Prepare for The Sunday of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (11/24)

Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. For October and November, we will be using Divine Service Setting Five from Lutheran Service Book when we receive the Lord’s Supper. This setting is based on Luther’s German Mass (1526), which uses classic Lutheran hymns in place of the canticles. Luther composed or revised Latin hymns for each part of the Ordinary, the pillars of the Divine Service that we ordinarily use every week. These include hymns for the Kyrie Eleison, Gloria in Excelsis, Creed, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Listen to these hymns here to prepare for Sunday.

By Faith, We Are Prepared for Christ’s Return – “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:1–11). The arrival of the bridegroom will be sudden and unexpected. Therefore you are to be watchful and ready like the five wise virgins. “For you know neither the day nor the hour” when the Son of Man is to return. (Matt. 25:1–13). The lamps are the Word of Christ. The oil in the lamps is the Holy Spirit, who works through the Word to create and sustain the flame of faith in Christ. The foolish are those who do not give proper attention to the working of the Holy Spirit in baptism, preaching, and the supper, and so their faith does not endure. The wise, however, are those who diligently attend to these gifts of the Spirit, and who therefore have an abundance of oil. The flame of faith endures to the end. By God’s grace, they are received into the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth created by the Lord for the joy of His people (Is. 65:17–25).

Collect of the Day: O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that, from the bonds of our sins which by reason of our frailty we have brought upon ourselves, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings:

Old Testament: Isaiah 65:17-25
Psalm 149
Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

Hymns:

514 The Bridegroom soon will call us Ach Gott vom Himmelreiche

As translated by Matthias Loy, President of the Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, who contributed several original hymns, and translations from German, to the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal. Published by Order of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States. Columbus, Ohio, 1880.

516 Wake, awake, for night is flying Wachet auf Hymn Study

Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying is as specific to the Last Sunday of the Church Year as is any hymn to any particular Sunday. Along with How Lovely Shines the Morning Star it is written by the Lutheran Pastor Phillip Nicolai (1599). These hymns are lovingly referred to as the King and Queen of the Chorales, with Wachet auf (Wake, Awake…) being the King. You will hear it in various arrangements associated with the Christian wedding.

Beyond its clear confession of Christ’s return, it entails some beautiful hidden gems. Each stanza is written in the shape of a chalice, alluding to the Christ and the host of heaven who join us in the Lord’s Supper. The German original contains three initials at the beginning of each stanza: 1 – W, 2 – Z, and 3 – G. These correspond to the title (Graf zu Waldeck, Count of Waldeck) of Count Wilhelm Ernst a student of Nicolai’s who died a year before. The hymn’s specific occasion for writing was a horrible plague that claimed thousands with as many as 30 people being buried daily. Their committals were said to be in view of Nicolai from his office window. Thus it serves as a comfort to the dying and their families, causing it to be appropriately not just at weddings but also funerals.

It is based primarily on Matthew 25; the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Earlier translations both in TLH and LW missed the reference to the Lord’s Supper in stanza two (Das Abendmahl). LSB has rightly restored it. The hymn makes the text seen to its hearers and leads one from the beckoning of the Word of God to the Supper to full participation with Christ and all the saints in heaven. (Pastor Adrian Sherrill for Logia Online)

663 Rise, my soul, to watch and pray Straf mich nicht

515 Rejoice, rejoice, believers Haf trones lampa fardig

680 Thine the amen Thine the praise Thine

337 The Night Will Soon Be Ending Llangloffan

509 Christ is surely coming King’s Weston