The Season of Epiphany
Lutheran Service Book
The Epiphany of our Lord
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord is dawning upon you.
2Look, darkness covers the earth,
and deep darkness covers the peoples,
but the Lord will dawn upon you,
and his glory will be seen over you.
3Nations will walk to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4Look up. Look all around and see!
All of them have been gathered. They are coming to you.
Your sons will come from far away,
and people will carry your daughters on their side.
5Then you will look and be radiant.
Your heart will race with excitement and burst with joy.
For great riches from the sea will be delivered to you.
The wealth of the nations will come to you.
6Caravans of camels will cover your land,
young camels from Midian and Ephah.
All those from Sheba will come.
They will carry gold and incense,
and they will announce the good news of the praise of the Lord.
For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—2Surely you have heard of the administration of God’s grace given to me for you, 3namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation (as I have already written briefly). 4When you read this, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. 5This mystery was not made known to people in past generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that in Christ Jesus the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and people who also share in the promise through the gospel.
7I became a servant of this gospel, in keeping with the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power. 8To me—even though I am the very least of all the saints—was given this grace: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ 9and to enlighten everyone about the administration of this mystery. In past ages this mystery remained hidden in God, who created all things. 10He did this so that, through the church, the multifaceted wisdom of God in the heavenly places might now be made known to the rulers and authorities. 11This was done according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him we can freely approach God with confidence through faith in him.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, when Herod was king, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, 2“Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3When King Herod heard this, he was alarmed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4He gathered together all the people’s chief priests and experts in the law. He asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, because this was written through the prophet:
6You, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are certainly not least among the rulers of Judah: because out of you will come a ruler, who will shepherd my people, Israel.”
7Then Herod secretly summoned the Wise Men and found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report to me, so that I may also go and worship him.”
9After listening to the king, they went on their way. Then the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them, until it stood still over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with overwhelming joy. 11After they went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12Since they had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
The First Sunday after the Epiphany
The Baptism of our Lord
1 Kings 8:6-13
6The priests brought the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim, 7for the cherubim were spreading their wings over the place for the ark, so that the cherubim covered the ark and its poles with their wings. 8The poles were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside. They are there to this day.
9There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets, which Moses had placed there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10When the priests came out from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the House of the Lord. 11The priests were not able to take their positions to minister in the presence of the cloud, because the Glory of the Lord had filled the House of the Lord.
12Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he dwells in thick darkness. 13I have truly built a majestic house for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
Joshua 3:1-3, 7-8, 13-17
After Joshua had gotten up early in the morning, he and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and arrived at the Jordan. They stayed there until they crossed over. 2After three days the officers went through the camp 3and gave this order to the people: “As soon as you see the priests from the tribe of Levi carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, you are to set out from your position and follow the ark.
7The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel so that they will know that just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 8You are the one who will give this order to the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant: ‘As soon as you come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you are to stand still in the Jordan.’”
13As soon as the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, come to rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing down from upstream will be cut off, and they will stand up in one heap.”
14So the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan, and the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of the people. 15As soon as the priests carrying the ark came to the Jordan, and as soon as their feet dipped into the edge of the water (the Jordan is full and overflows all its banks during all the days of the grain harvest), 16the waters flowing down from upstream came to a standstill. The waters piled up in one heap, very far away, at Adam, the town that is next to Zarethan, and the waters flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah, that is, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed the Jordan opposite Jericho. 17The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel was crossing over on dry ground, until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.
Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight.
I am placing my Spirit on him.
He will announce a just verdict for the nations.
2He will not cry out.
He will not raise his voice.
He will not make his voice heard in the street.
3A bent reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not snuff out.
He will faithfully bring forth a just verdict.
4He will not burn out, and he will not be broken
until he establishes justice on the earth.
The coastlands will wait for his law.
5This is what the true God says,
the LORD who creates the heavens and stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth
and everything that it produces,
who gives breath to the people on it
and life to those who walk on it.
6I am the LORD.
I have called you in righteousness.
