Epiphany, First Sunday: Litany for Life-Light

The first Sunday of Epiphany is traditionally designated as a celebration of the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. John plays a supporting role in the narrative of the Gospel Lectionary texts for the next few Sundays, of which Matthew 3:13-17 is the first for Year A. John 1:1-14 was touched upon in one of the Christmas Day readings, and I have included elements from it also. In Eugene Peterson’s translation of John 1, he refers to Christ as “the Life-Light," which I like and have included as well.

God, you have sent your Son
Immanuel, God-With-Us,
Word Made Flesh,
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
The darkness couldn’t put it out (1).

Your servants go before him
Preparing the way for the Lord.
As Christ was baptized,
Raised up from the water,
The heavens opened;
The spirit descended like a dove.
A voice spoke from heaven:
This is God’s Son, the Beloved. (2)

We follow him in baptism
Of water and of spirit:
Dead, buried,
And raised to new life.

Christ, the Life-Light
Has made us alive.



  1. A direct quote from John 1, MSG

  2. Matthew 3:16