Sunday, January 13, 2019
Isaiah 40: 1 - 5, 9 - 11
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Go up onto a big mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by a strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.
Psalm 104: 1 - 4, 24 - 30
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. You have spread out the heavens like a tent-cloth, you have constructed your palace upon the waters. You make the clouds your chariot; you travel on the winds of the wind.
How manifold are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all - the earth is full of your creatures; the sea also, great and wide, in which are schools without number of living things both small and great, and where ships move about with Leviathan, which you formed to make sport of it.
They all look to you to give them food in due time. When you give it to them, they gather it; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. If you hide your face, they are dismayed. If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.
Letter of Paul to Titus 2: 11 - 14; 3: 4 - 7
Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.
When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Gospel of Luke 3: 15 - 16, 21 - 22
The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the strings of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."