January 9 Ezekiel 18: 1 – 4, 19 – 32; Romans 2:17 – 29
January 10 Ezekiel 33:1–20; Romans 3:1–18
January 11 Ezekiel 34:1–24; Romans 3:19–31
January 12 Ezekiel 36:13–28; Romans 4:1–25
January 13 Ezekiel 36:33—37:14; Romans 5:1–21
January 14 Ezekiel 37:15–28; Romans 6:1–23
January 15 Exodus 33:12–23, Ephesians 5:22–33, John 2:1–11
NEXT WEEKS LESSONS: THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANYThe coming of the Messianic kingdom means the restoration of creation. The sign of this restoration is that “the mountains shall drip with sweet wine.” (Amos 9:11–15) When the elements of a fallen creation fail and run short at a wedding feast, our Lord Jesus steps in to restore creation and miraculously changes water into an abundance of the very best wine. (John 2:1–11) With this sign Christ manifests His glory. The “back” of God (Exodus 33:12–23) is revealed to those who believe. The hour will come when Jesus will again manifest His glory by taking creation’s curse into His own body to release us from its power. The Groom will give His life for the Bride (Ephesians 5:22–32), and from His side will flow water and blood, the holy sacraments by which she is cleansed and made one with Him. Through this sacrificial love of Christ we are enabled to “be kindly affectionate to one another, . . . in honor giving preference to one another.” (Romans 12:6–16)
Collect: Almighty and everlasting God, Governor of all things in heaven and earth, mercifully hear the supplications of Your people and grant us Your peace in our time; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Old Testament: Exodus 33:12–23 [Moses sees the “back” of God]
Epistle: Ephesians 5:22–33 [Christ and His Bride]
Holy Gospel: John 2:1–11 [Wedding Feast at Cana]
SUNDAY’S DIVINE SERVICE— The Baptism of Our LordJohn objects to baptizing Jesus, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” John is right! He and all sinners must be “washed,” or “baptized,” by Jesus or they cannot be saved; but the Sacrament of Holy Baptism only has power to save because Jesus was “baptized to fulfill all righteousness.” In His Baptism, the sinless Son of God, who had become man, aligned Himself with sinful man and took responsibility for the transgressions of the world. “He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us” in the waters of Holy Baptism, that He might fulfill all righteousness in His death for sinful man upon the cross. Now our Baptism has the power to save. As Jesus received the iniquity of us all in His Baptism, so we receive His righteousness in our Baptism. God the Father is delighted with this “happy exchange” and declares us His beloved for Jesus' sake.