Epiphany means “show forth,” and always occurs on January 6. This year it falls on a Sunday. As we go through the Narrative Lectionary (Gospel According to Luke), you will see evidence of how Jesus shows forth who he is and what he came to do.
Normally in the regular lectionary, The Baptism of Jesus is the Sunday after Epiphany, but since it falls on Sunday, that would be January 13. But it is slightly different in the Narrative Lectionary. In the Narrative Lectionary the Baptism of Jesus is January 6. So our text comes from:
Luke 3:1-21 (GW)
1 It was the fifteenth year in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea. Herod ruled Galilee, and his brother Philip ruled Iturea and Trachonitis. Lysanias was the ruler of Abilene. 2 It was at the time when Annas and Caiaphas were chief priests that God spoke to John, son of Zechariah, in the desert. 3 John traveled throughout the region around the Jordan River. He told people about a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As the prophet Isaiah wrote in his book,
“A voice cries out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord!
Make his paths straight!
5 Every valley will be filled.
Every mountain and hill will be leveled.
The crooked ways will be made straight.
The rough roads will be made smooth.
6 All people will see the salvation that God gives.’ ”
7 Crowds of people were coming to be baptized by John. He would say to them, “You poisonous snakes! Who showed you how to flee from God’s coming anger? 8 Do those things that prove that you have turned to God and have changed the way you think and act. Don’t say, ‘Abraham is our ancestor.’ I guarantee that God can raise up descendants for Abraham from these stones. 9 The ax is now ready to cut the roots of the trees. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.”
10 The crowds asked him, “What should we do?”
11 He answered them, “Whoever has two shirts should share with the person who doesn’t have any. Whoever has food should share it too.”
12 Some tax collectors came to be baptized. They asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He told them, “Don’t collect more money than you are ordered to collect.”
14 Some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He told them, “Be satisfied with your pay, and never use threats or blackmail to get money from anyone.”
15 People’s hopes were rising as they all wondered whether John was the Messiah. 16 John replied to all of them, “I baptize you with water. But the one who is more powerful than I is coming. I am not worthy to untie his sandal straps. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing shovel is in his hand to clean up his threshing floor. He will gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn the husks in a fire that can never be put out.”
18 With many other encouraging words, he told the Good News to the people.
19 John spoke out against the ruler Herod because Herod had married his own sister-in-law, Herodias. He also spoke out against Herod for all the evil things he had done. 20 So Herod added one more evil to all the others; he locked John in prison.
21 When all the people were baptized, Jesus, too, was baptized. While he was praying,
heaven opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit came down to him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you.”
Join us for worship and Bible Study this Sunday.