I will hold on to your hand,
and I will guard you.
I will appoint you to be a covenant for the people,
to be a light for the nations,
7to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring the prisoners out from the dungeon,
and to bring those who sit in darkness out of prison.
Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy and pleasing to God—which is your appropriate worship. 2Also, do not continue to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you test and approve what is the will of God—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
3So by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think in a way that results in sound judgment, as God distributed a measure of faith to each of you. 4For we have many members in one body, and not all the members have the same function. 5In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
1 Corinthians 1:26–31
26For example, consider your call, brothers. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view, not many were powerful, and not many were born with high status. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are strong, 28and God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things, and the things that are not, to do away with the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before God. 30But because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us the wisdom from God, namely, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31God did this so that, just as it is written, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
41Every year his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the Festival. 43When the days had ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it. 44Since they thought he was in their group, they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? See, your father and I have been anxiously looking for you.”
49He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be taking care of my Father’s business?” 50They did not understand what he was telling them.
51He went down with them and came to Nazareth. He was always obedient to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. 52Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John at the Jordan. 14But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?”
15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, because it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John let him. 16After Jesus was baptized, he immediately went up out of the water. Suddenly, the heavens were opened for him! He saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and landing on him, 17and a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am well pleased with him.”
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
12Moses said to the Lord, “Look, you yourself have been telling me, ‘Lead this people up,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13So now if I have found favor in your sight, please show me your ways, so that I may know you, so that I may find favor in your sight. Consider that this nation is your people.”
14The Lord said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15Moses said to him, “If your Presence is not going to go with me, do not send us up from here. 16After all, how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Isn’t it in this way: that you go with us, so that we are distinguished, I and your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?”
17The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have said, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
18ThenMoses said, “Please show me your glory.”
19The Lord said, “I will make all my goodness pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord in your presence. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy.” 20He said, “You cannot see my face, for no human may see me and live.”
21The Lord also said, “Look, there is a place next to me, where you shall stand on the rock. 22It will happen that, while my glory passes by, I will put you in a crevice in the rock. I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back. But my face will not be seen.”
11In that day I will raise up the fallen shelter of David.
I will repair the broken parts of its walls,
and I will raise up its ruins.
I will rebuild it as in days of old,
12so that they will possess what remains of Edom,
that is, all the nations who are called by my name,
declares the Lord, who is doing this.
13Look, days are coming, declares the Lord,
when the plowman will catch up with the reaper,
and the one who tramples grapes will catch up with the one sowing the seed.
The mountains will drip sweet wine,
and all the hills will wave with grain.
14I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and they will rebuild the desolate cities and dwell in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15I will plant them in their soil,
and they will never again be uprooted from the soil
that I have given to them,
says the Lord your God.
22Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. 23Forthe husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he himself is the Savior. 24Moreover, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, in the same way as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, by cleansing her with the washing of water in connection with the Word. 27He did this so that he could present her to himself as a glorious church, having no stain or wrinkle or any such thing, but so that she would be holy and blameless. 28In the same way, husbands have an obligation to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29To be sure, no one has ever hated his own body, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30because we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.” 32This is a great mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33In any case, each one of you also is to love his wife as himself, and each wife is to respect her husband.
6We have different gifts, according to the grace God has given us. If the gift is prophecy, do it in complete agreement with the faith. 7If it is serving, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. 8If it is encouraging, then encourage. If it is contributing, be generous. If it is leadership, be diligent. If it is showing mercy, do it cheerfully.
9Do not just pretend to love others. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another with brotherly love. Think of others as deserving more honor than yourselves. 11Do not be lagging behind in zeal, but be fervent in spirit, as you continue to serve the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope. Endure trials patiently. Persist in prayer. 13Share with the saints who are in need. Be quick to welcome strangers as guests.
14Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who are rejoicing; weep with those who are weeping. 16Have the same respect for one another. Do not be arrogant, but associate with the humble. Do not think too highly of yourselves.
Three days later, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. 2Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
3When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.”
4Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My time has not come yet.”
5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6Six stone water jars, which the Jews used for ceremonial cleansing, were standing there, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. 8Then he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” And they did.
9When the master of the banquet tasted the water that had now become wine, he did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew). The master of the banquet called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have had plenty to drink, then the cheaper wine. You saved the good wine until now!”
11This, the beginning of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
2 Kings 5:1-15a
Na'aman, the commander of the king of Aram’s army, was a great man in the opinion of his master. He was highly honored because the Lord had provided victory for Aram through him. Although he was a powerful warrior, he had leprosy.
2Raiding parties had once gone out from Aram and brought back a young girl. She served Na'aman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “I wish my master stood before the prophet who is in Samaria, because he would cure him of his leprosy.”
4So Na'aman went and told his master what the servant girl from the land of Israel had said.
5Then the king of Aram said, “Go there. I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Na'aman went, and he took ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6Then he took the letter to the king of Israel. The letter said, “Now, when you receive this letter, you will know that I am sending my officer Na'aman to you so that you can cure him of his leprosy.”
7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothing and said, “Am I God that I can kill and make alive? Why is he sending a man to me for me to heal him from his leprosy? See how he is looking for a pretext to fight against me.”
8But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king: “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9So Na'aman went with his horses and chariots and stopped in front of the door of Elisha’s house. 10But Elisha sent a messenger out to him to say, “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan. Then your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.”
11But Na'aman was angry and he left, saying, “Look, I said to myself, ‘He will certainly come out and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God and wave his hand over the place, and I will be cured of the leprosy!’ 12Aren’t the Abana and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went away in a burning rage.
13But his servants approached and spoke to him. They said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not do it? How much more when he says to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?”
14So he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said. Then his flesh was restored like the flesh of a small child, and he was clean. 15Then he and his whole escort went back to the man of God. He stood in front of Elisha and said, “To be sure, now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.”
8First of all, I thank my God through Jesus Christ concerning all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9To be sure, God, whom I serve with my spirit by proclaiming the gospel of his Son, is my witness to how constantly I make mention of you. In all my prayers, 10I always ask if perhaps at last a way might be opened, if God wills, for me to come to you. 11I certainly long to see you, in order that I may deliver some spiritual gift to you, so that you are strengthened— 12that is, when I am with you, that we will be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, yours and also mine.
13I do not want you to be unaware of the fact, brothers, that I have often planned to come to you but have been prevented from doing so until now. I wanted to have some fruit among you in the same way as I did among the rest of the Gentiles. 14I have an obligation both to Greeks and non-Greeks, to the wise and to the foolish. 15That is why I am eager to proclaim the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes—to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed by faith, for faith, just as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith.”
16Have the same respect for one another. Do not be arrogant, but associate with the humble. Do not think too highly of yourselves.
17Do not pay anyone back evil for evil. Focus on those things that everyone considers noble. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, maintain peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20But:
If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him a drink.
For by doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. 2Just then, a leper came to him and bowed down to him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean.” Immediately he was healed of his leprosy. 4Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one. Instead, go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him and pleaded with him, 6“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed and suffering terribly.”
7Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I am also a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10When Jesus heard this, he marveled. He said to those who were following him, “Amen I tell you: I have not found such great faith in anyone in Israel. 11I tell you that many will come from the east and the west and will recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the children of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13Jesus said to the centurion, “Go. Let it be done for you as you have believed.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.
The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
So the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach against it, for its people’s evil way has come up before me.”
3But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and boarded the ship to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
4But the Lord hurled a great wind onto the sea, and there was such a great storm on the sea that the ship was about to break apart. 5The sailors were afraid, and each one cried out to his gods. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to lighten the ship’s load.
Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship. He was lying down and sleeping soundly. 6The captain approached him and said, “How can you be sleeping so soundly? Get up and call on your god! Maybe your god will treat us with favor so that we will not perish.”
7Then the sailors said to each other, “Come on, let’s cast lots so that we can find out whose fault it is that this disaster has come to us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.
