Fourth Day of Theophany
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 He was in the beginning with God;
 all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
 He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
 (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”)
 And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate;
 but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.
 So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.
 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.
 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”
 And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America