Hymns and Lessons for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany (Cycle A)

The hymns for this week are great!

The Opening Hymn is “You Servants of God”.

You servants of God, your Master proclaim, and publish abroad His wonderful Name; the Name, all victorious, of Jesus extol; His kingdom is glorious and rules over all. // Our God rules on high, almighty to save; and still He is nigh, His presence we have.  The great congregation His triumph shall sing, ascribing salvation to Jesus our king! // Salvation to God who sits on the throne! Let all cry aloud and honor the Son.  The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim, fall down on their faces, and worship the Lamb. // Then let us adore and give Him His right, all glory and pow’r and wisdom and might, all honor and blessing, with angels above, and thanks never ceasing, and infinite love.//

In the Prayer of the Day we pray, “Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN.”

The texts for this Third Sunday after Epiphany are Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1-7; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; and Matthew 4:12-25. The Isaiah lesson celebrates that “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Psalm 27:1-7 sings that “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 affirms that “The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” And Matthew 4:12-25 is the wonderful story of how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, called disciples to become “fishers of men”, and showed Himself to be the long-promised Messiah by His teaching, preaching, and healing throughout Israel. After His baptism and His temptation in the desert, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the good news that the Kingdom of God had come near. Soon He began to call men and women to follow Him. “Come and see”, He said, and when they came, they witnessed Jesus teaching with authority and doing extraordinary things. So what we have in these lessons are the Epiphany themes of light and enlightenment as God reveals to the world Who it is who was born at Christmas, what He came to do, and how we fit into His mission. In today’s Gospel, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) tell us that Jesus revealed Who He was by travelling throughout Galilee “teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people”. He healed epileptics, paralytics, the demon possessed, and those suffering severe pain and various diseases. In this way, Jesus began revealing His glory, and the nascent disciples did see and believe. (In The Gospel according to John, we are told that the first sign Jesus did to reveal who He was came when Jesus turned some 100 gallons of water into good wine for a wedding feast — but that’s another story.) But the point is that just as Jesus revealed Who He was back during the New Testament days, so also during this Epiphany season, He reveals Who it is who was born among us on Christmas. During Epiphany, as we see Jesus afresh in the Gospels, our belief is strengthened, our desire to follow Him deepens, and our eagerness to tell others about Him grows!

The Hymn of the Day is “O Word of God Incarnate.”

O Word of God incarnate, O Wisdom from on high, O Truth unchanged, unchanging, O Light of our dark sky: We praise You for the radiance that from the hallowed page, a lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age. // The Church from You dear Master, received the gift divine; And still that light is lifted o’er all the earth to shine. It is the chart and compass that, all life’s voyage through, mid mists and rocks and quicksands still guides, O Christ, to You. // Oh, make Your Church, dear Savior, a lamp of burnished gold to bear before the nations Your true light, as of old; Oh, teach Your wand’ring pilgrims by this their path to trace, till, clouds and darkness ended, they see You face to face.”

This week our Distribution Hymn is ” In the Quiet Consecration”  
In the quiet consecration of this glad Communion hour, here we rest in You, Lord Jesus, taste Your love, and touch Your pow’r. // Christ, our living bread from heaven, Lord, Whose blood is drink indeed: Here by faith and with thanksgiving in this feast on You we feed. // By Your death for sin atoning, by your resurrection life, hold us fast in blessed union; gird us, nerve us for the strife. // While afar in solemn radiance shines the feast that is to come after conflict, toil and testing — Your great feast of love and home.

And finally our Recessional Hymn is “Jesus Calls Us; O’er the Tumult”

Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea, day by day His clear voice sounding, saying “Christian, follow me.” // As of old St. Andrew heard it by the Galilean lake, turned from home and toil and kindred, leaving all for His dear sake. //  Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store, from each idol that would keep us, saying “Christian, love Me more.” // In our joys and in our sorrows, days of toil and hours of ease, still He calls, in cares and pleasures, “Christian, love Me more than these.”  As an aside, I want to add that I have a special fondness for this hymn: our first parish was St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Hurst, Texas — and this hymn was that parish’s theme song.  Mike and I loved that parish! We stayed there 11 years. So I feel great nostalgia every time we sing this hymn.

I look forward to worshiping with you this week!

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