Deuteronomy 32:34–43 (Listen)
34 “‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.’
36 For the LORD will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
let them be your protection!
39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;
bow down to him, all gods,
for he avenges the blood of his children
and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him
and cleanses his people’s land.”
Romans 15:1–13 (Listen)
The Example of Christ
15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles,
and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Luke 9:1–17 (Listen)
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
9:1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, 8 by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. 9 Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
10 On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. 12 Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 And they did so, and had them all sit down. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
Psalm 92 (Listen)
How Great Are Your Works
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath.
92:1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
5 How great are your works, O LORD!
Your thoughts are very deep!
6 The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
8 but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
9 For behold, your enemies, O LORD,
for behold, your enemies shall perish;
all evildoers shall be scattered.
10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
you have poured over me fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the LORD is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Psalm 149 (Listen)
Sing to the Lord a New Song
149:1 Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 23 (Listen)
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
Psalm 114 (Listen)
Tremble at the Presence of the Lord
114:1 When Israel went out from Egypt,
the house of Jacob from a people of strange language,
2 Judah became his sanctuary,
Israel his dominion.
3 The sea looked and fled;
Jordan turned back.
4 The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills like lambs.
5 What ails you, O sea, that you flee?
O Jordan, that you turn back?
6 O mountains, that you skip like rams?
O hills, like lambs?
7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
8 who turns the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.
St. Philip and St. James, Apostles (May 1)
About the Festival
The Fourth Gospel provides what information we have about Philip. He was born in Bethsaida, the same fishing village on the shores of Galilee from which Peter and Andrew came. He was among the first disciples, who, after Jesus found him, found Nathanael (sometimes identified with Bartholomew; see August 24) and brought him to Jesus (John 1:43-51). Apart from his own calling, the story of Nathanael, and his inclusion in the lists of the apostles, the only other incidents of Philip’s life recorded in the Gospels are the time Jesus asked Philip how they would be able to feed the crowds (John 6:5-7), the occasion when some Greeks came to him (Philip is a Greek name) to ask his help in arranging an interview with Jesus (John 12:20-22), and his role in one of Jesus’ major discourses (John 14:8-9).
According to tradition, Philip, after Pentecost, went first to Scythia on the north coast of the Black Sea to preach the gospel, where he was remarkably successful, and then to Phrygia (in modern Turkey), where he remained until his death. He is said to have met his death in the town of Hierapolis in Phrygia, according to some accounts by crucifixion and stoning. Traditions also tell of Philip’s two unmarried daughters who survived him, lived to an old age, and were also buried in Hierapolis.
Philip the Apostle is represented in iconography by a Latin or sometimes a Tau cross, an emblem of his crucifixion, and two loaves of bread, recalling the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:5-6).
Philip the Apostle is not to be confused with the Philip who with Stephen was a deacon in the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:5) and who is sometimes called Philip the Evangelist (see October 11).
James the son of Alphaeus is usually called James the Less (meaning either “short” or “younger”; the title derives from Mark 15:40) to distinguish him from James the Elder, the brother of John, who is commemorated July 25, and from James of Jerusalem, the brother of the Lord, who is commemorated October 2?. The only certain reference to James the Less in Scripture is the inclusion of his name in the apostolic lists. James the son of Alphaeus may be the James whose mother Mary was one of those present at the crucifixion (Matt 27:53-56 and Mark 15:40) and who had a brother named Joseph or, in the Greek form of the name, Joses.
The iconographical symbol of James the Less is a saw with which he is said by some traditions to have been dismembered or a fullers club with which, according to other accounts, he was beaten to death.
May 1 has been kept as the feast day of St. Philip and St. James since ca. 560 when on May 1 the supposed remains of the two saints were interred in the new Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome. The church was rebuilt in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and eighteenth centuries; the main altarpiece, the largest picture in Rome, is the Martyrdom of Saints Philip and James by Domenico Muratori (1661-1744).
To acknowledge the twentieth-century dedication of May 1 to labor and the working classes, Pope Pius XII in 1955 made May 1 the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and shifted the feast of Philip and James to May 11; the present Roman calendar (1969) moved the commemoration of the two apostles to May 3, closer to the original date. Lutherans and Anglicans have retained the traditional date. In the Eastern Churches the two apostles are commemorated separately. St. Philip’s Day is November 14, and St. James the son of Alphaeus is remembered on October 9.
Excerpts from New Book of Festivals & Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints by Philip H. Pfatteicher, copyright, 2008 by Fortress Press, an imprint of Augsburg Fortress.
From The Saints in Daily Christian Life by Romano Guardini
If we were to probe a little further… we would be able to recognize the outlines of the figure of a new type of saint. It is no longer a man or woman who does exceptional things, but simply one who does what every man or woman who wishes to act well in a given situation will do. No more. No less.
To desire these things: that is true love. And in that love, let us repeat, there are limitless possibilities: that of a truth which is always to be more complete, of good always to be made more pure, of action always to be more resolute. To see in these beginnings the all of which our Lord speaks: all of the heart, all of the soul, all of the strength; to be able to see all in these humble beginnings: it is that in which sanctity consists. And this sanctity grows in the continuing struggles against oneself: in the necessary renunciations, in the challenging effort toward an ever purer sincerity of spirit and intention.
Sanctity nourished in this way is less and less an obvious thing. One could almost say that this is a deliberately hidden sanctity: one that hides its greatness, one that does things of lesser and lesser importance rightly; but by that fact they become of greater and greater significance.
The saint will no longer be characterized by extraordinary behavior (as the historian, say, understands it); he will no longer appear to the world as separated from his fellow men or above them. On the contrary, he will be doing the same thing as everyone else: what needs to be done, what is right and just. But he will join to his behavior a purity of intention more and more deeply united to a great love of God; more and more detached from selfishness and self-satisfaction.
Romano Guardini, The Saints in Daily Christian Life (Philadelphia and New York: Chilton, 1966), 56-58,61,67-68.
Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
1979 BCP; rev. in ELW
Readings: Isaiah 30:18-21; Psalm 119:33-40; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; John 14:6-14
Hymn of the Day: “You are the way; through you alone” (LBW 464, LSB 526, ELW 758, H82 457)
Prayers: For strength to follow Christ the way; For grace to know the truth in Christ; For courage to live the life of Christ; For all laborers and workers.
This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After a challenging year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.