Preparation for the coming week
The Epiphany of our Lord
Time in the Word
Christ is for all People
A Study for Epiphany
December 31, 2018 – January 5, 2019
Collect for the First Sunday after Christmas – O God, our Maker and Redeemer. You wonderfully created us and in the incarnation of Your Son, yet more wondrously restored our human nature. Grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Collect for the Name of Jesus (January 1) – Lord God, You made Your beloved Son, our Savior, subject to the Law and caused Him to shed His blood on our behalf. Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit that our hearts may be made pure from all sin; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives, and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Collect for Epiphany – O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles. Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
For divine guidance as we begin a New Year – Almighty and ever-living god, You make us both to will and to do those things that are good and acceptable in Your sight. Let Your fatherly hand ever guide us and Your Holy Spirit ever be with us to direct us in the knowledge and obedience of Your Word that we may obtain everlasting life.
Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with Your most gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in You we may glorify Your holy name and finally, by Your mercy, obtain eternal salvation.
Monday, December 31, 2018 – Psalm 72 - The Antiphon for this coming week’s Introit comes from verse 1, Endow the king with your justice O God, the royal son with your righteousness. We’ve seen this royal Psalm before. It is a good way to close off the year 2012. Solomon had asked for wisdom as he began his reign. (See 1 Kings 3:9,11-12; Proverbs 16:12) As we review this past year and anticipate a new on,e may we ask the King of Kings to guide us with such wisdom.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 –Isaiah 60:1-6- The Old Testament lesson tells us that nations come to the light of God’s servant. The light of God’s glory has appeared. As a result, nations come to the light of God’s servant. Light must first be scattered before there can be a gathering of people to Christ. According to verses 1 and 2, the light of God must be scattered into the world as the light is reflected in us. How is this done? It involves evangelism and missions. The nations will come to the light, to God. They will bring honor, gifts, and praise to God. We cannot expect people or nations to become Christian until the light of Christ is cast abroad to the world through Christians.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019 – Ephesians 3:1-12 - In our Epistle lesson we are told that Gentiles are included in God’s plan of salvation. The gospel is for all – including Gentiles. Gentiles are included in God’s plan of salvation. Can the church be exclusive? If it is the will of God to include all people, the church must fulfill that will.
Thursday, January 3, 2019 –Matthew 2:1-12 – In the Gospel lesson the Gentile world worships the Christ. We are told of the visit of the Wise Men. They were wise because they made a quest for God. Today men are wise if they seek God in Christ. The foolish seek other gods – power, prestige, possessions. Wise Men then and now worship this King.
Friday, January 4, 2019 – Psalm 72 – The Psalm appointed for this coming Sunday is also placed in the Introit. This Psalm is more about Solomon – it rightly speaks of Christ. Review verses 8-14. The extent of his domain as the result of His righteous rule is fitting of our Lord and Savior. As we begin a New Year in Jesus’ Name, may we see that he will bless everything begun, continued and ended in Him if it is to accomplish anything.
Saturday, January 5, 2019 – Revelation 22:16 – This verse is the inspiration for the hymn, “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star.” It is from the last chapter of the Savior’s revelation to St. John. In fact, they are some of the last words He will speak in Scripture. Jesus is the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. He is the One of whom we offer our worship and praise. He is the Hope for the nations, our only Savior. Tomorrow, Epiphany Day is a reminder that Christ came for all people for the Jew but also for the Gentile. Rejoice in the Father’s greatest gift. Rejoice in this salvation.
Sources:LUTHERAN WORSHIP © 1982 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL © 1940 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK LECTIONARY © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LECTIONARY PREACHING WORKBOOK A – John Brokhoff © 1980 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH
Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use.