Readings and Psalm for Sunday, January 30, 2022, Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

The glory of God is often revealed when and where it is least expected. God uses our lips to declare that glory, inexperienced and hesitant though they may be. God uses our love to demonstrate that glory and so urges us to exercise it. God uses Jesus of Nazareth, water and the word, bread and wine, to reveal God’s glory where and when God chooses. Take heed, lest the glory of God slip through our midst unnoticed.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and love; and that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10

4Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
 and before you were born I consecrated you;
 I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
6Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the Lord said to me,
 “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;
 for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
 and you shall speak whatever I command you.
8Do not be afraid of them,
 for I am with you to deliver you,
 says the Lord.”
9Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me,
 “Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
 to pluck up and to pull down,
 to destroy and to overthrow,
 to build and to plant.”

Psalm: Psalm 71:1-6

1In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge;
 let me never be put to shame.
2In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free;
incline your ear to me and save me.
3Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;
 you are my crag and my stronghold.
4Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor. 
5For you are my hope, O Lord God,
 my confidence since I was young.
6I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength;
my praise shall be always of you. 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel: Luke 4:21-30

21Then [Jesus] began to say to [all in the synagogue in Nazareth,] “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’ ” 24And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. 25But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; 26yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 28When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

Readings and Psalm for Sunday, January 23, 2022, Third Sunday after Epiphany

God’s glory is revealed in the reading of scripture. People stand at attention. People weep. People prostrate themselves in prayer. The unity of the church is another reflection of God’s glory. Most gloriously, the promises of God are fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Gather round. Listen up. Glimpse the glory of God.

Prayer of the Day

Blessed Lord God, you have caused the holy scriptures to be written for the nourishment of your people. Grant that we may hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, comforted by your promises, we may embrace and forever hold fast to the hope of eternal life, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

First Reading: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

1All the people [of Israel] gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 5And 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. 6Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 8So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and 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 or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Psalm: Psalm 19

1The heavens declare the glory of God,
 and the sky proclaims itsmaker’s handiwork.
2One day tells its taleto another,
and one night imparts knowledgeto another.
3Although they have nowords or language,
 and their voicesare not heard,
4their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the endsof the world,
where God has pitched a tentfor the sun.
5It comes forth like a bridegroom outof his chamber;
 it rejoices like a champion torun its course.
6It goes forth from the uttermost edge of the heavens and runs about to the end ofit again;
nothing is hidden from itsburning heat.
7The teaching of the Lord is perfect and revives the soul;
 the testimony of the Lord is sure and gives wisdomto the simple.
8The statutes of the Lord are just and rejoice the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear and gives lightto the eyes.
9The fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever;
 the judgments of the Lord are true and righteousaltogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, more thanmuch fine gold,
sweeter far than honey, than honeyin the comb.
11By them also is your servant enlightened,
 and in keeping them there isgreat reward.
12Who can detect one’sown offenses?
Cleanse me from mysecret faults.
13Above all, keep your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not get dominionover me;
 then shall I be whole and sound, and innocent of agreat offense.
14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptablein your sight,
O Lord, my strength andmy redeemer.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31aBut strive for the greater gifts.

Gospel: Luke 4:14-21

14Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
  because he has anointed me
   to bring good news to the poor.
 He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
  and recovery of sight to the blind,
   to let the oppressed go free,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Readings and Psalm, Baptism of Our Lord

Sunday’s festival rejoices in God’s blessings. We recall and celebrate our adoption as God’s children, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promised company of almighty God when we “pass through the waters . . . the rivers . . . fire.” On this day the heavens open again for this assembly, and we receive the gift of God’s Beloved, Jesus, in bread and wine.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit and revealed him as your beloved Son. Keep all who are born of water and the Spirit faithful in your service, that we may rejoice to be called children of God, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings and Psalm

Isaiah 43:1-7
Psalm 29
Acts 8:14-17
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

First Reading: Isaiah 43:1-7

1But now thus says the Lord,
  he who created you, O Jacob,
  he who formed you, O Israel:
 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
  I have called you by name, you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
  and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
 when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
  and the flame shall not consume you.
3For I am the Lord your God,
  the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
 I give Egypt as your ransom,
  Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
4Because you are precious in my sight,
  and honored, and I love you,
 I give people in return for you,
  nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not fear, for I am with you;
  I will bring your offspring from the east,
  and from the west I will gather you;
6I will say to the north, “Give them up,”
  and to the south, “Do not withhold;
 bring my sons from far away
  and my daughters from the end of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name,
  whom I created for my glory,
  whom I formed and made.”

Psalm: Psalm 29

1Ascribe to the Lord, you gods,
  ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name;
  worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders;
  the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice;
  the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor. 
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;
  the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6the Lord makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
  and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord
  bursts forth in lightning flashes.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
  the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 
9The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe and strips the forests bare.
  And in the temple of the Lord all are crying, “Glory!”
10The Lord sits enthroned above the flood;
  the Lord sits enthroned as king forevermore.
11O Lord, give strength to your people;
  give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace. 

Second Reading: Acts 8:14-17

14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

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Readings and Psalm for January 2, 2022, Second Sunday of Christmas

Within the gospel reading’s profound words lies the simple message that God is revealed in a human person. Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us. Christ comes among us in the gathered assembly, the scriptures, the waters of new birth, and the bread and the wine. Through these ordinary gifts we receive the fullness of God’s grace and truth.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Readings and Psalms

Jeremiah 31:7-14
Psalm 147:12-20
Ephesians 1:3-14
John 1:1-18

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-14

7Thus says the Lord:
 Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
  and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
 proclaim, give praise, and say,
  “Save, O Lord, your people,
  the remnant of Israel.”
8See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
  and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
 among them the blind and the lame,
  those with child and those in labor, together;
  a great company, they shall return here.
9With weeping they shall come,
  and with consolations I will lead them back,
 I will let them walk by brooks of water,
  in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
 for I have become a father to Israel,
  and Ephraim is my firstborn.

10Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
  and declare it in the coastlands far away;
 say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him,
  and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”
11For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
  and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
  and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
 over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
  and over the young of the flock and the herd;
 their life shall become like a watered garden,
  and they shall never languish again.
13Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
  and the young men and the old shall be merry.
 I will turn their mourning into joy,
  I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
14I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
  and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
 says the Lord.

Continue reading Readings and Psalm for January 2, 2022, Second Sunday of Christmas