The Epiphany of the Lord – Sun 08 Jan: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13; Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12 ~ Savior of all nations

The Epiphany of the Lord

On Epiphany Sunday, we celebrate the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of all nations, including ours. We worship God who wants all people to be saved.

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

Opening Prayer:

Lord God of the nations, we have seen the star of your glory rising in splendour. The radiance of your incarnate Word pierces the darkness that covers the earth and signals the dawn of peace and justice.

Make radiant the lives of your people with that same brightness, and beckon all the nations to walk as one in your light.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Word made flesh, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the splendor of eternal light, God for ever and ever.
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“Arise, Shine (Kumi Ori)”


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A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 60:1-6 (NLT)
[Isaiah refers to foreign people coming to worship the God of Israel, just as the wise men did.]

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“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.
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13 (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.
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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.
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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.
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“Psalm 72” – Big Tent Revival

My Lord will soon be coming down | Like the rain on new mown grass | Showers fallin’ on the thirsty land

The righteous man will flourish in those days | And for as long as the moon runs ’round | Peace will abound

I sing praises, I sing praises | Praises to my Savior | Praises to my Lord

All those who dwell in wilderness | Will bow down licking dust | And kings will follow, bringing gifts to my Lord

With one cry, He’ll deliver those in need | All the meek | And those who have oppressors in the world

I sing praises, I sing praises | Praises to my Savior | Praises to my Lord

And blessed be the Power | Blessed be the Glory | And blessed be the Name

I sing praises, I sing praises | Praises to my Savior | Praises to my Lord | Jesus

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A Reading from the Letters: Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6 (NLT)
[Paul talks about the meaning of the feast: in Jesus, salvation is made available to Jews and pagans alike.]

adoration-of-the-magi-hi-qe

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.
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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.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)
[The events celebrated on the Epiphany are described in the Gospel.]

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.’”

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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.
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” We Three Kings” – Hillsong


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Intercessory Prayer:

God of the nations: you save all people when they cry out for help. Lord, hear us.

+ For the people of all nations — that they may believe the Good News of salvation. Lord, hear us.
+ For the Jewish people, our brothers and sisters – that through your faithfulness, they too may enter the Kingdom…. Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians in every nations – that together we may meet the challenges facing humanity…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people of all faiths and of none – that in this New Year they may grow in mutual respect and tolerance…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those in our midst who are sick or in sorrow – that your healing presence may bring them peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all Christians suffering persecution and violence – that they may be protected and delivered from evil…. Lord hear us.
+ For our friends and family members who have died – that eternal life with you may be theirs…. Lord, hear us.

O God, you rule the earth with justice: help us according to our needs, we pray, through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.
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“Christmas Hallelujah” – Abigail Schmidt


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Benediction:

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



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