Arise, shine, your light has come! The Christmas season is over as we celebrate Epiphany, the revealing of Christ to the world. Originally this was one of the most important feast-days of the Christian year along with Easter, when baptisms would take place, and the Baptism of Jesus was remembered on this Sunday. We hear that story from Luke 3:16 – “John answered all of them by saying, ‘I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” Luke 3:16
Worship this weekend: Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel with Holy Communion
Be sure to watch for the introduction of the 2013 ELC Benevolence Program at all worship services.
Our preaching text for the week is: Luke 3:1-22
Time: 27 C.E.
Since Last Week: Luke includes the only story of Jesus as a boy of age 12. According to tradition, boys of Jesus’ age were encouraged to learn Torah and God’s teachings, and to ask challenging questions. When Mary and Joseph returned to Jerusalem and found him in the temple, he demonstrated a deep awareness of himself and his role in God’s kingdom.
Background: John began teaching and baptizing in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. John’s teaching had a sharp edge, convicting those whose manner of living capitalized on the oppression of others. When John spoke against the ruler, Herod, John was imprisoned, signaling the end of John’s prophetic voice, and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
Community: How has your lifestyle contributed to the institutionalization of oppression? Take the survey at http://slaveryfootprint.org to discover how many slaves your lifestyle employs.
At Home: Does your baptism inform your actions and behaviors? If so, then how? If not, why not?
Read This Week:
Monday: Genealogy of Jesus, Luke 3:23-38
Tuesday: Jesus is Tempted in the Wilderness, Luke 4:1-13
Wednesday: Comfort, O Comfort My People, Isaiah 40:1-11
Thursday: God Will Restore Jerusalem, Isaiah 52:1-12
Friday: Elijah’s Flight, 1 Kings 19:1-9
Saturday: Hear, O Israel, Deuteronomy 6:4-15
Next Week: Jesus Preached in Nazareth, Luke 4:14-30