Feast of The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist 8/29/2020

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

Today, August 29, 2020 is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist.  This post is devoted to one of the Feast Days that the historic Christian Church observed that are generally neglected today.  I pray that you find this message beneficial in your devotions this or another day.

“In contrast to the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (observed on June 24), this festival commemorates his beheading by the tetrarch Herod Antipas (Mark 6:14-29).  From the perspective of the world, it was an ignominious end to John the Baptist’s life.  Yet it was in fact a noble participation in the cross of Christ, which was John’s greatest glory of all.  Christ Himself said that there had arisen none greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11).  He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and also the herald of the New Testament.  As the forerunner of Christ, John fulfilled the prophecy that the great prophet Elijah would return before the great and terrible Day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:10-13).  By his preaching and Baptism of repentance, John turned “the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).  And.in the footsteps of the prophets who had gone before him – in anticipation of the Christ whose way he prepared – this servant of the Lord manifested the cross by the witness of his death.” 1

The verse or theme for this feast is “Alleluia.  Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.  Alleluia.”  It is from Psalm 116:15.

First Reading       Revelation 6:9-11

Psalm                   Psalm 71:1-8 (antiphon v. 23)

Epistle                  Romans 6:1-5

Gospel                  Mark 6:14-29

The hymn appointed for this day is “If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee” as found on page 750 in the Lutheran Service Book.  You may listen to the hymn at the link direct below.  I apologize if there is a political advertisement before the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7AhiRmu_Zo

Collect of the Day:

Almighty God, You gave Your servant John the Baptist to be the forerunner of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in both his preaching of repentance and his innocent death.  Grant that we, who have died and risen with Christ in Holy Baptism, may daily repent of our sins, patiently suffer for the sake of the truth, and fearlessly bear witness to His victory over death; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Pastor Jim Tuell

Treasury of Daily Prayer, Scot A Kinnaman, General Editor, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, MO., 2008, 654.

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