Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, January 15, 2023 — Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
Sunday, January 15, 2023 — 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Polished Arrows
Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

How Long? Not Long!
Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965.

Opening Statement
It’s hard to ignore a scripture passage that begins, “Listen to me . . . hear this, you distant nations!” (Isaiah 49:1). God is definitely trying to get our attention! It is clear from this text (and from the world around us) that there is plenty of work to be done in the task of building up God’s realm. In fact, a quick glance at the newspapers and TV reports could easily cause us to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task. Yet both the Isaiah and 1 Corinthians readings assure us that we are not only called to do God’s work, we are well equipped by the very One who has called us. Our faithful God strengthens us for the task and has already given us the support we need through Jesus Christ.

The Word Became Flesh

Opening Prayer (Isaiah 49, 1 Corinthians 1)
God of Isaiah, you are our God, too. You spoke to the prophets, but your message did not end with them. There is still work to be done, and we pray to hear your call afresh. Help us joyfully claim our role as your beloved servants, knowing that you provide all that we need to do our work. You walked with us before we were even born, and you continue to hold us by the hand each and every day of our lives. We pray with the confidence of those who have been filled with your light. We pray with the assurance of those who have been called into fellowship with your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession (Isaiah 49, Psalm 40, 1 Corinthians 1)
Faithful God, you call us to be saints, but we are more comfortable with the role of sinner; you call us to be your servants, but we worry that we lack the skills to do your work; you put a new song of praise in our mouths, but we stumble on unfamiliar words; you show us the work to be tackled, but we turn away defiant, insisting we have more important things to do. Put your song on our lips and in our hearts, and remind us of the joy that awaits us when we put our trust in you. Guide us into the light of your unwavering, never-ending, and grace-filled love. Amen.

Words of Assurance (1 Corinthians 1)
God is faithful and ever-present. The God who knew us before our birth loves us still and strengthens us, that we will one day be blameless. Through the gift of Jesus Christ, God offers forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Enter into the light!

Prayer of the Day
Holy God, our strength and our redeemer, by your Spirit hold us forever, that through your grace we may worship you and faithfully serve you, follow you and joyfully find you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading
The servant brings light to the nations
1  Listen to me, you islands;
     hear this, you distant nations:
   Before I was born the Lord called me;
     from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.
2  He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
     in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
   he made me into a polished arrow
     and concealed me in his quiver.
3  He said to me, “You are my servant,
     Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”
4  But I said, “I have labored in vain;
     I have spent my strength for nothing at all.
   Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand,
     and my reward is with my God.”

5  And now the Lord says—
     he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
   to bring Jacob back to him
     and gather Israel to himself,
   for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
     and my God has been my strength—
6  he says:
   “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
     to restore the tribes of Jacob
     and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
   I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
     that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

7  This is what the Lord says—
     the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
   to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
     to the servant of rulers:
   “Kings will see you and stand up,
     princes will see and bow down,
   because of the Lord, who is faithful,
     the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

A Psalm and A Prayer
Responsive Readings from the Psalms and Prayers
for Public Worship and Private Devotions

Psalm 40:1-11
Doing the will of God
Expectans, expectavi

I waited patiently upon the LORD;
he stooped to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay;
he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
many shall see, and stand in awe, and put their trust in the LORD.

Happy are they who trust in the LORD!
they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.

Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God! how great your wonders and your plans for us!
there is none who can be compared with you.

Oh, that I could make them known and tell them!
but they are more than I can count.

In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure
(you have given me ears to hear you);

Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required,
and so I said, “Behold, I come.

In the roll of the book it is written concerning me:
‘I love to do your will, O my God; your law is deep in my heart.’”

I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation;
behold, I did not restrain my lips; and that, O LORD, you know.

Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance;
I have not concealed your love and faithfulness from the great congregation.

Heavenly Father, we glorify You as the Lord of love and faithfulness. You have proven Your faithfulness to us in the Scriptures and in our experience. We trust in Your love, which mightly movesYou to care for us. We will continue to sing songs of praise to You and proclaim Your wonderful deeds. Help us to wait patiently on You, even as we pray for You to meet our many needs. O God, we trust in You day be day, knowing that You have foreseen our every need and will help us. May others come to know You too, even as we pray in Jesus’ name:
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”
Second Reading
Paul’s greeting to the church at Corinth
1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. In the Word was life,and the life was the light of all people. Alleluia. (John 1:4)

The Gospel
Christ revealed as the Lamb of God
1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

Here end the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message


We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets].

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Responsive Readings from the Common Book of Prayer (1789).

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2023, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2022 was Year A. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, January 15, 2023
Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

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