The Order of Matins
Lutheran Service Book (LSB) hymnal (You may purchase a copy here.)
The Order of Matins p. 219
The Psalmody p.220
The Reading Matthew 26:36-56 New King James Version (NKJV)
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father,if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?”
Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
The Responsory p. 221
The Catechetical Instruction
The teaching for this morning comes from Martin Luther’s Commentary on Psalm 2. He writes:
The office of Christ is described most clearly, namely, that He will not bear the sword, that He will not found a new state, but will be a teacher to instruct men concerning a certain unheard but eternal decree of God.
Therefore, even if other kings must also make laws and govern through laws, nevertheless their chief function is not to teach or to pass laws, but to punish evil men with the sword and to defend good men. They are consequently like lictors or hangmen of God. For, as Paul says, “they bear the sword to terrify the wicked and for vengeance” (Rom. 13:4). Their own duty is, therefore, not to teach, because they do not rule over consciences or hearts, but only to restrain the hands. And just as a swineheard drives the pigs and leads them to pasture simply according to the five senses, so the kings of the world are herdsmen, governing not the conscience but the bodies, like cattle. But our King, concerning whom the Holy Spirit here prophesies, is the kind of king who has been ordained and appointed to teach. He is consequently at the same time priest, teacher, and theologian, to instruct and teach His own people about God and to rule only over consciences.
This is the difference which distinguishes our King from all other kings, and it must be most carefully observed. For it is the devil’s constant concern and tireless undertaking to confuse this kingdom with the kingdoms of the world and to make a worldly king out of Christ, who is a teacher of consciences. And the pope, a special tool of Satan, has rejected Christ entirely insofar as He is a teacher, and has seized the sword. In fact, the keys which Christ has given to the church he has turned to a political end. The fanatics or V 12, p 42 sectarians are deceived by these same thoughts and take over affairs of the state. For they abolish previous governments and introduce new customs and new usages. They think that this is the special fruit of the Gospel. At Marburg I myself heard Zwingli declare with great pride that he had the Swiss remove the red caps which they used to wear for a while as soldiers, when they were at war.16 Nor was Carlstadt any more sensible when he attached such importance to his deserting the school and studies and taking the name not of teacher but of a new layman. For he wrote in the titles of his books that he was a new layman.17 But these absurdities arise from another kind of ignorance, namely, ignorance about the kingdom of Christ. For because they do not distinguish between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdoms of the world, they make Christianity a matter of changing certain externals.
But Christ left these things to the kings of the world; to His own people He says: “It shall not be so among you” (Matt. 20:26). For His kingdom stands in the Word, and His office is to teach. He left the care of swine to the kings of the world, for they have been provided with a staff with which they can drive cattle. But His office is, as the psalm says here, to preach, to tell of God’s decree. This definition of the kingdom of Christ is clear enough and the proper distinction. But few truly comprehend it. That harmful mixture of both kingdoms continually clings to people’s hearts to such an extent that it is difficult even for spiritual-minded men to distinguish this kingdom properly from the kingdom of the world. Nevertheless those who believe in another life after this life see that the services of kings and governors are necessary for them in this life, but that they need Christ the King for another and eternal life.
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 12: Selected Psalms I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 12 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 41–42.
The Canticle - Te Deum p.223
The Prayer p. 227
Benedicamus p. 228