The Lessons Appointed for Use on the

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Year A
BCP

Micah 6:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:(18-25)26-31
Matthew 5:1-12
Psalm 37:1-18 or 37:1-6

The Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Old Testament

Micah 6:1-8

Hear what the LORD says:
Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD,
and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the LORD has a controversy with his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
"O my people, what have I done to you?
In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.
O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the saving acts of the LORD."
"With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

 

The Psalm

Psalm 37:1-18 or 37:1-6 Page 633, BCP

Noli aemulari

1
Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.

2
For they shall soon wither like the grass, *
and like the green grass fade away.

3
Put your trust in the LORD and do good; *
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

4
Take delight in the LORD, *
and he shall give you your heart's desire.

5
Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, *
and he will bring it to pass.

6
He will make your righteousness as clear as the light *
and your just dealing as the noonday.

7
Be still before the LORD *
and wait patiently for him.

8
Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, *
the one who succeeds in evil schemes.

9
Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; *
do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.

10
For evildoers shall be cut off, *
but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.

11
In a little while the wicked shall be no more; *
you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.

12
But the lowly shall possess the land; *
they will delight in abundance of peace.

13
The wicked plot against the righteous *
and gnash at them with their teeth.

14
The Lord laughs at the wicked, *
because he sees that their day will come.

15
The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow
to strike down the poor and needy, *
to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.

16
Their sword shall go through their own heart, *
and their bow shall be broken.

17
The little that the righteous has *
is better than great riches of the wicked.

18
For the power of the wicked shall be broken, *
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

The Epistle

1 Corinthians 1:(18-25)26-31

[The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.]

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

The Gospel

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."


Optional parts of the readings are set off in square brackets.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

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