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Third Sunday after Epiphany

Today's Focus: Jesus Humanity - Called to Service, Called to Sacrifice   Jesus calls many different people to serve him in gospel ministry. Today’s lessons tell us about Elijah and Elisha, Barnabas and Saul (Paul), Simon and Andrew, James and John – they all were called to serve Jesus and share the gospel. But that service involved sacrifice – leaving behind family, home, and occupation. Jesus even calls us to serve him, as well. May such a high calling also make us willing to make sacrifices in service to Jesus.

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Today's Focus: Come and Listen, Come and See  In the season of Epiphany Jesus reveals the brightness of his glory to all the world. Jesus invites us to come and listen to his word, just like Samuel listened when the Lord called to him (First Lesson). Jesus invites us to come and see, just like Nathaniel saw Jesus’ miraculous power. And through the Gospel, Jesus calls us to believe the truth of our salvation (Second Lesson). So come and listen; come and see!

First Sunday after Epiphany

Today's Focus: John the Baptist Prepares the Way   The spokesman for the season of Advent is John the Baptist, because John prepares all Christians to receive Jesus by faith—both on Christmas Day and on Judgment Day. He is that desert voice, calling out, “Prepare the way for the Lord!” (First Lesson & Gospel). Through the Holy Spirit's work in baptism (Gospel), and the "clear conscience toward God" baptism gives us (Second Lesson), the Lord himself prepares his way into our hearts by faith. So let us hear and heed John’s urgent Advent call and faithfully prepare our hearts for Jesus' arrival.

 
First Sunday after Christmas

Today's Focus: Blessed to See the Savior   Our celebration of Christmas continues today because by faith we are blessed to see our Savior. In today's Gospel, two elderly believers, Simeon and Anna, were blessed to see their Savior - with their own eyes! In this world of darkness, so many people do not see their Savior and instead look to gods that are not their Savior (First Lesson). But today, on the eve of a new year, we "sing to the Lord a new song" (Psalm), and we recommit ourselves to another year of singing gratefully and living thankfully (Second Lesson) to the glory of Jesus Christ, the Savior by faith we are blessed to see.