8So they said to him, “Please tell us whose fault it is that this disaster has come to us! What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? What people are you from?”
9He answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”
10Then the men were terrified and said to him, “What have you done?” The men already knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them so.
11Then, because the storm on the sea kept getting worse, they said to him, “What should we do to you, to quiet the sea that is raging against us?”
12He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will calm down for you, for I know that this violent storm striking against you has come about because of me.”
13Instead, the men rowed hard to return the ship to dry land, but they could not, because the storm on the sea kept getting worse for them. 14So they cried out to the Lord and said, “Please, Lord, please do not let us perish because we sacrifice this man’s life, and do not charge innocent blood against us, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
17Then the Lord provided a large fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
18For I conclude that our sufferings at the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19In fact, creation is waiting with eager longing for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in the hope 21that even creation itself will be set free from slavery to corruption, in order to share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22For we know that all of creation is groaning with birth pains right up to the present time. 23And not only creation, but also we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we eagerly await our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
8Do not owe anyone anything except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9For the commandments—do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet (and if there is any other commandment)—are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to a neighbor, so love is the fulfillment of the law.
23When he got into a boat, his disciples followed him. 24Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the sea, so that their boat was covered by the waves. But Jesus was sleeping. 25They went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!”
26He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the wind and the sea, and there was a complete calm.
27The men were amazed, saying, “What kind of a man is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”
The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
20So the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very flagrant, 21I will go down now and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has come to me. If not, I will know.”
22The two men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Abraham approached him and said, “Will you really sweep away the righteous along with the wicked? 24What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep them away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25You would never do such a thing, killing the righteous along with the wicked, treating the righteous the same as the wicked. You would never do such a thing. The Judge of all the earth should do right, shouldn’t he?”
26The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people within the city of Sodom, then I will spare the entire place for their sake.”
27Abraham answered, “See now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it on myself to speak to my Lord. 28What if there are five fewer than fifty righteous? Will you destroy the entire city if the number is five short?”
He said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
29He spoke to him yet again and said, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”
30He said, “Please, do not be angry, my Lord, but I will speak again. What if thirty are found there?”
He said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.”
31He said, “See now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to my Lord. What if there are twenty found there?”
He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
32He said, “Please, do not be angry, my Lord, but I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?”
He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
33As soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, the Lord went on his way, and Abraham returned to his place.
12Therefore, as God’s elect, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against anyone else. Forgive, just as Christ forgave you. 14And, in addition to all these things, put on love, which ties things together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, to which you were also called, in one body. And be thankful.
16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And everything you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Matthew 13:24–30 (36–43)
24He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while people were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26When the plants sprouted and produced heads of grain, the weeds also appeared. 27The servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’ 28He said to them, ‘An enemy did this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather up the weeds?’ 29‘No,’ he answered, ‘because when you gather up the weeds, you might pull up the wheat along with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First, gather up the weeds, bind them in bundles, and burn them. Then, gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
36Then Jesus sent the people away and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37He answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the Evil One. 39The enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the world. The reapers are angels. 40Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the world. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will pull out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and those who continue to break the law. 42The angels will throw them into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Transfiguration of Our Lord
29When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not realize that the skin of his face was shining because he had been speaking with the Lord. 30When Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, they were amazed that the skin of his face was shining, so they were afraid to come close to him. 31Moses called to them, so Aaron and all the rulers of the community returned to him, and Moses spoke to them. 32Afterward all the people of Israel came close to him, and he gave them all of the commands that the Lord had spoken to him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses was finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would take the veil off until he came out again. Then he would come out and tell the people of Israel what he had been commanded. 35Whenever the people of Israel saw Moses’ face, they would see that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. Then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with the Lord again.
Now Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, a priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in blazing fire from within a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but the bush was not burning up. 3Sohe said, “I will go over and look at this amazing sight—to find out why the bush is not burning up.”
4When the Lord saw that Moses had gone over to take a look, God called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”
Moses said, “I am here.”
