My view of life from the cheap seats… Art Chartier
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen
May the splendor of Your majesty, O Lord, shed its light upon our hearts, that we may pass through the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 60:1-6 (NLT)
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
“Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands. Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord.”
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 92:1-2a, 7-8, 10b-13 (NLT)
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning….
Though the wicked sprout like weeds and evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. But you, O Lord, will be exalted forever.
You have anointed me with the finest oil. My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the defeat of my wicked opponents. But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.
A Reading from Paul’s Letter to the Church in Ephesus: Ephesians 3:2b-4 (NLT)
God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ.
A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:
‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. “The Lord and ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power.” With these words the Church proclaims that today’s feast brings to a perfect fulfillment all the purposes of Advent. Epiphany, therefore, marks the liturgical zenith of the Advent-Christmas season. — Pius Parsch
Arise shine inheritors of God’s light, bearers of God’s light to our darkened world, the light of God has come into our world, and nations will come to its brightness.
Arise shine, privileged ones who live in the light of Christ, bow before God, not in shame but in awe, all is visible in Christ’s eternal light, in us God’s light never goes out.
Arise shine, in Christ, God’s light has been revealed to us, it reaches across time and space, we have come to see, we have come to follow.
Arise shine, in Christ God’s light has been revealed to all people, God’s glory has been unveiled in all the earth, go and tell, go and share God’s light with our needy world.
Light of all lights – accept our worship and prayer:
+ Come and see the light of God has come into our world – may we proclaim God’s justice and love… overcome the darkness and bring new life.
+ Come and follow Christ our king has redeemed our world – draw us into a loving family from every tribe and family and culture
+ Go and tell, the Spirit has equipped us for service – may we love our neighbours as we do ourselves and bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth
+ Come and see, come and follow, go and tell – in God’s Son the nations of the earth will put their hope
God who revealed yourself to wise men following a star – guide all who search and journey towards your Light today.
God who unveiled yourself in the gift of a son – show yourself through the gift of life today.
God who was baptized with those who declared their repentance in the Jordan river – manifest yourself to all who come with repentant hearts today.
God who fed the five thousand with a handful of fish and loaves – satisfy our hunger with your word of truth and love.
God who changed water into wine at a wedding – fill all who thirst with the free gift of the water of life.
God whose light shines like a bright guiding star have mercy on us.
Lord God Almighty, thank you that Jesus’ epiphany as Son of God reaches across time and space. As we go into this day may we embrace your call to come and see, come and follow, go and tell others. May we remember that we are bearers of Christ’s light sent out to touch others so that they may know him as Son of God and experience the wonderful hope his message brings. Amen.
Spiritual Song: Hallelujah (Light Is Come) – Barlow Girl
Hmm, my baby / Heaven sent You to me / All the world’s been praying / Who will save?
But who am I? / That here tonight / I hold the one / Who’ll bring us life
Hallelujah, we’ve been found / A child is born to save us now / Jesus Hallelujah, light has come / A Savior who will set us free / A promise for those who believe
Do You hear the Angels / Sing for You, my baby? / Men and kings have / Come to bow to You
But here in my arms / So close to me / The son of God / Now all can see
Hallelujah, we’ve been found / A child is born to save us now / Jesus Hallelujah, light has come / A Savior set us free
So praise to God on high / He has heard our cry
Hallelujah, we’ve been found / Hallelujah, we’ve been found
A child is born to save us now / Jesus Hallelujah, light has come / A Savior set us free / A promise for those who believe
Hmm, my baby
Go into the world knowing you are led by the light of Christ, may the love of the Creator go before you, may the life of the Redeemer be within you, may the joy of the Spirit shine through you.
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen