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Second Sunday after Epiphany

Today's Focus: Jesus Reveals his Glory and his Love  Today we see Jesus' first miracle: an act of kindness for a couple who ran out of wine for their wedding guests. By changing water into wine, Jesus revealed his glory as the Son of God. The fact that Jesus performed this miracle at a wedding makes us think of how Jesus is our heavenly bridegroom who rejoices over us "as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride" (First Lesson). Later, the hour would come for Jesus' ultimate act of kindness: his death on the cross for our salvation. There on the cross, Jesus would reveal his immeasurable love for us (Second Lesson). Today Jesus reveals his glory and his love.

First Sunday after the Epiphany

Today's Focus: The Baptism of Jesus   Today we celebrate the baptism of Jesus and our own baptism. When Jesus was baptized, the HOly Spirit descended upon him and gave him power to combat Satan's temptations and to carry out the task God had given him to do. When we were baptized, the Holy Spirit was also poured out upon us. God "saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Second Lesson). The Holy Spirit, poured out on us in baptism, also gives to us the power to combat Satan's temptations and live a new life in Christ. Today we celebrate Jesus' baptism and our own.

 
The Epiphany of Our Lord

Today's Focus: The Epiphany of Our Lord   On January 6, the church elebrates the Epiphany of our Lord. The word "epiphany" means an "appearing," especially the appearing of a bright light. Isaiah said, "darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples" (First Lesson). We were once in that darkness, but a great light appeared to us. We heard the good news about Jesus our Savior! In the season of Epiphany there is an emphasis on mission work. We would still be in the dark if someone had not told us about Jesus. There are many people who are still in the dark because they do not know about or do not believe in Jesus. God wants us to share the light with them too. The season of Epiphany also empnasizes that the good news about Jesus is meant for every nation. Isaiah said, "nations will come to your light." Magi from the East, from a different nation, followed the birght star and came to worship Jesus. This great light is meant for all people.

First Sunday after Christmas

Today's Focus:  the Boy Jesus in the Temple   What happened after the first Christmas? What happened after that holy night with the manger and the angels and the shepherds? How does the story continue? Today we fast forward twelve years and see Jesus as a twelve-year-old boy in the temple. Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature" (Gospel). He was "fully human in every way" (Second Lesson). But today we see that even though he was fully human, he was also the divine Son of God with a mission from his Father to save us.