Week 9: Third Sunday after the Epiphany

After his temptation, our Lord Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and a report about him went throughout the surrounding country, and he taught in their synagogues and was glorified by all. When he came to his hometown, Nazareth, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom and stood up to read. On that day Jesus took the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and read the text where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” As all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him, Jesus proclaimed that the Isaiah Scripture was fulfilled in their hearing! Jesus declared boldly that he himself was God’s anointed Messiah, the long-awaited, Spirit-anointed Servant of Yahweh come to liberate creation from Satan’s dominion.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
Eternal God, our Father, who sent your only Son Jesus to earth to destroy the works of the devil, fulfill in us your sacred will in order that your Holy Spirit who filled our Lord may also fill us, and empower us to walk in the victory he won for the world through the Cross. Indeed, we know him to be the Messiah, our liberator, the proclaimer of freedom and liberty, and the only one who can set the captives free. Let the Nazarene’s testimony resonate today, in our hearts and lives, as we follow him. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: Lev. 27; Num. 1

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 19
OT: Neh. 8.1-10
Gospel: Luke 4.14-21
NT: 1 Cor. 12.12-31

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Truly, dear Savior and Lord, it must have been a shock to your friends and neighbors to hear your testimony that the words of Isaiah were fulfilled in their hearing that morning. Let us cling to your testimony, affirming in our hearts that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, come to liberate, heal, and transform us all. Make it so in our lives today, amen.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Lord Jesus, we affirm today that you are the Messiah, the center of Isaiah’s prophecy, the anointed one chosen by God to bring deliverance to the broken of the world.

Weekly Reflection on the Priesthood of all Believers
In a piece titled Concerning the Ministry [Luther] identifies seven such priestly functions: (1) to teach and preach the Word of God, (2) to baptize, (3) to administer the Lord’s Supper, (4) to bind and loose sins, (5) to pray for others, (6) to sacrifice and (7) to judge doctrine and spirits. These seven priestly duties are, for Luther, various forms of the ministry of the Word of God, for, “we teach with the Word, we consecrate with the Word, we bind and absolve sins by the Word, we baptize with the Word, we sacrifice with the Word, we judge all things by the Word.”

~ Uche Anizor and Hank Voss. Representing Christ. Electronic Edition.
Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016. p. 76.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
And He Manifested His Glory, John 2.1-11

Book Reading
Carter, Guard the Good Deposit

Our Corporate Disciplines
Book Discussion: Wednesday, January 26, 2022