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Worship at Zion

9:00 am
Education Hour
10:30 am
Sunday Worship Service


 

Epiphany Bible Readings

Epiphany season is the time in the Church year to focus on the revelation of who Jesus is: both true God and man.

BAPTISM OF OUR LORD (First Sunday after the Epiphany)

Isaiah 43:1–7

Romans 6:1–11

Luke 3:15–22

The Triune God Opens Heaven to You in Holy Baptism

The Baptism of our Lord is an “Epiphany” of the one true God in the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. In divine mercy, He takes His place with sinners and takes their sin upon Himself. “When all the people were baptized,” Jesus submitted Himself to a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:21). He had no sins of His own, but He took the sins of the world upon Himself and so was baptized into His own death. Therefore, “when you pass through the waters,” He is with you (Is. 43:2). He created you for His glory, and He has redeemed you with His blood, that you may be His own and live with Him in His Kingdom (Is. 43:1, 7). As you are baptized with a baptism like His, so also are you united with Him in His death and resurrection that you “might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). For all who are baptized into Christ Jesus receive His anointing of the Holy Spirit and are named by His Father as beloved and well-pleasing sons and daughters.

SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

Isaiah 62:1–5

1 Corinthians 12:1–11

John 2:1–11

The Divine Glory Is Manifested in the Signs of Christ

When Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana, it was “the first of His signs,” by which He “manifested His glory” (John 2:11). It pointed to His coming “hour,” when He was lifted up on the Cross for the forgiveness of sins and the life of the world (John 2:4; 12:23–32). The glory of the cross is incomprehensible apart from the Word and Spirit of God, but disciples of Jesus recognize that glory in the signs of His Gospel, and so they believe in Him. Jesus does not wait for His disciples to discover Him on their own, but He seeks out the forsaken and the desolate and unites them to Himself. He adorns them with His own beautiful righteousness and delights in them “as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride” (Is. 62:4–5). Purified by the washing of water with His Word in Holy Baptism, His disciples confess that “Jesus is Lord,” and they return thanks to Him “in the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3), as they drink the good wine that He pours out for them, which is the new testament in His blood.

THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

Nehemiah 8:1–3, 5–6, 8–10

1 Corinthians 12:12–31a

Luke 4:16–30

The Lord Is Manifested as Our Savior through the Preaching of the Gospel

When Jesus opens His mouth to preach, gracious words flow from His lips. The Scriptures are, indeed, fulfilled in your hearing (Luke 4:21–22). For Christ was anointed by the Spirit of the Lord “to proclaim good news to the poor,” “to proclaim liberty to the captives,” and “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19). By this proclamation, Christ releases His people from captivity and gathers them to Himself in His Church. So it was when the Lord released His people from Babylon and returned them to Jerusalem. “Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people,” sanctified the whole congregation by the reading and preaching of the Law (Neh. 8:8–9). As the people then were urged to “eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready” (Neh. 8:10), so are you anointed by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ to share in His feast and to serve the fellow members of His Body with His good gifts, “giving greater honor to the part that lacked it” (1 Cor. 12:12, 24).

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

Jeremiah 1:4–10 (17–19)

1 Corinthians 12:31b—13:13

Luke 4:31–44

Jesus Has Authority to Forgive Your Sins and Give You Life

Jesus was sent to “preach the good news of the kingdom of God” (Luke 4:43). His preaching is an epiphany or manifestation of God, because His Word reveals the authority of His Cross and Resurrection, by which He has atoned for the sins of the world. By the preaching of His Gospel in every place, He silences the unclean spirits and casts out demons, heals the diseases of body and soul, and restores life and health to His creation (Luke 4:40–41). For the sake of His divine love, He is “patient and kind” toward us; He “bears all things,” “endures all things,” and “delivers up His body” to save us (1 Cor. 13:3–4, 7). So also for the sake of His love, He calls and sends His prophets, as ministers of His Word, “to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10).

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY

Isaiah 6:1–8 (9–13)

1 Corinthians 14:12b–20

Luke 5:1–11

Jesus Manifests His Divine Glory by Forgiving Sins

When Isaiah beheld the glory of the Holy Triune God in the Temple, he confessed that he was lost because he was sinful and unclean. If even the holy angels cover their faces in the presence of “the King, the Lord of hosts,” then how could Isaiah stand before Him? (Is. 6:1–5). The glory of the Lord, however, was manifested precisely in His forgiving of Isaiah’s sins. He touched Isaiah’s mouth with a burning coal from the altar of incense, and sanctified his lips for the proclamation of His Word (Is. 6:6–9). Similarly, when Simon Peter witnessed the glory of God in the miraculous catch of fish, he was brought to his knees and confessed, “I am a sinful man” (Luke 5:8). Yet, the Lord Jesus did not depart from him, but calmed his fear and raised him up with His gracious forgiveness (Luke 5:10). With this same forgiveness and love, Christ gathers people from every nations into His Church and pours out His Spirit upon them. The gifts of that same Spirit are manifested in the speaking and hearing of the Gospel for the building up of the Church (1 Cor. 14:12).

TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD

Deuteronomy 34:1–12

Hebrews 3:1–6

Luke 9:28–36

The Glory of God Is Manifested in the Body of Christ

“Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant,” but Christ Jesus “has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses” (Heb. 3:3, 5). A beloved and well-pleasing Son, faithful even to the point of death, Jesus’ own body was raised up on the third day as the house of God, and He has brought us into that house through the waters of Holy Baptism (Heb. 3:6). Thus, it was not Moses the lawgiver, but his successor, Joshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus), who led the people into the promised land (Deut. 34:1–4, 9). Now, on the Mount of Transfiguration, the New Testament Joshua appears in the glory that He is about to manifest by His “departure” (exodus) in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). Having entered the waters of the Jordan in His Baptism, He passed through those waters and entered into glory by His Cross and Passion. What He thereby accomplished in His own flesh and blood, crucified and risen, He reveals and gives to His Body, the Church, by the means of His Word. Therefore, the Father declares from heaven, “Listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35).

ASH WEDNESDAY

Joel 2:12–19

2 Corinthians 5:20b—6:10

Matthew 6:1–6, 16–21

Return to the Lord Your God with All Your Heart

On Ash Wednesday, we come down from the mountain with Jesus and set our face with His toward the cross in Jerusalem. We make our pilgrimage with Him by the way of repentance, and thus return to the dying and rising of Holy Baptism. For Christ Jesus, “who knew no sin,” became our sin, so that by His death we are released from sin, and in His resurrection we “become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Since God has thereby reconciled the world to Himself in Christ, “now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). He summons you to return to Him with all your heart because He is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Joel 2:13). Do so in faith and confidence before Him, and pray to Him as your Father. Give to the needy from a heart of love, and fast for the sake of repentance (Matt. 6:3–4, 6, 17–18).


Lutheran Church Missiouri Synod Forest Hills Lutheran School Concordia Publishing House Lutheran Women in Mission Lutheran Hour Ministries