January – 2015
Jan 4 – Epiphany Sunday
A reading from the Wisdom of Norman Vincent Peale
“We do not know much about the [magi] who came to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. We do not even know their names. We do know from the biblical account that they came from the East, the center of wisdom and culture in those far-off days…They said they ‘saw his star in the east.’ Intuitively they followed it, for they knew it heralded some great event. Indeed his star rose, and it has been rising ever since…What a story!
…The thing that Jesus Christ did in this world, and is doing now, is to teach us that right is good; that the truth always prevails; that, as someone said, ‘Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again.’ He tells [us]…that wrong will not endure; that wrong will never turn out right…And he has drawn to himself a vast multitude of people who follow him, who are true to him, who themselves are righteous and upright and who know that good pays off, both in individual lives and in the life of the world.”
A reading from the Gospel According to Matthew (2.9-11, 13-15, 19-23)
9…The magi set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
13Now after the magi had left, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you…” 14Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt…15This was to fulfill what the prophet speaking for God had said: “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
19In time, an angel suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 20“Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel…” 21Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel…22to the district of Galilee. 23There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.”
Jan 11 – Baptism of Jesus Sunday
A reading from the Wisdom of William Shakespeare
“I take thee at thy word: Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized…”
A reading from the Wisdom of Billy Sunday
“Religion needs a baptism of horse sense.”
A reading from the Gospel According to Mark (1.9-11)
Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
A reading from the Prophet Isaiah (42.1-7)
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth…
5Thus says God, the HOLY ONE, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 ‘I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.’
Jan 18 – Martin Luther King Jr Sunday
A reading from the Wisdom of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr
“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
A reading from the Hebrew scriptures (1 Samuel 3.3-6, 8-10)
3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the Holy Temple where the ark of God was. 4Then the HOLY ONE called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli, his guardian, said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.6The HOLY ONE called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 8The HOLY ONE called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that it a Divine Voice calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if the Voice calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10Now the HOLY ONE came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
The Tale of Jonah (3.1-5, 10)
The Divine word came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the Divine word. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed [what he said]; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. 10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their selfish and violent ways, God decided that the Ninevites would not suffer calamity, and they were spared.
The Psalter (25.4-6)
Make me to know your ways, holy one; teach me your paths. 5Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. 6Be mindful of your mercy, o god, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.