New Revised Standard Version
Scripture Summaries for January 2021 – Year B
Scripture Summary – Epiphany Sunday Yr. B (Jan 3) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Isaiah 60:1-6: Isaiah prophesies the Lord’s coming into the world bringing light into the darkness. This is appropriate for Epiphany as today we celebrate light coming to Gentiles as well as Jews. The text also mentions two of the gifts – gold and frankincense – that the Magi will bring to Jesus.
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14: This Psalm celebrates the crowning of a King. It offers prayers and benedictions for this king. The king’s greatness will be praised because he will be a monarch of justice, bringing relief to the needy and the weak. For this reason all the other nations will also give him praise.
Ephesians 3:1-12: Here St. Paul reveals the mystery God has hidden from previous generations. Gentiles are now to be included in salvation history. They are now heirs with the Jews of all the promises of God. Jesus’ rule is all encompassing and salvation is for the whole world.
Matthew 2:1-12: Magi from the east were possibly astrologers or priests from Persia. They had seen a cosmic sign that was to compelling that they felt they needed to follow it. They arrive at the Christ child bringing expensive, yet symbolic gifts. God is an appropriate gift for a king. Frankincense would be used for the anointing of a priest. Myrrh was used for burial. All these gifts laud Christ’s ministry as king, priest, and Saviour.
Scripture Summary – Baptism of our Lord - Yr. B (Jan 10) - Bishop Kevin
Genesis 1:1-5: Today’s reading includes the opening verses of the Bible. The creation story is an appropriate one for today as we think about the new beginnings associated with baptism. Just as the original workings of God inaugurated the first creation, so the baptism of Jesus inaugurated his public ministry, and so our own baptisms inaugurate a new creation for us as we are born again by water and the Spirit.
Psalm 29: This psalm praises the power of the voice of the Lord, and anticipates the voice from heaven in the story of Jesus’ baptism. The imagery of the psalm leaves no doubt in our minds that God is in charge – His voice resounds over the waters and thunders on high. In spite of all the chaos and turbulence of the world, the psalmist rejoices that God reigns as King for evermore.
Acts 19:1-7: We know from the Gospels that John baptized many people before he baptized Jesus. Some of the New Testament texts, including this one, try to distinguish Christian baptism from John’s baptism. The difference was this: being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus brought with it the gift of the Holy Spirit. Clearly those who received John’s baptism realized that they were lacking this gift.
Mark 1:4-11: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all tell the story of Jesus’ baptism, but in different ways. For Mark, the baptism of Jesus was an epiphany, or a manifestation. In telling the story the way he does, Mark shows his own understanding of this epiphany: () that Jesus’ baptism ushered in a new age; (2) that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God: (3) that his baptism was a commissioning for his public ministry.
Scripture Summary - 2nd Sunday After Epiphany–Yr. B (Jan 17) by Rev. Shelley McVea
1 Samuel 3:1-20: Sometimes the message of God is a hard one to deliver. The prophet Samuel receives his first call from God as a youngster. The older priest Eli is not the recipient of God's prophecy, but he is able to direct Samuel in how best to respond. “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” It is a good response for any of us as we attune ourselves to hear God's call.
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18: This well loved Psalm is an ode to the awesomeness of humanity and to the great God who made us all. God knows us inside out – our thoughts, our ways, our words. We are known and loved. How does God know us so well? He is our creator. This knowledge fills the Psalmist with wonder and awe.
I Corinthians 6:12-20: St. Paul declares his freedom in Christ from all things that might bind him. Yet he will not use this freedom for any purpose. His (and our) freedom came through the death of Christ; a high price. Our bodies are the dwelling places (temples) of the Holy Spirit. Our lives are to reflect this reality.
John 1: 43-51: The calling of the disciples continues with Philip meeting Jesus. He is compelled to share this encounter with his friend Nathaniel. Nathaniel is put off by the bad reputation of Jesus' home town and wonders whether anything good can come from such a place. Philip gives him the best invitation. “Come and see”. He does. He then becomes the first disciple to name Jesus as the Son of God.
Scripture Summary - 3rd Sunday After Epiphany–Yr. B (Jan 24) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Jonah 3:1-5, 10: God enjoys giving second chances and here the prophet Jonah is given a new start. “Go and do what I asked you to do the first time” God entreats. Jonah does, and the people of the great city of Ninevah repent. This is an early story (well before the new Testament) of God’s great concern and compassion for peoples outside the nation of Israel.
Psalm 62:5-12: The Psalmist has seen the fragility of life for both the poor and the rich. God is the only one that he can put his trust in, as only God is unshakeable. The Psalmist encourages the reader to pour out their hearts to God as well and to put their full trust in Him.
I Corinthians 7:29-31: St. Paul wants to ensure that the Corinthian recipients of his epistle take seriously the brevity of life. Each person needs to see the calling of God on their lives as being of the utmost importance. Compared to this relationship, all others will seem secondary.
Mark 1:14-20: John the Baptist has been arrested and now Jesus begins his ministry in earnest. His message: repent and believe the good news. His appeal must have been amazing as the first young men that he calls to follow him immediately leave everything and follow.
Scripture Summary - 4th Sunday After Epiphany–Yr. B (Jan 31) by Rev. Shelley McVea
Deuteronomy 18:15-20: Moses will soon be dead. God promises that He will appoint another prophet in his place. This leader will be like Moses and will hear and speak God’s words to the people. This promise was fulfilled immediately by Joshua and in the long term (and eternally) by Jesus Christ.
Psalm 111: The Psalmist begins with praise. Why? Because God is gracious and merciful. God brings redemption to his people. He makes everlasting promises. To be in awe of God is to be wise.
I Corinthians 8:1-13: St. Paul continues to remind his readers that all areas of our lives need to be dedicated to Christ. Everyone has a unique sensibility, so we need to ensure that our liberty does not cause another follower of Christ to be hurt or tempted. We need to be aware of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are younger in the faith, and look to us for examples of faith filled living.
Mark 1:21-28: The story continues with a dramatic healing in the local synagogue. The people are amazed. A man is restored to health. A spiritual being acknowledges Jesus’ identity. All of this ensures that Jesus’ fame will spread throughout the region.