Learn more about the readings, music, and worship-service planning helps for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost (November 18, 2018).
Season & Preparations
The end of the Church Year is approaching quickly. With the end of the Church Year comes readings about the Last Days, the return of Jesus, and the judgment of the living and the dead. The readings reflect challenging times to come, but we listen to the author of Hebrews, who encourages us to continue meeting together for worship, encouraging one another, as the Last Day draws near.
Readings & Theme
The Old Testament Reading for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost comes from the Book of Daniel. While the Book of Daniel contains some well-known stories such as about Daniel in the lions’ den and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s escape from the fiery furnace, it also is filled with apocalyptic literature. This week’s reading, from chapter twelve, is one such section. Daniel sees the end of days and the resurrection of the dead. He sees some arise to everlasting life and others to everlasting shame and contempt.
In the Gospel, from Mark 13, Jesus is speaking with four of His disciples privately about a coming judgment. It will be a time of persecution and division, but Jesus encourages His disciples to remain steadfast, to endure until the end, to not be led astray. In the world today, there is much that can lead us astray, but we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
In the Epistle, we conclude our look at the Book of Hebrews. In this section of chapter 10, the author speaks of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as an act that forgives sins once for all. Under the old system, priests repeatedly offered sacrifices that could never forgive sins, but Jesus’ single sacrifice does forgive sins, and it opens the way for us to enter the holy places by Christ’s blood. As we think on the Last Day and the return of Jesus, we long to enter the most holy place: the new heavens and the new earth, which will be ours when Jesus returns and makes all things new.
Hymns & Music
The Hymn of the Day is “The Day Is Surely Drawing Near” (LSB 508). Stanza six articulates our hope to come.
May Christ our intercessor be
And through His blood and merit
Read from His book that we are free
With all who life inherit.
Then we shall see Him face to face,
With all His saints in that blest place
Which He has purchased for us.
Other hymns to consider for this day include “Stars of the Morning, So Gloriously Bright” (LSB 520), which draws on the Daniel 12 reading, and “No Temple Now, No Gift of Price” (LSB 530), which draws heavily on the Epistle.
For a Distribution hymn, consider “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” (LSB 621). It fits the tone and mood of the season as we near the end of the Church Year.
Additional Resources for Worship & Study
John Kleinig’s Concordia Commentary on the Book of Hebrews undoubtedly will prove useful as we work through sections of this rather challenging Epistle.
Looking for additional information on planning for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost? Download our planning sheet to help you get started!
Quotations marked LSB are from Lutheran Service Book, copyright © 2006 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.