Our Only Hope Is in Christ’s Righteousness — “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:20). God demands nothing less than perfection and holiness from you in regard to His commandments (Ex. 20:1–17). Your only hope, then, is not in your own goodness but in the goodness of Christ, who did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them for you. In Christ, your righteousness does indeed exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. For you have been baptized into Christ’s death and your sinful nature crucified. Therefore, he who has died has been freed from sin (Rom 6:1–11). You are now raised with Christ to walk in newness of life and to share in His resurrection on the Last Day. Christ has brought you through the baptismal sea “out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). Therefore, “consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11).
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 Four (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.
Collect of the Day: Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Introit: Ps. 28:1-2, 7; antiphon: Ps. 28:8-9
Old Testament: Ex. 20:1-17
Psalm 19 (antiphon: v. 8)
Epistle: Rom. 6:(1-2) 3-11
Proper Verse: Ps. 31:1
Gospel: Matt. 5:(17-19) 20-26