January 19, 2020

Relationships Matter


 

As We Gather:

"Epiphany" means a "showing forth" or "revelation" of a divine being. It can also mean having a meaningful insight about something related to an individual's life. In the season of Epiphany, we rediscover that, like Jesus, we have a calling to bring glory to God. In words of counsel to first-century Christians, Peter wrote: "Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that.. . they may see your good deeds and glorify God" (1 Peter 2:12). Not only is Jesus, the great Servant, shown forth in this season, we as His servants are on display as well. May we show forth servanthood in ways that glorify God!

 

Old Testament Reading:

Isaiah 49:1-7

(The Light for the Gentiles has come.)

Listen to me, O coastlands,

and give attention, you peoples from afar.

The LORD called me from the womb,

from the body of my mother he named my name.

He made my mouth like a sharp sword;

in the shadow of his hand he hid me;

he made me a polished arrow;

in his quiver he hid me away.

And he said to me, "You are my servant,

Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

But I said, "I have labored in vain;

I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

yet surely my right is with the LORD,

and my recompense with my God."

And now the LORD says,

he who formed me from the womb to be his servant,

to bring Jacob back to him;

and that Israel might be gathered to him -

for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD,

and my God has become my strength -

he says:

"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant

to raise up the tribes of Jacob

and to bring back the preserved of Israel;

I will make you as a light for the nations,

that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Thus says the LORD,

the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,

to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation,

the servant of rulers:

"Kings shall see and arise;

princes, and they shall prostrate themselves;

because of the LORD, who is faithful,

the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."

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Epistle Reading:

1 Coronthians 1:1-9

(Paul writes of the Lord's faithfulness to his people.)

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge - even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you - so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Gospel Reading:

John 1:29-42a

(Jesus is proclaimed to be the Lamb of God.)

The next day [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.' I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus.

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