Lectionary for the first Sunday after The Epiphany: The Baptism of Christ

10 January 2021

The First Reading: Genesis 1: 1-5

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

The Psalm: Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you powers of heaven,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name;
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders;
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is mighty in operation;
the voice of the Lord is a glorious voice.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord splits the flash of lightning;
the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe
and strips the forests bare;
in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’
The Lord sits enthroned above the water flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for evermore.
The Lord shall give strength to his people;
the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

The Second Reading: Acts 19: 1-7

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptised?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptised with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied – altogether there were about twelve of them.

The Gospel Reading: Mark 1: 4-11

John the baptiser appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptised by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptised you with water; but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’

Collect of the Word

Loving God,
your Son came to seek the lost
and was baptised with sinners:
grant that we, who have been baptised in his name,
may reach out in love to those in need
with the mercy of Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you,
for ever and ever. Amen.

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