The Introit

In God I trust; I shall not | be afraid.*
What can man | do to me?
I must perform my vows to you, | O God;*
I will render thank offerings | to you.

Therefore we will not fear though the | earth gives way,*
though the mountains be moved into the heart | of the sea,
though its waters | roar and foam,*
though the mountains tremble at its | swelling.
God is in the midst of her; she shall | not be moved;*
God will help her when | morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms | totter;*
he utters his voice, the | earth melts.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.

In God I trust; I shall not | be afraid.*
What can man | do to me?

I must perform my vows to you, | O God;*
I will render thank offerings | to you.

The Collect of the Day

Lord God, heavenly Father, You preserved the teaching of the apostolic Church through the confession of the true faith at Augsburg. Continue to cast the bright beams of Your light upon Your Church that we, being instructed by the doctrine of the blessed apostles, may walk in the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 
Allegory of the Augsburg Confession  , 1730, by Balthasar Siegmund Setletzky, German from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Allegory of the Augsburg Confession, 1730, by Balthasar Siegmund Setletzky, German from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The First Lesson 

Nehemiah 8:1–2, 5–6, 9–12

Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God.

Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.

The Epistle

1 Timothy 6:11–16

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

 
Ecce Homo  , 16th century, by Attributed to Hieronymus Bosch, Netherlandish from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art

Ecce Homo, 16th century, by Attributed to Hieronymus Bosch, Netherlandish from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Holy Gospel

Matthew 10:26–33

Alleluia . I will also speak of your testimonies be- | fore kings*
and shall not be | put to shame. Alleluia.

Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.