Readings for Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle A-B-C
From Contemporary English Version © 1995, American Bible Society.
The Epiphany of Our Lord
FIRST READING: Isaiah 60:1-6
Jerusalem, stand up! Shine! Your new day is dawning.
The glory of the LORD shines brightly on you.
2The earth and its people are covered with darkness,
but the glory of the LORD is shining upon you.
3Nations and kings will come to the light
of your dawning day.
The LORD said:
4Open your eyes! Look around! Crowds are coming.
Your sons are on their way from distant lands;
your daughters are being carried like little children.
5When you see this, your faces will glow;
your hearts will pound and swell with pride.
Treasures from across the sea and the wealth of nations
will be brought to you.
6Your country will be covered with caravans
of young camels from Midian and Ephah.
The people of Sheba will bring gold and spices
in praise of me, the LORD.
PSALMODY: Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
1Please help the king to be honest and fair
just like you, our God.
2Let him be honest and fair with all your people,
especially the poor.
3Let peace and justice rule every mountain and hill.
4Let the king defend the poor, rescue the homeless,
and crush everyone who hurts them.
5Let the king live forever like the sun and the moon.
6Let him be as helpful as rain
that refreshes the meadows and the ground.
7Let the king be fair with everyone,
and let there be peace
until the moon falls from the sky.
10Force the rulers of Tarshish and of the islands
to pay taxes to him.
Make the kings of Sheba and of Seba bring gifts.
11Make other rulers bow down and all nations serve him.
12Do this because the king rescues the homeless
when they cry out,
and he helps everyone who is poor and in need.
13The king has pity on the weak and the helpless
and protects those in need.
14He cares when they hurt,
and he saves them from cruel and violent deaths.
SECOND READING: Ephesians 3:1-12
Christ Jesus made me his prisoner, so that I could help you Gentiles. 2You have surely heard about God’s kindness in choosing me to help you. 3In fact, this letter tells you a little about how God has shown me his mysterious ways. 4As you read the letter, you will also find out how well I really do understand the mystery about Christ. 5No one knew about this mystery until God’s Spirit told it to his holy apostles and prophets. 6And the mystery is this: Because of Christ Jesus, the good news has given the Gentiles a share in the promises that God gave to the Jews. God has also let the Gentiles be part of the same body.
7God treated me with kindness. His power worked in me, and it became my job to spread the good news. 8I am the least important of all God’s people. But God was kind and chose me to tell the Gentiles that because of Christ there are blessings that cannot be measured. 9God, who created everything, wanted me to help everyone understand the mysterious plan that had always been hidden in his mind. 10Then God would use the church to show the powers and authorities in the spiritual world that he has many different kinds of wisdom.
11God did this according to his eternal plan. And he was able to do what he had planned because of all that Christ Jesus our Lord had done. 12Christ now gives us courage and confidence, so that we can come to God by faith.
GOSPEL: Matthew 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem2and said, “Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
3When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. 4Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”
5They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,
6‘Bethlehem in the land of Judea,
you are very important among the towns of Judea.
From your town will come a leader,
who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.’ ”
7Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. 8He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”
9The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10They were thrilled and excited to see the star.
11When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him. 12Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road.