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The Third Sunday After Epiphany

The Third Sunday After Epiphany

Week of January 17, 2022 | Sunday, January 23, 2022

Luke 4:16-30

“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (vs. 21).

Jesus speaks a reality into existence, a reality of fulfilled prophecy. He, himself, fulfilled the prophecy. All those events the people had anticipated—good news to the poor, liberty to the captives and the oppressed, and sight to the blind—had come to reality in him. At first that hometown crowd responded positively but then turned to skepticism as the people pondered how the lowly born “Joseph’s son” could accomplish what he said. Jesus set before them the reality of faith; but the people wanted the reality of sight. Jesus said, “Believe!” The people responded with “Perform!” “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” (He. 11:1). Faith is a reality, a reality established by the Word of God. It is substantial and evidential. It confronts the reality of signs and wonders so beloved by the Jews and the Greeks (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18-25)… so beloved by the generations of humankind throughout the millennia. The preaching of the Word of God establishes you in faith… faith in Christ… a living reality distinct from, and in contrast to, the reality of signs and wonders.

Prayers from one susceptible to coveting signs and wonders…

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, be so substantial to me that I live from it and not from my coveting of signs and wonders. Amen

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, establish me in the reality of your kingdom and its freedom where I have the run of your household. Amen

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, hold me in faith, the only true evidence of things unseen. Amen

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, ground me in the reality of his body, the church, that I would be surrounded by his physical presence. Amen

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, set me down within a community of neighbors and friends where I can fulfill the vocational duties you have established for me. Amen

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, be so firmly established within the Institute of Lutheran Theology that it continues to prepare preachers of Christ, him crucified, and him alone. Amen

Father, grant that your Word, Jesus Christ, raise me and all the dead on that coming day and give me, and all who have been established in the faith of Christ, eternal life. Amen

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