170 Third Sunday after the Epiphany

 

Sentence: Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives.'

 

Collect: Life-giving God, who sent your Son Jesus to proclaim your kingdom and to teach with authority: anoint us with your Spirit, that we too may bring good news to the poor, bind up the broken-hearted, and proclaim liberty to the captive; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now for ever. Amen.

 

Nehemiah 8.1-3,5-6,8-10

When the seventh month came .. all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had given to Israel. Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 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. The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose .. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also .. the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. 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 when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

 

Psalm 19 APBA p 239

1. The heavens declare the glory of God:

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork;

2. One day tells it to another:

and night to night communicates knowledge.

3. There is no speech or language:

nor are their voices heard;

4. Yet their sound has gone out through all the world:

and their words to the ends of the earth.

5. There he has pitched a tent for the sun:

which comes out as a bridegroom from his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run his course.

6. Its rising is at one end of the heavens, and its circuit to their farthest bound:

and nothing is hidden from its heat.

7. The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul:

the command of the LORD is true, and makes wise the simple.

8. The precepts of the LORD are right, and rejoice the heart:

the commandment of the LORD is pure, and gives light to the eyes.

9. The fear of the LORD is clean, and endures for ever:

the judgements of the LORD are unchanging, and righteous every one.

10. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold:

sweeter also than honey, than the honey that drips from the comb.

11. Moreover, by them is your servant taught:

and in keeping them there is great reward.

12. Who can know their own unwitting sins?:

O cleanse me from my secret faults.

13. Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins, lest they get the mastery over me:

so shall I be clean, and innocent of great offence.

14. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight:

O LORD, my strength and my redeemer.

 

1 Corinthians 12.12-31

Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

 

Luke 4.14-21

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 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, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "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, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." 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. Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."