The Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting. . . .
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge! Psalm 50:1, 5-6
The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”
. . . And Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:10-16, 22-23
And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, . . . [and] they were planning an ambush to kill him . . .bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense.” But Festus,wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.” Acts 25:2-3, 7-12
Thanks, praise, and glory be to the Father of our dear Lorde Jesus Christ, who again, as at the beginning, has granted us to see the time in which His Christians, before our eyes and from beside us, are carried off to become martyrs (that is, carried off to heaven) and become saints.
DAILY PRAYER for SATURDAY
Lord God, heavenly Father, once again a week comes to its end. Forgive
us for having sinned again this week. We pray You not to look upon our
guilt: forgive us every sin of thought, word, and deed; forgive our
inner blindness, disbelief, doubt , feeblemindedness, impatience,
arrogance, evil desires, lust, secret envy, hate, resentment, and our
Redeem us by Your mercy. We know that a single sin eternally destroys
our fellowship with You. We know that we have eternally earned Your
wrath. We know that by our sin we are not worthy to be named Your
children. But our hope is not in our works; our hope is found in Your
grace alone, O God. We pray You to forgive us for the sake of Jesus
Christ, Your beloved Son. Through Him, grant us the power to hate our
sins, so that we may lead a life well-pleasing to You in true humility
and in the knowledge of Your holy will. O Lord, teach us to number our
days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Let the coming Sunday be a blessing for all Christians and for me.
Waken in us a hunger for Your Word and Sacrament. Prepare our hearts
that we may take part in the eternal liturgy sung before Your throne,
and grant that in the Sacrament we may join the never-ending feast,
until that final day comes. Hear our prayer for the sake of the Lamb,
Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.