A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (42:1-9)
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.” Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell
you of them.”
> Second part of Isaiah – feeds into the baptism of Jesus.
> Songs of the servants of Yahweh.
> The identity of the servant was indefinite… sometimes refers to the people of Israel.
> These verses had a large influence on the New Testament writers.
> The central role of the servant was to bring God’s justice to the people.
> Universal role for the servant (Israel) was to spread God’s justice.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, *
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his Name; *
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; *
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; *
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
8 The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.
9 And in the temple of the Lord *
all are crying, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; *
the Lord sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11 The Lord shall give strength to his people; *
the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.
> Describes the power of God in the thunderstorm.
> The name of the Lord is mentioned seven times.
> An echo of the voice is noted in the verses.
> During the storm, the Lord (Yahweh) sits above the chaos in peace.
A Reading from the Book of Acts (10:34-43
Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
> Peter has a vision in Jaffa where he was told to visit Cornelius.
> He then baptized Cornelius – the first Gentile to be baptized.
> Love of God and love of neighbor is expressed in these verses.
> There is no longer a division between the Jews and the Gentiles.
The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (3:13-17)
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
> John writes about Jesus’ baptism only after it had happened.
> Originally part of the Epiphany.
> Why would Jesus go to John the Baptist to be baptized?
> Jesus said that was the way we had to do it for now – God’s plan – not perfectly clear.
> John did not want to do it at first, but eventually agreed.
> The heavens opened, the dove descended, and the voice of God was heard.
> The Son was designated the Anointed One or the Messiah.
> John wrote these verses in the third person vs. Matthew and others in the first person.