The Season of End Times
Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal (1993)
3-Year Lectionary, Year A
Reformation Sunday (The First Sunday of End Times)
Daniel 6:10-12, 16-23
10Now, when Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went to his house. It had windows on its upper story that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times each day he would get on his knees and pray and offer praise before his God. He continued to do that, just as he had been doing before this. 11Then these men came as a group and found Daniel praying and seeking favor from his God.
12They then went and asked the king about the decree. “Your Majesty, did you not sign a decree that anyone who prays to any god or person for thirty days except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the den of lions?”
The king answered, “Indeed I did. The order is established as a law of the Medes and the Persians that cannot be revoked.”
16Then the king gave the order, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you.” 17A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the pit. The king sealed it with his signet ring and the signet rings of his nobles so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel’s situation. 18Then the king went to his palace. He spent the night without food, and no entertainment was brought before him. But he could not sleep.
19At dawn the king arose as soon as it was light and hurried to the lions’ den. 20As he came near the pit, he cried out in a fearful voice. The king said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, was your God, whom you serve continually, able to rescue you from the lions?”
21Then Daniel spoke with the king. “Your Majesty, may you live forever! 22My God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions. They have not hurt me because he found me innocent in his presence. Also before you, Your Majesty, I have committed no crime.”
23Then the king was very glad and said that Daniel should be brought up from the pit. So Daniel was brought up from the pit, and he was unharmed because he trusted in his God.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not allow anyone to put the yoke of slavery on you again. 2Look, I, Paul, tell you that if you allow yourselves to be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3I testify again to every man who allows himself to be circumcised that he is obligated to do the whole law. 4You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law are completely separated from Christ. You have fallen from grace.
5Indeed, through the Spirit, we by faith are eagerly waiting for the sure hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. Rather, it is faith working through love that matters.
16“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17Be on guard against people. They will hand you over to councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues. 18You will be brought into the presence of governors and kings for my sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19Whenever they hand you over, do not be worried about how you will respond or what you will say, because what you say will be given to you in that hour. 20In fact you will not be the ones speaking, but the Spirit of your Father will be speaking through you.
21“Brother will hand over his brother to death, and a father will do the same with his child. Children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 22You will be hated by all people because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. 23And when they persecute you in one town, flee to the next. Amen I tell you: You will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
Last Judgment (The Second Sunday of End Times)
9I continued to watch until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days was seated. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair on his head was like pure wool. His throne was flames of fire. Its wheels were blazing fire. 10A river of fire flowed out from his presence. Thousands upon thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and books were opened.
1 Thessalonians 5:1–11
Concerning the times and dates, brothers, there is no need to write to you, 2for you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3When people are saying, “Peace and security,” destruction will suddenly come on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will certainly not escape. 4But you, brothers, are not in the dark so that this day takes you by surprise like a thief, 5for you are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. 6So then let us not sleep like everyone else, but rather let us remain alert and sober.
7To be sure, those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9You see, God did not appoint us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10He died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are also doing.
31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. 36I was lacking clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or lacking clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40“The King will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you did not give me food to eat. I was thirsty and you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, lacking clothes and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not take care of me.’
44“Then they will also answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or lacking clothes or sick or in prison and did not serve you?’
45“At that time he will answer them, ‘Amen I tell you: Just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46And they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Saints Triumphant (The Third Sunday of End Times)
Clothe yourself with strength, O Zion.
Put on your beautiful garments,
Jerusalem, you holy city,
for never again will the uncircumcised
and the unclean enter you.
2Shake off the dust.
Get up and take your seat, Jerusalem.
Loosen the chains from your neck,
you captive daughter of Zion.
3Yes, this is what the Lord says.
You were sold for nothing,
and you will be redeemed without money.
4Yes, this is what the Lord God says.
In the beginning, my people went down to Egypt to stay there for a while.
Later Assyria oppressed them without cause.
5Now what do I have here? declares the Lord.
Indeed, my people have been taken away for nothing.
Their rulers howl with mockery, declares the Lord.
My name is continually despised all day.
6Therefore my people will know my name.
So on that day they will know that I am the one—
the one who is saying, “Here I am!”
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
13We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you do not grieve in the same way as the others, who have no hope. 14Indeed, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, then in the same way we also believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.
15In fact, we tell you this by the word of the Lord: We who are alive and left until the coming of the Lord will certainly not go on ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore, encourage one another with these words.
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take any oil with them; 4but the wise took oil in their containers with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise answered, ‘No, there may not be enough for us and for you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10But while they were away buying oil, the bridegroom came. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. 11Later, the other virgins also came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, let us in.’ 12But he answered, ‘Amen I tell you: I do not know you.’ 13Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Christ the King (The Fourth Sunday of End Times)
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24
11For this is what the Lord God says. Here I am. I myself will seek the welfare of my flock and carefully search for them. 12As a shepherd searches for his flock when his sheep that were with him have been scattered, so I will search for my flock and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own soil. I will shepherd them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys, and in all the settlements of the land. 14I will lead them into good pasture, and their grazing land will be on the high mountains of Israel. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and they will pasture on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will shepherd my flock. I myself will let them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured. I will strengthen the weak. I will destroy the fat and the strong, and I will shepherd them with justice.
23Then I will raise up over them one shepherd, and he will tend them. My servant David will tend them, and he will be their shepherd. 24I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be the prince among them. I, the Lord, have spoken.
1 Corinthians 15:20–28
20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came by a man, the resurrection of the dead also is going to come by a man. 22For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ they all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ as the firstfruits and then Christ’s people, at his coming. 24Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has done away with every other ruler and every other authority and power. 25For he must reign “until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” 26Death is the last enemy to be done away with. 27Certainly, “he has put all things in subjection under his feet.” Now when it says that all things have been put in subjection, obviously that does not include the one who subjected all things to him. 28But when all things have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected all things to him, in order that God may be all in all.
27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole cohort of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. 29They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand, knelt in front of him, and mocked him by saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spit on him, took the staff, and hit him repeatedly on his head.
31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.