Martin Luther: Reformer, 1546

Thursday, February 18, 2016Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Collect: 

O God, our refuge and our strength: You raised up your servant Martin Luther to reform and renew your Church in the light of your word. Defend and purify the Church in our own day and grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace which you have made known in Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Isaiah 55:6-11

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found,
   call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake their way,
   and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
   and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
   giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
   it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
   and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Psalm: 
Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, *
       a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, *
       and though the mountains be toppled into the
                              depths of the sea;
3 Though its waters rage and foam, *
       and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
4 The Lord of hosts is with us; *
       the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, *
       the holy habitation of the Most High.
6 God is in the midst of her;
   she shall not be overthrown; *
       God shall help her at the break of day.
7 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; *
       God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.
8 The Lord of hosts is with us; *
       the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
9 Come now and look upon the works of the Lord, *
       what awesome things he has done on earth.
10 It is he who makes war to cease in all the world; *
       he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear,
       and burns the shields with fire.
11 “Be still, then, and know that I am God; *
       I will be exalted among the nations;
       I will be exalted in the earth.”
12 The Lord of hosts is with us; *
       the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Epistle: 
Romans 3:21-28

21 But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

Gospel: 
John 15:1-11

1 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.