5The Lord said, “Do not come any closer. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6He then said, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7The Lord said, “I have certainly seen the misery of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry for help because of their slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8So I have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9Now indeed, the Israelites’ cry for help has come to me. Yes, I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10Come now, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”
11But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12So he said, “I will certainly be with you. This will be the sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God on this mountain.”
13ButMoses said to God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I say to them?”
14So God replied to Moses, “I am who I am.” He also said, “You will say this to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you.”
2 Peter 1:16-21
16To be sure, we were not following cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the powerful appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when the voice came to him from within the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18We heard this voice, which came out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19We also have the completely reliable prophetic word. You do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts, 20since we know this above all else: No prophecy of Scripture comes about from someone’s own interpretation. 21In fact, no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were being carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James; and he led them up onto a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured in front of them. His face was shining like the sun. His clothing became as white as the light. 3Just then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.
4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, I will make three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them. Just then, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
6When the disciples heard this, they fell face down and were terrified. 7Jesus approached and as he touched them, he said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8When they opened their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus alone. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
The entire Israelite community set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin as the Lord had commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2So the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses said to them, “Why are you quarreling with me? Why are you testing the Lord?”
3But the people were thirsty for water there, so they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you ever bring us up out of Egypt to let us, our children, and our livestock die of thirst?”
4Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me!”
5The Lord said to Moses, “Go in front of the people, and take the elders of Israel with you. Also take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6Watch me. I will stand there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock. Water will come out of it, and the people will drink.” Moses did that in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He named the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”
1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5
24Do you not know that when runners compete in the stadium, they all run, but only one receives the prize? Run like that—to win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable victor’s wreath, but we do it for an imperishable one. 26That is why there is nothing aimless about the way I run. There is no pummeling of the air in the way I box. 27Instead I hit my body hard and make it my slave so that, after preaching to others, I myself will not be rejected.
10:1For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, 2and they were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them—and that rock was Christ! 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them. He had them die in the wilderness.
“Indeed the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing to pay the workers a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3He also went out about the third hour and saw others standing unemployed in the marketplace. 4To these he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6When he went out about the eleventh hour, he found others standing unemployed. He said to them, ‘Why have you stood here all day unemployed?’
7“They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8When it was evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group and ending with the first.’
9“When those who were hired around the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10When those who were hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But they each received a denarius too. 11After they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner: 12‘Those who were last worked one hour, and you made them equal to us who have endured the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’
13“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not make an agreement with me for a denarius? 14Take what is yours and go. I want to give to the last one hired the same as I also gave to you. 15Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16In the same way, the last will be first, and the first, last.”
10Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky
and do not return there
unless they first water the earth, make it give birth, and cause it to sprout,
so that it gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11in the same way my word that goes out from my mouth
will not return to me empty.
Rather, it will accomplish whatever I please,
and it will succeed in the purpose for which I sent it.
12Yes, you will go out with joy,
and in peace you will be carried along.
The mountains and the hills will break out in shouts of joy before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13Instead of thorns, a fir tree will grow up.
Instead of briers, a myrtle tree will grow up.
This will make a name for the Lord.
It will serve as an everlasting sign that will not be cut off.
2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9
19You gladly put up with fools, since you are just so wise! 20In fact, you put up with it if anyone makes you his slave, robs you, takes advantage of you, looks down on you, or strikes you in the face! 21I am ashamed to say that we were too weak for that!
However bold anyone might be (I am speaking in a foolish way), I am going to be bold too. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s seed? So am I. 23Are they ministers of Christ? (I am speaking in a crazy way.) I am even more. I’ve done more hard work, been in prisons more often, been whipped far more, and I’ve been close to death many times. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods. One time I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day on the open sea. 26I have often been on journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own people, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger on the sea, in danger among false brothers. 27I have worked hard and struggled. I’ve spent many sleepless nights. I’ve been hungry and thirsty. I’ve gone without food many times. I’ve been cold and lacked clothing.
