Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Theme: For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.
Holy Spirit, Jesus began his ministry in your power:
descend on us today, that we who are Christ’s body
will accept our calling as he did;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Father,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
READING from Nehemiah 8: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10
And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel.
2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.
3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood.
6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the meaning, so that the people understood the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.
10 Then he said to them, “Go on your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
GOSPEL according to Luke 4: 14-21
14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.
15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Go now, and live as one body in Christ.
Be at peace, and care for one another;
Suffer with one another and rejoice with one another.
Give your attention to the Word of God
and proclaim the good news of freedom to all.
And the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer, Life-giving Comforter, be with you always. Amen
Go in peace with courage, to love and serve the Lord.
In the name of Christ. Amen.