Selected Scripture Readings

January 01, 2021 - Circumcision
EPISTLE: Colossians (2: 8 - 12)

Brothers and Sisters! See to it that no one deceives you through any empty, seductive philosophy that follows mere human traditions, a philosophy based on cosmic powers rather than on Christ. In Christ the fullness of deity resides in bodily form. Yours is a share of this fullness, in him who is the head of every principality and power. You were also circumcised in him, not with the circumcision administered by hand but with Christ’s circumcision which strips off the carnal body completely. In baptism you were not only buried with him but also raised to life with him because you believed in the power of God who raised him from the dead.

GOSPEL: Luke (2: 20 - 21; 40 - 52))

  At that time the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, in accord with what had been told them. When the eighth day arrived for his circumcision, the name Jesus was given the child, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. The child grew in size and strength, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. His parents used to go every year to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, and when he was twelve they went up for the celebration as was their custom. As they were returning at the end of the feast, the child Jesus remained behind unknown to his parents. Thinking he was in the party, they continued their journey for a day, looking for him among their relatives and acquaintances. Not finding him they returned to Jerusalem in search of him. On the third day they came upon him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligence and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished, and his mother said to him: “Son, why have you done this to us? You see that your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow.” He said to them: “Why did you search for me? Did you not know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not grasp what he said to them. He went down with them then, and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother meanwhile kept all these things in memory. Jesus, for his part, progressed steadily in wisdom and age and grace before God and men.

January 03, 2021
EPISTLE: Timothy (4: 5 - 8)

Timothy my son! Be steady and self-possessed; put up with hardship, perform your work as an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. I for my part am already being poured out like a libation. The time of my dissolution is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me, on that Day the Lord, just judge that he is, will award it to me -- and not only to me, but to all who have looked for his appearing with eager longing.

GOSPEL: Mark (1: 1 - 8)

Here begins the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Isaiah the prophet it is written: “I send my messenger before you to prepare your way; a herald’s voice in the desert, crying, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path.’ “ Thus it was that John the Baptizer appeared in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance which led to the forgiveness of sins. All the Judean countryside and the people of Jerusalem went out to him in great numbers. They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, and wore a leather belt around his waist. His food was grasshoppers and wild honey. The theme of his preaching was: “One more powerful than I is to come after me. I am not fit to stoop and untie his sandal straps. I have baptized you in water; he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”

January 06, 2021 - Theophany

EPISTLE: Titus (2: 11-14; 3: 4-7)

Titus, my son! The grace of God has appeared, offering salvation to all men. It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires, and live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age as we await our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Christ Jesus. It was he who sacrificed himself for us, to redeem us from all unrighteousness and to cleanse for himself a people of his own, eager to do what is right. But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life.

GOSPEL: Matthew (3: 13 - 17)

At that time, Jesus coming from Galilee, appeared before John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to refuse him with the protest, “I should be baptized by you, yet you come to me!” Jesus answered: “Give in for now. We must do this if we would fulfill all of God’s demands.” So John gave in. After Jesus was baptized, he came directly out of the water. Suddenly the sky opened and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over him. With that, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son. My favor rests on him.”

January 10, 2021

EPISTLE: Ephesians (4: 7-13)

Brothers and Sisters! Each of us has received God’s favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it. Thus you find Scripture saying: “When he ascended on high, he took a host of captives and gave gifts to men.” “He ascended,” what does this mean but that he had first descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is the very one who ascended high above the heavens, that he might fill all men with his gifts. It is he who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in roles of service for the faithful to build up the body of Christ, till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature.

GOSPEL: Matthew (4: 12 - 17)

At that time when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went down to live in Capernaum by the sea near the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, to fulfill what had been said through Isaiah the prophet: “Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali along the sea beyond the Jordan, heathen Galilee: A people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” From that time on Jesus began to proclaim this theme: “Reform your lives! The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

This page was last updated January 02, 2021
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