The Epiphany of the Lord, 03 January: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12 ~ may your hearts be thrilled with joy

The Epiphany of the Lord

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening Sentence and Prayer:

On this first Sunday of 2016: we give thanks for the year gone by, and ask for God’s continuing care and protection as we face this new year, not knowing what it will bring.

God most high, You light the way for all who seek You. Fill us with joy as we behold Your glory, and humble us in worship before You. Arise and shine once again in our darkness, and may nations and kings come into Your radiant light. May Your justice and righteousness reign in the coming year, and all the godly flourish and prosper. Through Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the splendour of eternal light, God for ever and ever.

Hymn: “We Three Kings of Orient Are” – Jennifer Avalon


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.

Jerusalem sunrise

“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 Psalms: Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13 (NLT)

Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly.

May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more. May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.

The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him.

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them.

“Jesus Shall Reign” – Sean Dayton


A Reading from the Letters: Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6 (NLT)

You know 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.

God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets. And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.

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.”

The Star of Bethlehem Gustave Doré (1832-1883)
The Star of Bethlehem
Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

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.

Hymn: “A Christmas Alleluia” – Chris Tomlin, Lauren Daigle, Leslie Jordan

Alleluia, alleluia | Christ, the Savior of the world | He has come! | Alleluia, alleluia | To the highest name of all | Alleluia!

The heavens roar, the angels sing | All glory to our God and King! | O night divine forever more | Alleluia!

You’re the highest name of all | Alleluia!


Merciful God: You save all who cry out for help. Come to us now as we begin a new year.

+ For the people of all nations, that they may hear and believe the Good News of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the rulers of all nations, that they come into the light of Christ and govern with justice and compassion…. Lord, hear us.
+ For the Jewish people, our brothers and sisters, that through their faithfulness to Your word, they too may reach Your Kingdom…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people of all faiths and of none, especially Muslim people, that they may discover the grace and truth of Your Son, Jesus Christ and grow in love…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have been driven from their homes by war and violence, that they may receive Your help and protection and return home in peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those in our midst who are sick or in sorrow, that our support may remind them of Your unfailing love and compassion…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our friends and relatives who have died in Christ, that eternal rest and peace may be theirs…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our own needs, for our families, and for those who have asked for our prayers…. Lord, hear us.

O God, You rule the earth with justice: help us all according to our needs, we pray, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”



He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:15b-16)

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen