Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, January 22, 2023 — Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
Sunday, January 22, 2023 — 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

A Call to Unity
Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

Opening Statement
In the darkness of winter, these scriptures shine forth with the light of grace. Isaiah speaks of light coming to those in the deep darkness of anguish; Psalm 27 calls the Lord “my light”; and Jesus fulfills the promise of Isaiah as he begins his ministry. The light of God calls people to rejoice and to follow Jesus into a ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing. The light of God calls us to remember our essential unity and our need for one another. By the light of love, we find that the foolishness of the world is the power of God.

Prayer for Unity

Opening Prayer
(Isaiah 9, Psalm 27, Matthew 4)
God of light and love, we come this morning with eyes stinging from the brightness of your glory. We have become so accustomed to the darkness, that your radiant light sometimes overwhelms us. Open our eyes to the light of your dawn, that our souls may be flooded with love and mercy and joy. Open our hearts to receive your message of comfort and peace and security, that we may find rest in your loving, protective presence. Open our spirits to follow the path you put before us, that we may lead lives committed to your Way. Amen.

The Collect
(Book of Common Prayers)
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
(Isaiah 9, Psalm 27,1 Corinthians 1, Matthew 4)
God of our light and our salvation, sometimes we prefer to live in darkness, embracing the safety and anonymity of the shadows; sometimes we delight in our divisions, believing we are better than others; sometimes the yoke of our calling feels too heavy, and we seek to slip out from under the bar across our shoulders. Forgive our fear. Forgive our aversion to the light. Forgive our unresponsiveness to your call. Forgive our willful blindness and deafness to the Way. Help us know deep in our souls that you are our light and our salvation, our joy and our wonder, our very life. Hear us as we cry aloud in our need. Amen.

Words of Assurance
(Psalm 27)
Our God of light and love hears us when we cry aloud. We have nothing to fear. Know that this God of light wraps us in comforting arms, lifts us from the darkness of our guilt and sin, and forgives us once and for all. Know that we will dwell in safety in God’s house, now and forevermore.

Prayer of the Day
Lord God, your loving-kindness always goes before us and follows after us. Summon us into your light,  and direct our steps in the ways of goodness that come through the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

First Reading
Light shines for those in darkness
9:1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

2  The people walking in darkness
     have seen a great light;
   on those living in the land of deep darkness
     a light has dawned.
3  You have enlarged the nation
     and increased their joy;
   they rejoice before you
     as people rejoice at the harvest,
   as warriors rejoice
     when dividing the plunder.
4  For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
     you have shattered
   the yoke that burdens them,
     the bar across their shoulders,
     the rod of their oppressor.

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

Psalm 27:1-6
God is light and salvation

Dominus illuminatio

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?

When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh,
it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.

Though an army should encamp against me,
yet my heart shall not be afraid;

And though war should rise up against me,
yet will I put my trust in him.

One thing have I asked of the LORD; one thing I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life;

To behold the fair beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.

Heavenly Father, please give us the confidence we need and seek in You. Please show us the way of life; shine Your light upon us and before us; guide us as we seek to faithfully follow You. We do seek to live in Your presence both now and forevermore. We see Your beauty all around us, and long to worship You in the beauty of holiness, 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
An appeal for unity in the gospel
10:1 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. Jesus preached the good news of the kingdomand cured every sickness among the people. Alleluia. (Matt. 4:23)

The Gospel
Christ revealed as a prophet
4:12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
     the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
     Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
     have seen a great light;
   on those living in the land of the shadow of death
     a light has dawned.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

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.

Closing Prayer
In the name of the Father and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God of love and mercy,
You call us to be your people,
You gift us with Your abundant grace.
Make us a holy people,
radiating the fullness of your love.
Form us into a community of people who care,
expressing Your compassion.
Remind us day after day of our baptismal call
to serve with joy and courage.
Teach us how to grow in wisdom and grace
and joy in Your presence.
Through Jesus and Your Spirit,
we make this prayer. 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 22, 2023
Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

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