All in Lectionary Notes

Gospel: John 2:1-11 (Epiphany 2: Series C)

In this story, God delivers. The hosts of the wedding were in a tight spot. They were in danger of a major embarrassment. They needed help. And there is Jesus to save the day. With a little prodding from His mother, and some help from obedient servants, He swoops in and solves the problem before anyone even knew it existed. That is what we are looking for from God, right? To swoop in. To save the day. These are good reasons to like this text, but they all miss the point.

Old Testament: Isaiah 43:1-7 (Epiphany 1: Series C)

The text is Isaiah 43:1-7 and is the text chosen from the Old Testament for the Baptism of our Lord. The location of this text, its context, is quite interesting. Preceding this text is the very strong language of Isaiah 42 which is a judgement speech of Yahweh which proclaims a brutal rebuke of Israel which includes the destruction of the country of Judah, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. But now, beginning in 43:1, we have what Reed Lessing calls “the oracles of assurance.”

Epistle: Romans 6:1-11 (Epiphany 1: Series C)

Having Romans 6 as the Epistle for the Baptism of our Lord, and paired with Luke’s account of Jesus’ baptism and Isaiah’s prophetically rich baptismal language in Isaiah 43, allows preaches to proclaim Romans 6 in a more appropriate liturgical context. It could only be better, were someone in your congregation to be baptized on this day. If that’s your situation, the sermon will almost write itself.

Epistle Readings for Advent 4 and Christmas Services (Series C)

Lutheran pastors have at least three sermons in these three days. The calendar allows preachers to wed together some important themes this Christmas. The Magnificat (conception), the birth account from Matthew 1, and the fuller account of Christ’s birth from Luke 2 give clear shape to the proclamation for the Feast of the Nativity. The Epistle readings, however, should also be considered as the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the nativity.