The Sunday of the Centurion (01/26)

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.

Jesus Came for Gentiles, Too

The Gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile (Rom. 1:8–17). Even in the Old Testament, the Gentiles were beneficiaries of God’s saving power. Though unimpressed at first with the Word of God, a Syrian commander is persuaded to receive that Word, and in the water, he is cleansed and brought to faith in the God of Israel (2 Kings 5:1–15a). Evil is overcome by good (Rom 12:16–21). So also in the New Testament, a Roman centurion demonstrates great and humble faith in the Lord (Matt. 8:1–13). All he needs is the Word of Christ, for he trusts that Jesus’ Word of healing has the authority to accomplish what it says. And indeed it does. The centurion’s faith is praised by our Lord above that of any Israelite. For the last shall be first, and the first last. Apart from faith in Christ, there is no salvation—not even for a Jew¬—but only weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Collect of the Day: Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings:

Introit: Ps. 97:1, 10-12; antiphon: Ps. 97:6,9
Gradual: Ps. 102:15-16
Old Testament: 2 Kings 5:1-15a
Psalm 110:1-4 (antiphon: v. 2a)
Epistle: Rom. 1:8-17 or Rom. 12:16-21
Proper Verse: Ps. 97:1
Gospel: Matt. 8:1-13

Hymns:

834 O God, O Lord of heav’n and earth Wittenberg New

401 From God the Father, virgin-born Deus tuorum militum Hymn Study

810 O God of God, O Light of light O grosser Gott

396 Arise and shine in splendor O Welt, ich muss dich lassen (Innsbruck)

620 Jesus comes today with healing Alles ist an Gottes Segen

587 I know my faith is founded Nun lob, mein Seel

571 God loved the world so that He gave St. Crispin