Third Sunday After Epiphany: Christ’s Word is For All
We hear God’s Word:
2 Kings 5:1–15a
or Romans 12:16–21
Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Lectionary Summary: Jesus Came for Gentiles, Too
The Gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile (Rom. 1:8–17). Even in the Old Testament, the Gentiles were beneficiaries of God’s saving power. Though unimpressed at first with the Word of God, a Syrian commander is persuaded to receive that Word, and in the water he is cleansed and brought to faith in the God of Israel (2 Kings 5:1–15a). Evil is overcome by good (Rom 12:16–21). So also in the New Testament, a Roman centurion demonstrates great and humble faith in the Lord (Matt. 8:1–13). All he needs is the Word of Christ, for he trusts that Jesus’ Word of healing has authority to accomplish what it says. And indeed it does. The centurion’s faith is praised by our Lord above that of any Israelite. For the last shall be first, and the first last. Apart from faith in Christ, there is no salvation—not even for a Jew¬—but only weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Source).
Bach Cantata for the Third Sunday after Epiphany BWV 72
1. Chorus (S, A, T, B)
All things but as God is willing,
Both in joy and deepest grief,
Both in good and evil times.
God’s own will shall be my solace
Under cloud and shining sun.
All things but as God is willing,
This shall hence my motto be.(1)
2. Recit. (A)
O Christian blest who always doth his own will
In God’s own will submerge, no matter what may happen,
In health and sickness!
Lord, if thou wilt,(2) must all things be obedient!
Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst bring me contentment!
Lord, if thou wilt, shall vanish all my pain!
Lord, if thou wilt, will I be well and clean!
Lord, if thou wilt, all sadness will be gladness!
Lord, if thou wilt, I’ll find midst thorns a pasture!
Lord, if thou wilt, will I be blest at last!
Lord, if thou wilt, (let me express in faith this sentence
To make my soul be quiet!)
Lord, if thou wilt, I’ll perish not,
Though life and limb have me forsaken,
If to my heart thy Spirit speaks this word!(3)
3. Aria (A)
With ev’rything I have and am
I’ll trust myself to Jesus;
- E’en though my feeble soul and mind
- The will of God not fathom,
- Still may he lead me ever forth
- On roads of thorns and roses!
4. Recit. (B)
So now believe!
Thy Savior saith: “This will I!”(4)
He shall his gracious hand
Most willingly extend thee
When cross and suff’ring thee have frightened;
He knoweth thy distress and lifts the cross’s bond,
He helps the weak
And would, the humble roof
Of poor in spirit not despising,
Therein deign graciously to enter.
5. Aria (S)
My Jesus will(5) do it, he will thy cross now sweeten.
E’en though thy heart may lie amidst much toil and trouble,
Shall it yet soft and still within his arms find rest
If him thy faith doth grasp! My Jesus will do it.
6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)
What my God will, be done alway,
His will, it is the best will;
To help all those he is prepared
Whose faith in him is steadfast.
He frees from want, this righteous God,
And punisheth with measure:
Who trusts in God, on him relies,
Him will he not abandon.