Sunday, January 21, 2018 Third Sunday after Epiphany / Lectionary 3 Introduction
Stories of the call to discipleship continue as the Time after Epiphany plays out the implications of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world. Jesus begins proclaiming the good news and calling people to repentance right after John the Baptist is arrested for preaching in a similar way. Knowing that John was later executed, we see at the very outset the cost of discipleship. Still, the two sets of fisherman brothers leave everything they have known and worked for all their lives to follow Jesus and fish for people.
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The book of Jonah is a comedy starring a reluctant prophet who is given a one-sentence message: Nineveh will be destroyed in forty days. Much to Jonah’s dismay, the people of Nineveh repent. The point of the story is to get the reader to wrestle with the question “On whom should God have mercy?”
Psalm: Psalm 62:5-12
God alone is my rock and my salvation. (Ps. 62:6)
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Paul does not disapprove of marriage or other human social institutions. He does, however, want Christians to live in the present in fervent anticipation of God’s future, which even now has dawned through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
Before Jesus calls his first disciples, he proclaims a message that becomes known as “the gospel” or good news from God. God is ready to rule our lives. Those who realize this will respond with repentance and faith.