Isaiah 60:1-6: The light of God’s glory and God’s goodness shines on God’s people, and people from across the earth are drawn to bring gifts and worship God.
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14: A prayer for God’s love of justice to fill God’s king, who will then defend the poor and rescue the oppressed. Then other kings will bow before him and bring gifts, and all nations will serve him.
Ephesians 3:1-12: In Christ both Jews & Gentiles enjoy the riches of God’s blessings and become, together, one body.
Matthew 2:1-12: Wise men from the East arrive, worship the Christ-Child and present him with fine gifts. Then, having been warned in a dream, they return to their home via a different route, ignoring Herod’s request that they inform him of where the child is staying.
(Bible summaries by John van de Laar, Sacredise)
One of the important celebrations of this Epiphany season is the coming of the Magi and part of what I love about these foreigners from the East is that once they encountered Jesus, they went home by another way. Their encounter with the baby Jesus changed them forever. May our encounters with Jesus also change us irrevocably so that we too find another way to live in our troubled world. (Source: Christine Sine, Godspacelight)
Arise, shine, inheritors of God’s light,
You came and heard,
The light of God has come into our world.
It reached across time and space into our hearts.
And nations will come to its brightness.
Arise, shine, bearers of Christ’s light,
You came and saw.
The light of God’s son brings salvation,
proclaims God’s Justice and love,
overcomes darkness and gives new life.
Arise, privileged ones,
who live in the light of Christ.
You came and followed.
Christ redeemed our world
and draws us into a loving family,
from every tribe, and family, and culture.
Arise, shine, sharers of God’s light.
No longer be satisfied with your old life.
Go and tell others.
Learn to love your neighbour as yourself
so that they too may know Christ
and the hope his message brings.
(Source: Christine Sine, Godspaceslight)
Light dawning (after Isaiah 60:1-6)
the light has come
born in our midst,
born in the story,
the light has come
all too soon,
rises between us,
overshadows our story,
all too soon
come to the light
gather together, rejoice!
hear the story and sing!
come to the light,
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)
Carol of the Epiphany
I sought him dressed in finest clothes,
where money talks and status grows;
but power and wealth he never chose:
it seemed he lived in poverty.
I sought him in the safest place,
remote from crime or cheap disgrace;
but safety never knew his face:
it seemed he lived in jeopardy.
I sought him where the spotlights glare,
where crowds collect and critics stare;
but no one knew his presence there:
it seemed he lived in obscurity.
Then, in the streets, we heard the word
which seemed, for all the world, absurd:
that those who could no gifts afford
were entertaining Christ the Lord.
And so, distinct from all we’d planned,
among the poorest of the land,
we did what few might understand:
we touched God in a baby’s hand.
(Words: John Bell, on the Innkeepers and Lightsleepers CD, Iona)
Components of worship
(scroll down for more resources for this particular Sunday)
Acknowledgement of Land
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Prayers for others
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out
At the door of the new year (New Year Carol) – words by Shirley Erena Murray, music by Jim Strathdee (lyrics and sheet music on the link)