for this week.
GOD GIVES THE GIFT OF A CHILD TO DESTROY DEATH
The Lord opened the barren womb of Hannah and gave her the gift of the son for whom she prayed, and in grateful response, she presented and gave the child, Samuel, to the Lord’s service. “As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD” (1 Sam. 2:28). So, too, did Mary and Joseph present the Child promised from the fall, born of a virgin’s womb. The true offering wasn’t the turtledoves or young pigeons. It was the Child they carried. This Child has come to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14b–15). Set free by His advent in our flesh and the promise of what He would do “in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17b), Simeon and Anna rejoiced, and we with them, for we know that we, too, can face death unafraid and “depart in peace” (Luke 2:29) when our time comes.
Collect of the Day: Almighty and ever-living God, as Your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, grant that we may be presented to You with pure and clean hearts; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 1:21-28
Psalm 84 (antiphon: v. 4)
Epistle: Hebrews 2:14-18
Gospel: Luke 2:22-32 (33-40)
754 Entrust your days and burdens Sufficientia