28Besides those external matters, there is the daily pressure on me of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak without my being weak? Who falls into sin without my being distressed?
30If it is necessary that I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is eternally blessed, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept the city of Damascus on alert to arrest me, 33but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands.
12:1I must go on boasting, although there is nothing to be gained. So I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was carried up to the third heaven (whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know—God knows). 3And I know that such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know—God knows) 4was carried up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words that a man cannot possibly speak. 5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. 6Indeed, if I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from doing this, so that no one will think more highly of me than what he sees in me or hears from me.
7Therefore, to keep me from becoming arrogant due to the extraordinary nature of these revelations, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me, so that I would not become arrogant. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that he would take it away from me. 9And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will be glad to boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may shelter me.
9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God rested from his work. 11Therefore, let us make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.
12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, even being able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from him, but everything is uncovered and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we will give an account.
4As a large crowd was gathering and people from one town after another were making their way to him, he spoke using a parable. 5“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path. It was trampled, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 6Other seed fell on rocky ground. As soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among thorns. The thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8Other seed fell into good soil. It grew and produced fruit—one hundred times as much as was sown.” As he said these things, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”
9His disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?”
10He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest I speak in parables so that ‘even though they see, they may not see, and even though they hear, they may not understand.’ 11This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear it, but then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts to keep them from believing and being saved. 13Those on the rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root. So they believe for a while, but then fall away in a time of testing. 14The seeds that fell into the thorns are the ones who hear the word, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of life, so they do not mature. 15And the seeds in the good ground are the ones who hear the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it tightly, and produce fruit as they patiently endure.
1 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I see a king for myself among his sons.”
2Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”
The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you are to do. You are to anoint for me the person that I point out to you.”
4So Samuel did what the Lord had told him to do and went to Bethlehem. Trembling with fear, the elders of the city came to meet him. They said, “Do you come in peace?”
5He said, “Yes, in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” He consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6When they had come, he looked at Eliab and said, “Certainly this is the Lord’s anointed.”
7But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at how tall he is, because I have rejected him. For the Lord does not look at things the way man does. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”
9Then Jesse had Shammah pass by. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”
10Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11Samuel said to Jesse, “Is that all of the young men?”
Jesse said, “There still is the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him, for we cannot sit down to eat until he comes.”
12He sent for him and brought him in. David had red hair and striking eyes, and was good-looking. The Lord said, “Get up! Anoint him, because this is the one.”
13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers. The Spirit of the Lord rushed on David with power from that day forward. After that Samuel set out and returned to Ramah.
3Strengthen the weak hands,
and make the shaky knees steady.
4Tell those who have a fearful heart:
Do not be afraid.
Look! Your God will come with vengeance.
With God’s own retribution, he will come and save you.
5Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
and the ears of the deaf will be unplugged.
6The crippled will leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy.
Waters will flow in the wilderness,
and streams in the wasteland.
7The burning sand will become a pool,
and in the thirsty ground there will be springs of water.
There will be grass, reeds, and rushes where the haunts of jackals once lay.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and know all the mysteries and have all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away everything I own, and if I give up my body that I may be burned but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. It does not brag. It is not arrogant. 5It does not behave indecently. It is not selfish. It is not irritable. It does not keep a record of wrongs. 6It does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophetic gifts, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be done away with. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, 10but when that which is complete has come, that which is partial will be done away with. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12Now we see indirectly using a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I was fully known.
13So now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
31He took the Twelve aside and said to them, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32Indeed, he will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, mistreat him, spit on him, 33flog him, and kill him. On the third day, he will rise again.”
34They did not understand any of these things. What he said was hidden from them, and they did not understand what was said.
35As he approached Jericho, a blind man sat by the road, begging. 36When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. 38He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39Those who were at the front of the crowd rebuked him, telling him to be quiet. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, he asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?”
He said, “Lord, I want to see again.”
42Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.”
43Immediately he received his sight and began following Jesus, glorifying God. All the people, when they saw this, gave praise to God.